AC/DC made their new album, "Black Ice," available only at Wal-Mart and through their Web site, but that hasn't limited its success: The CD not only has topped the charts in more than two dozen countries, it debuts atop the latest U.S. album chart with sales of more than 780,000 copies.
"It's overwhelming, and quite hard to take in," the legendary group's lead singer, Brian Johnson, said Wednesday after learning his group had 2008's second-biggest album debut.
"Even an old dog like me has a few more surprises in life, I guess," he said, chuckling.
The group beat out "High School Musical" for the No. 1 spot. According to figures released Wednesday by Nielsen SoundScan, "Black Ice" sold some 784,000 copies in its first week of release; the teen-oriented movie soundtrack sold about 297,000 copies. (The year's biggest album debut so far belongs to Lil Wayne, with a million copies sold of "Tha Carter III.")
In making Wal-Mart the only retailer for their album, AC/DC joined the likes of the Eagles and Journey, who have all had strong success.
"It was a win-win situation, and they decided to make it into a big thing with AC/DC merchandise and good deals with the other albums with the catalog," Johnson said. "This has been a wonderful thing."
The CD has topped the charts in 29 countries since its release in the recent days.