HITS Daily Double


NY Rockers to Debut Top 5; Clay Aiken Could See Another Week at #1
In case you haven’t heard, Southern California is burning out of control.

Sucks, but what’re you gonna do when Mother Nature goes a little heavy on the Tobasco and torches much of her prized west coast real estate?

It’s at least vaguely interesting, then, that an album titled Room on Fire will be next week’s top album chart debut. Yes, even as we in Sherman Oaks choke on ash, our soot-clogged lungs wheeze to the beat of RCA’s The Strokes, who are on track to sell about 130k for the week, according to early reports from national accounts.

That figure will assure the New York garage revivalists a Top 5 album-chart berth (continuing BMG’s chart roll), and could get them all the way to #2, depending on a couple of things.

Indeed, depending on what kinds of second weeks J’s Rod Stewart and Elektra/WSM’s The Eagles have, as well as how Arista’s Outkast holds up, The Strokes could come near the top of the chart.

Chart-topper Clay Aiken, meanwhile, will likely see a third week at #1, depending on the very same stuff, as well as how the third week for his RCA debut shapes up.

It’s no small irony, however, that San Diego and Los Angeles were the #1 and #2 markets for The Strokes’ last album, and that major fires in those cities could now potentially suppress sales of Fire. We’ll have to wait and see how that one plays out.

Other releases yesterday included R.E.M.’s In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (Warner Bros.), which appears likely to sell 100k for the week, and Gerald Levert’s A Stroke of Genius (Elektra), which should approach the 100k mark as well.