Led by Daft Punk at No. 1, the entire top four on the Billboard 200 are debuts this week. The dance/electronic duo’s new Random Access Memories launches at atop the tally with 339,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. As reported last night, it is the second-largest sales week of the year for an album. Only the debut of Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience was bigger, with 968,000 first-week copies sold.
Sixty-five percent of Daft Punk’s sales were from digital downloads, equating to 221,000 in sales. It’s the second-biggest digital week of the year, behind, again, only 20/20’s first-week digital haul of 452,000.
At Nos. 2-4, respectively, on the chart this week are bows from Darius Rucker’s True Believers (83,000), the National’s Trouble Will Find Me (75,000) and French Montana’s Excuse My French (56,000).
Rucker’s start is larger than initially forecast, as insiders had pegged True Believers to launch with around 60,000 to 65,000. Comparably, his last studio effort, 2010’s Charleston, SC 1966, also bowed at No. 2, but with 101,000 (his best sales week so far).
While he’s yet to claim a No. 1 as a solo act on the Billboard 200 (he’s collected two as the singer for Hootie & the Blowfish), his new album marks his third straight No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, his entire output of country material. Previous to his career in country music, he issued one solo R&B set, 2002’s Back to Then.
At No. 3 on the Billboard 200 this week is rock band the National, starting with a career-high 75,000 for its sixth studio album, Trouble Will Find Me. Its No. 3 entry ties the band’s 2010 effort High Violet for its highest-charting set yet. High Violet debuted and peaked with 51,000 on the tally dated May 29, 2010.
Rapper French Montana has the fourth new set in the top four, as his debut album, Excuse My French, starts with 56,000 at No. 4. It also lands atop both Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums.
The soundtrack to “The Great Gatsby” slips 4-5 with 54,000 (down 43%), bringing its to-date total to 286,000 after three weeks.
In the No. 6 slot is Thirty Seconds to Mars’ Love Lust Faith + Dreams, starting with 53,000. It’s the band’s first top 10 album and second-largest sales week. Its previous best chart position was achieved with its last studio album, 2009’s This Is War, which debuted and peaked at No. 19 with 69,000. That sales sum remains the band’s biggest week.
As for the rest of the top 10 albums, last week’s No. 1, Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City, falls to No. 7 with 48,000 (down 64%), while George Strait’s Love Is Everything slips 2-8 in its second week with 43,000 (down 65%). Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience descends 7-9 with 42,000 (down 4%) while Lady Antebellum’s Golden moves 5-10 with 34,000 (down 39%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, the top-selling tune of the week remains “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton, with another 212,000 downloads sold (down 8%).
Jumping up two slots is Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” (4-2), with 197,000 (up 4%). Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams) slips 2-3 with 191,000 (down 8%), while P!nk’s “Just Give Me a Reason” (featuring Nate Ruess) dips 3-4 with 184,000 (down 5%).
Climbing 10-5 with 180,000 is Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” also featuring Williams, up by 53%. The song profits from release-week buzz of its parent album, the aforementioned Random Access Memories.
Selena Gomez’s “Come and Get It” is pushed back 5-6, despite a gain this week. It moved 171,000 downloads, up 4%.
The chart’s highest debut comes in at No. 7, by the late Zach Sobiech. The singer/songwriter — who passed away on Monday, May 20, from cancer — enters with “Clouds,” selling 156,000 downloads (up 8,149%). The song has been on sale since December 2012, and had sold 25,000 through the Sunday night before he died.
Sobiech was also part of the trio A Firm Handshake, which sees its album “Fix Me Up” fly onto the Billboard 200 at No. 20 with 19,000 sold (up 7,500%). The set features “Clouds,” and was released in February.
Closing out the top 10 on Digital Songs: Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” falls 7-8 (148,000; though it’s up 4%), Timberlake’s “Mirrors” descends 6-9 (142,000; down 9%), and Icona Pop’s “I Love It” (featuring Charli XCX) is pushed back 8-10 with 134,000 (despite a gain of 4%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending May 26) totaled 5.2 million units, up 2% compared with the sum last week (5.1 million) and down 2% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (5.3 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 116.6 million, down 5% compared to the same total at this point last year (122.7 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 24.5 million downloads, up less than 1% compared with last week (24.4 million) and down 6% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (26 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 555.7 million, down 3% compared with the same total at this point last year (571.3 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: John Mayer’s Born and Raised held at No. 1 for a second week, selling 65,000 (down 70%), while Regina Spektor’s What We Saw From the Cheap Seats earned the chart’s highest debut, starting at No. 3 with 42,000.