Kenny Chesney Moves Down To A Deluxe Apartment

noah | October 22, 2008 3:30 am

This week’s No. 1 album is Kenny Chesney’s bummed-out Lucky Old Sun, which sold 176,000 copies in its first week on shelves–not a bad number by current standards, although slightly off from his 387,000-copy first week total of last fall’s Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. But as it turns out, the official release date for the album was yesterday, at least, if you’re going by the day on which the plain old, bell-and-whistle-free version of Sun hit stores. It’s a tactic that Sugarland employed earlier this year for the release of Love On The Inside, and to great effect: It came thisclose to outselling Miley Cyrus’ Breakout in its first week. But in these hard times, will people wait for the plain old edition to hit the shops, and cause Chesney to be the rare recipient of a second-week uptick in sales–if they buy it at all?

A look at how the two albums differ:

• The single-disc version of Lucky Old Sun has 11 tracks on it, including duets with Dave Matthews and Willie Nelson. • The double-disc version has that 11-track CD as Disc 1; Disc 2 has four live tracks, two videos (one is of the video introduction to his tour), and “a chance to be one of two lucky winners of the ‘Kick it Off with Kenny’ contest, in which the winners will be flown to the opening of Kenny’s 2009 tour (date/location are pending).”

On Amazon, the price differential between these two editions is $2 ($9.99/$11.99); at Wal-Mart, it’s $2.16 ($9.72 / $11.88); on iTunes, it’s $4 ($9.99/$13.99). Could two or four dollars separate an impulse buy from something that’s worth an extra week’s wait? First-day projections haven’t come out yet, but I’m very interested to see if the economy has resulted in “deluxe editions” not being as sales-padding as they’ve been in the past–even if they beat the albums they’re blowing out to the marketplace.

Not that these sales will prevent Chesney from being pushed aside next week–AC/DC is apparently on track to sell 800,000-plus copies of the Wal-Mart-only Black Ice. But maybe people will throw Sun in their carts alongside it?