Though their multiplatinum debut Spice was off from 149,000 the previous week, the group headed a gender blitz on the upper echelons of the chart this week that included Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Jewel, Erykah Badu, Indigo Girls and LeAnn Rimes. Meredith Brooks' single "Bitch" drove her debut album to number 25. Plus, the voices of Alanis Morissette, No Doubt and a dozen other females have recently hit notes high enough to shatter any glass ceiling, real or perceived.
As for the age factor, the adolescent trio Hanson debuted in the Top 10--and 13-year-old Rimes, although she slipped out of the 10, is still the rage on country circuits. She has a heavily-promoted Disney Channel special coming up that should further fuel the fever for her music.
George Strait moseyed down from first to second place with sales of 117,000 on Carrying Your Love with Me, down from 179,000, according to industry sources.
The Hanson brothers, no relation to the battling hockey triplets that gained cult status in the film Slapshot, nor to the hip-hopping Beck, are Isaac, 16, Taylor, 13 and Zac, 11. This year's model of teen sensationalism is making more than preteen girls scream. Record-store owners may be letting out a little shout as the album Middle of Nowhere bowed at number 9 with 72,000 and their "MMMBop" single moved to number 2.
And, finally, the Bee Gees proved Still Waters run deep as the new album of that name dove into the market with a number 11 bow behind sales of 66,000 units.
Here is the list of top albums, with sales in units for the week ending May 11, followed by the week ending May 4.
1. Spice Girls, Spice, 138,000; 149,000
2. George Strait, Carrying Your Love With Me, 117,000; 179,000
3. Mary J. Blige, Share My World, 114,000; 153,000
4. Notorious B.I.G., Life after Death, 105,000; 119,000
5. Various, Space Jam Soundtrack, 82,000; 93,000
6. Celine Dion, Falling Into You, 81,000; 71,000
7. Wallflowers, Bringing Down the Horse, 79,000; 79,000
8. Jewel, Pieces of You, 74,000; 76,000
9. Hanson, Middle of Nowhere, 72,000 (debut)
10. Erykah Badu, Baduizm, 72,000; 72,000