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The band celebrated the release with an in-store at Best Buy’s Burbank outlet that drew a HUGE crowd, as news choppers hovered and TV news crews rolled tape. We're told that more than 2k CDs were sold during the in-store.
ONE-DAY SALES: THERE’S A SYSTEM TO THIS WEEK’S RETAIL ACTION
Columbia Avant-Rockers Kicking Toby Keith’s Tuchus in Early Sales Returns
The slam-bang cross-cultural dual we expected between L.A. homeboys System of a Down (whom one scribe recently described as “the Armenian U2”) and country hell-raiser Toby Keith ain’t gonna happen, folks.

Mezmerize, the Columbia band’s follow-up to the six-times-platinum 2002 breakthrough Toxicity, and Disc One of the staggered double album Mezmerize/Hypnotize, is surging in early reports from retail. The way things are going, System’s release will surpass 400k and has a decent shot at hitting the 450k mark. There’s absolutely no question that Mezmerize will top next week’s chart. The band celebrated the release yesterday with an in-store at Best Buy’s Burbank outlet that drew a HUGE crowd, as news choppers hovered and TV news crews rolled tape.

By contrast, Keith’s DreamWorks Nashville album is headed to a first-week total in the vicinity of 300k, meaning rock will once again trump country at the nation’s terrestrial and online retail outlets.

There’s one other developing story, as Motown/Universal’s Kem, a jazz-tinged R&B crossover rookie, is steaming toward a debut in the neighborhood of 170k, more than doubling expectations. That’ll give Kem a Top 5 finish and could even land him in the #3 position, depending on how far current chart-topper the Dave Matthews Band drops in week two.

By the way, if you figured the gratifying sales totals racked up during the last week by DMB, Weezer and the surging Mariah Carey indicated another up marketplace, you’d be dead wrong. On the contrary, business was off 7.9% compared to last week (10.2 million vs. 11.1 million) and 13.1% below the same week last year (when 11.8 million units were tallied). That puts the industry down 9.1% on the year so far, reflecting total sales of 206.9 million vs. 227.6 million at this point of 2004.

  

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