Keith Caulfield answers readers' questions about Madonna, George Strait, and David Bowie/Trent Reznor.

'LIFE' IN THE FAST LANE

Dear Keith,

Madonna's new album, "American Life," is causing quite a stir even before the single has been heard by the public. I am excited to see that our pop goddess continues to play it risky. Do you think this album will do well commercially?

I am wondering, how many copies has each Madonna album sold according to SoundScan? Any information will be greatly appreciated!

Zheng Wang
Bellevue, Wash.

Hello Zheng,

Considering Madonna's track record, it's probably a safe bet that her new album -- due April 22 on Warner Bros. -- will do well. The first single from the set is the title track, and it will debut on U.S. radio on March 25.

To tide you over until the single's bow on airwaves, you can pre-order an MP3 of the song on the diva's official Web site. For only $1.49, fans can purchase the track and it will be delivered to their E-mail account on March 24. Once downloaded to your hard drive, the MP3 can be burned to a CD. It will be interesting to see how this affects her placement on the Billboard Hot 100, as these "digital download" purchases will count towards the SoundScan and Billboard singles charts.

Additionally, Warner Bros. will release a conventional CD single to retail stores on April 8. There is no word yet on what the single's tracklist is, but it's a good bet that remixes of the track will eventually see a commercial release. Producers on board for remixing duties include Missy Elliott, Peter Rauhofer, Paul Oakenfold, and Felix Da Housecat.

As for your other question, here is a list of all of Madonna's SoundScan-era (1991-present) albums and their sales: 1992's "Erotica" (1.85 million), 1994's "Bedtime Stories" (2.28 million), 1995's "Something To Remember" (2.02 million), 1996's "Evita" (1.98 million), 1998's "Ray Of Light" (3.74 million), 2000's "Music" (2.87 million) and 2001's "GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2" (1.21 million).



'STRAIT' SHOOTER

Hi,

Do you know what George Strait's next single will be? I can't seem to find any information about it anywhere. Also, when is his next studio album coming out?

Thanks,
Beau

Hi Beau,

George Strait's latest single to reach our Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart is "The Real Thing." It debuts this week on the chart at No. 60. It's the fifth single from 2001's "The Road Less Traveled" set, which has sold 1.02 million according to Nielsen SoundScan, and hit No. 1 on Top Country Albums.

Strait's most recent album, "For The Last Time: Live From The Astrodome," debuted at No. 2 on Top Country Albums earlier this month. The MCA Nashville set was his first live album.

Strait's next studio album is tentatively due out June 3. The first single from the as-yet-untitled set should appear on radio in late April or early may.



I'M AFRAID I CAN'T HELP IT

Keith,

David Bowie and Trent Reznor (of nine inch nails fame) did a song/video called "Johnny's an American" a while back, like six-eight years ago on a Bowie album. What was the name of that album? I'm having a hard time finding it.

Thanks!
Sam

Hi Sam,

Perhaps you are referring to "I'm Afraid of Americans?" Trent Reznor remixed the song for its music video and single release back in 1997. The Reznor remix helped "Afraid" reach No. 29 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart and No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The original version of the song can be found on Bowie's "Earthling" set. Though the only way you could get the Reznor remix at the time was to buy the CD-maxi single. However, you're in luck: the Reznor remix was released on Bowie's recent EMI/Virgin "Best Of Bowie" album, which came out last fall.