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At least three new releases are poised to hit the Top 10, and possibly as many as a half dozen.

ONE-DAY SALES: SEVERAL SOLID DEBUTS, BUT NO CHALLENGES TO
50 CENT’S DOMINANCE

QOTSA, Frankie J and Tweet Head for 100k Territory; Lifehouse Looking Good
While there will be no blockbuster debuts on next week’s album sales chart, meaning 50 Cent will be king of the retail heap for the fourth consecutive week, at least three new releases are poised to hit the Top 10, and possibly as many as a half dozen.

At this point (requisite disclaimer goes here), the highest-charting bow looks to be from Interscope rockers Queens of the Stone Age, who could possibly do as much as 120k. Likely to finish in the same neighborhood is Columbia’s Frankie J, who’s trending just north of 100k, while Elektra’s Tweet is heading toward a total just shy of the same mark on her second album.

The next group is currently headed by Geffen band Lifehouse, who’ll make a solid return to the marketplace, based on current projections, at 60k-70k. Also in the pack is Liberty’s Trace Adkins, who looks to surpass 50k. Then there’s a live Jimmy Buffett set comprising two CDs and a DVD on RCA Nashville, which looks to finish just south of 50k.

If any other new release starts moving away from the pack and toward the six we mentioned, we’ll hastily change our tune in those ongoing corrections we post in Rumor Mill.    

As for the big picture, the market actually turned out to be up a gratifying 1% over last week. The total was 10.9 million units, compared to 10.8 million last week...although it was off 3.5% (or 396k units) from the same week last year. So far in 2005, business is down 8.6%, on 122.5 million units. Sigh.

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