February 2004 was a bonanza month at musicstores: the week of Valentine’s Day posted a sales record; Norah Jones sold a million copies of “Feels Like Home” in five days; the Grammys delivered a nice bounce; and late-’03 releases held steady.
This year will be a different story.
The year has already seen one major breakout — the Game’s “The Documentary” sold 587,000 copies in its first week last month — but it’s not until March 8 that the next major bomb will drop, 50 Cent’s second album. Disc could top the 872,000 sales posted by his debut “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” and become the first million seller since Usher’s “Confessions” hit 1.09 million 11 months ago.
Universal Music’s tentative first-quarter schedule features albums from Black Eyed Peas, 3 Doors Down and Dr. Dre; each could top 200,000 in first-week sales. Other contenders for solid numbers are Beck, Melissa Etheridge and Spitz. Mariah Carey’s next album, originally slated for late March, has been moved to April 12.
Jennifer Lopez’s “Rebirth,” which should top 300,000 when it is bows the first week of March, leads Sony BMG’s high-profile releases. Also on tap are Tori Amos’ “The Beekeeper,” Kings of Leon’s “Aha Shake Heartbreak,” Judas Priest’s “Angel of Retribution” and System of a Down’s “Mesmerize.” Distrib also has releases from buzzworthy tyro acts Omarion, the Afters, Jessi Alexander, the Kills, Kasabian, Elkland and Miranda Lamber.
Warner Music Group has high hopes for the second full albums from crooner Michael Buble and rockers Hot Hot Heat. Distrib also is focusing on releases from Tweet, Goldfinger and Fat Joe.
EMI released Tina Turner and Kylie Minogue hits compilations last week. Distrib’s Capitol Records will be pushing tyro singer Aslyn next month along with new discs by Brit rock band the Doves and R&B singer Faith Evans’ “First Lady.”
Major indie V2 has a new Moby disc, “Hotel,” slated for a March release.