Pearl Jam Poised For No. 1 On Billboard 200

Steve Gullick
Pearl Jam: Mike McCready, Matt Cameron, Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard.

Pearl Jam is on course to nab its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart in 13 years. Industry prognosticators suggest the band's new "Backspacer," released on Sunday, Sept. 20, could shift anywhere between 175,000 to 200,000 copies by week's end. That sales figure should easily place it ahead of the competition on next week's Billboard 200 chart.

The new album -- its first not with a major label -- is sold exclusively in the United States through Target, iTunes, Pearl Jam's Web site and independent retailers.

The group's last studio release, 2006's self-titled J Records set, bowed at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 279,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan in its first week. The band last graced the No. 1 slot way back in 1996, when "No Code" became its third chart-topper when it debuted in the penthouse.

Since "No Code," the group has notched three No. 2 albums ("Yield," "Binaural" and "Pearl Jam") and a No. 5 set with "Riot Act" in 2002.

Other albums looking to enter high on the Billboard 200 chart next week include Three Days Grace's "Life Starts Now," Five Finger Death Punch's "War is the Answer," David Gray's "Draw the Line" and Mika's "The Boy Who Knew Too Much."

Next week's Billboard 200 album chart will be revealed on Wednesday, Sept. 30.