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Metallica Scores Best Debut on Mainstream Rock Songs in Five Years With San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Collab

Metallica earns the highest debut on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart in five years, as “All Within My Hands,” with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, bows at No. 12 on the list dated July 25.

Originally released as the closing track on Metallica’s 2003 studio album St. Anger, the song was included in two 20th anniversary concerts last September commemorating Metallica’s 1999 S&M concerts, also with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

The new live take, along with an S&M2 version of the band’s classic “Nothing Else Matters,” was released July 15. Both new versions with the SFSO will appear on the album S&M2, due Aug. 28.

With five days of availability after its release in the week ending July 19, “Hands” launches at No. 12 on Mainstream Rock Songs. It’s the chart’s highest arrival since Shinedown’s “Cut the Cord” started at No. 9 in July 2015.

“Hands” marks Metallica’s 38th appearance on Mainstream Rock Songs, which began in 1981. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band boasts the ninth-most entries among all acts.

Most Mainstream Rock Songs Appearances
50, U2
48, Tom Petty (solo and with the Heartbreakers)
47, Van Halen
46, John Mellencamp
45, Pearl Jam
44, Aerosmith
42, Rush
42, Bruce Springsteen (solo and with the E Street Band)
38, Metallica

“Hands” is Metallica’s second single from an S&M concert to reach Mainstream Rock Songs. “All Leaf Clover,” from the 1999 shows, ruled for seven weeks beginning in January 2000.

Concurrently, “Hands” bows at No. 7 on the all-rock-format Rock Airplay list with 3.9 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It’s Metallica’s best rank in the chart’s 11-year history, topping the No. 12 peak of “Atlas, Rise!” in February 2017. The No. 7 start is the best for any song in 2020 and the highest since Green Day’s “Father of All…” started at No. 3 in September 2019.

Aiding its airplay impressions, “Hands” is bubbling under the Alternative Airplay list. Should it chart, it would be Metallica’s first entry since “Cyanide” in early 2009.

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