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'N Sync Sets Industry Record With 'Strings'

March 30, 2000|GEOFF BOUCHER

Maybe 'N Sync fans thought the song title was "Buy, Buy, Buy."

The teen pop group made music industry history on Wednesday when its new album, "No Strings Attached," registered the biggest single week of sales ever. The disc, led by the radio hit "Bye Bye Bye," sold 2,415,859 copies, more than doubling the mark set by the Backstreet Boys last summer.

"No Strings Attached" joins the Backstreet Boys' "Millennium," Garth Brooks' "Double Live" in 1998 (1.08 million) and "The Bodyguard" soundtrack in 1992 (1.06 million) as the only albums to break the six-digit mark in a single week.

"I'm still reeling, to be honest" said Barry Klein, president of Jive Records, 'N Sync's label. Klein was among the Jive officials in New York who used a satellite hookup Wednesday to pop champagne with 'N Sync, which is on a publicity junket in Tokyo.

The Orlando, Fla., group was helped by an intense media blitz. From the cover of Rolling Stone to appearances on "Good Morning America" and "Saturday Night Live," the group has been hard to escape. 'N Sync also performed Sunday on the Oscars broadcast, which reached 79 million U.S. viewers.

The pinup pop group just made history at the box office as well. On Saturday, it sold out 51 concerts--more than a million tickets--to set what Ticketmaster says appears to be a one-day record. Included among the sellouts: 'N Sync's June 9 stop at the Rose Bowl.

The 'N Sync sales barrage ended the six-week reign of Santana's "Supernatural" at No. 1. That album, which has now surpassed 8 million in total sales, falls to No. 2 with 266,000 copies sold.

A pair of debuts finished No. 3 and No. 4. Ice Cube's "War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc)" sold 185,000 copies, while Pantera's "Reinventing the Steel"--the group's first studio album in four years--sold 161,000 copies. The only other Top 10 debut was "WWF Aggression" at No. 8, featuring various rap artists' takes on wrestler theme music.

Other notable debuts include Ja Rule's new rap ensemble the Murderers, who open at No. 15 with "Irv Gotti Presents the Murderers." The Universal Music Group title was late to stores after the label insisted that violent lyrics depicting police and homosexuals be excised.

Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" debuts at No. 89 with 18,000 copies sold. The disc teams the singer-songwriter with the London Symphony Orchestra for standards such as "Stormy Weather" and "At Last."

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