Metallica Hit No. 1 With Re-Load

December 3, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Metallica dropped another load on the music industry and consumers alike as the band's seventh full-length studio album, Re-Load, sold 435,000 units to debut at No. 1 for the week ending Nov. 23, according to SoundScan figures provided by the group's label, Elektra Entertainment.

It marks the biggest first-week sales of any rock title released this year and trails only first-week tallies by such rappers as the Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Wu-Tang Clan and Puff Daddy. Album sales have picked up tremendously as the Christmas season approaches. This week's total was 6.3 million units compared with 4.09 million last week. Showing incredible staying power, the band has been able to continue its selling ways through a variety of changing musical trends that have occurred throughout the band's 14-year recording career.

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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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