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Pop Album Chart : Blige’s ‘Life’ Makes the Climb--Again

Mary J. Blige’s “My Life” is hard to figure. Though this R&B; album climbed as high as No. 9 on the pop chart late last year, it slipped and seemed on a permanent slide. But in the last few weeks, it’s been surging, from No. 23 to No. 7--and without a boost from a hit pop single. And how about that Kenny G? Trash the sax player’s music all you want, but he is a commercial phenom. Who else could sell a Christmas album--an instrumental Christmas album no less--in January. Yes, it’s sliding down the chart, from No. 29 to No. 44, but it’s remarkable that anyone could sell enough Christmas albums at this time of year to make the Top 50. Pop singles: TLC’s “Creep” is the new chart-topper and the fast-risers are Brownstone’s “If You Love Me” (No. 19), Soul for Real’s “Candy Rain” (No. 27) and Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough” (No. 32).

* Though the star-studded Robert Altman movie “Ready to Wear” did a fast fade, the soundtrack album is sure selling. In its fifth week on the chart, it jumped from No. 51 to No. 32. The movie hasn’t done much for album sales but Ini Kamoze’s long-running Top 10 single, “Here Comes the Hotstepper,” certainly has.

Rank Rank 2 Weeks Last Weeks on the Week Ago Chart 1. “The Hits,"Garth Brooks 1 1 5 2. “Dookie,” Green Day 5 4 49 3. “II,” Boyz II Men 2 3 20 4. “Hell Freezes Over,” 4 5 10 Eagles 5. “Vitalogy,” Pearl Jam 3 2 8 6. “Smash,” Offspring 6 6 35 7. “My Life,” Mary J. Blige 15 21 7 8. “Crazysexycool,” TLC 9 12 9 9. “MTV Unplugged in 7 7 11 in New York,” Nirvana 10. “No Need to Argue,” 12 10 15 the Cranberries * “Ready to Wear,” 51 78 5 soundtrack


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