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Based on one-day reports from suddenly aroused retailers from our vast national network, the Pretty Ricky album is on track to sell more than 110k copies, and maybe as much as 125k. Needless to say, it will top next week's HITS chart.
PRETTY RICKY, THE SHINS GET NEW YEAR STARTED
First Two Top 10 Debuts of the Year Offer Welcome Relief with Pretty Ricky, Shins Debuting 1-2
OK, it's finally 2007.
 
After three weeks without any notable releases capable of breaking into the Top 10, with the notable exception of Disney's Jump In soundtrack, several new albums hit retail yesterday with some welcome sales punch.
 
Pretty Ricky is an R&B/hip-hop foursome from Miami, FL, featuring four brothers. Their 2005 debut, Bluestars, went platinum thanks to the Top 10 single, "Grind With Me," and their sophomore effort, Late Night Special, on Bluestar International/Atlantic, already boasts the #1 single at BET's 106 & Park in "On the Hotline," a salacious tribute to phone sex. Based on one-day reports from suddenly aroused  retailers from our vast national network, the album is on track to sell more than 110k copies, and maybe as much as 125k. Needless to say, it will top next week's HITS chart.
 
Sub Pop alternative darlings The Shins, who Natalie Portman promised would change our life in Garden State, return with Wincing the Night Away. Thanks to an impressive pre-order at iTunes and a Saturday Night Live appearance a couple of weeks back, the album could sell as much as 90k, giving it a #2 debut, the highest for the pioneering indie label in its history.
 
Rock veteran John Mellencamp is next with his first album for new label UMe/Universal Republic, Freedom's Road, which includes "Our Country," the ubiquitous anthem he penned for Chevrolet, which could just drive sales to over 55k, especially considering its an upper title demo that could gain during the week.
 
John Ingrassia's Commercial Music Group at Sony Music has the new 2007 Grammy Nominations album, which is being compared to a Now-styled compilation and could do 55-60k, based on first-day sales.
 
IDJ's Memphis post-grunge rockers Saliva are back with Blood Stained, Love Story, which appears headed for the 30k mark, plus or minus.  
 
Next Tuesday, the games begin with the release of Norah Jones' eagerly anticipated third album for Blue Note, Not Too Late, with the label shipping out some 1.7 million copies.
 
The market was basically flat vs. last week, down nearly 15% vs. same week last year and now down 15.5% year-to-date.
 
Not Too Late arrives not a moment too soon.
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