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Michael Jackson can relax. "Bad" did debut on Billboard's magazine pop album chart at No. 1. He might have been very embarrassed if it hadn't--he sure wouldn't have been able to look Whitney Houston in the eye again. It remains to be seen, however, whether the Buckled One will top Houston's "Whitney" album, which debuted at No. 1 and reigned for 11 straight weeks. For "Bad," it's one down, 10 to go. (Houston's single "Didn't We Almost Have It All" replaced Jackson's "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" as the No. 1 pop single.) The "Dirty Dancing" sound track is a surprise smash, rocketing to No. 19 in its second week on the pop album chart. Other hot albums: the Cars "Door to Door" (No. 26); Metallica's "Garage Days Revisited" (No. 32) and Aerosmith's "Permanent Vacation" (No. 41). Singles that look to be destined for the Top 10: Levert's "Casanova" (No.19); Madonna's "Causing a Commotion" (No. 23) and Jackson's "Bad" (No. 29).

* If it weren't for "Bad," Mellencamp's would be the hottest new album. In its second week on the pop LP chart, it jumped from No. 21 to No. 8.


TITLE RANK RANK WEEKS LAST 2 WKS ON WEEK AGO CHART 1. Bad -- -- 1 Michael Jackson (Epic) 2. La Bamba 1 1 10 Sound track (Warner Bros.) 3. Whitney 2 2 14 Whitney Houston (Arista) 4. Whitesnake 3 3 24 Whitesnake (Geffen) 5. Hysteria 4 4 6 Def Leppard (PolyGram) * The Lonesome Jubilee 21 ---- 2 John Cougar Mellencamp (PolyGram)

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