Grateful Dead scores its highest charting album since 1987 on the Billboard 200 – and its biggest sales week for an album in over 25 years – as the group’s latest archival live album arrives on Billboard’s charts.
Highest Charting Album Since 1987 on Billboard 200: Grateful Dead’s new Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40: Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN 7/18/90 & 7/19/90, debuts at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart (dated Nov. 13), starting with nearly 23,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 4, according to MRC Data. All of its 23,000 units came from pure album sales, as the set was issued exclusively as a four-CD set, and limited to 25,000 numbered copies.
Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40 is Grateful Dead’s highest charting album since 1987’s In the Dark peaked at No. 6 (Aug. 22, 1987-dated chart, fueled in large part by the band’s lone top 10, or even top 40, Billboard Hot 100 hit, the No. 9-peaking “Touch of Grey”). All told, Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40 is the group’s third-highest charting album on the Billboard 200, behind In the Dark and Blues for Allah (No. 12; Oct. 25, 1975).
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 comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Nov. 13, 2021-dated chart (where Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40 debuts at No. 13), and all of Billboard’s Nov. 13-dated charts, will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Nov. 9. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Highest Debut Ever: With the No. 13 start on the Billboard 200 for Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40, the album becomes the highest-debuting title for the group. It surpasses the No. 16 arrival of Dave’s Picks, Vol. 39: The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA – 4/26/83 earlier this year (Aug. 14-dated chart).
Grateful Dead regularly releases archival live albums and other from-the-vaults recordings, and Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40 marks the fifth such project to debut from the band in 2021 on the Billboard 200.
50th Top 40-Charting Album: Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40 also marks Grateful Dead’s landmark 50th top 40-charting album on the Billboard 200. The band continues to have the most top 40 albums among groups since the chart began regularly publishing on a weekly basis in March of 1956. The only acts with more top 40 albums than Grateful Dead are Frank Sinatra (58), Elvis Presley (57), Barbra Streisand (54) and Bob Dylan (51).
Largest Sales Week for Grateful Dead in Over 25 Years: With nearly 23,000 copies sold, Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40 logs the group’s biggest sales week for an album in over 25 years. Grateful Dead last had an album sell more copies in the week ending Dec. 24, 1995, when Hundred Year Hall sold 25,000.
Further, Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40’s debut at No. 2 on Top Album Sales ties Grateful Dead’s highest rank on the 30-year-old list. The group reached No. 2 four times previously – all with other Dave’s Picks titles. (The Top Album Sales chart ranks the week’s top-selling albums by traditional album sales.)
Third No. 1 on Top Rock Albums: Dave’s Picks, Vol. 40 additionally enters at No. 1 on Top Rock Albums. It’s the act’s fourth leader and 41st top 10 on the 15-year-old chart. (Top Rock Albums ranks the week’s most popular rock albums by equivalent album units.)