Chart-based stories on Phish, the Temptations, Paulina Rubio, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes.
TOO MANY PHISH IN THE SEA: Besting its previous record by one, jam-band Phish has six live albums that debut on The Billboard 200 this week. In October 2001, five live CDs all debuted the same week. A production delay caused the sixth album to be released later, or it could have debuted at the same time.
There was no such delay this time, so albums 7-12 in the series all enter the chart at once. One major difference: the first six albums peaked between No. 93 and No. 127; the second set of six have debuts between No. 128 and No. 154.
Thanks to these two sets of multiple releases, Phish now has 20 chart entries on The Billboard 200 to its credit. The group from Burlington, Vt., made its first appearance on the album chart in 1993 with "Rift," which peaked at No. 51. In 1995, a concert album appropriately titled "A Live One" went to No. 18. In 1997 another live set, "Slip Stitch and Pass," reached No. 17. A six-CD box titled "Hampton Comes Alive," recorded at the Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, made it to No. 120. Of the 20 Phish albums to chart, 15 have been live performances.
As previously reported, keyboardist Page McConnell and Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio are working on solo projects for Elektra; Anastasio's self-titled album  is due April 30, while McConnell's new group, Vida Blue , will issue its debut in early summer. Both artists will tour this summer.
RE-MEET THE TEMPTATIONS: This week marks the 38th anniversary of the debut of one of Motown's most enduring groups on the Billboard album chart. "Meet the Temptations" introduced David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, and Melvin Franklin to the world with classic songs like "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "Dream Come True." Both of those songs are also included on the newest Temptations album, which enters The Billboard 200 this week at No. 167.
"My Girl: The Very Best of the Temptations" (Motown) is the quintet's 45th chart album. The highest-ranked is "TCB," the No. 1 soundtrack to a 1968 NBC-TV special that featured the Temptations with Motown's leading female group, Diana Ross & the Supremes. The most recent before "My Girl" is "Awesome," which peaked at No. 140 when it entered the chart the week of Dec. 8, 2001.
HEY PAULINA: Latin star Paulina Rubio has been charting on Billboard's various Latin charts since 1992. This week she makes her debut on The Billboard Hot 100 with her first English-language recording. The uptempo, pop-styled "Don't Say Goodbye" (Universal) enters the tally at No. 85. Considering the success of Colombian-born Shakira with her first English-language album, Mexican star Rubio could find herself an international star in short order. Her first English-language album, "Border Girl," is due out June 18.
IN MEMORIAM: Moments after completing this week's "Chart Beat Bonus," I was shocked to learn of the death of Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes of TLC in an automobile accident in Honduras on April 25. TLC is one of the most successful "girl groups" of the rock era, with four No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot 100 to their credit.
A list of the top 100 songs by girl groups will appear in the third edition of "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits," due out this fall. In tribute to Lisa, here's a preview of the top-10 from that survey, based on chart performance, which clearly demonstrates TLC's chart success:
1. "Independent Women Part I," Destiny's Child (Columbia 2000)
2. "Creep," TLC (LaFace 1995)
3. "Waterfalls," TLC (LaFace 1995)
4. "No Scrubs," TLC (LaFace 1999)
5. "Wannabe," Spice Girls (Virgin 1997)
6. "Weak," SWV (RCA 1993)
7. "Don't Let Go (Love)," En Vogue (EastWest 1997)
8. "Baby-Baby-Baby," TLC (LaFace 1992)
9. "Best of My Love," Emotions (Columbia 1977)
10. "Lately," Divine (Pendulum 1998)
TLC has four of the top-10 songs by "girl groups," including songs No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4. The Atlanta-based trio, which also includes Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas, has eight songs among the top-100 "girl group" hits. The only group with more songs included in the top-100 is Diana Ross & the Supremes, with 13. However, the highest-ranked Supremes title is "Love Child" at No. 13. TLC have five titles that appear above that, including "Unpretty" at No. 12.
R.I.P., Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes.
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