Can The Eagles Still Snatch No. 1 From Britney?

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Britney Spears’ Blackout is already being projected as the decisive winner on next week’s Billboard albums chart, but Eagles manager Irving Azoff tells Billboard that Britney fans shouldn’t be too sure–at least if Wal-Mart, the only place where people can buy the new Eagles album Long Road Out Of Eden, decides to throw its sales figures into the ring.

Spears’ “Blackout,” her first studio album since 2003, led Nielsen SoundScan’s Building Chart with 124,000 sold when the chart was released earlier today (Oct. 31). The Eagles’ “Long Road Out of Eden” was missing from that list, which suggests Wal-Mart will choose not to report sales from the title, as was the case with exclusive Garth Brooks albums it sold in prior years.

“If the Eagles were SoundScanning this week, even though it’s only available at one retailer, Britney wouldn’t be No. 1” on the Building Chart, said Azoff, speaking by phone Wednesday from London, where the Eagles played a showcase for media and Universal Music Group honchos at Indigo2 Club.

Billboard notes that “Wal-Mart has until the end of the tracking week to decide whether it wishes to report sales of the Eagles album” and that the chain is reporting that the album’s sales “exceeded projections by 50%,” which means we could still be looking at a soft rock coup next week. But c’mon, even if Blackout was terrible, rather than the unexpectedly decent dance-pop album it turned out to be, only the most ardent Brit-hater could honestly be rooting for the friggin’ Eagles to trump her at the last minute.

Eagles May Have Week’s Best Seller [Billboard]