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POST TG CHART PREVIEW: BANG THE DRUMSTICK SLOWLY
System’s Stays Up, Though Flat Friday’s Shopping Numbers Are Still a Wildcard
When we left you last week prior to gorging on enough fatty meat, potatoes and pies to make you thankful for your choice of antacids and a bowl to puke in, we promised you that we knew System of a Down’s second release this year, Hypnotize (Columbia), would be an easy #1 on this week’s album chart, with a first-week total over 350k.

Well, now that several million turkey carcasses have been picked clean of their flesh and the smoke from thousands of mistimed oven operations has cleared, we still stand by that assertion, though the impact, music retail-wise, of the weekend’s traditionally rabid holiday shopping kick-off aren’t yet known.

General retail experts have reported that overall sales numbers for “Black Friday” (so named because it represents the day many retailers first show a profit for the year) were essentially flat against last year, down by a little under one percent. It’s not yet clear if music retail, not showing its strongest signs of life lately, experienced a significant bump over the weekend, but as soon as we figure it out, we’ll let you know.

Anyway, System’s lead was so substantial by the middle of last week that any holiday weekend news, good or bad, won’t change the fact that the band’s new album will be #1 this week. In fact, nothing short of a Madonna miracle could change it (say, if she were to sell more albums in her second week than in her first). There. We said it. Happy freakin' holidays.

The likely second-highest debut of the week continues to be Juelz Santana, whose What the Game’s Been Missing! (Roc-A-Fella/IDJ) is on track to beat 150k. Following that act, Chamillionaire’s holiday-themed The Sound of Revenge (Universal) is staring straight down the barrel of 140k-150k. Meanwhile, Scott Stapp’s The Great Divide (Wind-up) looks like it’s be blessed with 100k-125k, and Reba McEntire’s Reba #1s (MCA Nashville) remains on track for 90k-100k.

Also making their mark this week, but in a somewhat lesser way, will be Linkin Park side project Fort Minor’s The Rising Tied (Warner Bros.) at 50k-60k, The repackaging and combining of Nelly’s Sweat and Suit (Derrty/Universal) as a fall ensemble at around 40k-50k, the John Mayer Trio’s live Try (Aware/Columbia) at 35k-40k and Oukast padna Big Boi’s second Big Boi Presents (Virgin) at 35k-40k.

We’ll adjust all the above sales scenarios as we receive word of any Thanksgiving sizzle (or lack thereof). Stay tuned.
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