News and analysis of Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and the Isley Brothers' chart spans, 'N Sync's appearance on top of the Top Internet Album Sales chart, Buffalo Springfield's "Box Set" on the charts

NEWS FROM THE GRAPEVINE: Until this week, the act with the longest chart span on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums was the Temptations, with a stretch of 35 years and eight months between the debut of "The Temptations Sing Smokey" in March 1965 and the final week's appearance of "Ear-Resistible" in November 2000. But that record has now been shattered by another Motown legend.

There's been much talk of Marvin Gaye in this space this year, because of his "guest appearance" on Erick Sermon's "Music" from the soundtrack to "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" "Music" peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

Now, the new collection "The Very Best of Marvin Gaye" (Motown) debuts at No. 91 on the R&B album chart. That gives the late artist a chart span of 36 and-a-half years, dating back to the debut of "How Sweet it is (to Be Loved by You)," in February 1965.

The impending debut of the new Isley Brothers album won't spoil Gaye's achievement, because the Isleys first appeared on the R&B album chart the week of July 16, 1966, with "This Old Heart of Mine."

It should be noted that the Temptations, Gaye, and the Isleys all had albums released prior to 1965, but Billboard didn't publish an R&B album chart until January 1965.

'CELEBRITY' STATUS: The new 'N Sync album, "Celebrity" (Jive), is already No. 1 -- on Billboard's Top Internet Albums chart. How did this new CD debut at No. 1 on the Internet chart a week before it will appear on The Billboard 200?

The Billboard charts run from Monday to Sunday, and online retailers fulfill orders on Sundays, so consumers can have new albums in their hands on Tuesday, the same day that these albums appear in brick-and-mortar locations. Albums sold by online retailers are counted on the day orders are fulfilled, so with one day of sales, "Celebrity" had moved enough copies to debut at the top of the Internet Albums chart.

As reported earlier in Billboard Bulletin and on, look for "Celebrity" to achieve a No. 1 debut next week on The Billboard 200 due to massive early sales.

STOP! HEY, WHAT'S THAT SOUND?: It's been 27 years and five months since a Buffalo Springfield album has appeared on the Billboard album chart. Their "Box Set" (Atco/Elektra/Rhino) debuts at No. 194 on The Billboard 200 this week, giving the seminal group a well-deserved chart placing.

The Rhino box is the sixth chart album for the precursor band to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Poco. Here is how the six albums have ranked:

"Buffalo Springfield," No. 80 (1967)
"Buffalo Springfield Again," No. 44 (1967)
"Last Time Around," No. 42 (1968)
"Retrospective/The Best of Buffalo Springfield," No. 42 (1969)
"Buffalo Springfield," No. 104 (1973)
"Box Set," No. 194 to date (2001)

The Rhino set also debuts on Billboard's Top Internet Album Sales chart at a lofty No. 6.

GIRLS VS. BOYS: If you're keeping track of the gender wars, the score is almost tied when it comes to weeks at No. 1 for singles that have advanced to pole position in 2001. With Destiny's Child taking top honors with "Bootylicious" (Columbia), female artists have been No. 1 for 13 weeks in 2001, and male artists for 14. The score should be dead even next week.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOT 100: In case you didn't send a card yet, this week marks the 43rd birthday of The Billboard Hot 100. The chart was first published on Aug. 4, 1958, and this week's tally is dated Aug. 4, 2001.

As if to mark the special occasion, Mariah Carey breaks a record by taking the biggest leap to No. 2 in Hot 100 history. On the very first chart, Domenico Modugno debuted at No. 54 with his Eurovision Song Contest entry, "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (Volare)." The next week, the song rocketed to No. 2. That record stood for 42 years.

It was exactly one year ago this week that Sisqo did Domenico one better, by leaping 55-2 with "Incomplete." His record lasted until this week, when Carey's "Loverboy" got a power boost by being made available for sale. The Virgin single zooms 60-2.

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