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Listen: Songs of Autumn

Think of MTV's Video Music Awards (September 7) as the kickoff for the jam-packed fall-release season. Can any of these noteworthy albums help the music biz buck its recent blues?

Listen: Songs of Autumn
Guns N' Roses
Chinese Democracy
Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson
Death Magnetic
(Warner Bros.)
Brian Wilson
That Lucky Old Sun
The Cure
As yet untitled
Target Audience People in bandannas and acid-washed jeans American Idol fanatics Boys with vertebral damage We have no idea Angsty high schoolers, all grown up
Last Album + U.S. Sales Use Your Illusion I and II (1991)
11.1 million
Dreamgirls soundtrack (2006)
1.35 million
St. Anger (2003)
1.8 million
Smile (2004)
The Cure (2004)
Liner Notes Part I of a planned trilogy of albums The last Oscar-winning actress to have a solo music album? Cher. For the first time, the band wrote, recorded, and lived together in one studio, near L.A. A creepy concept album in which Wilson, as the sun, narrates between tracks. The band originally recorded a double album, but is saving the dark stuff for later.
Do the Math This album took 14 years, $13 million, four producers, and three studios. To beat Carrie Underwood for top post-A.I. debut, J.Hud needs to sell 7 million albums. Over 26 years, the band has sold 95 million copies of 11 albums. Wilson's Beach Boys had 36 top-10 hits, the most of any U.S. rock band. Of the 12 members the Cure has had since 1976, only frontman Robert Smith has been in it all along.
You Heard It First ... Online. "I.R.S." hit No. 49 on the rock chart — a first for a leaked track. In Sex and the City: The Movie, for which Hudson recorded "All Dressed in Love" On the soundtrack of the video game Rock Band In 1949. "That Lucky Old Sun" was a hit for Frankie Laine. Via iTunes. Starting May 13, the band put out a track a month to mark its 13th album.
Also Starring ... Dr Pepper. Every American gets a can if the album is released this year. Timbaland, Ne-Yo, and Diane Warren Superproducer Rick Rubin Wilson's Smile sidekick Van Dyke Parks The Cure of the '80s, according to reviews of the first single

A version of this article appeared in the September 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.