Judas Priest Debut At No. 1 On Top Rock Albums
The rock icons concurrently notch their first top 10 on the Billboard 200. Plus, chart action for the Dirty Heads, alt-J, Counting Crows and Paul McCartney
After 40 years and 17 studio albums, Judas Priest score their highest-charting set. "Redeemer of Souls" marks the British heavy metal group's first leader on Top Rock Albums and first top 10 on the Billboard 200 (No. 6), selling 33,000 first-week copies (with physical sales accounting for 75 percent of total sales), according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The band's previous studio album established their prior best peaks: 2008's "Nostradamus" reached No. 5 on Top Rock Albums and No. 11 on the Billboard 200, starting with 42,000 sold. Judas Priest released their debut album "Rocka Rolla" in 1974 and first charted on the Billboard 200 in 1978 with "Stained Class" (No. 173 peak). Their only song to chart on the Hot 100 is 1982's "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" (No. 67).
"Redeemer" is the group's first set without co-founder K.K. Downing and with new guitarist Richie Faulkner.
NEW 'SOUND': The Dirty Heads also notch their highest rank on Top Rock Albums (No. 2) and first top 10 on the Billboard 200 (No. 8) as "Sound of Change" starts with 21,000 sold. The set debuts at No. 1 on Alternative Albums. Lead single "My Sweet Summer" rises 12-10 on Alternative Songs, marking the band's first top 10 since their breakthrough hit "Lay Me Down," featuring Rome, which ruled for 11 weeks in 2010.
ALT ROCK: A new track from U.K. Mercury Prize-winners alt-J, "Left Hand Free," snags the Hot Shot Debut on Hot Rock Songs (No. 22), bowing with 10,000 downloads sold. The song quickly shot to the top of the real-time Billboard Twitter Trending 140 chart the morning of its release (July 7) and debuts on the list's weekly recap at No. 38.
"Free" is the second Hot Rock Songs entry from the band's sophomore album (due Sept. 22), following "Hunger of the Pine," which re-enters Hot Rock Songs at a new peak (No. 41).
FAB 140: Also topping the Trending 140 on July 7, Paul McCartney's "Early Days" debuts at No. 42 on Billboard Twitter Top Tracks. McCartney premiered a video for the song, from his 2013 album "New," that features Johnny Depp. It's the third appearance that Depp has made in a McCartney clip, following "My Valentine" in 2012 and "Queenie Eye" last year.
CROWS FLY: Counting Crows debut on Hot Rock Songs at No. 33 with "Palisades Park," a more than eight-minute tribute to the New Jersey amusement park of the same name that closed in 1971. The song is accompanied by a short film, produced by Vanesa Wilkey Escabar and directed by Bill Fishman, that follows an older man reminiscing about growing up with his best friend as two punk kids around the park, exploring drug use and sexuality. The band's sixth studio album, "Somewhere Under Wonderland" (due Sept. 2), is its first since 2008 and first on Capitol Records.
Speaking of New Jersey, the state's Gaslight Anthem debut on Hot Rock Songs with "Get Hurt" (No. 43), the title track off their forthcoming fifth studio album.
RISE RISES: Rise Against jump 11-1 to lead Hard Rock Digital Songs with "I Don't Want to Be Here Anymore." The track surges by 86 percent to 8,000 downloads sold. The punk band's seventh studio album, "The Black Market," was released Tuesday (July 15) and is due on next week's charts.