AC/DC energizes album chart with 2008's second-best bow

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Remember when bands wanted to get their albums in as many stores as possible? Seems like a quaint, old-fashioned notion now, doesn’t it? AC/DC (pictured) just scored the second-best sales debut of 2008 by only making their Black Ice album available at one retail outlet, Wal-Mart, which discounted and promoted it all the way to an astonishing 784,000-copy debut. Their last studio album debuted with a mere 130K back in 2000, so absence and blue-light specials truly do make the heart grow fonder. This year, AC/DC’s number trails only the million-plus units that Lil Wayne sold his first week. A single-chain figure like theirs bodes well for Guns N’ Roses, who’ll release their even more long-awaited comeback, Chinese Democracy, exclusively at Best Buy stores next month.

The High School Musical 3 soundtrack had to settle for a second-place finish, but 297,000 copies was still an upper-class(man) debut. It pales, however, alongside the 615,000 the HSM2 album opened with last year, suggesting true mania for the franchise may be waning, in spite of the big box-office figures. Gospel duo Mary Mary had the next highest entry at No. 7 with 37,000 units, followed by alt-country hell-raiser Hank Williams III at No. 18 with 20K and traditional country barn-raiser Lee Ann Womack at No. 23 with 17K. Among holdovers on the Billboard/Nielsen SoundScan chart, the top 10 was rounded out by T.I., Kenny Chesney, Metallica, Kid Rock, Ne-Yo, Jennifer Hudson, and Lil Wayne. But the biggest rebounder was just outside the upper ranks: British songbird Adele jumped 35 spots to No. 11, selling 25,000, an increase of 131 percent, thanks to a well-received SNL gig.

On the digital songs chart, Beyonce debuted on top, as expected, with
“If I Were a Boy,” though her unit figure wasn’t as spectacular as
anticipated. The much talked about tune looks to be merely a major hit
and not quite a bona fide, world-beating, “Irreplaceable”-level
blockbuster, after being downloaded 190,000 times — not that far ahead of
the 181,000 tally for Britney’s “Womanizer,” which is now in its third
week on the chart. T.I.’s “Live Your Life” was neck and neck with
Spears’s song, settling for third with 180,000 sold. Other than Beyonce’s
chart-topping ballad, no other track debuted among the top 50 digital
songs this week.

On the digital songs chart, Beyonce debuted on top, as expected, with“If I Were a Boy,” though her unit figure wasn’t as spectacular asanticipated. The much talked about tune looks to be merely a major hitand not quite a bona fide, world-beating, "Irreplaceable"-levelblockbuster, after being downloaded 190,000 times — not that far ahead ofthe 181,000 tally for Britney’s “Womanizer,” which is now in its thirdweek on the chart. T.I.’s “Live Your Life” was neck and neck withSpears’s song, settling for third with 180,000 sold. Other than Beyonce’schart-topping ballad, no other track debuted among the top 50 digitalsongs this week.

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