Mick & Keef Battle the Ghost of Graceland as Clarkson, Good Charlotte, Xzibit and Diana Krall Also Make Waves.
There are gallstones, kidney stones, stones thrown at glass houses and stones left unturned. Then there are the Rolling Stones, whose 40th anniversary extravaganza now includes a re-mastered, career-spanning compilation that could very well turn up at #1 on next week’s chart.

The “could” is because to do so, the Stones will have to dethrone the King of Rock & Roll himself, Elvis Presley, who was last seen alive and kicking in 1977, just around the time medical science first pronounced Keith Richards “undead.”

The Stones set, 40 Licks (Virgin) is on track to sell more than 300k for the week, according to early reports from national accounts, making it a strong contender indeed for the top chart berth. ELV1S 30 #1 Hits (RCA), however, sold some 517k this week and is not likely to experience the kind of second-week falloff most records see, given that it’s an older-skewing collection and also continues to do big numbers via television. Other releases of this ilk (read: Beatles 1) have ramped up over a number of weeks; Elvis could do the same.

Thus, it’ll be a battle of rich, famous and on the road versus rich, famous and in the ground. Who will prevail? Stay tuned.

Another big release hitting the street yesterday is the American Idol Greatest Moments collection (RCA), which features not one, not two, but four Kelly Clarkson tracks. The disc should sell 150k easily and could push as high as 200k as the Clarkson phenomenon continues to tear people away from their cherished reality programming just long enough to buy her records.

And the biggest pleasant surprise award for the week has to go to Epic’s Good Charlotte. The band’s 2000 debut has sold about 350k total (and still sells about 3k per week); now, sophomore release The Young and Hopeless looks on track to sell as much as 150k in its first week, as the band’s fan base comes out in force. Even with a “Two for $10” program at Best Buy (both GC albums for $10), that number would double all expectations for the album’s debut. It’s even outselling the Stones at some accounts.

Other notable new releases include Loud/Columbia rapper Xzibit, whose Man Vs. Machine should do about 125k, and Diana Krall’s Live in Paris (Verve), which should come in at around 60-70k—a VERY respectable number for a live jazz album. Watch your back, Norah Jones! Just kidding. Really.

We now return you to the regularly scheduled fear-based, insect-eating reality programming of your choice, already in progress. Thank you.