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If you’re looking for a dark horse, last year’s surprising album champ Disney Records releases Jump In, the soundtrack to the film featuring High School Musical star Corbin Bleu, next Tuesday (1/7).
HERE’S TO A NEW YEAR, HOPEFULLY
NOT LIKE THE OLD YEAR
Out with the Old, In with the Not-So-New as 2007 Gets Underway
Weeeeeee’re back.  And so’s the music industry as 2007 gets underway, promising to be one of change and more tumult. And how about dem Boise Staters? Hey, if a team from Idaho can pull off an upset over Oklahoma with a hook-and-ladder play and the old-school Statue of Liberty, the music industry could just bounce back in the next 12 months. Hey, the Jets are in the playoffs, aren’t they? None of the so-called experts saw that happening.

What went down while you were off in Aspen skiing, Vegas vicing, Miami sunning or Palm Springs drying out?

Well, two of the music business’ all-time greats, Ahmet Ertegun and James Brown, passed away, eliciting a torrent of remembrances and well-deserved tributes.

President Gerald Ford, probably best-known for his wife Betty’s treatment center and Chevy Chase’s klutzy impersonation on Saturday Night Live, passed away, and how many of you knew that he was still alive? Aside from that, he did pardon Nixon after all.

Saddam Hussein was hung on YouTube, prompting at least one copycat suicide, and aren’t things just dandy in Iraq since he left?

The Grammy race moves into high gear over the next five weeks, with the Dixie Chicks looking like the chic choice to nail the evening’s top honors as the ultimate Red State-Blue State crossover of the year.

Since you were gone, Def Jam rappers Young Jeezy and Nas topped the album charts the last two weeks, with the one right before Dec. 25 by far the year’s biggest for sales. Expect Norah JonesBlue Note album, Not Too Late, on Jan. 30,  to be the year’s first big seller. And, of course, check out HITS workhorse Bud Scoppa's in-depth inteview on the site. If you’re looking for a dark horse, last year’s surprising album champ Disney Records releases Jump In, the soundtrack to the film featuring High School Musical star Corbin Bleu, next Tuesday (1/7). Other albums to look out for include The Shins (Sup Pop) and 2007 Grammy Nominees (Sony Music) (1/23), Lily Allen (Capitol) and Katharine McPhee (RCA/RMG) (1/30), Island’s Fall Out Boy (2/6), Mercury Nashville’s Lucinda Williams (2/13) and Razor & Tie’s Kidz Bop 11 (2/20).

Entercom settled with Spitzer, the Dreamgirls Oscar bandwagon seemed to lose momentum and we watched all 12 episodes of the fourth season of HBO's The Wire, which makes The Sopranos look like I Love Lucy... It's Bonfire of the Vanities meets Clockers meets Crime and Punishment. The closest thing to a hip-hop Dante's Inferno, complete with a vivid cast of unlikely heroes, villains and everyone in between. Catch it if you can. You don't even need to see the first three seasons to get into it.

As for what to expect in the weeks ahead: Sony BMG’s continued reorganization (and the EC’s ultimate decision on its approval), the aftermath of EMI’s failed private equity buyout and whether UMG’s acquisition of BMG Music Publishing will finally be given the nod in Europe as it already has by the FTC in the U.S.

HITS LIST IS
IN THE MAIL
A not-so-subtle reminder to fill out that ballot. (10/15a)
NEAR TRUTHS: THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
The lives behind live music. (10/14a)
HARVEY MASON JR.:
THE HITS INTERVIEW
The Grammy chief takes our call. (10/14a)
RAINMAKERS 2020: COMING SOON
It will rain again this fall--we guarantee it. (10/13a)
STEVIE WONDER PARTNERS WITH REPUBLIC
First music in 15 years. (10/14a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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