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The closest [Bennett] has come was the #3 debut for his 2006 album, Duets: An American Classic, while his classic I Left My Heart in San Francisco peaked at #5 in 1962.
TONY READY TO DO IT WITH DUETS II
Veteran Crooner Eyeing His First-Ever #1 Debut, Though Lady A’s in the Way
Hard to believe, but Tony Bennett has never had a #1 album.

The closest he has come was the #3 debut for his 2006 album, Duets: An American Classic, while his classic I Left My Heart in San Francisco peaked at #5 in 1962.

That could all change with this week’s release of his RPM/Columbia album Duets II, which is being backed by a veritable slew of TV and live appearances, including a concert at L.A.’s Staples Center this Saturday night (9/24) with Carrie Underwood and Stevie Wonder, who also appear on the album. The disc also includes Amy Winehouse's last-ever performance, a duet with Bennett on "Body and Soul."

That said, based on early one-day sales reports from those retailers who still have their doors (and portals) open, Bennett’s Duets II will sell between 150-170k, which would put it neck and neck with Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night, which debuted this week with 355k.

Hollywood teenpop veteran (how’s that for an oxymoron?) Demi Lovato’s third album, Unbroken, is the week’s other top debut, with an estimated 110-120k in first-week sales.

Atlantic’s Needtobreathe, Christian rockers from South Carolina, return with their fourth album, The Reckoning, the follow-up to 2009’s The Outsiders, poised for a debut between 40-50k.

The Troy Carter-managed Streamline/Interscope L.A. R&B quartet Mindless Behavior, who opened for Janet Jackson on her recent tour, should do 35-40k for their debut, #1 Girl.

RCA singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw recovers from his downtown N.Y. mugging with his fourth album, Sweeter, projected in the 33-37k sales range.


Columbia’s Pearl Jam Twenty, the soundtrack to the Cameron Crowe-directed documentary airing on PBS in October, is slated for between 27-30k.  

Atlantic’s Cody Simpson, the 14-year-old Aussie sensation, sees his album Coast to Coast debut with 24-27k in first-week sales.

Detusche Grammonphon’s Tori Amos album, Night of Hunters, is her first for the famed German classical label, recorded entirely through acoustic instruments, relying on her vocals and piano skills, with string and woodwind accompaniment. Look for it to do between 21-24k.

Vagrant’s new Thrice album, Major/Minor, the veteran Orange County thrashers’ eighth in their decade-long career, looks to be in the 18-21k window.

Roadrunner’s Swedish heavy metallists Opeth, the name de band for Mikael Akerfeldt, should do 15-18k for Heritage. its 10th studio album, the follow-up to 2008’s Watershed.

Longtime Rounder Americana act The Jayhawks’ Mockingbird is the Minneapols band’s first album since 2003’s Rainy Day Music, and looks to do 14-17k.

Universal Republic’s SuperHeavy, the all-star band formed by Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, Dave Stewart and A.R. Rahman, appears in the same 14-17k range for their self-titled new release, which has been receiving some tepid reviews, although Rolling Stone charitably gave it four stars, no surprise given publisher Jann Wenner’s ongoing friendship with the once (and future?) Stones lead singer.

Album sales were up 2% vs. last week, up 4% vs. same week last year and up 3% year to date.  Track sales were down 1% vs. last week, up 6% vs. same week last year and up 11% year to date. TEA (Track Equivalent Album) sales were up 1% vs. last week, up 5% vs. same week last year and up 5% year to date.

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