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Pearl Jam Earns Fifth No. 1 Album On Billboard 200

Pearl Jam captures its fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as "Lightning Bolt" strikes atop the chart, selling 166,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Pearl Jam captures its fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as “Lightning Bolt” strikes atop the chart, selling 166,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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Pearl Jam also previously topped the Billboard 200 with “Backspacer” (2009), “No Code” (1996), “Vitalogy” (1994) and “Vs.” (1993). It’s also notched four No. 2-peaking albums with “Ten” (1992), “Yield” (1998), “Binaural” (2000) and “Pearl Jam” (2006).


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The band’s last studio effort, 2009’s “Backspacer,” sold 189,000 in its first frame. The new album’s launch is the smallest debut frame for any of Pearl Jam’s studio releases. Still, it’s the largest debut week for any rock album since last November, when Phillip Phillips’ “The World From the Side of the Moon” bowed with 169,000.

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Pearl Jam’s “Lightning Bolt” is also the 11th top 10 set for the act; all 10 of its studio efforts have reached the region. It also claimed a top 10 set with the soundtrack to the documentary “Pearl Jam Twenty” in 2011.

Last week’s No. 1, Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz,” slips to No. 2 with 72,000 (down 73%).

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Rock legend Paul McCartney enters at No. 3 with his new studio album, “New.” It sold 67,000 copies in its first week. It’s the 19th top 10 set for the Beatle, counting his solo work and releases with Wings (but not his Beatles material). The “New” album is his first of all-new songs since 2007’s “Memory Almost Full” debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 161,000. After that, he issued the mostly-covers album “Kisses on the Bottom” in 2012, which debuted and peaked at No. 5 off a 74,000 start.

Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” is next in the top 10, as it slips one rung to No. 4 with 58,000 (down 30%) in its fourth week.

The Avett Brothers arrive at No. 5 with “Magpie and the Dandelion,” scoring their second-largest sales week, as the album enters with nearly 58,000. The band’s only other larger frame came when its last album, 2012’s “The Carpenter,” debuted and peaked at No. 4 from a 98,000 bow. The group’s current single, “Another Is Waiting,” rises 18-16 on the Triple A airplay chart this week.

2011 “American Idol” winner Scott McCreery returns with his second studio album, “See You Tonight,” debuting at No. 6 with 52,000. It also bows at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart—his second chart-topper on that list. His first album, “Clear As Day,” arrived at No. 1 on both charts back in 2011, selling 197,000 in its first week. He then followed it with a holiday effort, “Christmas With Scotty McCreery,” which hit No. 2 on the country chart in 2012 and No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

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The new album’s first single, its title track, hits a new peak on the Country Airplay chart this week, as it rises 32-30 on the tally. The song debuted on the chart dated May 4, and has been percolating on the list for 27 consecutive weeks. His first album generated three top 40 hits, though none went higher than No. 15’s “I Love You This Big” (the album’s lead track).

Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” descends one slot to No. 7, selling 48,000 in its third week (down 24%).

Cher’s “Closer to the Truth” returns to the top 10, rising 11-8 with a 50% gain as it sells 45,000 copies for the week. The album is profiting from a successful concert ticket promotion tied to the diva’s upcoming Dressed to Kill tour. Each ticket sold includes the new album in its purchase price. However, sales of the album only count toward the chart if the customer redeems the album offer. In the past, acts ranging from Josh Groban and Tom Petty to Madonna and Bon Jovi have employed the same sort of promotion.

One step behind Cher is another music icon, but of a different sort: Willie Nelson. The country veteran enters at No. 9 with the collaborations set “To All the Girls,” selling 43,000. It’s not only his highest-charting album since 1982, but also just his THIRD top 10 set ever.

Nelson’s new all-star album (which features him duetting with everyone from Carrie Underwood to Dolly Parton) was supported by a promotional campaign with QVC. The shopping network hosted a live concert with Nelson on Sept. 12, and industry sources suggest the program helped drive around half of the album’s first-week sales. The QVC version of the album also sported six exclusive bonus live tracks.

Over on the Top Country Albums chart, Nelson’s “To All the Girls” bows at No. 2, marking his highest-charting set on that list since 1989, when “A Horse Called Music” also peaked at No. 2.

Closing out the top 10 on the Billboard 200 is folk/rock band the Head and the Heart, debuting at No. 10 with its second album, “Let’s Be Still” (42,000). It’s by far the best sales week for the group, which never sold more than 4,000 in a week with its self-titled debut. That 2010 album only climbed to No. 109 on the Billboard 200, but spent 89 weeks on our new artist chart, Heatseekers Albums.

Over on the Digital Songs chart, Eminem’s new single “Rap God” bumps Lorde’s “Royals” from No. 1, as the former arrives with 270,000 downloads sold. It’s the third song to get a digital release from his upcoming album, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.” It follows “Berzerk” (No. 2 debut with 362,000) and “Survival” (No. 7 bow with 112,000).

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“Royals,” meanwhile, falls to No. 2 with 256,000 (down 13%). Katy Perry’s “Roar” slips 2-3 with 189,000 (down 4%), and Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” is pushed back 3-4 (despite a 15% gain) with 184,000.

Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” is also pushed down, despite a 29% gain (thanks to Eminem’s arrival), as it falls 4-5 with 165,000. Justin Bieber’s new “All That Matters” starts at No. 6 with 127,000. It’s the second of Bieber’s weekly Music Mondays song release series, where he aims to issue a new retail single every Monday through mid-December.

Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (featuring Majid Jordan) dips 6-7 with 107,000 (down 12%), and Ylvis’ “The Fox” is stationary at No. 8 with 104,000 (down 3%).

OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” rises into the top 10 for the first time, ascending 11-9 with 103,000 sold (up 17%). It’s the third single from the group’s “Native” album, but the first to reach the top 10. It follows “Feel Again” (No. 22) and “If I Lose Myself” (No. 26).

Lady Gaga’s “Applause” rounds out the top 10, as it falls 9-10 with 89,000 (down 11%). Expect her next single, “Do What U Want” (featuring R. Kelly), to bow high on the chart next week.

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Oct. 20) totaled 4.7 million units, down 2% compared with the sum last week (4.8 million) and down 11% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (5.3 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 219.5 million, down 6% compared with the same total at this point last year (234.2 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 19.9 million downloads, up less than 1% compared with last week (19.8 million) and down 10% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (22.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 1 billion, down 4% compared with the same total at this point last year (1.1 billion).

Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Taylor Swift’s “Red” arrived at No. 1 with 1.2 million sold. Kendrick Lamar’s also-arriving “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” was a distant No. 2 with 241,000.