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AC/DC’s ‘Power Up’ Charges In at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart

AC/DC’s 'Power Up' debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, giving the legendary rock band its third chart-topping set. 

AC/DC’s Power Up debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, giving the legendary rock band its third chart-topping set.

The new studio effort was released via Columbia Records on Nov. 13 and starts with 117,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 19, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. AC/DC previously hit No. 1 with 2008’s Black Ice and 1981’s For Those About to Rock (We Salute You). All told, Power Up is AC/DC’s 26th charting album, and 10th top 10.

Also in the top 10, Future and Lil Uzi Vert’s first collaborative album, Pluto x Baby Pluto, debuts at No. 2, Chris Stapleton’s Starting Over enters at No. 3, Queen‘s Greatest Hits reaches the top 10 for the first time and the prolific YoungBoy Never Broke Again clocks his fourth top 10 of 2020 with the arrival of Until I Return at No. 10.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Nov. 28-dated chart (where Power Up debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Nov. 24. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Of Power Up’s 117,000 units earned in the tracking week ending Nov. 19, album sales comprise 111,000, SEA units comprise 5,000 (equaling 7.8 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs) and 1,000 comprise TEA units.

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Power Up charges in with the largest sales week of 2020 for a rock album. The last rock set to log a larger sales frame was Tool’s Fear Inoculum (248,000; chart dated Sept. 14, 2019).

Power Up’s sales were assisted by some retailer exclusive editions, vinyl variants and an elaborate limited edition deluxe CD package that retails for $49. (The track list across all versions of the album — CD, vinyl and digital download — is identical.)

The limited edition deluxe CD package is a pricey affair because the CD is housed in a box that features a red light-up AC/DC logo on its cover and has a built-in speaker that plays the opening bars of the album’s lead single, “Shot in the Dark.” (The company that made this deluxe set also made the similarly priced limited edition CD package for Tool’s Fear Inoculum, which was released with a 4-inch HD screen, exclusive video footage and a speaker.)

Overall, Power Up sold 71,000 on CD across all of its editions, 23,000 as a digital download album and 16,000 on vinyl LP. Power Up is the first hard rock album to hit No. 1 in over a year, since Tool’s Fear Inoculum bowed at No. 1 on the Sept. 14, 2019-dated chart.

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Power Up is the band’s 17th studio album and its first since 2014’s Rock or Bust and the death of founding member Malcolm Young in 2017. Power Up also brings singer Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams all back to the fold, alongside lead guitarist Angus Young and rhythm guitarist Stevie Young (who replaced his uncle, Malcolm, in 2014). Johnson was sidelined in 2016 (during the Rock or Bust World Tour) due to hearing loss issues, Rudd served a home-detention sentence in 2015 for methamphetamine possession and threatening to kill a former staff member and Williams announced his retirement in 2016.

Power Up was announced on Oct. 6 and was led by the single “Shot in the Dark.” The track raced to No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart dated Nov. 14 — marking the group’s fifth leader, and first No. 1 since 2008. The tune has also climbed to No. 13 on the airplay-, sales- and streaming-based Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.

The album was ushered in with interviews with an array of press and media outlets, including Apple Music’s Zane Lowe (Nov. 10), Associated Press (Nov. 12), USA Today (Nov. 13) and NPR’s Morning Edition (Nov. 18).

Lastly, with Power Up bowing at No. 1, AC/DC has now claimed top 10-charting albums in the 1980s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s and ’20s. The band is the fifth act to achieve top 10s in each of the last five decades (alongside Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Springsteen and James Taylor) and second band or group to do so (after Metallica).

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At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Future and Lil Uzi Vert’s first collaborative album, the surprise release Pluto x Baby Pluto, bows with 105,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 99,000 comprise SEA units (equaling 136.11 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs), 5,500 comprise album sales and a little over 500 comprise TEA units. The set was announced and released on Nov. 13, and got a mid-week bounce by the release of a deluxe edition on Nov. 17 with eight additional tracks, bringing its total track count to 24.

Pluto x Baby Pluto is the second top 10 album for Future in 2020, following his No. 1 High Off Life (May 30). As for Lil Uzi Vert, he too clocks his second top 10 of 2020, as he bowed at No. 1 with Eternal Atake on March 21.

Pluto x Baby Pluto is Future’s fourth collaborative set to chart, following joint efforts with Juice WRLD (Future & Juice WRLD Present… WRLD on Drugs, No. 2 in 2018), Young Thug (Super Slimey, No. 2 in 2017) and Drake (What a Time to Be Alive, No. 1 in 2015). Lil Uzi Vert has never released a collaborative album until now.

All told, Future has now tallied 14 top 10 albums — the most among all acts in the span since his first, Pluto, in May 2012 — while Lil Uzi Vert has three.

