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Competition May Greet 'Busted Stuff'

July 15, 2002|Times staff writers

For the pop music industry, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in July. On the heels of recent powerhouse releases from Eminem and Nelly, this week will see another hotly anticipated album: the Dave Matthews Band's "Busted Stuff."

The album hits stores Tuesday, and retailers are estimating it will sell at least half a million copies during its first week. That would be shy of the 733,000 first-week sales of the group's previous album, "Everyday," but no one's saying they'll be disappointed if "Busted Stuff" doesn't equal that mark.

"I can confidently say we have no expectations it will exceed what 'Everyday' did," says Bruce Flohr, RCA vice president of artists, repertoire and artist development, who signed the band in 1993.

Two reasons, says Flohr: "Everyday" came out in March last year, the first major release following the traditionally slow post-holiday sales season. "Busted Stuff" arrives in midsummer as one of many big-name releases and thus faces much stronger competition. There's also a less intense promotional blitz accompanying "Busted Stuff" because "the band has intentionally focused more on the music and the quality of this record, as opposed to all the TV, videos and radio support" it did for "Everyday," Flohr says.

Flohr says heavy security around the new album, which includes two new songs and nine rerecorded from the band's never-released but widely bootlegged "Lillywhite Sessions," has kept it out of the hands of the downloaders, unlike some other major releases.

To spur sales, RCA is including a bonus disc with "Busted Stuff" with the first 2 million copies.

"That formula worked very well on the Eminem album," says Wherehouse rock buyer Bob Bell, "and we expect very strong sales out of the box on this."

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