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The country star’s new Arista Nashville album—yup, it’s called Good Time—will debut at #1 on next week’s HITS chart, with a total that should top 100k.

COUNTRY COMFORTS RETAIL: JACKSON RULES

Universal Motown’s Michael McDonald, Flogging Molly, Black Crowes Up Next
It may not be a Good Time for the record industry, but it sure is one for country veteran Alan Jackson.

That’s the word from beleaguered retailers around the country reporting first-day sales as they confirm that the country star’s new Arista Nashville album—yup, it’s called Good Time—will debut at #1 on next week’s HITS chart, with a total that should top 100k.

If only his wife would let him celebrate.

That’ll make Jackson the only artist to hit six figures as the biz limps toward the highly anticipated April 15 release date for Mariah Carey’s IDJ effort E=MC2.

Last week’s topper, fellow L.A Reid diva Janet Jackson, finds herself in a tight fight with Brushfire/Universal Republic’s Jack Johnson for #2, each with between 65-70k in sales.

Universal Motown’s second collection of Michael McDonald covers, Soul Speak, looks headed for between 30-35k, but with its upper-demo audience could trend more later in the week. Three of the songs, “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” (A/C), “Love T.K.O.” (Adult R&B) and “Walk on By” (Hot Contemporary Jazz)” have already charted.

Other debuts include SideOneDummy veteran Irish punks Flogging Molly (who appeared on The Departed soundtrack) with Float, and Black CrowesWarpaint, their first new studio album in seven years, and subject of media controversy when Maxim published a review of the album from a critic who never listened to it. The disc is being released on their own Silver Arrow label. Both are expected to score in the 30-35k range as well.

The market was flat vs. last week, down 6% vs. same week last year and currently down 12% year-to-date. We now return you to your regularly scheduled web-surfing.

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