The "Bad Boys II" soundtrack is the first album of the year to top the national sales chart for four consecutive weeks, but its modest total -- just 798,000 copies over that period -- underscores how weak album sales are these days.
Shania Twain's "Up!" was the last album to be No. 1 for four weeks. It entered the chart last November and sold 2.2 million copies in its first four weeks, while Eminem's "The Eminem Show" sold 2.9 million in its first four weeks during the summer of 2002.
Another sign of the August blues in the music industry: The "Bad Boys II" album, which features tracks by Jay-Z and 50 Cent, sold 121,000 copies last week, making it the only CD to top the 100,000 sales mark, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The week's runner-up, Volume 13 in the "Now That's What I Call Music!" compilation series, sold just 82,000 copies in its third week in stores.
Retailers did have something to cheer about this week, thanks to Alan Jackson's "Greatest Hits 2" package. The album got off to such a fast start on Tuesday, its first day in stores, that Hits magazine predicts the album is a cinch to be No. 1 next week. Sales could pass the 300,000 mark.