Keith answers readers' questions on the Eagles, George Strait, Yahoo! Jukebox and more!

TO THE BEAT OF MADONNA'S DRUM

Hi Keith,

It has been reported that a new R&B-based Madonna record would drop sometime in November, but it appears everything has been pushed back. I've heard both (of Madonna's recently leaked tracks) "The Beat Goes On" and "Candy Shop" and they both sound like radio winners. Do you know why Warner Bros. or Madonna's camp may have postponed (the album's release)? Is it possible that they are reconsidering the Justin Timberlake tracks (that he worked on with Madonna for the forthcoming album) since he is now seemingly on every single that comes out? (I love the guy but enough already.) Is Madonna going to move on to another greatest hits package or a greatest remixes album instead?

Finally, does she have any plans to tour next summer while the kids are on summer vacation?

Sincerely,

Andrew Wadium
New York, N.Y.

Hi Andrew,

Even though everyone thinks that Madonna's forthcoming album was supposed to come out on a certain date, she, nor her record label, have ever publicly said when it was going to be released. And they still haven't. As far as we know, Madonna is still working on the new album, which does not have a release date yet.

I personally disagree with your assessment of the radio-friendliness of the leaked tunes "The Beat Goes On" and "Candy Shop." While I can admire some aspects of the former, the latter is simply not something that I think would work on the radio.

It is curious how the two leaked tracks were produced by Pharrell, yet, none of the songs she has worked on with Justin Timberlake or Timbaland have leaked. No word on any supposed retrospectives either. It's all quiet on the Madonna front right now. Though, as with all things, plans change. Madonna could suddenly surprise everyone and drop a single on us next week.



LOUD AND CLEAR

Keith,

I've read recently that Girls Aloud, one of the U.K.'s most successful girl groups, is finally planning on releasing an album in the U.S. I heard it was going to be a mix of the act's first three albums, and that "Something Kinda Ooooh" would be the lead single sent to radio in the coming months.

With the state of the music industry, and with labels not taking as many chances anymore, could this possibly be true? Could America actually get to experience the unique pop Girls Aloud offers, or will they forever be an import to us?

Thanks a lot!

Mark Rowan

Hi Mark,

There have been rumors that Girls Aloud would release an album in the U.S., but we are still awaiting confirmation. Lucky for U.S. fans, their back catalog is available for purchase in the U.S. iTunes store.

Sugababes, another U.K. pop group (which you didn't ask about), don't have any immediate plans to focus their attention on the U.S. Alas. The 'Babes recently hit No. 1 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart with their single "About You Now."

Speaking of the Girls and Babes - guess who is going to the Spice Girls reunion concert? Me!



STABBING VASTLY WITH MY NINE INCH NAILS

Hi Keith,

My question actually deals with industrial music. I was always a big fan of three bands: Nine Inch Nails, Stabbing Westward and Vast.

How is NIN's album "Year Zero" doing? The singles seem to be doing well on the rock charts, but is it selling well? Also I thought NIN's last one "With Teeth" sold over a million copies but it's only certified gold. Did it pass the one million mark?

On another note can you tell me how many copies of each album Stabbing Westward and Vast have sold?

Thanks,

Ray Miller

Hi Ray,

Nine Inch Nails' latest set, "Year Zero," isn't selling as swiftly as "With Teeth" has. In the U.S., "Zero" has only moved 445,000 while "Teeth" has shifted 1.1 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"Year Zero's" singles have done well on the Modern Rock chart. The first, "Survivalism," hit No. 1 while "Capital G" reached No. 6. However, the former only spent 13 weeks on the chart while the latter spent 18 weeks on the tally.

Compare that to the three singles from "With Teeth." All three of them - "The Hand That Feeds," "Only" and "Every Day Is Exactly The Same" - all hit No. 1 on the Modern Rock chart and each spent more than 20 weeks apiece on the chart.

As for the certification question, that's out of Billboard's hands. We don't have anything to do with the gold and platinum certification program that is administered by the Recording Industry Association of America. For further information about the program and how one goes about certifying an album, visit their Web site at riaa.com.

Switching gears: Stabbing Westward has sold 1.6 million with its five albums in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"Ungod" (1994; 149,000)
"Wither, Blister and Peel" (1996; 747,000)
"Darkest Days" (1998; 502,000)
"Stabbing Westward" (2001; 140,000)
"The Essential Stabbing Westward" (2003; 28,000)

As for Vast, the numbers are a bit smaller:

"Visual Audio Sensory Theater" (1998; 153,000)
"Music for People" (2000; 88,000)
"Turquoise and Crimson" (2006; 8,000)
"Nude" (2003; 28,000)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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