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From a historical perspective, the new-release picture is dispiritingly anemic for the middle of the fourth quarter.
ONE-DAY SALES: OLD RELIABLES NOW, SANTANA WARM THINGS UP
Winning Formulas Put Some Life Into a Disappointing Fourth Quarter, as the Labels Start Rolling Out the Traditional Best-ofs
This week’s new releases comprise two biggies, relatively speaking, and a bunch of holiday releases.

The sure-shot chart-topper next Tuesday will be the 20th edition of the Now franchise, which this time goes to UTV. The hits package is trending at 350k-plus and has a shot at 400k.

Right behind Now 20 will be the third duets-album from Santana (Arista/RMG), which is presently looking over 150k. 

Also released on Nov. 1 were hits packages from Blink-182 (Geffen, 50k-60k), Montgomery Gentry (Columbia Nashville, 40k-50k) and John Fogerty/Creedence (Fantasy, 35k-45k). There’s also a Christmas collection from Diana Krall (Verve, 30k-40k), a double-CD package from Slipknot (Roadrunner, 50k-60k) and last but not least, a Nirvana box set (Geffen, 30k-40k). The odd woman out is Terri Clark, who has a plain ol’ LP of new material (Mercury Nashville, 35k-45k).

From a historical perspective, the new-release picture is dispiritingly anemic for the middle of the fourth quarter. But look on the bright side—last week was so pathetic that it makes this week seem like cause for celebration.

Album sales for the week just ended were down 11.6% (or 1.3 million units) from the previous week, and down 8.7% or 911k) from the comp week of 2004. Adding in the week’s tally of 9.5 million pieces, year-to-date sales are presently 456.3 million, down 9.8%, or a whopping 49.4 million from last year. And not to be a total bummer, but last year sucked.

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