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On The Charts: Bob Dylan Earns Fifth Career Number One

May 6, 2009 11:47 AM ET

The Big News: As expected, Bob Dylan's Together Through Life cracked the 100,000-sold mark easily, scanning nearly 125,000 copies during its first week in stores, and earning the 67-year-old songwriter his fifth chart-topping debut. While our current cover star failed to replicate the sales showing of 2006's Modern Times (which sold 192,000 copies), he did manage to fend off stiff competition from Rick Ross and Miley Cyrus, who posed the biggest threat, as the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack held at Number Two (with sales reported at 86,000). Meanwhile, Lady Gaga's The Fame climbs two spots to Number Five, selling another 40,000 units on the strength of the songstress' latest hit single, "Poker Face."

Debuts: After Dylan, the week's biggest debut belongs to Heaven and Hell (or, for you metal purists, the Dio-era Black Sabbath). The band's set The Devil You Know enters the chart at Number Eight, debuting with just over 30,000 units sold. Opening at Number 10 with 26,000 scans is the Starbucks-powered world music compilation Playing For Change.

Last Week's Heroes: As is often the case, the second-week sales slump took its toll on last week's chart champ Rick Ross. His Deeper Than Rap suffered a 68 percent dip at retail, and falls this week to Number four with 51,000-plus sold. And after spending her first week outside of the Billboard Top 10, country crossover Taylor Swift returns to the fold at Number Nine, as her Fearless LP sold close to 49,000 units, for a grand, 25-week sales tally of more than 3.1 million.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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