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"I think it’s going to be huge. If there’s such a thing as a sure bet these days, it’s Metallica."
——Bob Bell, Wherehouse Records

METALLICA HITS THE STREETS, AND RETAIL RESPONDS

St. Anger Is Already Blowing Out of Stores, Album Will Bow #1
Retail’s rockin’, thanks to Metallica’s first new studio album in six years.

The new record, whose release date was pushed up from Tuesday to today to try to circumvent Internet piracy, actually went on sale in several locations yesterday.

Initial reports from retailers around the country confirmed that Metallica’s St. Anger will debut at #1 on next week’s chart, besting fellow WMG act, Atlantic’s Jewel, who’ll bow at #2.

Best Buy’s Lon Lindeland, who began selling the disc yesterday, said he received a letter from WEA telling him to put the stock out on the shelves as soon as he received it, though refused to predict overall numbers. "The goods are out there. Some people have suggested the same amount of sales would simply be stretched out over a longer period of time. I believe there will be incremental sales, having it out for 10 days rather than five. It feels like one of the biggest rock records of the year."

That distinction goes to Warner Bros.Linkin Park, which sold 830k its first week out back in late March (see hitsdailydouble.com, 4/1).

Wherehouse Music’s Bob Bell says it’s still hard to gauge what first-week sales on Metallica will be, but added: "I think it’s going to be huge. If there’s such a thing as a sure bet these days, it’s Metallica. With today being the official street date, we’ll know better by tomorrow morning."

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