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On the Charts: Carrie Underwood Rules Debuts, "American Idol" Kingdom

October 31, 2007 12:20 PM ET

The Big News: Carrie Underwood continued her quest to become the most successful American Idol ever, as her new album Carnival Ride cruised to the top of the Billboard charts with 527,101 copies sold in its debut week. By comparison, Kelly Clarkson, Underwood's closest AI competitor, sold 291,000 copies when My December debuted in June. Underwood dominated her fresh competition, selling 400,000-plus more copies than the number two, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand. Country's Gary Allan took the third spot, while System of a Down's Serj Tankian's first solo album Elect the Dead scored fourth with 65,998 copies.

Debuts: Prog-revivalists Coheed & Cambria's No World For Tomorrow entered the chart at number six with 61,849 units shifted while Neil Young's Chrome Dreams II grabbed the eleven hole and Say Anything's double-disc In Defense Of the Genre debuted at twenty-seven with 24,750. Further down the chart, Ryan Adams' new EP Follow The Lights came in at forty, while Ween's La Cucharacha came in at a fitting (for the band in question) sixty-nine. RS Breaking Artist Hurricane Chris hit the chart at twenty-four.

Last Week's Heroes: Defending champion Bruce Springsteen's Magic tumbled on down to twelve, thanks to a thirty-four percent sales drop. Last week's runner-up, Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Jesus, stayed in the top ten by grasping on to seven. The remainder of the chart, sans debuts, stayed relatively the same, but we expect changes by this time next week, when Britney Spears' Blackout and the new Backstreet Boys album should factor into the equation.

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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.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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