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Tool Has a Record-Shattering Week on Rock Charts Thanks to Streaming & Digital Debut

The band surges upon the arrival of its catalog on streaming and digital services and the release of new single "Fear Inoculum."

Two high-profile new moves in the long career of Tool — who released their first new song in 13 years and made their entrance onto digital and streaming platforms for the first time — allow the hard rock act to storm Billboard‘s rock charts in record fashion (on surveys dated Aug. 17).   

We’ll start with albums, none of which Tool has released since 2006’s 10,000 Days. Still, the band’s four studio sets enter the Top Rock Albums chart after their arrival on digital services (both for purchase and streaming), led by 1996’s AEnima, which debuts at No. 1 with 33,000 equivalent album units earned, according to Nielsen Music. Tool’s 2001 album Lateralus follows (No. 2, 27,000 units), with 10,000 Days re-entering the tally at No. 4 (24,000 units) and 1993’s Undertow rounding out the top five at No. 5 (23,000).  

By claiming four of the top five on Top Rock Albums, Tool becomes the first act with at least that many in the region in the list’s history, besting Linkin Park‘s mark of three on the Aug. 12, 2017, chart following the death of frontman Chester Bennington.


Tool also takes four of the top five spots on Hard Rock Albums, also the first act to achieve the feat.

On the all-format Billboard 200, four Tool LPs re-enter, led by AEnima at No. 10, while Undertow reaches a new peak at No. 19 (besting its prior No. 50 high in November 1993). Plus, 1992 EP Opiate reaches the Billboard 200 for the first time ever, at No. 59.

Song-wise, 13 Tool titles reach the streaming-, sales- and airplay-based Hot Rock Songs tally, where older entries can chart if they rank in the top half and have a meaningful reason for their resurgence.


The haul is led by “Sober,” one of Tool’s signature songs, which bows at No. 3. A No. 13 hit on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart in late 1993 (marking Tool’s first Billboard airplay survey appearance), “Sober” enters with 2.9 million U.S. streams and 21,000 downloads sold.

“Sober” is followed by the No. 4 debut of “Fear Inoculum” (more on the new song below), with “Schism” starting at No. 5 (2.6 million streams; 15,000 sold), after it reached No. 2 on Mainstream Rock Songs in 2001.

Tool ties another chart record by landing seven titles in the Hot Rock Songs top 10, a feat shared with Linkin Park (Aug. 12, 2017).


On the Rock Digital Song Sales chart, Tool holds 15 of the tally’s 25 spots, including the entire top 10, marking the first time that an act has occupied the top tier. Queen previously held the record, snagging eight of the top 10 for two weeks in March, powered by buzz for the band’s Bohemian Rhapsody biopic. “Sober” leads at No. 1, becoming Tool’s first Rock Digital Song Sales leader.

Tool also takes 17 of the 25 positions on Hard Rock Digital Song Sales, including the top 14. That (you guessed it) is also a record, although one shared with Queen, which infused the top 14 twice, for a week each in March and last November.

Moving on to “Fear Inoculum,” Tool’s first new music since 2006’s 10,000 Days debuts at No. 4 on Hot Rock Songs after its Aug. 7 release, garnering 3.9 million streams and 17,000 downloads through the tracking week ending Aug. 8.


Additionally, the song launches at radio, debuting at No. 20 on Mainstream Rock Songs and at No. 28 on the all-rock-format Rock Airplay chart, garnering 2.6 million audience impressions through Aug. 11.

The track is Tool’s first Billboard Hot 100 entry since 2001, bowing at No. 93 on the all-genre chart, and grants the group another record: At 10 minutes and 21 seconds long, it’s the longest hit in the Hot 100’s 61-year history, as well as the first to run over 10 minutes.

“Fear Inoculum” is the title track from Tool’s fifth studio LP, due Aug. 30.