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Taking advantage of the calm before the fall releases start in earnest next Tuesday, System will challenge both Aaliyah and Mary J. Blige for the top spot on next week's chart.
DOWN IS UP, BUT IS IT
ENOUGH TO DEBUT #1?
System of a Down Is Climbing, Slipknot's Falling Off, While Aaliyah, Mary J. Blige Hang On
It's going to be a Down week at retail, but don't let that fool ya.

American/Columbia recording artists System of a Down's new Rick Rubin-produced Toxicity, whose release yesterday capped a literal riot in the streets of Hollywood on Labor Day, could close in on 200k sales its opening week, giving it a shoo-in at a Top 5 bow.

Taking advantage of the calm before the fall releases start in earnest next Tuesday, System will challenge both Aaliyah and Mary J. Blige for the top spot on next week's chart. The Aaliyah phenomenon, which catapulted her Blackground/Virgin debut to this week's 337k in the wake of her tragic death, is hard to figure. This week's #2 album, Mary J. Blige's No More Drama (MCA), appears off anywhere from 30-40%, which would put it in the 200-225k area next week.

Meanwhile, Slipknot's Roadrunner/IDJ bow Iowa, predictably, has reached the committed fan base and is now dropping like a summer film blockbuster, losing up to 50% off its opening week of 273k. This one will need radio and video love to lengthen its stay in the Top 10.

Next week's boffo release slate includes albums from Jay-Z, Babyface, Bob Dylan, Fabolous, Mariah Carey, Nickelback, P.O.D., Slayer and the Training Day ST.

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