Linkin Park’s “The Hunting Party” starts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart with 110,000 first-week copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The band’s previous studio set, 2012’s “Living Things,” bowed at No. 1 with 223,000 sold.
The new title marks Linkin Park’s fourth No. 1 on Top Rock Albums (with its first two studio releases, 2000’s “[Hybrid Theory]” and 2003’s “Meteora” pre-dating the chart) and debuts atop Alternative Albums and Hard Rock Albums. Opening at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, “The Hunting Party” is the band’s first studio album not to start at No. 1 since “[Hybrid Theory]” peaked at No. 2 in 2002.
“The Hunting Party” is Linkin Park’s first album recorded without producer Rick Rubin since 2003 and marks a return to straight-up guitar-driven rock after forays toward EDM. The band has referred to its sixth studio set as a prequel to “[Hybrid Theory],” its most commercially-successful release (10.2 million copies sold to date). The new set features Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), Daron Malakian (System of a Down) and legendary MC Rakim. The track featuring Rakim, “Guilty All the Same,” reigned for three weeks in May on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart. New single “Until It’s Gone” shoots 17-15 on the list.
Viral music video masters OK Go score their first entry on Hot Rock Songs, as “The Writing’s on the Wall” charges in at No. 10. Streaming (2.2 million U.S. streams, according to Nielsen BDS) accounts for 92 percent of its chart points after its elaborate video of optical illusions was released on June 17. On YouTube, the video boasts nearly 8 million views worldwide. The new-wave-influenced band will release its fourth album, “Hungry Ghosts,” in October.
Also on Hot Rock Songs and aided by its new video, Arctic Monkeys’ “Snap Out of It” debuts at No. 37 with 93 percent of its chart points from streaming. The clip, which premiered on June 16, shows a distressed, perhaps lovesick woman (actress Stephanie Sigman) swimming, cooking meat and crying while hysterically watching grainy home video footage of the band. “Snap” is the fifth song from the group’s 2013 album “AM” (the act’s first No. 1 on Top Rock Albums) to chart on Hot Rock Songs.
Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys’ current radio single “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” reaches the top five (6-5) on Alternative Songs. The set’s lead cut, “Do I Wanna Know?,” topped Alternative Songs for 10 weeks.
On the Adult Alternative Songs chart, which Sam Smith crowns with a 2-1 jump for “Stay With Me,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers end a four-year absence, as “U Get Me High” soars in at No. 11. The bow is the band’s best since “Saving Grace” launched at No. 6 eight years ago (July 8, 2006); that song went on to become the group’s fourth and most recent No. 1 in the chart’s 18-year history.
“High” previews “Hypnotic Eye” (due July 29), the band’s first studio set since 2010’s “Mojo.” Petty and the Heartbreakers begin a 31-date North American tour, with Steve Winwood, on Aug. 3 in San Diego.
Additional reporting by Gary Trust