Isleys spring ‘Eternal’

Group posts one of the highest debuts of their career

NEW YORK – Seminal R&B outfit the Isley Brothers were armed and ready to fight the power of modern pop music in the album charts this week, posting one of the highest debuts of their five-decade career.

The group, featuring brothers Ronald and Ernie, opened at third place with “Eternal” (DreamWorks), which sold more than 225,000 copies, according to SoundScan figures for the week ended Sunday. Release includes guest spots from several modern-day talents, including Philly R&B diva Jill Scott and famed producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.

Bow, which reps the brothers’ best performance since their No. 1 smash “The Heat Is On” (T Neck) 26 years ago, wasn’t quite enough to top the latest crop of teen-pop mega-hits. Virgin’s “Now 7” compilation held steady in the top spot, albeit with a 37% drop from last week’s sales figures. And ‘N Sync’s latest effort “Celebrity” (Jive) claimed the silver medal again this week, on sales of 244,000 units.

The Isleys led a sizable crop of new releases into the rankings this time out. Coming in just behind the legendary funkateers at No. 4 was “8701” (Arista), the newest album from R&B lothario Usher, which scanned 211,000 discs.

Just below Usher was “Kiss Tha Game Goodbye” (Interscope), from East coast rapper and Ruff Ryders protege Jadakiss, at No. 5. And rounding out the honor roll in this week’s freshman class was pre-teen popstar Aaron Carter, whose Jive LP “Oh Aaron” landed in seventh place on sales of 132,000.

A brace of soundtracks made their way up the charts as their respective movies took their box-office bows. The “American Pie 2” score (Universal), which includes tracks from Green Day and Blink 182, jumped 32 spots to No. 26 on a 70% sales gain, and “The Princess Diaries” (Disney) climbed to No. 41 from 74, growing sales by 53%.

Also posting gains were hard-rock outfit Alien Ant Farm, whose “Anthology” (DreamWorks) rose another six spots this week to No. 12 (almost 75,000 units sold), and alt-metal quartet Drowning Pool, whose debut effort “Sinner” (Wind-Up) also gained six, to No. 14 on sales of 72,000.

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