HITS Daily Double
DMB’s RCA/RMG set looks to be a lock at 450k, but will it actually pass the half-million mark?


The Industry’s Looking at Yet Another Up Week as Rock continues Its Latest Comeback
Last week it was Nine Inch Nails carrying the rock banner; this week it’s the Dave Matthews Band and Weezer who are leading another guitar attack on retail. DMB’s RCA/RMG set looks to be a lock at 450k, but will it actually pass the half-million mark? We’re not ready to go out on a limb, but let’s say 500k is within the realm of possibility, as Matthews & company increase audience awareness via AOL.

Weezer has another hit in its sights as the L.A. nerd-rock band’s Geffen LP rolls toward a first-week total in the 200k neighborhood, fueled by what sounds like an instant classic single in “Beverly Hills.”

The third biggest bow should come from Capitol Nashville’s Dierks Bentley, a mainstream country act with some alt country cred, who’s got a shot at 80k.

In the next tier are three records threatening 50k: rockers Starting Line (Drive-Thru) and Robert Plant (Sanctuary), as well as rapping wrestler John Cena (Columbia)—and although we’ve learned that it’s not easy to pin a rapping wrestler down.

The final story coming from early reports is Van Zant, a country-leaning album from the two rocking brothers—38 Special’s Donnie and Skynyrd’s Johnny—on Columbia Nashville. It’s huge at the racks and is shaping up at around 40k. So we’ll give rock half credit for that one as well.

Hip-hop is on vacation and was unavailable for comment.

As for the big picture, business was up 5.1%, or 536k units, over a week ago, and—this is unusual—an increase of .4% over the same week in 2004 (when it appeared, for one brief, shining moment, that the biz was in recovery mode). On that week, by the way, D12 moved 544k units. The 11.1 million discs that rolled out of retail on the week bring the year-to-date deficit under 9%, as the biz continues to peck away—but there’s still a lot of ground to make up. YTD sales are now at 196.6 million units, 19.2 million less than at this point last year.