‘N Sync-able effort

Boy band's 'Strings' tops chart for 5th week

For the fifth straight week, teen idols ‘N Sync retained the top spot on the national music charts as “No Strings Attached” (Jive) sold more than 654,000 copies, according to sales data released Wednesday.

Sales of the disc for the week ending April 23 were up 232,000 over the previous week’s figures and more than double the roughly 286,000 posted by rapper Joe, whose CD “My Name Is Joe” (Jive) — the follow-up to his platinum “All That I Am” –came in at No. 2, the week’s highest debut.

Buyers get ‘Emotional’

Spurred by his current urban radio smash “I Wish,” R&B vocalist Carl Thomas’ “Emotional” (Bad Boy/

Arista) moved more than 115,000 units and debuted at No. 9.

The week’s other significant debut was Pink Floyd’s previously unreleased live effort, “1980-81: The Wall Live — Is There Anybody Out There?” (Columbia). The two-CD set sold 82,000 copies and entered the charts at No. 19. The studio version of the veteran English group’s “The Wall” album has sold 23 million copies in the U.S. since its original 1980 release.

VH1 artists strike back

The one-two combination of the holiday weekend and spikes experienced by artists who appeared on VH1’s “Men Strike Back” program, which first aired during the sales period surveyed, increased sales dramatically. A total of 32 albums experienced a double-digit rise in weekly unit sales, led by Sisqo’s “Unleash the Dragon” (Def Soul), up 66,000 units; Christina Aguilera’s self-titled debut (RCA), up 58,000 units; and Destiny’s Child’s “Writing’s on the Wall” (Columbia), up 52,000 units.

Besides Sisqo and Aguilera, the other artists who benefited from their “Men Strike Back” appearances were the Backstreet Boys, whose “Millennium” (Jive) jumped 33,000 copies, and Enrique Iglesias, whose “Enrique” (Interscope) climbed by 16,000.

As for the other “Men Strike Back” participants, Sting’s “Brand New Day” (A&M/Interscope) and D’Angelo’s “Voodoo” (Virgin) saw respective jumps of roughly 5,000 and 9,000 copies; “Back” participant Tom Jones has no current album to promote.

Other discs that rode the crest of the holiday weekend wave were the Dixie Chicks’ “Fly” (Monument), up 37,000 copies; Creed’s “Human Clay” (Wind-up), up 34,000 copies; Santana’s “Supernatural” (Arista) and Kid Rock’s “Devil Without a Cause” (Lava/Atlantic), both up 26,000 units; Eiffel 65’s “Europop” (Republic/Universal), up 25,000 copies; and Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” (Jive), up 21,000 units.

Those albums posting increases in the 19,000 to 14,000 unit range were, in descending order, Faith Hill’s “Breathe” (Warner Bros.), Mandy Moore’s “So Real” (Epic), Blink 182’s “Enema of the State” (MCA), the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication” (Warner Bros.) and Savage Garden’s “Affirmation” (Columbia).

Universal edged BMG for the largest share of the current album market, 25.8% to 25.5%; Sony followed with 16%; Warners, 12%; and EMI, 7%.

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