''Millennium'' power | EW.com


''Millennium'' power

The new Backstreet Boys album overtakes the record once held by Garth Brooks

A quick summary of last week’s news: Winner — Darth. Loser — Garth. While Maul et al. broke box office records, Brooks saw one of his most valued entries in the history books erased. The Backstreet Boys’ Millennium sold a massive 1.1 million copies in its first week, breaking the mark of 1.08 million set by Brooks’ Double Live last November. ”It took everyone by surprise,” says Dick Odette, senior VP of music merchandising for Musicland. ”The expectations were in the 700,000 arena, and that was bullish.” Impressively, the quintet unseated Brooks with relatively little fanfare. While the country singer established his record via his trusty marketing juggernaut, ”we hyped the album where hype counts,” says Barry Weiss, president of Jive Records, the Boys’ label. ”We hyped the audience, not the industry.” Meanwhile Brooks is gearing up for the release of a mysterious rock album called The Life of Chris Gaines. Will Gaines regain the record? Never count Brooks out, but it seems unlikely: His previous mark was set by a discounted live double album with multiple collectible covers. Then again, he could turn around and collaborate with ‘N Sync.