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Beasties Blast Revolver

To the 5 Boroughs claims Number One

June 23, 2004 12:00 AM ET
The Beastie Boys' sixth studio set, To the 5 Boroughs, sold 360,000 copies last week, according to Nielsen SoundScan to debut Number One. While the Beasties' tally was more than enough to knock down last week's chart-topper, Velvet Revolver's Contraband (which fell to Number Three with sales of 123,000), it wasn't the welcome parade that some expected for the trio after a six-year layoff. The Beasties' previous record, Hello Nasty, hit the charts at Number One in 1998 with 680,000 sales.

Regardless of expectations, the Beasties did lead a charge that boosted overall sales in the Top 200 from 3.8 million copies last week to 4.6 million this week. Other newcomers included Celine Dion, who squeezed into the Top Ten, selling 58,000 copies of New Day: Live in Las Vegas. Fresh-faced country pop star Josh Gracin -- not to be confused with fresh-faced classical pop star Josh Groban -- jumped in at Number Eleven with his self-titled debut, which sold 57,000 copies. Phish's last album, Undermind, and Christina Milian's first, It's About Time, scored Number Thirteen and Fourteen debuts with sales of 56,000 and 55,000, respectively.

Several albums enjoyed sales spikes from the previous week, most notably Los Lonely Boys, the sibling blues trio from Texas, who after a gradual, seventeen-week ride, put their self-titled debut inside the Top Ten. The record's momentum resulted in a 16,000 sales bump from last week to 61,000 copies, climbing to Number Nine. Prince's Musicology continues to enjoy swelling sales. Despite slipping a spot from Number Five to Number Six, the album jumped 9,000 copies to 81,000.

Next week should be a bit of a free for all. Wilco's buzzy A Ghost Is Born could very well find its way into the Top Ten. And if To the 5 Boroughs takes the standard Week Two hit, it could clear the way for Usher's Confessions (which on this week held at Number Two with 169,000 copies, only a 2,000 copy dip) to slide back into Number One.

This week's Top Ten: Beastie Boys' To the 5 Boroughs; Usher's Confessions; Velvet Revolver's Contraband; Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party; Avril Lavigne's Under My Skin; Prince's Musicology; Hoobastank's The Reason; D12's D12 World; Los Lonely Boys' Los Lonely Boys; and Celine Dion's New Day: Live in Las Vegas.

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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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