Chart Beat

Foo Fighters Land Third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart With ‘Medicine at Midnight’

Foo Fighters
Andreas Neumann

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters land their third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart (dated Feb. 20) as Medicine at Midnight debuts atop the tally. The set sold 64,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 11, according to MRC Data. The band previously led the tally with Concrete and Gold in 2017 and Wasting Light in 2011.

Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now MRC Data. Pure album sales were the measurement solely utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. The new Feb. 20-dated chart (where Medicine debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's website on Feb. 17 (one day later than usual, owed to the Presidents’ Day holiday in the U.S. on Feb. 15). For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Of Medicine at Midnight’s first-week sales of 64,000 across all formats (CD, vinyl LP, digital download, etc.), 36% came from vinyl LP sales: 23,000, as it starts at No. 1 on the Vinyl Albums chart). CDs and digital albums split the remainder of the first-week sales, with 20,000 each.

Medicine’s 23,000 in vinyl LP sales marks the third-largest sales week for a hard rock album since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991. The only bigger weeks logged by a hard rock set were Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy (34,000 in its debut frame, week ending Nov. 27, 1994) and Queen’s Greatest Hits (slightly more than 23,000; week ending Nov. 19, 2020).

Medicine also debuts at No. 1 on the Tastemaker Albums chart, which ranks the top-selling albums at independent and small chain music stores. Sixteen percent of the album’s first-week sales (10,000) came via indie and small chain stores.

All told, Foo Fighters have notched nine top 10s on the Top Album Sales chart, first visiting the region with the band’s second album, 1997’s The Colour and the Shape. It peaked at No. 10 on the chart dated June 7, 1997. The act’s self-titled 1995 debut topped out at No. 23.

At No. 2 on the latest Top Album Sales chart, Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album is pushed down from the top slot, despite a gain of 49%, with 37,000 copies sold. Wallen doubles up in the top three, as his previous album, If I Know Me, surges 17-3 with its best sales week yet, 10,000 (up 101%). Wallen is the first male artist to have two out of the top three on Top Album Sales since the May 14, 2016-dated chart, when Prince had Nos. 2 and 3 (with The Very Best of Prince and Purple Rain) following his death. Wallen is also the first artist to have two country albums in the top three at the same time since Feb. 15, 1992, when Garth Brooks was Nos. 1 and 3 with Ropin’ the Wind and No Fences.

During the new chart’s tracking week, on Feb. 10, Wallen issued a five-minute video via social media addressing the Feb. 2 emergence of an earlier video showing him using the N-word. Reaction to the Feb. 2 clip was swift -- he was “suspended” from his recording contract with Big Loud Records, his music was removed from dozens of high profile playlists on streamers such as Apple Music and Spotify, and multiple radio groups dropped his music.

The Weeknd’s new best-of compilation The Highlights arrives at No. 4 with 10,000 sold. The album was released on Feb. 5, two days before he played the Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 7. His last studio set, 2020’s After Hours, bolts 26-8 with just over 6,000 sold (up 67%).

One Direction’s former No. 1 Up All Night makes a grand re-entry at No. 5 with a little over 7,000 sold, thanks to the Feb. 5 arrival of the 2012 album on green vinyl, exclusive to Urban Outfitters. Vinyl sales account for effectively all of the album’s sales for the week.

Taylor Swift’s Evermore climbs 14-6 (7,000; up 26%), Ariana Grande’s Positions zooms 89-7 (a little more than 6,000; up 263%, owed to a surge in sales of a signed CD sold via Grande’s webstore), Harry StylesFine Line ascends 10-9 (6,000; down 22%) and Barry Gibb’s Barry Gibb & Friends: Greenfields – The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1 rises 16-10 (just under 6,000 sold; up 10%).