HITS Daily Double
What’s stunning about Prince’s new one is that he’s racking up strong numbers without a tour, extensive radio play or iTunes.


Through the Shifting Currents of the Music Biz, One Legend Continues to Walk on Water
In the early going, Prince’s new album on Universal Republic, 3121, is trending just shy of 200k and has a shot at hitting that sales plateau, depending on how much Starbucks weighs in. What’s stunning about this activity is that the Purple One is pulling it off without a tour, extensive radio play or iTunes (he hasn’t yet made the LP available to online services). That means the Hall of Famer will most probably notch up his first #1 since that Batman soundtrack, and it’ll be his first studio album to top the chart since Around the World in a Day in 1985.

That said, we won’t completely rule out incumbent High School Musical (Walt Disney Records), which airs again this week on the Disney Channel. That could conceivably generate another 15-20% bump, which still wouldn’t quite get it over the hump, but this release is a bona fide phenomenon, so anything is possible.

The next big debut is from Virgin’s Ben Harper, which should move over 50k units and possibly top 60k, depending on the total generated by downloads on iTunes, where the Inland Empire icon is currently #1.

Other chart-worthy bows are from rapper B.G. (Koch), which should wind up at 55k-60k; teen rocker Teddy Geiger (Columbia), who’s #3 on iTunes and heading past 40k with a shot at 50k in an impressive first week for a developing artist; a new Capitol Nashville album from Mr. Roasted Chicken himself, Kenny Rogers, that could do as much as 40k; a live LP with studio B-sides from My Chemical Romance (WB), which is looking 35k-40k-ish; and indie rockers From First to Last (Epitph/ADA), who are on the way to around 25k.

Dollying back to take in the big picture, ccording to our research, the market was down 2-3% vs. last week according to our research, and down about 4% compared to the same week last year. That puts year-to-date album sales down around 3%.