Garth Brooks' latest is a hit but you won't read it in Billboard


The hottest music recording in the country comes with fries.

It's "The Garth Brooks Collection," a 10-song CD and cassette sold only at McDonald's, the hamburger chain. Mr. Brooks' record company says sales in the monthlong promotion campaign hit 4 million.

But don't look for it on the best-seller list.

This is because Billboard, the music business weekly that compiles the best-seller charts, and SoundScan, the sales-tracking service Billboard uses, count only records and tapes available in retail outlets.

McDonald's sold CDs and tapes by Mr. Brooks, Tina Turner, Elton John, and several hip-hop artists as part of a promotion to benefit the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities.

Sales were not hurt by the fact that CDs cost $5.99 with a meal -- tapes were $3.99 -- and that McDonald's spent millions in advertising, with Mr. Brooks serving as spokesman. McDonald's charities got $1 from each recording sold.

Mr. Brooks sold like McCrazy although "Collection" contained no original songs but were unreleased singles from his five previously released recordings. Sales of Ms. Turner's and Mr.'s John recordings reportedly exceeded 2 million.

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