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POP ALBUMS

'Titanic' Album Gets a Nudge From Oscars

April 02, 1998

It's a dozen weeks and counting for the "Titanic" soundtrack, which again was the nation's top-selling album last week--its 12th week at No. 1.

The album sold nearly 476,000 copies during the same week that the movie was showered with a record-tying 11 Academy Awards, including best original score for James Horner's music and best original song for the Celine Dion hit "My Heart Will Go On."

That pushed the album's total U.S. sales to nearly 6.6 million units, according to SoundScan.

Meanwhile, rapper Cappadonna's "The Pillage" debuts at No. 3. The first solo album from the Wu-Tang Clan member sold almost 132,000 copies during the seven-day period that ended Sunday.

Aretha Franklin's "A Rose Is a Rose" enters at No. 30.

The nation's top-selling single was K-Ci & JoJo's "All My Life."

What's Hot

Some recent releases generating critical or commercial attention:

Eric Clapton's "Pilgrim" (Duck/Reprise). Most of the 14 tracks on this album lament lost love, but the songwriting on Clapton's first collection of original material since 1989 rarely rises above cliche.

C-Murder's "Life or Death" (No Limit/Priority). The relentlessly depressing outlook in the gangsta rap put forth by the younger brother of Master P and Silkk the Shocker works against what may be sincere intentions.

Aretha Franklin's "A Rose Is a Rose" (Arista). The good news is that Franklin is back after a six-year recording hiatus. The bad news is that she comes across as tentative as skater Michelle Kwan was in the Nagano Olympics.

Madonna's "Ray of Light" (Warner Bros.). From the sparkling arrangements to the lyrics, this ambitious new collection of songs is Madonna's most thoughtful and personal work since 1989's "Like a Prayer."

Mono's "Formica Blues" (Mercury). Producer Martin Virgo and singer Siobhan de Mare have concocted an enchanting aural landscape that manages to strike a perfect balance between the cerebral pop of Portishead and the retro cool of the Sneaker Pimps.

Van Halen's "Van Halen 3" (Warner Bros.) The veteran group's first effort with new singer Gary Cherone may not be its most focused, but it might be its most adventurous.

What's New

Scott Weiland's "12 Bar Blues" (Atlantic).

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