Ready for that big turnaround? Sorry, Charlie, not this week. Not by a country mile.


It’s the Middle of the Autumn Offensive,
and There’s Not a Blockbuster in Sight
If you’re looking for good news, you can stop reading right now. Now, if you’re from Chicago and not a Cubs fan, may be suggest that you go directly to ESPN.com. The rest of you are advised to go back to bed and pull the covers over your heads.

By the looks of it, none of the week’s debuts will crack 100k, meaning that the #1 album could very well be Nickelback (which is falling less precipitously than the titles around it), in one of the most pathetic fourth-quarter weeks in memory.

Without further ado (otherwise it would be much ado about nothing), we give you what are expected to be the “biggest” of the Oct. 25 releases, with their projected totals:

Destiny's Child, #1’s (Sony Urban/Columbia): 80k-90k
Joe Nichols, III (Universal South): 55k-60k
Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook (Columbia): 40k-45k
Johnny Cash, The Legend of… (Hip-O/UMe): 40k
Aerosmith, Rockin’ the Joint: Live at the Hard Rock (Columbia) 35k-40k
NSYNC Greatest Hits (Jive/ZLG): 20k

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

The week just ended was one of a handful this year that saw sales increases over both the previous week (+470k, up 4.6%) and the comparable week of 2004 (+90k, up .8%). Total album sales for the week were 10.7 million, pushing the year-to-date total to 446.8 million, off last year’s YTD number by 48.5 million, or 9.8%. But wait’ll you get a gander at this week’s tally in this space seven days hence.

Pleasant dreams, kiddies.