Unless something strange happens, McEntire’s duets album will be next week’s biggest debut, with early estimates at just north of 200k.


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After partying like it was 1999 for seven glorious days, the music biz will return with a thud to business as usual next week. That said, by 2007 standards, next Tuesday’s Top 50 chart should be halfway respectable, with as many as five albums in six figures. Big whoop, right?

Unless something strange happens, Reba McEntire’s duets album (MCA Nashville) will be next week’s biggest debut, with early estimates at just north of 200k. That tally may be good enough for #2, the X-factor being the second-week falloff of 50 Cent.

Barry Manilow’s collection of ’70s standards (RCA) is looking 100k-ish, getting a boost from his QVC special. Chamillionaire (Universal Motown) has a shot at hitting 100k as well. James Blunt’s second album (Atlantic) is likely to end up in the 80k neighborhood. The follow-up to KT Tunstall’s platinum-plus debut (Virgin) will tally 50-60k in its first week. And Eddie Vedder’s acoustic-based Into the Wild soundtrack (RCA) should end up at 35-40k.

Also expected to crack the Top 50 are fast-talking MC Twista (Atlantic), U.K. regular guy turned opera singer Paul Potts (Columbia), Dropkick Murphys (Born & Bred/ILG), HIM (Sire/WB) and Between the Buried and Me (Victory).

As for the big picture, kiddies, don’t get too excited about the overall impact of the big sales explosion. While the market was up nearly 25% over the previous week, it was still down 8.8% compared to the same week last year, and year-to-date sales are still off by 14.4%. It was fun while it lasted, though.