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No Joke: Father John Misty’s ‘Pure Comedy’ Leads Rock Album Charts

The singer-songwriter earns his first No. 1 on Top Rock Albums, Alternative Albums & Americana/Folk Albums.

Father John Misty rules Billboard‘s Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums for the first time, on his own or as drummer for Fleet Foxes, as Pure Comedy, his third solo studio album, debuts atop the charts (dated April 29) with 35,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music.

Of that sum, 33,000 are pure album sales, marking his best sales week, topping the 28,000-copy start of 2015’s I Love You, Honeybear.

The singer-songwriter (real name Joshua Tillman) previously reached a No. 2 high on the tallies with Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues in 2011. (Honeybear hit No. 3.) He was the folk-rock band’s drummer from 2008 to 2012, before departing to begin recording under the Father John Misty persona (although he released multiple records under the name J. Tillman between 2003 and 2010).


The new album also opens atop the Americana/Folk Albums chart, where it’s his first No. 1; Honeybear reached No. 2. Comedy also marks his first top 10 on the Billboard 200, bowing at No. 10.

“Ballad of the Dying Man,” Comedy‘s lead single, spends its seventh week on the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart, having peaked at No. 25.