One Direction has scored its second No. 1 album in less than a year, as "Take Me Home" explodes atop the Billboard 200 chart with 540,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Take Me Home," the group's second effort, follows its "Up All Night" debut, which started atop the Billboard 200 dated March 31 with 176,000 sold. That set marked the first time a U.K. group's debut album bowed at No. 1 in the 56-year history of the chart.
The vocal ensemble also becomes the first group to debut at No. 1 with its first two albums since Danity Kane strutted into the penthouse with "Welcome to the Dollhouse" in 2008 and its self-titled debut in 2006.
Further, One Direction is the second act this year to notch a pair of No. 1 albums within 12 months' time: Justin Bieber did it with "Believe" in July, which came eight months after he bowed at No. 1 with "Under the Mistletoe."
The launch of "Take Me Home" is right on target with the number that industry forecasters were projecting last week. Label sources said on Nov. 14 that the album was aiming to start with between 500,000 and 575,000.
Our usual recap of the top 10 selling albums will be counted down on Wednesday (Nov. 21).
( Editor's note: This story was updated on Nov. 21 to clarify that "Take Me Home" earned the third largest debut of the year, not third largest overall sales week.)