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"All I can say is that it’s the most extraordinary thing I’ve ever seen."
—Kevin Engler, Best Buy
THANKS A MILLION!!
NSYNC Album Flies Out of Stores
March 22, 2000

This boy band thing ain't over yet.

If opening-day sales are any indication, NSYNC’s latest album will likely break all first-week records.

Which is kinda like saying Tiger Woods is a pretty good hacker.

The band's first Jive Records release, “No Strings Attached,” fueled by the hit single, “Bye Bye Bye,” burst out of the starting gate yesterday with an impressive show of sales strength that could culminate in the biggest first-week sales in history, with estimates ranging over a million sold its first day. The release follows a judge's ruling last year that the band could leave its former label RCA for Jive.

“We sold as many NSYNC CDs in the first day as we sold the entire first week on Backstreet Boys,” said Wherehouse Music's Larry Gaines in between praying to a shrine of Justin Timberlake set up on his desk. “And we’re not even the first place that people come for pop music. So if we can do numbers like this, it’s a pretty incredible story. It’s a good time to be in retail.” That's actually music to the earsof "Rerap" editor Mark Pearson, who took time out from talking RCA sales execs down from the ledge of their building.

Jive shipped an amazing 4.2 million units, and reorders were already pouring in hours after the album went on sale. Sources said the label's distributor, BMG, sent out an additional 2.5 million units Wednesday.

The modern record for one-week sales in the U.S. belongs to labelmates and fellow popsters Backstreet Boys, who sold 1.13 million units of their “Millennium” set in its debut week last summer. The Boys are currently trying to figure out how to get out a new album by fourth quarter.

“There’s no question that they will break the Backstreet Boys’ record,” said Best Buy's Kevin Engler. “But it’s almost impossible to tell what they’re going to do for the week. 2 million? 2.5 million? When the first-day numbers are this crazy, it’s hard to predict. There’s nothing to base it on. We’ve never seen anything like it, so we’ll just have to see how it trends as the week progresses. All I can say is that it’s the most extraordinary thing I’ve ever seen.”

It was pandemonium Tuesday in N.Y.C.'s Times Square as thousands of fans gathered to catch a glimpse of NSYNC. The group visited MTV's "Total Request Live," to promote the album, then went across Broadway to the Virgin Megastore for a signing session. The retail outlet was closed for several hours except to fans who had arrived early enough to receive one of the less than 500 passes. No truth to the rumor Carson Daly was stampeded by 1,987,765 fans who mistook him for Joey Fatone.

Amazon.com Director of Merchandising Bob Douglas said advance sales for the album were the e-tailer's biggest ever, topping the reported 10,000 for the previous leader, Steely Dan’s “Two Against Nature.”

“For six to eight weeks, it’s been a fixture in our Top Five,” he said. “By the street date, it had become our biggest preorder ever.”

Tower Records' West Hollywood branch opened at midnight Monday and had sold half of its inventory by mid-day Tuesday amid reports there may well be retail shortages before the week is out.

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