Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Unlimited Love leaps onto the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated April 16) at No. 1, marking the band’s second leader and first chart-topping effort since 2006’s Stadium Arcadium. The new set was released on April 1 and bows with 97,500 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending April 7, according to Luminate, formerly MRC Data. In total, the group has tallied eight top 10 albums on the Billboard 200.
Unlimited Love replaces Machine Gun Kelly’s Mainstream Sellout atop the chart (the latter falls to No. 9 in its second week), giving the list back-to-back rock albums at No. 1 for the first time in over four years. It last happened when The Killers’ Wonderful Wonderful debuted at No. 1 on the Oct. 14, 2017 chart, a week after Foo Fighters’ Concrete and Gold opened at No. 1. (Rock albums are defined as those that have hit Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart.)
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, compiled by Luminate. 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 April 16, 2022-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on April 12. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Unlimited Love’s 97,500 equivalent album units earned, album sales comprise 82,500 (it’s the top-selling album of the week); SEA units comprise 14,500 (equaling 18.96 million on-demand official streams of the set’s songs); and TEA units comprise 500.
Notably, Unlimited Love is Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in nearly 16 years — since Stadium Arcadium spent its first two weeks atop the list (May 27-June 3, 2006 charts). The last act to go longer between No. 1 albums was Celine Dion, who waited 17 years and nearly eight months between A New Day Has Come (one week at No. 1 on April 13, 2002) and Courage (one week at No. 1 on Nov. 30, 2019).
Unlimited Love notches the largest week, by equivalent album units and album sales, for any rock album in over a year. The last larger week by a rock set was registered by Paul McCartney’s McCartney III when it debuted at No. 2 on the Jan. 2, 2021-dated chart with 107,000 units — of which album sales comprised 104,000.
Unlimited Love’s first-week sales were boosted by its availability across multiple color vinyl LP variants and special editions (including versions for Target, Walmart, Amazon, independent record stores and the band’s official webstore). All told, the set sold 38,500 copies on vinyl — the largest sales week for an album on vinyl in 2022, and the second-biggest sales week for a rock album on vinyl since Luminate began tracking music sales in 1991. Only the debut frame of Jack White’s Lazaretto (40,000) posted a larger week for a rock album on vinyl (June 28, 2014 chart) since 1991. Thus, Unlimited Love claims the largest week on a vinyl for a rock album by a group in that 31-year span.
Unlimited Love was ushered in by the No. 1 hit “Black Summer” on the Alternative Airplay chart — the band’s 14th leader on the tally. The new album is the group’s first with guitarist John Frusciante since Stadium Arcadium in 2006. The new set’s release was celebrated with some Los Angeles-specific celebrations — appropriate, since the band formed in L.A. The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 31, staged a surprise show at the Fonda Theater on April 1 and played an in-store performance at Amoeba Music in Hollywood on April 7 (the store’s first in-store performance in over two years, and first at its new location). The group’s Flea even played “The Star-Spangled Banner” on bass guitar at the Los Angeles Lakers’ home game against the Denver Nuggets on April 3. (No doubt Lakers fans were also delighted to know that Unlimited Love was also pressed on limited edition purple and gold vinyl.)
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Lil Durk’s chart-topping 7220 holds in the runner-up spot with 51,000 equivalent album units earned (down 18%). A trio of other former No. 1s is next, with the Encanto soundtrack steady at No. 3 (50,000; down 14%), Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album stationary at No. 4 (44,500; down less than 1%) and Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour a non-mover at No. 5 (40,000; up 20% following her multiple Grammy Award wins on April 3, as well as her performance of “Drivers License” on the CBS-TV awards broadcast).
The Weeknd’s compilation The Highlights is likewise steady at No. 6 with 34,000 equivalent album units earned (up 2%).
Yeat’s 2 Alive returns to the top 10, bolting from No. 69 to No. 7 with 31,500 units (up 141%), following its deluxe reissue on April 1 with additional bonus tracks. The album debuted and peaked at No. 6 on the March 5-dated chart.
Drake’s former leader Certified Lover Boy falls 7-8 with nearly 31,000 equivalent album units earned (down 1%), Machine Gun Kelly’s Mainstream Sellout falls 1-9 in its second week (30,500; down 67%) and Doja Cat’s Planet Her is pushed down 9-10 (30,000; up 4% following her televised Grammy Award win on April 3 for best pop duo/group performance for the album’s “Kiss Me More,” featuring SZA).
Luminate, formerly MRC Data, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes an exhaustive and thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data, removing any suspicious or unverifiable activity using established criteria before final chart calculations are made and published. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious and unverifiable is disqualified prior to the final calculation.
© 2022 PMC. All rights reserved.