Vampire Weekend's 'Father of the Bride' Album Bows at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart
The band's third chart-topper logs the biggest week for a rock album in 2019.
The set earned 138,000 equivalent album units in the week ending May 9, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 119,000 were in album sales. Both sums represent the largest for any rock album in 2019.
Father was released on May 3 via Spring Snow/Columbia Records. It is the group’s first album with Columbia Records after issuing three studio albums and a live set through XL Recordings.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new May 18-dated chart, where Father debuts at No. 1, will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on May 14.
Vampire Weekend previously led the Billboard 200 with the act’s last two studio releases, Modern Vampires of the City (in 2013) and Contra (2010).
Of Father’s 138,000 unit start, its 119,000 in album sales were driven largely by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer for the act’s upcoming tour, which launches in June.
Father secures the largest week for a rock album in 2019 in both units and album sales, and the biggest since Mumford & Sons’ Delta debuted at No. 1 with 230,000 units (214,000 in album sales) on the list dated Dec. 1, 2018.
Father earned just 1,000 in TEA units and 18,000 in SEA units. The latter figure translates to 20.29 million on-demand audio streams for the set’s songs in its opening week -- the biggest debut streaming week for a rock album in 2019. The only rock albums to log larger streaming frames this year were two Queen albums that were released before 2019: the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack and its Greatest Hits album, both with multiple frames over 20.29 million clicks in 2019.
Father marks the third No. 1 album for Columbia in 2019, following two other rock titles: Hozier’s Wasteland, Baby! (Rubyworks/Columbia) and Jack White’s Boarding House Reach (Third Man/Columbia). Notably, Columbia lays claim to all three of the No. 1 rock albums this year.
Back on the new Billboard 200 chart, a pair of former No. 1s follow Vampire Weekend, as Billie Eilish’s When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? climbs 4-2 (70,000 units; down 8%) and Khalid’s Free Spirit rises 5-3 (49,000 units; down 15%).
At No. 4, rapper/singer PnB Rock notches his first top 10 effort, and third top 40 entry, as TrapStar Turnt PopStar starts with 42,000 equivalent album units (just 2,000 in album sales). The album’s debut was largely powered by streaming activity, tallying 39,000 SEA units (which translates to 45.73 million on-demand audio streams for its songs in its debut week). PnB Rock previously hit the top 40 of the Billboard 200 with Catch These Vibes (No 17 on Dec. 9, 2017) and GTTM: Goin Thru the Motions (No. 28 on Feb. 4, 2017).
Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next ascends 6-5 with 41,000 units (up 6%) while P!nk’s Hurts 2B Human falls 1-6 in its second week (36,000 units; down 68%). ScHoolboy Q’s CrasH Talk dips 3-7 in its second week (33,000 units; down 59%), BTS’ Map of the Soul: Persona moves 7-8 (30,000 units; down 8%) and Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys rises 12-9 (a little more than 28,000 units; down 1%).
Juice WRLD’s Death Race for Love rounds out the new top 10, lifting 11 to 10 with 28,000 units (though down 5%).