All Systems Go for New Album Heading Into Thanksgiving Weekend
Chalk this one up to inspired co-branding, superstardom and a buttload of TV advertising.

According to early reports from national accounts, U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope) is poised to sell over 900k in its first week, with a solid shot at reaching a million before the holiday weekend is over. It’s almost enough to give one, uh, vertigo.

Of course, U2 is ordinarily no sales slouch, with some 125 million albums worldwide to their credit, but the band's last album, 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind (Interscope) sold 428k in its first week, meaning demand for this one has ramped up significantly. (Translation: “Apple apple iPod apple iPod, apple iPod iPod apple.”)

One new factor likely to help drive U2’s opening number up is that Best Buy will begin selling Bomb for $7.99 (along with some other titles) on Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Also headed for next week’s chart are Gwen Stefani’s Love, Angel, Music, Baby (Interscope), which early reports say has a shot at 300k; Fantasia Barrino’s Free Yourself (J Records), currently looking like it’ll do 250k or better; Creed’s Greatest Hits (Wind-up), which could hit the 150k mark; Jessica Simpson’s Re-Joyce: The Christmas Album (Columbia), looking just shy of 150k; the $59 list Nirvana box set With the Lights Out (Geffen), which should come in at around 100k; and Ruben Studdard’s I Need An Angel (J Records), for the moment looking like 80k.

Bear in mind that the upcoming post-turkey shopping frenzy is a real wild card, making this one of the hardest weeks of the year to predict, according to our dedicated team of sales fetishists. All that means is that while we might be more wrong than usual, our excuses will be as strong as ever.