Brilliant. R&B singer/songwriter Frank Ocean's major-label debut channel ORANGE is anticipated to sell many more units than expected. The album has attracted critical reviews and international attention after Ocean revealed that the songs were inspired by his first love—another young man.
Frank Ocean's debut studio album Channel Orange [may] launch at No. 2 with a robust 100,000 to 120,000 copies -- nearly all from Apple's iTunes Store. Ocean released "Channel Orange" one week early (July 10) to iTunes. The retailer is the sole digital seller of the album until July 17.
Channel Orange-- released by Def Jam and distributed by Universal Music Group Distribution -- is beating early, pre-release sales forecasts, which had pinned its start somewhere in the 40,000 to 50,000 range. That would have fallen in line with the bows of Odd Future's own debut studio set "The OF Tape Vol. 2" earlier this year (No. 5 with 40,000) and Odd Future member Tyler, the Creator's "Goblin" (No. 5 in 2011 with 45,000).
"If the upper range of sales holds, that would put Ocean not far off the pace of Chris Brown, whose fifth album, Fortune, snagged the #1 spot this week on sales of 135,000," adds MTV.
Ocean's debut is even more impressive despite the fact that Target has confirmed it would not sell the CD. Target was scheduled to originally stock the CD—but has announced it does not offer CDs that are released "digitally in advance of the street date," reports CNN.
Buzz surrounding Target's move not to offer the album in its stores initially focused on whether the decision had anything to do with Ocean's revelation about his same sex love. The retail giant has since defended its decision not to sell “Channel Orange,” telling CNN: "The claims made about Target’s decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false. Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand."
The Target rep continued: “Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture. Our history of partnering with diverse artists includes recent partnerships with a variety of musicians."
On Tuesday, Ocean's manager Christian Clancy backtracked on a now deleted tweet suggesting the retailer had other motivations, tweeting, "I apologize for my comments about Target. They are not carrying Franks album because it went digital first. Not for ANY other reason."
Best Buy, Wal-Mart and other big box retailers will stock the CD on its official street date of July 17.
Read our analysis of Frank Ocean's announcement at EBONY.
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