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Hard-rock veterans Godsmack will almost certainly lock down #1 with their Universal Republic release, which appears headed toward 225k-240k.
ONE-DAY SALES:
ROCK RETURNS TO TOP OF CHART
Godsmack Leads the Charge, With Taking Back Sunday, Springsteen and Goo Goo Dolls All Rolling Toward Solid Debuts
Move over, big-hat wearin’ twangers. After taking a long winter’s nap, the rock & roll contingent will be heard from again on next week’s Top 50 Albums chart.

Hard-rock veterans Godsmack will almost certainly lock down #1 with their Universal Republic release, which appears headed toward 225k-240k. This will give Universal Republic its third chart-topping bow in the last four months, including Prince and Jack Johnson's Curious George soundtrack. Not a bad count for Monte and company.

The second-highest debut, which will be more than enough for #2 on the chart, belongs to Taking Back Sunday (Warner Bros.), which is on a pace to rack up 175k-185k.

Next in line is Bruce Springsteen’s spirited collection of Pete Seeger classics, which should total 140k-150k, with help from iTunes, where it’s currently #1, and Starbucks. That'll put the Boss in the Top 5, with a real shot at #3. Columbia deserves big props for pushing all the right buttons in its nontraditional marketing campaign and maximizing the potential of this offbeat project.  

Rounding out the guitar-wielding foursome are pop-rock stalwarts the Goo Goo Dolls (WB), which should wind up in the neighborhood of 65k-70k, well behind Avant (Geffen) at 125k-130k, and the sophomore effort from Rihanna (Def Jam/IDJ), which should do around 100k, give or take 5k.

Gospel act Mercy Me (Columbia) is trending toward 25k at normal retail, but the X factor here is Christian bookstores, which could register enough additional sales to more than double that number.

With no significant debuts hitting stores on the Tuesday after Easter, album sales were down by nearly a quarter from the previous week, and off around 10% from same week last year. Year-to-date sales are running 1-2% behind 2005.

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