Foo Fighters score their second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as their latest studio album, Concrete and Gold, debuts atop the list. The set earned 127,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Sept. 21, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 120,000 were in traditional album sales, which also makes the effort the top-selling album of the week. Concrete and Gold was released Sept. 15 through Roswell/RCA Records.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Oct. 7-dated chart (where Concrete and Gold debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s websites Tuesday (Sept. 26).
Foo Fighters previously led the Billboard 200 with Wasting Light, which debuted at No. 1 in 2011. In total, the group has notched 12 entries on the list, with eight of those titles hitting the top 10. The band premiered on the tally dated July 22, 1995, with its self-titled album, and reached the top 10 for the first time with its second release, The Colour and the Shape, in 1997.
Concrete and Gold has already generated a top 10 hit with its single “Run,” which gave the band its 23rd top 10 single on the Alternative Songs airplay chart back in August. The set’s latest radio offering, “The Sky Is a Neighborhood,” climbed 20-17 on the Sept. 30-dated list. “Run” also topped the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart for four weeks.
Concrete and Gold is also the fifth rock album to lead the Billboard 200 in 2017, following LCD Soundsystem‘s American Dream, Brand New‘s Science Fiction, Arcade Fire‘s Everything Now and Linkin Park‘s One More Light. (In all of 2016, there were 10 rock albums that led the list.)
At No. 2 on the latest Billboard 200, Lil Uzi Vert‘s former leader, Luv is Rage 2, climbs two spots with 50,000 units (down 11 percent), while last week’s No. 1, Thomas Rhett‘s Life Changes, falls to No. 3 with 39,000 units (down 68 percent). Kendrick Lamar‘s former No. 1 DAMN. rises 8-4 with 34,000 units (down 2 percent), <a href=”/artist/7809983/xxxtentacion/chart”>XXXTentacion</a>’s 17 ascends 6-5 with 33,000 units (down 17 percent) and Khalid‘s American Dream jumps 9-6 with 31,000 units (up less than 1 percent).
South Korean boy band BTS makes a big splash in the top 10, as the seven-member group’s new album, Love Yourself: Her, debuts at No. 7 with 31,000 units (18,000 in traditional album sales, just less than 4,000 in TEA and a little under 10,000 in SEA).
BTS earns both the highest-charting album ever on the Billboard 200 by a K-pop act, and the genre’s biggest sales week. The group beats its own record, as the act’s 2016 album, Wings, was previously both the highest-charting K-pop album (debut and peak at No. 26 on the Oct. 29, 2016-dated list) and owner of the biggest sales week for a K-pop title (11,000 copies sold in its debut frame — all from digital albums). Notably, Wings and Love Yourself: Her are the only K-pop albums that have charted in the top 40.
Since the release of Wings, BTS’ popularity has grown tremendously in the U.S., so it’s not a huge surprise to see the robust sales figure for the new album. For example, the act debuted at No. 1 on the Social 50 chart the same week that Wings entered the Billboard 200. (The Social 50 chart measures the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia and Tumblr.)
Since hitting No. 1, BTS has racked up 40 nonconsecutive weeks atop the list. The group’s extraordinary popularity on social networks (and very active fanbase online) led to its first Billboard Music Award win for Top Social Artist back in May. (BTS also befriended dance duo The Chainsmokers at the Billboard Music Awards, which led to the pair’s Andrew Taggart co-writing and co-producing a track on BTS’ new album.)
Also helping the sales cause, the new album is distributed by Sony’s independent distribution arm, The Orchard. It’s the first time an album by BTS has American distribution, as the group’s previous releases were issued through U.S. digital retailers independently by the group’s South Korean label, Big Hit Entertainment. While Love Yourself: Her is currently only available as a digital album in the U.S., a physical CD release is forthcoming.
Lastly, BTS’ online fan army mobilized in high volume during street week in order to get the word out about the album. The passionate fandom was very focused on achieving high chart placement, as fan-run social media accounts helped fellow BTS fans understand how Billboard‘s charts are compiled, and how sales and streams impact the Billboard 200 during an album’s first week, and so forth. (Some fans even went so far as to gift the album to friends via Apple’s iTunes Store in order to spread the word. However, sales of any specific album purchased on iTunes and gifted to another are not reported to Nielsen Music by Apple, and thus, do not count on Billboard‘s charts.)
At No. 8 on the new Billboard 200, Imagine Dragons‘ Evolve returns to the top 10, as it climbs 13-8 with 28,000 units (up 8 percent).
Country duo Big & Rich nabs its fourth top 10 effort, and first since 2007, as its new album, Did It for the Party, arrives at No. 9 with 27,000 units (26,000 in album sales). The pair last visited the top 10 with Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace, back in June of 2007 (debuting and peaking at No. 6). The duo first hit the chart in 2004 with Horse of a Different Color, which topped out at No. 6.
Closing out the new top 10 is <a href=”/artist/6671466/post-malone/chart”>Post Malone</a>’s Stoney, which jumps back into the top 10 with a 17-10 rise (26,000 units; up 24 percent). The set was last in the top 10 on the July 1-dated list, when it also ranked at No. 10. The rise is owed in part to excitement generated by Post Malone in the past week, as he released a well-received new single, “Rockstar,” featuring 21 Savage, on Sept. 15. The track, however, is not included on Stoney.