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POP ALBUM CHART : New Kids Surprisingly Slip a Notch

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

That was quick. New Kids on the Block, the teen idols who rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard pop album chart in just two weeks with “Step By Step,” stepped down to No. 2 after only one week at No. 1. That’s a surprise since the Kids figured to hog the top spot for the first half of the summer. Are those fickle teens turning on them already? However, the Kids still have the No. 1 pop single with the album’s title song. Rapper M.C. Hammer’s “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em” reclaimed the No. 1 spot. After the New Kids, the second fastest-rising album on the chart is R&B; crooner Keith Sweat’s “I’ll Give All My Love to You,” which shot up to No. 14 in just two weeks. On the rap circuit, controversial 2 Live Crew is as hot as they wanna be with “As Nasty as They Wanna Be,” which jumped from No. 54 to No. 36. Ice Cube’s X-rated “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” is one of rap’s most wanted albums, cracking the Top 20, at No. 20.

* Young white-soul singer Mariah Carey is already getting votes as newcomer of the year. Her debut album, “Mariah Carey,” is zipping up the chart, bounding from No. 80 to No. 41. Carey’s first single, “Vision of Love” (No. 17) should easily make the Top 10.

Rank Rank 2 Weeks Title (Label) Last Week Weeks Ago on Chart 1. “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em” 2 1 18 M.C. Hammer (Capitol) 2. “Step By Step” 1 14 3 New Kids on the Block (Columbia) 3. “I’m Breathless” 3 2 5 Madonna (Sire/Warner Bros.) 4. “Pretty Woman” 6 4 14 Soundtrack (EMI) 5. “I Do Not Want ... Haven’t Got” 4 3 14 Sinead O’Connor (Chrysalis) * “Mariah Carey” 80 ... 2 Mariah Carey (Columbia)


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