On the Charts: AC/DC Leave Competition Thunderstruck

October 29, 2008 12:05 PM ET

The Big News: As predicted, AC/DC stormed to the top of the charts as Wal-Mart registers were ablaze with the beeps of 784,000 copies of Black Ice sold. The total ranks second to only Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III in terms of best first week sales this year. For AC/DC, it was their biggest-selling first week in their history on the sales charts and the first time they sat atop the Billboard chart since 1981's For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). High School Musical 3 enjoyed a good week, first topping the box office and then selling 296,000 copies of the soundtrack to land at number two. Rounding out the top five were T.I.'s Paper Trail, last week's champ Kenny Chesney and Metallica's Death Magnetic.

Debuts: Judging by the weak slate of debuts, record companies opted to avoid the bulldozing Black Ice and High School Musical franchise. Hank Williams III took 18 with Damn Right Rebel Proud, Of Montreal's Skeletal Lamping grabbed 38 and, in a sign that Christmas is just around the bend, Manheim Steamroller had two albums chart: Candlelight Christmas at 121, Christmasville at 135.

Last Week's Heroes: There weren't really any heroes last time around thanks to a slow-selling week. Ray Lamontagne was the biggest victim as Gossip in the Grain dropped from three to 17. Keane's Perfect Symmetry followed a similar path, tumbling from seven to 48. Next week, we'll find out if Pink, Snow Patrol, John Legend and Queen are enough to unseat AC/DC.

Related Stories:
The New Issue of Rolling Stone: AC/DC
AC/DC's Black Ice Tops 29 Charts Worldwide
Album Review: AC/DC, Black Ice

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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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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