HITS Daily Double
"Based on the initial market activity, we feel we could do more than 650k."
——Greg Thompson, Elektra Executive VP/GM


Elektra Buoyed By New Albums From Staind, Missy Elliott, "Tomb Raider" Soundtrack While Redman, Static-X, Tyrese Also Start Strong
Rock is alive and well. And selling.

Elektra Executive VP/GM Greg Thompson flicked his Bic after hearing today's first-day sales activity on Staind's "Break The Cycle" album, which is on track to blow some 600k-plus albums through stores, just a week after Volcano's Tool album bowed with more than 575k in O.T.C. sales. The Staind LP already includes two Post Modern/Active Rock smashes in "It's Been Awhile" and "Outside."

Retailers are saying, "Its even bigger than Tool"... something nobody's ever told us. Store-by-store comparisons indicate the album is out-selling Tool's first day. Elektra is trying to avoid the stock problems that plagued the Tool record and slowed it after its initial surge last week. Including shipping and reorders, there will be 2 million Staind discs on the street by the weekend.

"It's a beautiful thing," said Thompson when we told him we were from Page Six. "Based on the initial market activity, we feel we could do more than 650k. Just wait a moment while I check my abacus for how much I make on that."

Adding to Greg's good mood is yesterday's impressive chart debut for Missy Elliott's new album, "Miss E...So Addictive," which landed at #2 on this week's HITS Top 50 with 236k in sales. Next up for the label is the eagerly awaited "Tomb Raider" soundtrack on June 5, with tracks from U2 (the first single is "Elevation"), Nine Inch Nails, OutKast, Moby, Fatboy Slim and more.

Thompson pointed to the initial radio success of both Staind's "It's Been Awhile" and Missy's "Get Ur Freak On," now spreading to new formats as key. "We feel both of these artists have taken quantum leaps into mainstream America, places they've never been. We're seeing substantial audience growth for each already, and these songs are only going to get bigger."

Other albums released yesterday include Redman's "Malpractice," on Def Jam/IDJ, which looks headed for a Top 5 debut with 140-150k in projected first-week sales; Static-X's new WB album, "Machine," ready to land in the Top 10 with 80-90k, and MTV VJ Tyrese's sophomore RCA effort, "2000 Watts," whose 90k in sales should put it in the Top 10 as well.