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WEEK IN PREVIEW: ELVIS, STONES STILL DUKING IT OUT
History-Making Catalog Conflict Ongoing As Idol, Xzibit Show Early Strength

Old farts of the world rejoice. It’s 2002, the 21st century, and yet the two albums battling for #1 on the chart are by Elvis Presley (RCA) and the Rolling Stones (Virgin). Ah, nostalgia. Ah, music of enduring quality. Ah, catalog exploitation.

As it stands at this moment, the battle is raging at around the 350k range, with prognosticators, including our own retail microbiologists, giving the early edge to the Stones. This, of course, could change by tomorrow morning, as the race is still too close to call.

The next-highest debut will go to either RCA’s American Idol compilation (featuring four Kelly Clarkson tracks) or Xzibit’s Man Vs. Machine (Loud/Columbia/CRG), both of which appear likely to come in at about 150k. And in one of the biggest artist-development stories of the year, Epic’s Good Charlotte should come in right behind with The Young and Hopeless.

At Top 40 radio, watch out for the new TLC track, “Girl Talk” (La Face/Arista)—featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died tragically in a car crash earlier this year—to ring the add bell more than any other, followed by Craig David’s “What’s Your Flava” (Wild Star/Atlantic) and John Rzeznik’s “I’m Still Here” from the Treasure Planet soundtrack (Hollywood). Clean-up will continue on O-Town’s “These Are the Days” (J Records), while Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny from the Street” (Epic) goes officially this week after heavy early action last Tuesday.

It’s a heavy week at Crossover, meanwhile, where the aforementioned TLC will also likely score the most adds, followed by Dru Hill’s “I Should Be” (Def Soul), Craig David, Fabolous’s “This Is My Party” (Elektra) and K-Ci & JoJo’s “It’s Me” (MCA). J. Lo will also clean up whoever’s left after last week’s early believers.

And in the wonderful world of Post Modern, look for hot down-under neo-grungemeisters The Vines to capture the most adds with “Outtathaway” (Capitol). Also look for early action on Sum 41’s smokin’ “Still Waiting” (Island/IDJ) ahead of next week’s official add date.

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