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AC/DC’s ‘Rock or Bust’ Notches Top 5 Debut on U.S. Album Chart

AC/DC, 'Rock or Bust'

2008’s ‘Black Ice’ will keep its special status as the only AC/DC album to debut at No. 1 on the U.S. charts — at least for now.

The first-week sales data for the band’s new ‘Rock or Bust‘ LP is coming in, and it looks like they moved roughly 172,000 copies in the States — good for a No. 3 debut on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, behind Taylor Swift‘s ‘1989’ and Pentatonix’s ‘That’s Christmas to Me.’ While nothing to sniff at, those numbers are well below the heights reached by ‘Black Ice,’ both in terms of chart placement as well as raw sales.

Released in October 2008, ‘Black Ice’ sold around 784,000 copies in the U.S. during its first week, which translates to a surprisingly steep drop for ‘Rock or Bust.’ Given the massive amounts of publicity surrounding the new record — including Malcolm Young‘s departure from the lineup due to health problems and Phil Rudd‘s shocking arrest for a list of alleged criminal activities — AC/DC’s label and management are sure to be on a mission to decipher the soft demand for the final product.

Obviously, artists across all genres of music have seen their sales numbers decline in recent years  — and it’s important to note that ‘Rock of Bust’ still scored one of the biggest first-week tallies of 2014. But if albums by big-name rock legends such as AC/DC can’t make a bigger dent on the chart these days, it’s hard not to wonder if more and more acts will start talking about abandoning the album format, as Aerosmith star Joe Perry has been doing in recent months.

Another silver lining here is that the band is still No. 1 in its home country: As Noise11 reports, ‘Rock or Bust’ debuted at the top of the charts in Australia. First-week returns from elsewhere in the world indicate that the album also hit No. 1 in Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

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