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Metallica needed only three days to move almost half a million units of its new album and become the first group to score five No. 1 debuts on the Billboard 200.
Warner Bros. moved the U.S. release of “Death Magnetic” ahead from the traditional Tuesday to ensure a global day-and-date release for the album. Despite the truncated frame, the veteran Los Angeles band’s first album in five years was its biggest opener since “Load” moved 680,000 out of the box in 1996.
“Death” is the band’s fifth consecutive No. 1 studio album. Metallica had been tied with the Beatles, U2 and Dave Matthews Band for most chart-topping bows by a group.
Meanwhile, Jessica Simpson’s chart career as a country act kicks off with a No. 4 opening for “Do You Know.” Her previous set, “A Public Affair,” opened at No. 5 with 101,000 units in 2006.
Rap mainstay LL Cool J earns his sixth consecutive top 10 debut with “Exit 13.”
Elsewhere, the late comic Mitch Hedberg debuts at No. 18 with “Do You Believe in Gosh?”
Overall album sales for the week ending Sept. 14 were 6.8 million units, up 1.3% from the previous frame but down 25% from the same week in 2007.
Billboard analyst Keith Caulfield contributed to this report.
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