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Despite Chains' Boycott, Campbell Album Sells : Rap: The explicit 'Banned in the U.S.A.' is doing brisk business. The more restriction, says an executive, the more interest is stimulated.

August 02, 1990|CHUCK PHILIPS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sales of 2 Live Crew leader Luther Campbell's sexually explicit "Banned in the U.S.A." solo album are reported "brisk" at many retail outlets across the nation, but don't expect to purchase a copy at Sam Goody's in Southern California.

Based in Burbank, the 164-store chain is the only major retailer in the state to ban the sale of the album. Goody's, however, does stock Campbell's "Banned" single--which doesn't contain his usual racy lyrics--and the chain is also expected to carry a "clean" version of the album as soon as it becomes available this month.

Sam Goody's is owned by the 901-store Musicland group, based in Minneapolis, which also refuses to stock 2 Live Crew's expletive-laced "As Nasty as They Wanna Be" album. "Nasty" was declared obscene in June by a U.S. District Court in Florida. Company officials declined to comment.

Other chains that aren't carrying the explicit version of "Banned" include the 300-store Dallas-based Super Club, the 356-store North Canton, Ohio-based Camelot Enterprises and the 22-store Hialeah, Fla.-based Peaches.

The "Banned" single has sold 800,000 copies in three weeks and is already No. 27 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. The explicit album, released last week, has sold 675,000 copies and is currently No. 48 on Billboard's pop album chart.

California's three other major record chains all stock the explicit "Banned" album and more wholesome single. They are Wherehouse Entertainment, 268 stores; Music Plus, 80 stores; and Tower Records, 55 stores.

Company officials at all three chains say they restrict the sale of "Banned" and other albums that carry explicit warning stickers to adults.

The album is also on order at the Camp Pendleton Marine base, where 2 Live Crew's "Nasty" album was removed in June. Master Sgt. George Spear, media relations chief at the base, said Wednesday that officials have also decided to restock the "Nasty" record.

"It was originally a business decision made by the exchange officer to pull the 'Nasty' album from the shelves," Spear said. All 2 Live Crew-related albums, however, remain unavailable at Marine bases in El Toro and Tustin, said Lt. Gene Browne, deputy director of public information at El Toro.

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