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Stewart’s appearance on Dancing With the Stars tonight could give him the edge, at least in the early returns.

THREE-WAY BATTLE FOR FIRST

Debuting Lloyd Banks, Rod Stewart Will Vie With Evanescence For #1
It’s a three-legged race for the top spot on next week’s HITS album chart.

G Unit/Interscope posse member Lloyd Banks Rotten Apple and J Records rock legend Rod Stewart’s Still the Same...Great Rock Classics of Our Time will be the biggest debuts next week, with what’s looking now to be sales between 160-170k. At least that’s what those retailers who haven’t deleted our e-mail address are telling us based on one-day sales around this great country of ours.

Those two will battle the second week of Wind-up rockers Evanescence, whose The Open Door sold more than 400k last week, for #1.

Among the factors: Stewart’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars tonight could give him the edge, at least in the early returns. This time around, he abandons the American Songbook shtick to tackle covers of rock classics like Creedence Clearwater’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” the first single.

Up next is Mailboat/Sony BMG Nashville’s Jimmy Buffett, who returns with a new album, Take the Weather With You, which should be snapped up by about 100k Parrotheads, give or take a Hawaiian shirt or two. Apparently, no Ecstasy was abused during the making of this album.

Country-rockers Heartland, on the Navarre-distribbed indie Lofton Creek label, look headed for an impressive week of around 60k or so, with Vagrant’s emo standard-bearers Senses Fail through UMGD’s Fontana, right behind it with 55-60k. Roadrunner Metallica-influenced speed-rockers Trivium (30-35k) and Universal Motown’s R&B teen idol Sammie (20k) will also chart in the Top 50.

Overall, there was a little good news as the market was up over 5.5% vs. last week, down between 4-5% vs. same week last year, and now down a little over 5% year-to-date.

REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN, ROPPO TO CO-PRESIDENTS
Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
CHART FINAL:
THE BIGGEST BOW
OF THE YEAR
Big numbers for "30." (11/29a)
COUNTRY GRAMMYS' ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
PUTTING THE POP
IN POPCORN
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/29a)
TURKEY
Basting.
STUFFING
Stuffing.
YAMS
Candying.
PUMPKIN PIE
Stuffing (in face).
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