Despite Massive Multimedia Blitz, ‘Erotica’ Chasing ‘The Chase’

The multimedia blitz surrounding Madonna’s seductively packaged “Erotica” album failed to lure enough customers last week to break country star Garth Brooks’ stranglehold on the nation’s pop charts.

Brooks’ “The Chase” album sold 171,000 copies for the week ending Tuesday and will continue to command the No. 1 position on Billboard’s pop album sales chart when the trade magazine is published Saturday. U.S. retailers sold about 167,000 copies of “Erotica.”

Madonna’s first-week total for “Erotica” falls about 236,000 copies short of the first-week sales figures registered by “The Chase” when it was released in September. Traditionally, albums enjoy their biggest sales in their initial week in the racks. The biggest first-week sales total since Billboard began using the SoundScan monitoring system in May, 1991, continues to be Guns N’ Roses “Use Your Illusion II”: 770,000 copies.

Prince, whose new album entered the Billboard charts last week at No. 5, slips to No. 8 in the new charts, selling just 66,000 copies. Madonna and Prince both recently signed major new contracts with Warner Bros. Records.