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On the Charts: George Strait Heads Directly to Number One

August 19, 2009 11:32 AM ET

The Big News: There was George Strait, and there was everybody else this week. For what feels like the hundredth time in his long career, Strait and his newest album Twang debuted at Number One on the Top 200 with 155,000 copies, nearly triple the amount sold by the week's Number Two album, Neil Diamond's Hot August Night NYC. Strait ranks sixth all time on Soundscan's top-selling artists list, behind the Beatles, Metallica and the Number One seller, Garth Brooks. The Top Five also saw Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. land at Three, Cobra Starship's Hot Mess debut at Four with 42,000 copies and the Kings of Leon's Only By The Night hit Number Five.

Over on the all-encompassing Top Comprehensive charts, where sales of Michael Jackson's albums are eligible, Jackson's Number Ones landed at Number Two behind Strait, selling another 80,000 copies. Essential Michael Jackson also cracked the Top Five on the Comprehensive Charts, coming in at Five with 42,000 sold. On the Catalog Album charts, Jackson continues to dominate despite the fact that sales have slipped in recent weeks, though the King of Pop still hold nine of the Top 10 spots.

Debuts: Three debuts managed to crack the Top Five of the Top 200, but after that the charts are barren of noteworthy new releases. Hip-hop "supergroup" Slaughterhouse, featuring Joe Budden and Joell Ortiz, entered at 26 with 18,000 copies sold. 3,500 people celebrated the 40th anniversary of Woodstock by picking up the compilation Woodstock - 40 Years On: Back to the Yasgur's Farm, which bowed at 120.

Last Week's Heroes: There were no heroes last week, as Sugarland's Live on the Inside became the lowest-selling Number One debut in Soundscan history. Sugarland went from Number One to out of the Top 10 after only seven days as Live on the Inside fell to Number 11 in its second week, thanks to a 63 percent sales drop. Last week's Number Three album, Gloriana's self-titled disc, plummeted even further, falling out of the Top 20 before settling at Number 21. With this week being devoid of major releases, expect even smaller sales next week.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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