More than four years after BIGBANG scored the first Korean-language K-pop album to appear on the Billboard 200 with Alive, the band returns with their long-awaited Made album that also boasts impressive chart results.
Made debuts at No. 172 on the Billboard 200 with 6,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, a little more than 4,000 were in traditional album sales -- the group's largest sales week yet for an album in the U.S. It beats their previous high, of 4,000, logged by Alive in its first week back in 2012.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Despite it arriving more than a year after its initial announcement, the Made album arguably had one of the most grand rollouts for a full-length in recent memory. Starting in May 2015, the quintet released all 11 new songs and accompanied nine of them new music videos ahead of the LP's Dec. 13 drop.
The songs exemplify the band's range of talents. From playful, futuristic hip-hop ("Bae Bae" and the just-unveiled "Fxxk It") to stunning, emotional mid-tempos ("Loser," "Let's Not Fall in Love"), there's loads of musical highlights here. But what may be most striking is the new track "Last Dance," which feels like a letter to the fans, a.k.a. the VIPs, who spent years supporting the boy band in their decade together and are even heard screaming in the final 30 seconds of the track. The coming months will mark big changes for BIGBANG as member TOP prepares to enlist in South Korea's mandatory military service at the top of 2017, but fans can at least cherish this musical love letter where the band promises, "It won't be long," according to translated lyrics.
Made's 4,000 in album sales is enough for the set to debut at No. 1 on sales-driven World Albums chart (the group’s first No. 1 on the list after three earlier Top 10s) and No. 1 on Heatseekers Albums (their first leader on the tally).
On World Digital Song Sales, BIGBANG own Nos. 2, 3 and 4 with "Fxxk It," "Last Dance" and "Girlfriend," selling 6,000, 4,000 and 3,000 downloads, respectively. Check back to Billboard.com tomorrow when all the charts are refreshed.
--Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield