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"This is historically the time of year when sales experience a steep decline, and the AMAs just don't generate enough buzz to counteract that."
——Kevin Engler, Best Buy
CREED STILL FLYING
AS AMA'S GET DICKED
God Loves #1 Rockers as "O Brother" Is Still Where Art Thou

Dick Clark is an industry legend. Whether he was creating stars on American Bandstand or testifying before the congressional payola hearings of 1960 (naturally, the panel pronounced him a "fine young man" despite George Goldner giving him numerous copyrights and Coronation Music assigning him the rights to "Sixteen Candles"), Dick Clark has always been a friend of the music industry.

So why can't his damn prime-time awards show sell some damn records?

"Traditionally, the American Music Awards don't have a huge impact on sales, and this year was no different," said Best Buy's Kevin Engler.

If "traditionally" means three or four years, then the Kev-man's right on the money. But there was a time when the three-hour televised lovefest would move some units. Not anymore.

"This is historically the time of year when sales experience a steep decline, and the AMAs just don't generate enough buzz to counteract that," said Kev.

But it ain't all about Dick, folks. Wind-up's Creed continues its amazing run at #1 this week, though Alan Jackson's debut on next week's chart could dethrone the album for the first time since it debuted on top eight weeks ago after its Nov. 20 release. Interestingly, with Atlantic's P.O.D. experiencing another solid week, it's clear that consumers are finding God in their local music stores. "Creed continues to sell because they're in a class by themselves," said Engler, who sounded a bit cross.

And then there's Mercury Nashville's soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? (18-11), which is emerging as the one of the all-time greatest "reaction" records as it climbs the charts for the ninth or 12th time. This thing sold off the movie, it sold off the tour, it sold off the video, it sold off the DVD, it sold off the Grammy nominations. If Dick Cheney hummed a few bars, it would move another 2 million.

The top debut of the week belongs to V2's I Am Sam ST of Beatles covers at #24—an impressive bow considering the film hasn't even kicked in yet. This one is deep, and there's a buzz, especially on Eddie Vedder's "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," which hasn't even been released as a single. How high can it fly?

Rounding out this week's Top Five are WB's Linkin Park, Def Jam South/IDJ's Ludacris Roadrunner/IDJ's Nickelback and Murder Inc./Def Jam/IDJ's Ja Rule. Anyone notice a whole bunch of IDJs? Just asking.

Now, hold on to your hats—'cuz here comes Alan.

HITS LIST IS HAVING
A HEAT WAVE
Pass the BBQ sauce. (7/2a)
TOP 20: A LIL MORE OF THE SAME
Like a broken record... (7/2a)
WATCH THIS
We aim to please. (7/3a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH:
6 IN THE MORNIN'
Origin story of the real OGs (7/2a)
PRE-HOLIDAY PONDERING:
POP TOP EDITION
Have another Beer, we insist. (7/2a)
WHAT NEXT?
The biz ponders action after some reflection.
GRAMMY SPECULATION
100% guaranteed to be somewhat accurate, probably.
BLACK MUSIC MONTH
...continues.
TRUMP'S IN THE BUNKER
Just to inspect it, though.
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