Will the 6 million+ units in the pipeline enable the Backstreet Boys beat NSYNC’s previous first-week sales mark of 2.4 million?


Beatles, Sade, Backstreet, Ricky, "Now," More Raise Fears Of Exclamation Point Shortage!!!!
First there was last Tuesday, which was downright super thanks to the onslaught of such fourth-quarter releases as The Beatles, Sade, Ricky Martin, "Now Vol. 5," Offspring, Marilyn Manson, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Keith Sweat, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Musiq Soulchild, "Totally Hits Vol. 3" and Geddy Lee, among others.

And then there's this Tuesday, which is downright super because we get to tally up all the scratch these nutty little sellers earned. And, while the chart won't be official until tomorrow, early returns show Capitol's Fab Four the absolute fabbest, with a hold on #1 thanks to post-ABC television special sales over the weekend and some of those wacky "non-traditional" sales pockets like direct TV advertising and "Costco-esque" outlets blowing out the units.

And then there's Epic's Sade, which is beating all expectations by holding solid at #2 with sales north of 200K. With a single just starting at radio, this one is proving a self-propelled steamroller. According to the lastest tally (Florida withstanding), Sade is followed by Columbia's Ricky Martin at #3 and "Now Vol. 5" at #4. The label scores again at #8 with Offspring with Interscope's Marilyn Manson at #10, Loud's Prodigy (the hip-hop MC, not the techno group) at #13 and Elektra's Keith Sweat at #15.

And then there's the other reason this Tuesday is so super: Backstreet Boys. Will the 6 million+ units in the pipeline enable those cute little snugglebunnies to beat NSYNC's previous first-week sales mark of 2.4 million? That question also translates into: Can a super mega monster marketing plan that includes Burger King, Wal-Mart and every other dog-and-pony show help propel an album whose first single is a hit—but not a monster impact hit? Assuming that NSYNC's sales mark was achieved thanks to one of the biggest impact singles of the year ("Bye, Bye, Bye"), can that phenomenon be matched by the power of a cheese-slathered meat patty or a Wal-Mart bonus track? Lots of action to come, kiddies!!!

And speaking of radio (and let's face it, who isn't?), J.Lo (she's dating P.Da) is ruling at Pop, while both Green Day's "Warning" and Disturbed's "Voices" are shredding at Post Modern.

In related news, we still don't know who won the Presidential election. But the government of Burundi has volunteered to help monitor the hand-counts in Florida.