It's all about AC/DC this week as the veteran rock band notches its second No. 1 album -- and first chart-topping debut -- as "Black Ice" bows atop the Billboard 200 with 784,000. The entry marks the second-biggest sales week of the year -- trailing only the debut of Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" with 1,005,000. It's also AC/DC's best sales week since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. "Black Ice," which was released exclusively through Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and AC/DC's official Web site, is the group's first studio album since 2000 . . . In non-AC/DC news, the soundtrack from "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 297,000 . . . Meanwhile, new albums from Mary Mary, Hank Williams III and Lee Ann Womack start in the top 25.


FLASH POINTS

• AC/DC earns its second No. 1 album -- and first chart-topping debut -- as "Black Ice" bows atop the Billboard 200. The Columbia set sold a whopping 784,000 units in its first week in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The entry marks the second-biggest sales week of the year, trailing only the debut of Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" (Cash Money/Universal Motown) with 1,005,000. It's also AC/DC's best sales frame since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. But wait, there's more: 784,000 represents the biggest sales week for a rock act since November 2004, when U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" opened at No. 1 with 840,000.

• "Black Ice," which was released exclusively through Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and AC/DC's official Web site, is the group's first studio album since 2000's "Stiff Upper Lip." That set debuted and peaked at No. 7 with 130,000 in its opening week. The band has only released three studio albums since SoundScan set up shop in 1991 -- including the new "Black Ice." In 1995, "Ballbreaker" climbed in at No. 4 with 113,000.

• AC/DC last crowned the Billboard 200 in early 1982 with "For Those About to Rock We Salute You." Its classic best-sellers "Highway to Hell" and "Back in Black" peaked at Nos. 17 and 4, respectively. Those two records feature prominently on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart this week, as they rank at Nos. 4 and 1, respectively. All told, AC/DC claims a record-setting five out of the top six slots on the Pop Catalog chart -- plus the band has four other titles at Nos. 13, 19, 23 and 41. Only the Beatles and Frank Sinatra have ever placed nine or more titles simultaneously on the Pop Catalog chart . . . AC/DC's catalog was priced between $7 and $10 at Wal-Mart, while "Black Ice" carried an $11.88 tag.

• The "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" soundtrack starts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 297,000. That's the best debut sales week for a theatrical film soundtrack since November 2005, when "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " started at No. 2 with 317,000. "High School Musical 3" is the first in the film series to debut in movie theaters as opposed to on the Disney Channel. In turn, "HSM3" bowed with $42 million at the U.S. and Canada box office during the Oct. 24-26 weekend -- the highest-grossing opening for a musical . . . Last year, the "High School Musical 2" TV soundtrack debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 615,000.

• In other Billboard 200 news, Mary Mary notches its second top 10 debut as "The Sound" begins at No. 7 with 37,000 . . . Adele continues her upward climb with her "Saturday Night Live"-powered "19," as it soars 46-11 with a 131% increase . . . Hank Williams III bows at No. 18 with "Damn Right Rebel Proud" with 20,000 . . . Lee Ann Womack starts at No. 23 with "Call Me Crazy" (17,000).



The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New AC/DC Black Ice (Columbia ) *11 46 ADELE 19 (XL / Columbia / Sony Music)
*2 New SOUNDTRACK High School Music 3: Senior Year (Walt Disney ) 12 17 RIHANNA Good Girl Gone Bad (SRP / Def Jam / IDJMG)
3 2 T.I. Paper Trail (Grand Hustle / Atlantic / AG) 13 15 JONAS BROTHERS A Little Bit Longer (Hollywood )
4 1 KENNY CHESNEY Lucky Old Sun (Blue Chair / BNA / SBN) *14 21 JASON MRAZ We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. (Atlantic / AG)
*5 4 METALLICA Death Magnetic (Warner Bros. ) 15 14 YOUNG JEEZY The Recession (CTE / Def Jam / IDJMG)
6 6 KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus (Top Dog / Atlantic / AG) 16 10 JAMES TAYLOR Covers (Hear / Concord)
*7 New MARY MARY The Sound (My Block / Columbia / Sony Music) 17 3 RAY LAMONTAGNE Gossip In The Grain (RCA )
8 8 NE-YO Year Of The Gentleman (Def Jam / IDJMG) *18 New HANK WILLIAMS III Damn Right Rebel Proud (Curb )
9 5 JENNIFER HUDSON Jennifer Hudson (Arista / RMG) 19 18 SUGARLAND Love On The Inside (Mercury Nashville / UMGN)
10 12 LIL WAYNE Tha Carter III (Cash Money / Universal Motown / UMRG) 20 16 JAZMINE SULLIVAN Fearless (J / RMG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 7.07 million units
• UP 8.3% from last issue's charts: 6.53 million units
• DOWN 15.2% from same week, 2007: 8.34 million units
• This week: The top two albums each sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: Carrie Underwood's "Carnival Ride" stormed in at No. 1 with 527,000 while five more sets debuted in the top 10. The previous week's No. 1, Bruce Springsteen's "Magic," was pushed down to No. 12 with 51,000 (down 34%). Only the top two albums sold more than 100,000.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 20 album this week, Jazmine Sullivan's "Fearless" (J), sold 19,000.
• The No. 20 album for the same week of 2007, Matchbox Twenty's "Exile on Mainstream" (Melisma/Atlantic/AG), sold 30,000.
• Average total of the No. 20 album for the same week of the year during the past 100 years (1999-2008): 41,408.


PROGRESS REPORTS

• Carrie Underwood earns her seventh No. 1 on Hot Country Songs as "Just a Dream" jumps from No. 3 to No. 1 in its 16th week on the chart. Of Underwood's eight official country singles, all but one -- "Don't Forget to Remember Me" -- reached the top slot . . . Also on Hot Country Songs, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban notch their 20th and 18th top 10 single, respectively, as their duet "Start a Band" rises from No. 13 to No. 10.

• Eagles fly to No. 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "What Do I Do With My Heart," the band's eighth consecutive top 20 hit. The last group to notch at least that many was Backstreet Boys, who snared 11 straight top 20 singles between 1997 and 2005.

• Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy" makes a splashy bow across a bevy of Billboard's and Radio and Records' rock airplay charts -- after only five days of airplay, too. It debuts at No. 12 on Mainstream Rock, No. 15 on Active Rock, No. 37 on Modern Rock and No. 7 on Rock . . . On Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, which began in 1981, it's the band's best debut since 1991 when "Don't Cry" opened at No. 4.


A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Pink's "Funhouse," John Legend's "Evolver," Rascal Flatts' "Greatest Hits Vol. 1," Celine Dion's "My Love - Essential Collection," Toby Keith's "That Don't Make Me a Bad Guy" and the Cure's "4:13 Dream."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2007 when: Eagles' "Long Road out of Eden" landed at No. 1 with 711,000 while Britney Spears' "Blackout" settled for the runner-up slot in its debut week (290,000). The top three albums each sold more than 100,000.