Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Anastacia, t.A.T.u. and more.

WHAT'S THE DEAL?

Dear Keith,

I was really looking forward to purchasing the U.S. version of Anastacia's new self-titled album back on Aug. 30. But then, I read on a bunch of Web sites that the release was cancelled. I went looking for it anyway and did not find it. However, I was able to find the U.S. version on Amazon.com and it was released Aug. 30.

Why isn't available in stores but is available for purchase on the Internet? Was it officially released or not?

Thanks,

Aaron

Hello Aaron,

A U.S. edition of "Anastcia" is not available via the Internet (or anywhere else), despite what Amazon.com says. It must be a glitch in their system, as the album was never issued in America.

Anastacia's self-titled album that was slated for release a few weeks ago via Epic was pulled from parent company SonyBMG's release schedule. There is no confirmed reason as to why it was not released.

The set's advance single "Left Outside Alone" didn't really fair well on U.S. radio. The song peaked at No. 30 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart in May, and didn't really impact any other formats of radio. Additionally, her summer duet with Ben Moody -- "Everything Burns, from the "Fantastic Four" soundtrack -- failed to reach any of the charts published by Billboard or Billboard Radio Monitor.

One can surmise that following the lackluster response to both of these singles at American radio, perhaps her label thought the album -- her third -- would not have been successful in America.

Alternately, in an recently Reuters interview in London, Anastacia said that she doesn't want to have the responsibility of taking on another "huge territory" (North America) as her career is already very big to begin with. She also said that Epic and SonyBMG supports her decision.

Anastacia's career has been very successful outside the United States, especially in Europe. So huge in fact, she's releasing a greatest hits set later this year with a handful of new songs. At this point, we assume the hits CD will only be available internationally.

Her last U.S. release, 2002's "Not That Kind," sold 296,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.



t.A.T.u. YOU

Hello Keith,

I'm so exited because I heard that t.A.T.u. is coming out with its sophomore CD on Oct. 11. Is that true? I was wondering if you knew anything about the new single "All About Us." Does it have a release date in the United States? I haven't heard it on the radio, and I really want to know if they are going to release it here or not.

Sincerely,

Andres Escobar

Hello,

t.A.T.u.'s new album "Dangerous and Moving," will indeed come out Oct. 11 in the United States via Interscope. The set's first single, "All About Us," is poised to debut on Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the coming week.

The album is the follow-up to the Russian duo's 2002 debut "200 KM/H In The Wrong Lane." That set peaked at No. 13 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 760,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.



MASTERFUL BUSINESS

Keith,

As much as I dislike some record companies for putting out rather short "budget" compilations, I do realize that they know a good gimmick when they see one.

That being said, I'm wondering what the best selling "20th Century Masters" discs are? Have any gone multi-platinum?

Ben D.
Madison, Wis.

Hi Ben,

The "20th Century Masters" compilation line from Universal Music has been extraordinary successful. The biggest seller a 1999 Lynyrd Skynyrd set, which has sold 1.7 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Other big sellers include George Strait's 2002 "Masters" (783,000), Marvin Gaye's "Vol. 2" (755,000) and a edition culling cuts by the Who (760,000).