The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Smoke + Mirrors was released on Feb. 17 through KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records, and moved 195,000 units in the week ending Feb. 22, according to Nielsen Music. Pure album sales comprised 89 percent (or 172,000) of that figure.
That 172,000 sum is easily the group’s biggest sales week yet, more than doubling their previous best — 83,000 — registered when their first full-length album, Night Visions, debuted and peaked at No. 2 in its first frame.
So far, Night Visions has sold 2.5 million copies to date, and has never left the Billboard 200 chart since its debut 129 weeks ago. (It’s only spent two weeks outside of the top 100, too.) Night Visions spawned three top 20 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “It’s Time” (peaking at No. 15), “Radioactive” (No. 3) and “Demons” (No. 6). Of those, “Radioactive” also hit No. 1 on the Alternative Songs airplay chart (spending 13 weeks atop the list).
The band’s new album was led by the single “I Bet My Life,” which reached No. 3 on the Alternative tally.
Smoke + Mirrors is the lone debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, as the next highest new entry is found at No. 14, where Aaron Watson‘s Underdog starts with 28,000 units.
Last week’s No. 1, Drake’s surprise release If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, falls to No. 2 with 187,000 units (down 65 percent). It has sold 624,000 copies since its release (equating to a little more than 10 days on sale). Meanwhile, the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack also falls one rung to No. 3 in its second week on the chart, moving 165,000 units (down 36 percent).
The top three titles on the Billboard 200 are distributed by Universal Music Group Distribution for a second consecutive week — the first time a company has done so in nearly three years. The last time it happened was on the charts dated June 2 and June 9, 2012, when Sony Music Distribution claimed the top three.
Taylor Swift‘s 1989 climbs 5-4 with 93,000 units (down 26 percent) and Ed Sheeran‘s x descends 4-5 with 81,000 units (down 42 percent). Many of the titles on the chart — like Sheeran’s — are adjusting back to normal sales patterns (and thus decline in units) following gains earned in the week previous by exposure from the Grammy Awards (Feb. 8).
Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour falls 3-6 with 72,000 units (down 56 percent), Maroon 5’s V is up 10-7 with 47,000 units (its highest rank since it was No. 7 on the Oct. 18, 2014-dated chart – though it’s down by 26 percent), and Meghan Trainor’s Title drops 6-8 with 44,000 units (down 29 percent).
After a brief dip outside of the top 10, Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint returns to the region (12-9 with 41,000 units; down 15 percent), and Hozier’s self-titled album also climbs back into the top 10 (11-10 with 40,000; down 33 percent).