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This time, the group has gone for a more rock-oriented sound and image as they seek to cross from their Red State base, which had eroded after Natalie Maines' public Bush-bashing at the start of the Iraqui war three years ago, to a more left-leaning Blue State audience.

CHICKS TAKING THE LONG WAY TO THE TOP

Open Road/Columbia Superstars Look To Front the Backlash, American Idol, High School Musical Also Rule
They may not be "ready to make nice" for their anti-Dubya remarks, but the Dixie Chicks are finding a warm welcome back for their new, Rick Rubin-produced Open Wide/Columbia Records album, Taking the Long Way, based on first-day reports from retailers around the country. 

Thanks to glowing stories in Time magazine along with L.A. and N.Y. Times and an appearance on 60 Minutes, the trio's first album since 2002 looks headed for between 410-430k in sales. Home debuted in August of that year with 780k in sales, on its way to a total of 5.8 million.

This time, the group has gone for a more rock-oriented sound and image as they seek to cross from their Red State base, which had eroded after Natalie Maines' public Bush-bashing at the start of the Iraqui war three years ago, to a more left-leaning Blue State audience.

Poised to debut on the charts next Tuesday, RCA's American Idol compilation looks like 125-150k right now, but it's anybody's guess as to what it does after tonight's finale.
 
A new limited edition Disney Records' High School Musical album will kick sales back into the 130-150k range when combined with the old version.
 
Suretone's Angels and Airwaves, the new group started by Blink-182's Tom DeLonge, seems headed for between 135-145k
 
Columbia Records' latest WWE album, Wreckless Intent,  seems poised for 75k.
 
Other chart newcomers include Def Leppard's Yeah! on Island (45-50k), an all-covers album with versions of songs by Blondie ("Hanging on the Telephone"), T. Rex ("20th Century Boy"), David Essex ("Rock On"), the Kinks ("Waterloo Sunset") and David Bowie ("Drive-In Saturday").
 
Machete Music/Universal reggaeton star Don Omar's King of Kings is next at 45-50k, while Maverick/WB's The WreckersMichelle Branch's country-rock collaboration, is headed for the 40k mark.
 
The full market was down 16% over last week, 13% vs the same week last year and is now off between 2-2.5% to date.
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