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ONE-DAY SALES: CAN BON JOVI DEPOSE THE KING?
The Stones Tried; Can Jersey Get the Job Done?
Nobody’s saying that the Rolling Stones aren’t the world’s greatest rock band. But when you’re battling supernatural forces from beyond the grave to make it to number one on the charts, maybe age is a factor.

If, as has been reported, Elvis Presley’s spirit was present in the control room for the remastering of ELV1S 30 #1 Hits (RCA), then it’s a pretty good guess he’s doing his ghostly best to stay where a king belongs. On top.

So while we’re not saying the Stones weren’t up to the task—after all, they missed pulling off their palace coup by fewer than 10,000 units, and Mick Jagger is a real knight and everything—perhaps it’s a job best left to younger men.

Enter New Jersey’s Bon Jovi. While not exactly spring chickens themselves, they do predate the Stones by a few years. And given the range of old fogies on display in this post-teen-pop year-of-the-adult backlash, they still look pretty good.

According to early reports from national accounts, Jon Bon and crew are likely to sell upwards of 200k copies of Bounce (Island/IDJ) this week; if Elvis sees a bit more falloff than this week’s relatively light 36%, Bon Jovi could take his crown.

Of course, never count a poltergeist out. Given the slow reaction times of the old folks likely to buy the bulk of the Elvis records, most of them could just now be folding their walkers into their Packards and driving to the local five-and-dime to inquire about the new Elvis platter they’ve been hearing so much about.

Either way, one has to admire the fact that Bon Jovi’s second coming is in no danger of going. This is a band that still has something to say and still has the appeal to sell buttloads of records. That’s worth saluting any day. Besides, did Elvis ever make a killer submarine movie?

Elsewhere, Epic’s rock & roll fantasy continues, with newcomers Chevelle on track to sell about 60k in their first week, and could push even higher. Wonder What’s Next joins Korn, Good Charlotte and upcoming albums from Audioslave and Pearl Jam in putting the decibels in the label’s fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, somewhere out there, Roger Daltrey is still singing, “hope I die before I get old.” Just remember what Mark Twain (very old by now) once said: “Age is a matter of the mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

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