NPR's Chris Molanphy put the new Justin Timberlake album The 20/20 Experience into context with what he calls the AC/DC Rule. He describes this as follow-up albums with big first-week sales that are more a reflection on their slow-building and more highly-regarded predecessors. He named the rule after AC/DC's Back in Black and For Those About to Rock We Salute You. The former album is considered their ultimate work and has continued to sell steadily for decades, while the latter exploded upon release based on the reputation of Back in Black but hasn't fared as well critically or commercial.
Justin Timberlake And The AC/DC Rule
Molanphy gives plenty more examples of the AC/DC rule. If you'd like to visualize their chart trajectories, use our newest database Academic Charts Online, available under E-Resources: Search Articles & More: Search by Database. Watch the Product Tour video, and you'll learn how to generate a graph showing the relative sales chart positions of multiple releases.