Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the achievements the British/Irish quintet has made with Four’s chart-topping arrival:
- With 387,000 sold in the week ending Nov. 23, according to Nielsen SoundScan, Four earns the second-largest sales debut of the year, and the biggest week overall for a group. Only Taylor Swift’s 1989 was larger, with its 1.287 million start.
- One Direction is the only group to see their first four studio albums debut at No. 1. (They were already the only group to arrive atop the list with their first three sets.)
- They are the fourth act, overall, to have their first four studio albums debut at No. 1. They follow soloists Britney Spears (between 1999 and 2003), DMX (his first five, 1998-2003) and Beyonce (five, 2003-2013).
- Four tallies the biggest week for an album by a group since One Direction’s previous effort, Midnight Memories, started with 546,000 on the Dec. 14, 2013-dated Billboard 200 chart (reflecting the sales week ending Dec. 1).
- Four is One Direction’s fourth No. 1 album in a row, in less than three years. They previously topped the list with their debut effort, Up All Night (on the list dated March 31, 2012), Take Me Home (Dec. 1, 2012) and Midnight Memories.
- In the history of the Billboard 200 chart, only three groups have reached No. 1 with their first four studio albums: One Direction, The Monkees (between 1966-1967) and The Kingston Trio (with their first five sets, 1958-1960). While all four of One Direction’s albums debuted at No. 1, The Monkees and The Kingston Trio’s releases climbed to No. 1 after entering the chart at a lower rank. (The chart didn’t see its first debut at No. 1 until 1975, when Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy started atop the list.)
- In total, just six acts have reached No. 1 with their first four studio releases: Beyonce, DMX, The Kingston Trio, The Monkees, One Direction and Britney Spears.