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Chris Stapleton’s new studio album Starting Over debuts at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with 103,000 equivalent album units earned. It’s the fourth top 10 album for the singer-songwriter, and all four have reached the top three on the tally.

Of Starting Over’s first-week units, 75,000 comprise album sales, 25,000 comprise SEA units (equaling 33.01 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs) and 3,000 comprise TEA units. The 33 million streaming number represents the second-biggest debut streaming week for a country album in 2020, following Sam Hunt’s start of 36.82 million with Southside (April 18 chart).

Outside of debut weeks in 2020, Luke Combs’ 2019 release What You See Is What You Get logged five streaming weeks larger than Stapleton in 2020, and four bigger than Hunt. What You See Is What You Get tallied 34.15 million on the May 16 chart, and then surged to a genre-record of 102.26 million on Nov. 7 (following its deluxe reissue with bonus tracks). It then continued to post big streaming numbers in the following chart weeks: 59.95 million, Nov. 14; 52.87 million, Nov. 21 and 47.93 million, Nov. 28 (the current chart).

With Power Up, Pluto x Baby Pluto and Starting Over all clearing 100,000 units in their debut frames, this is the first week in which three albums have bowed with at least 100,000 units since the Feb. 29-dated chart. That week, Justin Bieber’s Changes (231,000), A Boogie Wit da Hoodie’s Artist 2.0 (111,000) and Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush (110,000) all launched with at least 100,000 (also at Nos. 1-3, respectively).

A quartet of former No. 1s follows on the new Billboard 200, as Ariana Grande’s Positions falls 1-4 in its third week (75,000 equivalent album units; down 10%), Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon dips 2-5 (53,000; down 6%), Luke CombsWhat You See Is What You Get descends 4-6 (42,000; down 8%) and Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die is steady at No. 7 (37,000; down 7%).

With Stapleton’s Starting Over and Combs’ What You See Is What You Get Both in the top 10 at the same time, it’s the first time since Dec. 7, 2019 that two country albums have occupied the top 10 concurrently. That week, Jason Aldean’s 9 debuted at No. 2, while What You See Is What You Get sat at No. 9.

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Nearly 40 years after its initial release, Queen’s Greatest Hits reaches the top 10, as the set bolts from No. 36 to No. 8 with a 133% gain in units earned (rising to 36,000). The surge is largely owed to massive vinyl sale on Nov. 14 at Walmart, where all vinyl albums in-store were marked down to $15.

In the week ending Nov. 19, Greatest Hits sold 24,000 copies across all formats (up 737%), with vinyl LPs accounting for 23,000 (up 1,006%) of that sum.

The vinyl sales were so big for Greatest Hits, it’s the top selling vinyl album in the U.S. for the week (and jumps 20-1 on Billboard’s Vinyl Albums chart) and has the second-largest sales week of 2020 for any vinyl release. It’s runner-up only to the debut frame of Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush, which sold 26,000 vinyl copies on the chart dated Feb. 29.

Greatest Hits was first released in October of 1981 and has been reissued multiple times over the ensuing decades. Before this week, a 1992 edition of Greatest Hits brought the album closest to the top 10, peaking at No. 11 on Oct. 10, 1992.

Greatest Hits includes songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” (a No. 9 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1976, later peaking at No. 2 in 1992 thanks to its revival from its inclusion in the box office hit Wayne’s World), “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (No. 1, 1980) and “Another One Bites the Dust” (No. 1 in 1980). Greatest Hits marks the ninth top 10 album for the band, joining the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack (No. 2 in 2019), Greatest Hits I, II & III: The Platinum Collection (No. 6, 2019), Classic Queen (No. 4, 1992), The Game (No. 1, 1980), Jazz (No. 6, 1979), News of the World (No. 3, 1978), A Day at the Races (No. 5, 1977) and A Night at the Opera (No. 4, 1976).

Back on the new Billboard 200, The Kid Laroi’s F*ck Love slides from its high of No. 3 to No. 9 with 35,000 equivalent album units earned (down 32%).

Closing out the top 10 is YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s new surprise mixtape Until I Return, which bows at No. 10 with 31,000 equivalent album units earned. Of Until I Return’s first-week units, 31,000 comprise SEA units (equaling 47.49 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs), 500 comprise album sales and a negligible sum comprises TEA units.

Until I Return, announced and released on Nov. 13, is YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s fourth top 10 of 2020, and sixth top 10 overall. He previously hit the region with Top (No. 1; Sept. 26), 38 Baby 2 (No. 1, May 9), Still Flexin, Still Steppin (No. 2, March 7), AI YoungBoy 2 (No. 1; Oct. 26, 2019) and Until Death Call My Name (No. 7; May 12, 2018).