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Metallica & San Francisco Symphony’s ‘S&M2’ Starts Atop Rock, Classical Charts

Metallica scores its third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart, as S&M2 bows atop the ranking dated Sept. 12.

Recorded live on Sept. 6 and 8, 2019, with the San Francisco Symphony, the set arrives with 56,000 equivalent album units earned in the tracking week ending Sept. 3, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Of that sum, 53,000 units are via album sales.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-enshrined band now boasts three Top Rock Albums No. 1s since the chart began in 2006. Death Magnetic ruled for five weeks in 2008 and Hardwired… to Self-Destruct reigned for six in 2016-17.

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The new set also starts atop the Hard Rock Albums chart, where it’s Metallica’s third leader and the San Francisco Symphony’s first. On Classical Albums, the LP likewise launches at No. 1, as Metallica earns its first leader; the orchestra also leads for the first time, as it ups its count to 11 top 10s.

On the all-genre Billboard 200, S&M2 bows at No. 4, marking Metallica’s 11th top 10. S&M2‘s predecessor, S&M, debuted and peaked at No. 2 in November 1999.

As previously reported, Metallica becomes the first group, and the third act overall, with at least one new Billboard 200 top 10 in each of the last five decades. The band banked one top 10 in the ’80s (…And Justice for All, No. 6 in 1988); five in the ’90s (its No. 1 self-titled set in 1991; Load, No. 1 in 1996; Reload, No. 1 in 1997; Garage Inc., No. 2 in 1998; and S&M, No. 2 in 1999); two in the ’00s (St. Anger, No. 1 in 2003; and Death Magnetic, No. 1 in 2008); two in the ’10s (Metallica: Through the Never, No. 9 in 2013; and Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, No. 1 in 2016); and now one in the ’20s, with S&M2.

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The only other acts with at least one new top 10 album on the Billboard 200 in each decade from the ’80s through the ’20s are James Taylor and Ozzy Osbourne.

Concurrently, S&M2′s lead single “All Within My Hands” rules the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart for a second week and rises 5-4 on the streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Hot Hard Rock Songs list.