On Billboard’s latest Album Sales chart (dated Nov. 7), Pearl Jam captures its 14th top 10, as the group’s MTV Unplugged jumps from No. 37 to No. 7. The surge up the list is due to the album’s Oct. 22 reissue on vinyl, and its first ever release on CD and as a digital download album.
The set sold 12,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 29 (up 286 percent), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. In the previous week (ending Oct. 22), the album sold 3,000 copies, mostly from sales of the vinyl LP and digital album on Oct. 22.
Billboard’s Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The Album Sales chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Pure album sales were the measurement solely utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Breaking down the MTV Unplugged sales picture further: 5,000 copies were sold on CD in the week ending Oct. 29 (up from a negligible sales figure the week previous, likely owed to a handful of sales registered on Oct. 22), 4,000 vinyl LPs were sold (up 212 percent from a little under 1,500 in the week ending Oct. 22) and 3,000 downloads were sold (up 76 percent compared to a little over 1,500 the previous week).
The seven-song MTV Unplugged album was recorded on March 16, 1992, for the MTV TV special of the same name, broadcast on May 13, 1992. The performance was never released commercially in any capacity until 2009, as a DVD video in a deluxe reissue package of the band’s studio album Ten.
The MTV Unplugged album had its first stand-alone commercial release on Nov. 29, 2019, when it was issued on vinyl for Record Store Day’s Black Friday celebration. As noted above, on Oct. 22, 2020, it garnered a reissue on vinyl, as well as its first release on CD and digital download. That same day, the set was also released on streaming services.
All told, Pearl Jam has collected 14 top 10 efforts on the Album Sales chart, dating back to Ten, which peaked at No. 2 in August 1992. Earlier in 2020, the group notched a top 10 with its latest studio album Gigaton, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the April 11-dated chart.
Back on the new Album Sales chart, Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You bows at No. 1 with 92,000 copies sold in the week ending Oct. 29. It’s Springsteen’s best sales week since High Hopes launched with 99,000 sold on the Feb. 1, 2014-dated chart. Letter to You is Springsteen’s eighth No. 1 on the Album Sales chart (since the list began on May 25, 1991) and first since High Hopes.
Luke Combs’ What You See Is What You Get re-enters the chart at No. 2 with 22,000 sold (up 1,734 percent) after its deluxe reissue on Oct. 23.
Gorillaz’s new album Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez bows at No. 3 with 20,000 sold — the animated group’s seventh top 10 effort.
Gone-viral father-daughter duo Mat and Savanna Shaw — who drew notices on social media earlier this year after their covers of such songs as “The Prayer” went viral — bows at No. 9 with Picture This. The album sold well in their native Utah (they live in Kaysville, Utah), with 11 percent of its first-week sales coming from the nearby Salt Lake City area.
Rock band Sevendust sees its new album Blood & Stone start at No. 9 with 10,500 sold, while Dolly Parton’s A Holly Dolly Christmas rounds out the top 10, staying steady at No. 10 with 9,000 sold (though up 20 percent).