After a nearly 37-year wait, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers earn their first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.
The band’s new Hypnotic Eye arrives atop the chart, selling 131,000 copies in the week ending Aug. 3, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s the best debut sales week for Petty since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, and his best sales frame overall (debut or otherwise) since 1994, when his solo album Wildflowers sold 161,000 in the week after Christmas.
Petty and The Heartbreakers first appeared on the Billboard 200 back in September 1977 with their self-titled debut album that featured the classics “Breakdown” and “American Girl.”
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Petty’s long wait for No. 1 isn’t the longest an act has had to wait for its first chart-topper. That honor belongs to Tony Bennett, who patiently waited 54 years for his first leader: 2011’s Duets II. The pop singer’s first charted album was 1957’s Tony, which debuted on the chart dated Feb. 23, 1957.
Sales for Hypnotic Eyewere aided by an album promotion with Petty’s current concert tour. Customers who bought a ticket to Petty’s shows had the option of also receiving the album as part of their purchase. Only albums that were redeemed by the consumer count as sales toward Billboard’s charts. (Many ticket buyers decline the album.)
Petty employed a similar album/ticket promotion for his last album, 2010’s Mojo, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 125,000 sold in its first week. Aside from Petty, a great number of other acts have offered album/ticket deals, such as Austin Mahone, Cher and Bon Jovi.
Petty leads a busy top 10, where five more albums arrive in the region.
Eric Clapton is next up in the debut parade, as the veteran rocker bows at No. 2 with The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale (61,000). It’s Clapton’s highest-charting set since 1994’s From the Cradle debuted at No. 1. The new collaborations album — which is a tribute to singer/songwriter Cale and features the likes of Petty, John Mayer and Willie Nelson — also nets Clapton his best debut sales frame since 2004’s Me and Mr. Johnson started at No. 6 with 128,000. (Coincidentally, that was also a tribute set, honoring blues great Robert Johnson.)
Following Clapton is the soundtrack to the blockbuster movie “Guardians of the Galaxy,” starting at No. 3 with a robust 60,000 sold. The Awesome Mix Vol. 1 album was initially heading for maybe a start of around 15,000, but the movie — and its music — clearly resonated with audiences.
The classic pop tunes on the album (like Blue Swede’s “Hooked On a Feeling”) play an important — and emotional — role in the movie: They are all on a mixtape in the main character’s Walkman, which was given to him by his late mother. The film’s director, James Gunn, has said in interviews that he used Billboard’s charts from the 1970s to help determine the songs used in the movie, and on the soundtrack.
Last week’s No. 1 album, 5 Seconds of Summer’s self-titled set, falls to No. 4 with 54,000 (down 79 percent).
Vine star-turned-major-label singer Shawn Mendes arrives at No. 5 with his self-titled debut EP, selling 48,000. The Island Records effort is the fourth EP to hit the top 10 this year, following earlier EPs from 5 Seconds of Summer, Luke Bryan and Austin Mahone.
After 31 consecutive weeks in the top five, the “Frozen” soundtrack finally exits the region, descending 2-6 with 33,000 (down 10 percent). Though it’s out of the top five, the album still logs its 34th straight frame in the top 10, where it has been lodged since the Dec. 29, 2013 chart. (Only its first two weeks — of 36 — have been spent outside the top 10.)
After Frozen, Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour falls 4-7 with 30,000 (down 5 percent).
Rock band Theory of a Deadman starts at No. 8 with Savages (28,000) securing its second top 10 set. Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis earns her highest-charting album ever — and best sales week — as her new Voyager album bows at No. 9 with 24,000. Her previous best rank and sales frame was when 2008’s Acid Tongue debuted and peaked at No. 24 with 21,000.
Closing out the top 10 is Kidz Bop Kids’ Kidz Bop 26, which moves 5-10 with 20,000 (down 24 percent).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, there’s a new No. 1, as Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang” arrives atop the list with 230,000 downloads sold. That’s the second-largest debut for a song in 2014, following another Grande track, “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea (438,000 in the week ending May 4).
The fast-rising hit from Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass,” charges 6-2 with 169,000 sold (up 63 percent). Maroon 5’s “Maps” rises 7-3 with 139,000 (up 35 percent), and Smith’s “Stay With Me” falls 3-4 with 138,000 (down 5 percent).
Magic’s “Rude” slides 2-5 with 134,000 (down 13 percent), Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down” dives 1-6 with 115,000 (down 38 percent), and Azalea’s “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX, drops 4-7 with 107,000 (down 13 percent).
Azalea’s newest single, “Black Widow,” featuring Rita Ora, crawls 15-8 with 100,000 (up 31 percent), and Sia’s “Chandelier” ascends 14-9 with 97,000 (up 24 percent). Maroon 5’s “It Was Always You” rounds out the top 10, debuting at No. 10 with 95,000.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Aug. 3) totaled 4.3 million units, up 2 percent compared with the sum last week (4.2 million) and down 15 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (5.1 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 142.1 million, down 15 percent compared with the same total at this point last year (166.3 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.4 million downloads, up 5 percent compared with last week (19.4 million) and down 10 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (22.8 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 695.3 million, down 13 percent compared with the same total at this point last year (798.1 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: The Civil Wars’ self-titled album debuted at No. 1, selling 116,000 copies in its first week. The Now 47 album arrived in the runner-up position with 82,000.