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ONE-DAY SALES: CHILI PEPPERS
FUNK IT UP AGAIN

Battle for #1 Takes Shape as Punk-Funkers' Fans Buy By the Way
Got Flea?

The diminutive bassist and his cohorts are back with their fist studio effort since 1999’s Californication, and according to early reports from national accounts, sales of the Red Hot Chili PeppersBy the Way (Warner Bros.) are caliente indeed.

After one day in the streets, the album appears headed for a first-week total of well over 200k units sold, and could very well reach 300k. That gives it a shot to duke it out with Nelly’s Nellyville (Fo’ Reel/Universal) for #1 on next week’s chart, depending on how the St. Louis rapper’s album fares in its third week. If Nelly settles by another 30-40%, it’ll be a fair fight.

The one-day prognosticating by our own red-hot retail atom-splitters this week has been complicated by the fact that one enormous big-box retailer (otherwise known as Best Buy) rolled out a new one-day-only pricing structure for certain new releases. Under this aggressive plan, By the Way sold yesterday for $9.99, but today goes to $11.99, thus making it difficult to predict how sales will go for the rest of the week.

Either that, or our atom-splitters are on the pipe again. But regardless of that, expect to see this type of pricing strategy popping up more and more in the months ahead.

Also hitting the streets yesterday was the solo debut from L.O.X. member Styles, whose Gangster and a Gentleman (Ruff Ryders/Interscope) should clear 150k easily and could even threaten 200k, as well as the new Counting Crows, Hard Candy (Universal), which appears headed for a 100k-plus debut, which gives it a good shot at the Top 10.

However, the Crows’ album was also the beneficiary of Best Buy’s innovative one-day discount, so the usual extrapolations may not apply (according to our atom-splitters), because no one has tried this before and we don’t know how it will affect the rest of the week.

Actually, we think you’ll find that the phrase “we don’t know” applies to most of what you’ll read in this space. Thank you.

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