Arcade Fire debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with “Reflektor,” selling 140,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
This is the band’s second No. 1 album. It also bowed atop the list with its last set, 2010’s “The Suburbs.” However, that record started with a slightly larger figure: 156,000.
“Reflektor” is distributed by Universal Music Group, the band’s first album with major distribution. Its previous sets went through Warner Music’s indie distribution arm Alternative Distribution Alliance. Another change in the world of Arcade Fire is that it has a new partner in Capitol Records, which is promoting the album to radio. (The band is still with its longtime label Merge Records, which celebrates its sixth top 10 with “Reflektor.”)
Last week’s No. 1, Katy Perry’s “PRISM,” falls to No. 2 with 92,000 and a 68% sales decline. That second-week dip is the smallest for a No. 1 debut since August, when the Civil Wars’ self-titled album fell by 66% in its second frame. Of the 10 No. 1 debuts after that (not including Arcade Fire), the largest second-week dip was Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2),” which dropped by 80%. Of the 10, only five declined by 70% or less.
Arcade Fire leads six debuts in the top 10 this week, as the group is joined by a pair of Christmas releases, two new country efforts and Linkin Park’s remix album “Recharged.”
As forecast Nov. 1, Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red” is this week’s second-highest new entry, as it starts at No. 3 with 70,000. It’s the pop star’s first holiday album and her sixth top 10 set. (All of her top 10 efforts have debuted in the top three as well.)
Clarkson is joined by a second Christmas set in the top five, as the Robertsons’ “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas” debuts at No. 4 with 69,000. The album features the cast of A&E’s hit reality show “Duck Dynasty” singing familiar holiday favorites, with a few new original tunes in the mix. It includes collaborations with country stars George Strait, Luke Bryan, Josh Turner and Alison Krauss.
With Clarkson and “Duck the Halls” starting at Nos. 3 and 4, this is the first time that two Christmas albums have concurrently debuted in the top five. The simultaneous top five debuts are unusual, as the release dates of each season’s big holiday albums are usually spread out across a series of weeks in late October and early November. Thus, there is less of a chance for multiple titles to concurrently debut at the top of the chart.
As we get closer to Thanksgiving and the early part of December, more Christmas sets will crowd the top 10. Last Christmas season, there were two weeks where there were four holiday sets in the top 10 at the same time (the charts dated Dec. 15 and Dec. 29, 2012).
Meanwhile, back in this week’s top 10, Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” slips 3-5 in its sixth week, with 38,000 (down 13%).
Country singer Thomas Rhett’s first full-length album, “It Goes Like This,” debuts at No. 6 with 36,000. It also bows at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums chart, behind the “Duck the Halls” effort at No. 1. Rhett’s album’s title track is currently enjoying its ninth week in the top 10 on the Country Airplay chart, having previously spent three weeks at No. 1.
Right behind Rhett on the Billboard 200 is fellow country singer Toby Keith with his new album, “Drinks After Work.” The album enters with 35,000 and marks Keith’s 14th top 10 on the Billboard 200 and 21st top 10 on the Country Albums tally.
Rounding out the debuts in the top 10 is Linkin Park’s “Recharged,” which starts at No. 10 with nearly 33,000. It’s the rock band’s eighth top 10 album and second remix release. It follows “Reanimation,” which debuted and peaked at No. 2 in 2002.
As for the other holdovers in the top 10, Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” falls 5-8 with 34,000 (down 14%) and Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz” descends 4-9 with 33,000 (down 24%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Eminem’s “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna, debuts at No. 1 with 373,000 downloads. It’s the biggest sales week for a song since September, when Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” bowed at No. 1 with 477,000. “The Monster” logs the largest sales week for any Eminem song since 2010, when “Not Afraid” debuted at No. 1 with 379,000.
“The Monster” easily beat industry projections for the song’s first week. Predictions were pegging it to start at around 300,000.
“The Monster” is also Eminem’s ninth No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart, tying him with Perry for the second-most leaders on the tally. They are both behind Rihanna, who now has 13 (counting her “Monster” collaboration).
Eminem has two more songs in the top 10 of the Digital Songs chart this week: “Survival” jumps 34-6 with 140,000 (up 240%) and “Rap God” dips 8-9 with 131,000 (up 23%). He’s only the second act to have scored three concurrent songs in the top 10 this year, following Perry on the Oct. 19 chart.
Behind Eminem this week at No. 2 is One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” which starts with a stronger-than-expected 305,000. Sources had forecast the tune to launch with 250,000-275,000.
“Story of My Life” is the third song from One Direction to debut with sales of more than 300,000. It follows “Best Song Ever” (322,000) and “Live While We’re Young” (341,000).
With Eminem and One Direction both debuting at Nos. 1 and 2, it’s the first time since the Oct. 20, 2012, chart that the top two titles are both new entries. That week, One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young” started at No. 1, while Taylor Swift’s “Red” opened at No. 2 with 312,000.
Lorde’s “Royals” falls from No. 1 to No. 3 this week, selling 196,000 (down 12%). The cut spent five nonconsecutive weeks atop the tally.
Perry’s “Roar” rises 8-4 with 141,000 (up 28%), Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” slides 2-5 with 140,000 (down 11%), and Passenger’s “Let Her Go” zooms 13-7 with 139,000 (up 65%). It’s the best sales week yet for the song and its first week in the top 10. “The Voice” contestant Cole Vosbury covered the song last week (Oct. 28).
One Republic’s “Counting Stars” descends 4-9 with 131,000 (down 14%), and Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” drops 5-10 with 123,000 (down 10%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Nov. 3) totaled 4.7 million units, up 5% compared with the sum last week (4.5 million) and down 14% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (5.5 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 228.7 million, down 7% compared with the same total at this point last year (245.9 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.4 million downloads, up 3% compared with last week (19.9 million) and down 5% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (21.4 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 1.07 billion, down 4% compared with the same total at this point last year (1.11 billion).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Swift’s “Red” spent a third straight week at No. 1, selling another 196,000 (down 43%). The top debut came in at No. 2: the “Now 44” compilation, with 99,000 sold.