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Audioslave's "Exile" Tops Chart

Rockers' second CD beats out comeback rapper Common

June 1, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Audioslave's second album, Out of Exile, stormed the chart this week, selling 263,000 copies to take the top spot, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is 100,000 more than the former Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden members moved with their self-titled 2002 debut -- which came in at Number Seven -- marking their transition from supergroup curiosity to rock & roll force. At Number Two is the comeback of Chicago rapper Common, Be, which moved 185,000 units with more than a little production help from hip-hop's man of the moment Kanye West. This is a massive improvement on the Chicago rapper's last album, 2002's Electric Circus, which sold a third that many CDs to open at a limp Number Forty-Seven.

Still holding at Number Three is Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi. The album hailed as the pop diva's return refuses to budge, selling 179,000 copies in its seventh week. Rounding out the Top Five are last week's chart toppers: The first half of Los Angeles metal band System of a Down's double album, Mezmerize, fell three places to Four (169,000); while country mega-star Toby Keith's latest, Honkytonk University, dropped three to Five (128,000). Dave Matthews Band's sixth studio effort, Stand Up, also continued to slip down the Top Ten, moving from Number Four to Seven (107,000) in its third week out.

Other big debuts this week included Gorillaz' second studio album, Demon Days. Blur frontman Damon Albarn's animated hip-hop/dub concept band sold 107,000 copies to take Number Six, with the aid of avant producer Danger Mouse -- more than double the sales of their 2001 self-titled debut, which opened at a distant Thirty-Nine. Karma & Effect, the second effort from Seether, debuted at Number Eight (82,000): a breakthrough for the South African-born, Southern Cali-based rockers, whose 2004 debut Disclaimer didn't crack the Top Forty.

Unhappy rockers this week include power pop band Weezer, whose fifth record, Make Believe, fell eight spots from Number Nine to Number Seventeen (55,000), predicting a short Top Twenty lifespan for the CD. And Detroit R&B crooner Kem, whose sophomore album Album II gave him a breakthrough Number Five debut last week, dropped fourteen places to Number Nineteen (54,000). New York rapper (and former Jay-Z protege) Memphis Bleek's fourth album, 534, went the same route, from a solid Number Eleven debut straight to a no-good Forty-Three (25,000) in just its second week. The novelty appeal of "hick-hop" newcomer Cowboy Troy's debut, Loco Motive, also seems to have worn off, plummeting from its Number Fifteen opening to Forty-Four (25,000).

Next week, former Brit-pop titans Oasis try to stage a comeback of their own with their seventh album, Don't Believe the Truth

This week's Top Ten: Audioslave's Out of Exile; Common's Be; Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi; System of a Down's Mezmerize; Toby Keith's Honkytonk University; Gorillaz' Demon Days; Dave Matthews Band's Stand Up; Seether's Karma & Effect; Il Divo's Il Divo; Gwen Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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