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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 2

'Idol' singles sink, as Clay Aiken's album nears release amidst re-repackaging


By Wade Paulsen, 09/26/2003 

Last week, the King of Rock and Roll rose from the dead to end American Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken's double-digit run at #1 on the Nielsen SoundScan Singles Sales charts in the U.S. and Canada. This week, another legend used a satanic twist to drive both Clay and Idol winner Ruben Studdard further away from the top.

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A remix single of the 35-year-old Rolling Stones song "Sympathy for the Devil" grabbed the top slot on the U.S. Singles Sales chart for the week ended Sept. 21, while a remix of Elvis Presley's 34-year-old song "Rubberneckin'" held on to second. Clay's single "Bridge Over Troubled Water" b/w "This Is The Night" fell to fifth place, its first week outside the top two in its 16 weeks on the chart. Meanwhile, Ruben's single "Flying Without Wings" also dropped two more places this week, into seventh.

On the Canadian Singles Sales chart, Clay's single dropped to fourth, while Nickelback's "Someday" remained #1 and the King remained #2. Ruben, meanwhile, rose back into the Top 10 after dropping out last week, but only managed eighth place.

Now that RCA has released the promotional copies of Clay's second single "Invisible," which will not be released in a commercial version, the focus has shifted from the singles to the upcoming Clay and Ruben CD releases. Except on eBay, of course. As we predicted, copies of the single (which simply includes the song and a 10-second callout for the song) have been selling for phenomenal prices. So far, five copies have been sold, at prices ranging from $152.50 to $405, and three copies are up for auction, with current prices (as we write) of $300, $105.69 and $152.50. For those of you not willing to part with hundreds of dollars to see the cover art, below is what the single looks like.

Meanwhile, the stunning success of Clay's first single seems to have discombobulated RCA's design for his CD, which will be released October 14. The CD was originally titled Measure of a Man. Then, that title was dropped, and it was officially untitled (as noted in the August 22 entry). Then the title became simply Clay Aiken. Now, according to the RCA Records website, the title has returned to Measure of a Man. Although the cover art has not yet been officially released -- and, as we noted last week, the initial promotional material for the album shipped last week without either the album cover or the title -- the cover seems to have surfaced on some music Web sites, as shown here (below right.)


Despite the lack of a confirmation, the similarity in style and tone between the single's cover and this cover seems, to us at least, to indicate that this cover is the real McCoy.

All of the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the packaging of the Clay CD does not seem to have had any effect on the Ruben CD, which will be titled Soulful and which actually has its cover art released, even though it won't ship until Veterans' Day (Nov. 11).

In preparation for his album launch, Clay has a heavy appearance schedule. After his well-received performance of "This Is the Night" at the Miss America pageant, Clay will appear on everything from Nickelodeon (Oct. 4) to an ABC primetime special (Oct. 9) to NBC's Tonight Show (Oct. 13) to ABC and CBS morning shows (Oct. 15-17). During this time, Ruben, whose last major initiative was backing an Alabama tax hike, which was resoundingly trounced at the polls this month, will be watching ... and waiting his turn.












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