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SPEARS WITHOUT PEERS
Teen Queen’s Navel Assault Sinks Record and Pearl Jam Wins One For Old Folks
She did it again. No oops about it.

Jive's Britney Spears continued her mindboggling assault on the music-buying masses as she posted the biggest first-week sales by a female in the history of the music industry.

"Wow, that's neat," said the young chanteuse.

In fact, Spears' 1.3 million-plus first-week sales are second only to Jive labelmates NSYNC and barely more than Jive labelmates Backstreet Boys—which means Clive Calder's little label is packing the top three first-week sales performances of all time.

"Wow, that's neat," said Jive's Barry Weiss.

Spears' sales performance surpassed the first-week numbers posted by Mariah Carey, who proceeded to bitch-slap the precocious youngster. By the way, have we mentioned that Mariah isn't pregnant? Whoa, sounds like it's time for this week's riveting retail quote.

"Timing is everything," said Jerry Kamiler of Trans World. "We were comping this week's numbers against last year at this time, which was Backstreet Boys. We did a six-digit sales number then—and Britney beat it! Retailers and Jive alike learned a lot from the NSYNC experience, both in the way we ordered and the way they set up the early discounts on the LP."

But it wasn't only about the teen queen. Epic's Pearl Jam had a monster #2 album chart bow, while Cash Money/Universal's Big Tymers debuted at #4, just ahead of Whitney's Arista "Greatest Hits" package, which appeared at #5. Other Top 20 debuts included Elektra's Phish at #11 and Profile's DJ Quik at #16.

And as happy as retailers are this week, next week's gonna be a virtual lovefest. Yes kids, streeting today and debuting on next week's chart are Eminem, matchbox twenty, "Family Values Tour 2," Don Henley, En Vogue and Gloria Estefan, to name just a few.

"This week we got a major temperature check with Eminem," said Trans World's Kamiler. "It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We've really stepped out on this title because it won't have the same impact at the racks that Britney did, so we'll have the opportunity to have a larger-than-usual marketshare at the end of the day. With all the other great titles that are hitting this week, I'm hoping for more rain. It sure worked for Britney."

Folks, in the world of retail, that last quote would be considered comedic genius. Thank you for your understanding.

A HOLLY, JOLLY
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WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want for Christmas.
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