ONE-DAY SALES: ALAN JACKSON, ANITA BAKER TO TOP DEBUTS

Jackson Could Challenge for #1, But, As Usual, It Depends on Stuff
Cover your six, Tim McGraw.

Alan Jackson’s What I Do (RLG) hit the streets yesterday, and he could potentially challenge his country counterpart for #1 honors next week, if things heat up over the weekend.

According to early reports from national accounts, Jackson’s latest looks at this point like it will do at least 150k for the week. But bear in mind that the day after Labor Day is a notoriously slow sales day, so basing a projection for the week on that one day is tricky business.

What we’re trying to say is, we really have no idea how big Jackson will get by the time the week’s over. Store traffic and buying activity should ramp up over the weekend; could Jackson hit 200k for the week as the post-Labor Day slump dissipates? We’ll have to wait and see. Aren’t you glad you’re reading this?

As for who’ll be #1 next week, if McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying (Curb) continues to see reduced sales along the lines of this week’s fall-off, Jackson could very well have a shot at it. But then we won’t know how McGraw’s numbers are stacking up until later in the week, either. Stay tuned.

Also, don’t count out Ray Charles, whose posthumous Genius Loves Company (Concord) made a surprisingly strong 186k, #3 chart debut this week. Some are seeing a phenomenon building here and say the album could stave off the usual second week drop. Again, we’ll have to get back to you on that.

Meanwhile, Anita Baker’s My Everything (Blue Note) is looking surprisingly strong out of the gate and is already beating expectations by a wide margin. Early projections have this one finishing the week at around 100k.

Hey, what's with all these jazz labels selling tons of records?

Next Tuesday, it’s all about Nelly, whose two separate releases, Sweat and Suit (Fo Reel/Universal) are widely expected to debut at #1 and #2 on the chart after their first sales week.
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