Over The Counter: Paramore Nabs First No. 1; Paisley No. 2

Rock band edges out country star, who still hasn't reached the top of the Billboard 200

Rock band Paramore nabs its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, beating out Brad Paisley, who debuts at No. 2. The former's self-titled set starts with 106,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, while Paisley's "Wheelhouse" launches with 100,000.

For Paramore, it's the trio's first album since 2009's "Brand New Eyes," which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with a 175,000 start. The new album's lead single, "Now," slips off the Alternative Songs chart this week after peaking at No. 13 in March.

Paramore is the second chart-topper for the band's label, Fueled by Ramen. The label earlier hit the top with Fall Out Boy's "Infinity on High" on Feb. 24, 2007.

Meanwhile, country superstar Paisley--who has yet to tally a No. 1--grabs his fourth No. 2 album with "Wheelhouse." All four of Paisley's No. 2 sets have debuted in the runner-up slot. He's now tied with Sheryl Crow as the artists with the most No. 2 albums without a No. 1. Crow strung together four consecutive No. 2 sets between 2002 and 2008.

Paramore's reign will be short-lived, as the album should give way next week to either Fall Out Boy's "Save Rock and Roll" or Kid Cudi's "Indicud." Industry sources are forecasting a start of around 145,000 for both of them.

 

"Live," Baby, Live: Eric Church's latest chart achievement is something not often seen on the Billboard 200: a live album in the top 10. His new "Caught in the Act: Live" debuts at No. 5 with 61,000 sold. It's his second top 10, following his last studio album, 2011's No. 1 "Chief."

Since 2010, only 10 live albums have reached the top 10, including Church's latest. Of those, four were available in a CD/DVD configuration, where a live album was culled from a filmed performance. Those include Led Zeppelin's "Celebration Day," Madonna's "Sticky & Sweet Tour" and Carole King & James Taylor's "Live at the Troubadour." The remaining six were album-only affairs, with two of them by solo artists: Church and Brad Paisley. The latter's half hits/half live cuts "Hits Alive" reached No. 9 in 2010.

The other four, which weren't available as CD/DVDs, were the charity TV special-generated compilations "Hope for Haiti Now" and "12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief," and two "Passion" albums: "White Flag" and "Let the Future Begin." Both "Passion" albums feature an array of talent and were recorded at the 2012 and 2013 Passion conferences in ­Atlanta, respectively.

 

Terror Tapes: The latest album by rock band Terror, "Live by the Code," arrives at No. 1 on Heatseekers Albums with 3,000 copies sold. It's the group's first release on Victory Records after releasing two studio albums each on Trustkill and Century Media between 2004 and 2010.

Why is Terror's debut notable? Aside from the band logging its best sales frame since 2006, about 2% of the album's first-week sales come from cassettes. Yes, cassettes. According to Victory, about 70 cassettes were sold of "Live by the Code." The label produced 300 in three limited-edition colors: red, yellow and grey.

Victory wanted to create "something unique and special" for the album's release, according to head of sales Mike Howes. Since Terror has "strong ties to the beginnings of hardcore," the label thought a cassette would be a way to represent the genre's early days. The cassette was available in both a pre-order package and a stand-alone title. Both configurations came with a download of the album as well, since most music fans don't have the equipment capable of actually playing a cassette.

Terror's album was the first cassette release for Victory since 2000 and was manufactured by National Audio in Springfield, Mo.

Cassette albums from Billboard 200-charting acts haven't been a common sight for years. For example, Universal Music Group Distribution's last cassette release was Mary J. Blige's "The Breakthrough" in December 2005. More recently, in 2011, WEA Distribution issued a Web-exclusive cassette of Never Shout Never's "Time Travel" (cassettes are 1% of its 39,000 total sales). The same year, RED put out a cassette of Mike Doughty's "Yes and Also Yes" (cassettes are 3% of its 13,000 total). This week (April 16), RED released a deluxe package of Ghostface Killah's "Twelve Reasons to Die," which includes an alternative version of the album on cassette.


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