August 17, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

THE MAGNIFICENT ‘7’

Now that’s what I call A short run at the top. ‘N Sync’s Celebrity performed like most of the summer movie blockbusters, busting out with an amazing first week, followed by a drop-off of more than 75 percent. Usually, 460,000 units–Celebrity’s second-week tally, coming off a 1.88 million debut–would be more than enough to top the charts. But this frame saw the release of NOW That’s What I Call Music! 7, which debuted with 621,000 copies, the best opening yet for the series of hits compilations. Also joining the hit parade were Tha Eastsidaz, easing in at No. 4 with 116,000 units sold, and Blu Cantrell, making a can-do march to No. 8 with 89,000.

POP ALBUMS

LAST WEEK WEEKS ON CHART

1 — VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW That’s What I Call Music! 7, Virgin 1 2 1 ‘N SYNC Celebrity, Jive 2 3 2 ALICIA KEYS Songs in A Minor, J 6 4 — SNOOP DOGG PRESENTS THA EASTSIDAZ Duces ‘N Trayz…, TVT 1 5 4 STAIND Break the Cycle, Flip/Elektra 11 6 3 D12 Devil’s Night, Shady/Interscope 7 7 8 LINKIN PARK Hybrid Theory, Warner Bros. 41 8 — BLU CANTRELL So Blu, Arista 1 9 6 DESTINY’S CHILD Survivor, Columbia 14 10 7 P. DIDDY… The Saga Continues…, Bad Boy/Arista 4 11 — VARIOUS ARTISTS Rush Hour 2 soundtrack, Def Jam 1 12 5 JENNIFER LOPEZ J. Lo, Epic 28 13 14 VARIOUS ARTISTS O Brother… soundtrack, Mercury Nashville 32 14 9 JAGGED EDGE Jagged Little Thrill, So So Def/Columbia 6 15 11 BLINK-182 Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, MCA 8

(C)2001 BPI COMMUNICATIONS INC./SOUNDSCAN INC. USED WITH PERMISSION FROM BILLBOARD, AUGUST 20, 2001.

IN STORES AUGUST 21 & 28

BJORK Vespertine (Elektra) The Icelandic swan-songstress substitutes the orchestral arrangements of last year’s Selmasongs for a gospel choir, harps, and ambient touches from electro duo Matmos.

MAXWELL Now (Columbia) The neo-soulster’s third album reprises the funk-soul of his debut, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. An upcoming tour with chart-topper Alicia Keys may boost sales.

BUTTHOLE SURFERS Weird Revolution (Hollywood) A Malcolm X speech forms the basis for one Weird track, while Kid Rock pens lyrics for another.

MARIAH CAREY Glitter (Virgin) Exhaustion or no, the Mariah show carries on with the release of her first disc for Virgin, featuring Ludacris, Ja Rule, and Da Brat.

GIMME FIVE Choice Cuts for Your Mix Tape

ELVIS COSTELLO, “World’s Great Optimist” (from Rhino’s new All This Useless Beauty reissue) Previously unreleased demo of song cowritten by Aimee Mann.

THE STROKES, “New York City Cops” (B side of “Hard to Explain” import) This buzzed-about band sounds like such old-school faves as Television and the Feelies.

WHISKEYTOWN, “Ballad of Carol Lynn” (Pneumonia) Frontman Ryan Adams’ new CD doesn’t come out until fall, but this wistful ballad (duh) makes the wait a lot easier.

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL, “This Bitter Pill” (The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most) Emo doesn’t get much more emotional than this over-the-top track.

KELLY JOE PHELPS, “Clementine” (Sky Like a Broken Clock) He’s a “blues” musician, but on this cello-flavored track, Phelps sounds more like Nick Drake.

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