HITS Daily Double
Aside from Twain, the Nov. 19 slate includes Murder Inc./IDJ rapper Ja Rule, Arista superstar Toni Braxton, Wildstar/ Atlantic's Craig David, Rawkus/MCA rapper Talib Kweli, Atlantic’s Matchbox Twenty, Epic/ Interscope’s Audioslave, Virgin's the Smashing Pumpkins, Capitol's George Harrison, Epic's Mudvayne, Epic's Charlotte Church, UTV’s Now 11 and Artemis' Susan Tedeschi.


Music Biz Hungers for a November Sales Feast
Retailers are talking turkey, with a veritable cornucopia of high-visibility releases slated for November.

The fourth quarter kicks into high gear over the next three weeks, headed by the Nov. 19 release of Mercury Nashville country crossover queen Shania Twain’s UP!, which some pundits see posing the biggest challenge to Eminem’s hegemony on the charts. Her last album, ’97’s Come On Over, has sold 14.4 million to date, and the first single, "I’m Gonna Getcha Good!," has her poised for pop success.

The roll call for this Tuesday (11/12) is topped by Goldmind/Elektra rap queen Missy Elliott, whose new Under Construction album features one of the biggest hits of her career, "Work It." Arista’s TLC, who collaborated with Elliott on tracks for both of their new albums, return minus the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes (who does appear on four tracks) with 3D, their first album since ’99’s Fanmail, which sold a total of 4.7 million OTC. Roc-A-Fella/IDJ rapper Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse, is Def Jam’s first-ever double-CD. The rapper also has a track, "Back in the Day," on Elliott’s album. Other R&B artists on tap include Def Soul/IDJ soulsters Dru Hill, whose last album topped 2.2 million OTC and Terror Squad/Atl.’s Fat Joe.

The rock side is well-represented on the Nov. 12 release date, with Republic/Universal act 3 Doors Down’s Away from the Sun, the follow-up to ’99’s 4.9 million-selling debut The Better Life and its hit single, "Kryptonite." Epic’s grunge attack begins with Pearl Jam’s Riot Act, reportedly a return to peak form for the seminal Seattle group, while Island/IDJ’s Saliva returns with Back Into Your System, following lead singer Josey Scott’s breakthrough Spider-Man duet with Chad Kroeger, "Hero." Other rockers in the Nov. 12 mix include Columbia/ CRG’s Crazy Town, UTV’s Elton John greatest-hits album and Atlantic/Atl. G. veteran Phil Collins, with his first new studio record in six years. There are also new albums from J RecordsMaking the Band grads O-Town and Warner Sunset/Nonesuch/Atlantic’s Harry Potter II soundtrack.

Aside from Twain, the Nov. 19 slate includes Murder Inc./IDJ rapper Ja Rule’s The Last Temptation, his first since last year’s Pain Is Love, which has racked up 3.5 million in sales. Arista superstar Toni Braxton is back with More Than a Woman, the follow-up to 2000’s The Heat, now up to 2 million OTC and counting. Wildstar/Atlantic U.K. two-step wonder Craig David returns with his sophomore effort, Slicker Than Your Average, in the wake of his 1.4 million-selling bow, while promising Rawkus/MCA rapper Talib Kweli looks to expand his underground audience with Quality, his initial major-label effort.

The week’s rock releases are topped by Atlantic’s Matchbox Twenty, with their Matt Serletic-produced More Than You Think You Are, which features the Mick Jagger-co-written Top 40 hit, "Disease." The group’s last album, Mad Season, sold 3.7 million. There are high expectations for Epic/Interscope’s Audioslave, the Chris Cornell-fronted version of Rage Against the Machine, with their self-titled bow, while Virgin will release Smashing PumpkinsEarphoria, a collection of live cuts and B-sides. Capitol is putting out the late George Harrison’s final album, Brainwashed, produced by Jeff Lynne and Harrison’s son Dhani, with the first single the eerie "Stuck Inside a Cloud." Epic horror-core band Mudvayne return with The End of All Things to Come, the follow-up to their 2000 gold debut LD 50. Other 11/19 releases include Epic classical chanteuse Charlotte Church’s greatest hits, UTV’s Now 11 and Artemis APM stalwart Susan Tedeschi.

And that’s not all, folks. The release schedule for Nov. 26, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, includes Busta Rhymes (J Records), DMX (Def Jam/IDJ), Jennifer Lopez (Epic), K-Ci & JoJo (MCA), a Paul McCartney live album (Capitol), Petey Pablo (Jive), the Roots (MCA), Snoop Dogg (Priority/Capitol), System of a Down (American/Columbia), Sum 41 (Island/IDJ), Tim McGraw (Curb) and another posthumous 2Pac album (Amaru/Tha Row/Interscope).

Don’t forget to say grace.