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It looks like Shania Twain’s UP! (Mercury Nashville) will best Tim McGraw’s Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors (Curb).
WEEK IN PREVIEW: THANKSGIVING NO TURKEY
Album Sales Strong Through Holiday Weekend
As expected, the big Thanksgiving weekend proved a boon to retail, bringing holiday shoppers out in droves and shifting major units for a gaggle of new releases. The final push is on now, folks, and the stakes are high (as are a certain number of those reporting on same).

First, the big news: Country is set to rule at the top of the chart again this week, but with a changing of the guard. It’s still early, as the numbers continue to get crunched and crunched again, but it looks like Shania Twain’s UP! (Mercury Nashville) will best Tim McGraw’s Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors (Curb). McGraw will come in at around 600k and Shania should do better.

That said, a bevy of new releases will score in excess of 100k, including 2Pac’s Better Dayz (Amaru/Tha Row/Interscope), which appears headed for a near-400k debut; Jennifer Lopez’s This Is me... Then (Epic), looking like 300k or better; Snoop Dogg’s Paid Tha Cost To Be Tha Boss (Priority/Capitol), which in the early crunching looks to be headed for over 200k; Paul McCartney’s Back in the U.S. Live 2002 (Capitol) at around 200k; System of a Down’s Steal This Album (Columbia) at around 150k; and Baby the #1 Stunna’s Birdman (Cash Money/Universal) at about 100k.

In addition to the above very approximate (yet still very large) numbers, key top-selling albums appear to have experienced significant spikes over the long weekend, including Arista’s Avril Lavigne, UTV’s Now 11, Shady/Interscope’s 8 Mile soundtrack and the aforementioned Shania. Christmas titles have also begun to move in earnest, as they will continue to do for the next few weeks.

At Top 40 radio, in a slow post-holiday week, it looks like Vanessa Carlton will claim Most Added honors for her "Pretty Baby" (A&M/Interscope), with cleanup continuing on Jive’s Justin Timberlake and Epic’s B2K. At Crossover, also catching up post-holiday, look for No Limit/Universal’s Choppa to nab the most adds for "Choppa Style." At Post Modern, meanwhile, look for Billy Corgan’s Zwan to be Most Added for the second week in a row.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled luncheon of leftovers.

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