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Iron Maiden Scores Historic Sales Week With New Album ‘The Book of Souls’

Contrary to overall album sales declines, the legacy band keeps adding fans, 40 years after its formation. Also, chart action for the Wonder Years and ARCS.

Iron Maiden debuts at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart (dated Sept. 26) with The Book of Souls, notching its best sales week, 74,000 copies sold, since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.

The influential metal band’s 16th studio album, dating to its 1975 formation, matches the peak of its previous studio set, 2010’s The Final Frontier, on both Top Rock Albums and the Billboard 200 (No. 4). The band also bows on the Billboard Artist 100 at No. 10.


Notably, The Book of Souls is Iron Maiden’s sixth straight studio album to arrive with a higher first-week sales sum than its predecessor, reflecting impressive growth of the band’s fanbase so deep into its career, especially as album sales continue to decline overall. The group’s steady climb started with 1998’s Virtual XI (10,000 first-week copies sold, up from the 6,000 of 1995’s X Factor) and continued with 2000’s Brave New World (38,000), 2003’s Dance of Death (40,000), 2006’s A Matter of Life and Death (56,000), The Final Frontier (63,000) and now The Book of Souls.WONDER-FUL NEWS: The Wonder Years also notch their best sales week, as No Closer to Heaven arrives with 22,000. The release from the Philadelphia-based pop/punk band opens at No. 1 on Alternative Albums, marking its first leader on the list, and enters Top Rock Albums at No. 3 and the Billboard 200 No. 12, its best rank on each chart.

The Wonder Years collects their second leader on the Vinyl Albums chart, as its fifth studio album begins with 5,000 vinyl copies (accounting for 23 percent of the set’s total sales).SET OF KEYS: Also Top Rock Albums, the ARCS, a side project of the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, debut at No. 6 with Yours, Dreamily, (12,000 sold.) The debut set additionally enters Alternative Albums at No. 5 and the Billboard 200 at No. 27. The LP’s lead radio single, “Outta My Mind,” has reached No. 4 on Adult Alternative Songs, No. 17 on Alternative Songs and No. 31 on Mainstream Rock Songs.

Additional reporting by Gary Trust