Garth Brooks wrapped up the Christmas buying season where he began it, at No. 1, with sales of Sevens at a merry 684,000 for the week ended December 28, up from 678,000 the previous week. Brooks' latest has been atop the pop charts since its release five weeks ago.

Another 624,000 music fans found Celine Dion under their tree during the last full week of 1997. The Canadian songbird's new album, Let's Talk About Love, rose from 574,000 the previous week to finish the year strongly. Also helped by the last-minute buying rush and post-Christmas sales was Barbra Streisand, who took Higher Ground to No. 3 with sales of 402,000--down from 465,000 but still respectable.

LeAnn Rimes stuffed 368,000 more stockings with You Light Up My Life in the No. 4 position, while Chumbawamba's Tubthumper boomed 362,000 more boxes one notch below. More than 317,000 listened to Shania Twain's call to Come On Over for a little holiday cheer, landing that disc in the sixth slot.

Metallica took no prisoners during the season either. While it looked at first like the headbangers might be shooting blanks, Re-Load has rebounded of late, selling briskly during the Yuletide. Sales were up to 286,000 from 253,000, good enough to place the boys at No. 7.

Mariah Carey's Butterfly alit in eighth place with sales of 283,000, up from 241,000. Meanwhile, the Spice Girls continue to extend their 15 minutes as Spiceworld moved 274,000 units to rank ninth. Finally, from Spiceworld to Harlem World, Mase climbed back into the Top 10 from No. 16 with sales of 271,000 copies of his rookie disc.

Tumbling out of the chart heights were the brothers Hanson--Middle of Nowhere dropped from No. 8 to No. 14. Their holiday release, Snowed In, fell from No. 17 to No. 28.

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