It is a good time to enjoy some good music!

Eminem Tops Charts Ahead of Holiday Season
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Eminem topped music charts for a second week, warming up a recent cold spell for record companies who hope the rapper and big releases from acts like U2 and Gwen Stefani will ignite a hot holiday season
“It’s been soft, but things are getting better and I think we’re going to have a good fourth quarter,” John Sullivan, chief financial officer of Trans World Entertainment Corp., a retail music chain operator, said on Wednesday.
Eminem’s “Encore” sold about 871,000 albums in the United States in the week ended Nov. 21, according to Nielsen SoundScan, bringing his 10-day total to 1.6 million units.
That just about matched the first 10-day sales tally of Eminem’s last album, “The Eminem Show,” in 2002, which has gone on to sell a total of 9.3 million units.
Overall U.S. album sales for the week totaled 15.3 million compared with 16.6 million in the year-ago week, marking the industry’s 10th consecutive down week.
Total year-to-date U.S. album sales have increased, however, totaling 545.8 million units compared with 529.0 million last year.
Ranking second behind Eminem was Destiny’s Child’s “Destiny Fulfilled,” selling 497,000 units, while Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boyz landed at No. 3 with “Crunk Juice,” which sold an estimated 363,000 units. Rounding out the top five were Clay Aiken’s “Merry Christmas With Love,” which sold 270,000 units and Shania Twain’s “Greatest Hits,” which sold 232,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Retailers expect to reverse the recent downtrend starting this week, the kick-off to the holiday retail season.
“The past few weeks have been weak, but this week looks like it’s going to be quite strong with both Eminem and U2,” said Duncan Brown, chief operating officer for Newbury Comics, a Boston-based operator of 25 stores in New England. “And here in Boston, we’re also blessed to have the world championship baseball team,” he added, citing brisk sales of new DVD titled “2004 World Series-Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals.”
“The DVD’s really been helping sales,” he said.
U2’s new album, “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” the band’s follow-up to its 2002 Grammy winner “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” was released to stores on Tuesday and is expected to hit 1 million units in its first week, helped by a promotional campaign of epic proportions.
Media appearances, free concerts and the group’s tie-in with Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod and iTunes music service have created more buzz than for any other album this year. Under Apple’s deal, its iTunes Music Store got exclusive rights to the band’s new songs during their first weeks in release. Apple is also selling special edition U2 iPods.
“I would imagine that with the visibility U2 has, we will be selling a lot of records,” Brown said.
Gwen Stefani’s debut solo album “Love, Angel, Music, Baby” is also is expected to draw a big tally, and is predicted to land around No. 3, behind Eminem this week.