Last week, using information provided by a spokesperson for [artist id="846"]Guns N' Roses[/artist]' label, Geffen Records, MTV News reported that first-day sales of the band's long-awaited LP, Chinese Democracy — which was released as a Best Buy exclusive on Sunday — would not be released to Nielsen SoundScan until next week.
Seemingly, this would have given Axl Rose and friends an advantage over [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist], who released his 808s & Heartbreak on Monday, in the race for Billboard's peak position, as GN'R's first-week figures would include an eighth day of sales — not seven, as with West's new opus.
However, on Tuesday (November 25), Geffen revised its statement, saying instead that the first-week sales data it will be releasing to SoundScan for Chinese Democracy will be based on sales tallied Sunday through Saturday, whereas West's will be based on sales tallied Monday through Sunday — which means that both albums' debuts will be based on seven days of sales.
Typically, albums are released in the U.S. on Tuesdays, and SoundScan tracks weekly sales data from Monday through Sunday, meaning that most albums' debut spots on the chart are based on six sales days. But unlike many other retail outlets, Best Buy reports sales figures that were recorded between Sunday and Saturday.
What this ultimately means is that West and Rose will battle it out for the chart's top spot fair and square — numbers-wise, anyway — with neither artist having an inside track. If anything, West's latest offering, as well as the [artist id="1244299"]Killers[/artist]' Day & Age and [artist id="961097"]Ludacris[/artist]' Theater of the Mind (which were all released on Monday), will have an unfair advantage in the sales contest over every album released on Tuesday.
This development comes on the heels of a report released Monday by "Hits Daily Double," which claims Chinese Democracy is on pace to scan anywhere between 300,000 and 500,000 copies; that figure also includes a reported 25,000 iTunes downloads.