Vampire Weekend lands its third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, as Father of the Bride opens with 138,000 equivalent album units (119,000 in traditional album sales), according to Nielsen Music, meanwhile, the band becomes the only act with as many as three Billboard 200 No. 1s without notching an entry on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart.
The alt-rock group first topped the Billboard 200 with its 2010 sophomore effort Contra and led again with Modern Vampires of the City in 2013. Father of the Bride, notably, debuts with the biggest week (in both units and sales) for a rock album in 2019.
Vampire Weekend is the 118th act to have tallied at least three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 (dating to Aug. 17, 1963, when the chart became a combined ranking of stereo and mono albums) and the only one that hasn’t charted a song on the Hot 100.
That’s not to say that the group’s songs haven’t performed well on their own. Dating to its 2008 chart debut, Vampire Weekend has logged 17 entries on the Hot Rock Songs chart, eight on Alternative Songs and five on Adult Alternative Songs, where the new LP’s “Harmony Hall” spent seven weeks at No. 1, becoming the band’s first leader on an airplay ranking.
In all, 18 acts have earned at least three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 (since August 1963) and fewer than 10 Hot 100 entries:
Hot 100 entries (Billboard 200 No. 1s, if more than 3), Artist
9, Green Day
9 (7), Dave Matthews Band/Dave Matthews
8 (9), Garth Brooks
7 (4), Beastie Boys
7 (4), Jack Johnson
6 (5), Disturbed
6, Alanis Morissette
5 (5), Pink Floyd
5, System of a Down
4, Josh Groban
4 (4), Nirvana
2, Norah Jones
2, Jack White
1, Arcade Fire
0, Vampire Weekend
Above Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire has achieved three Billboard 200 No. 1s and one Hot 100 entry: “Reflektor” spent a week on the latter list, at No. 99, in 2013.
Not coincidentally, those two bands and most of the acts on the above list are rock acts. While they all clearly have dedicated fanbases, rock singles, especially this century, rarely cross over to pop radio, hampering their Hot 100 fortunes. (Plus, prior to December 1998, songs needed to be released as commercially-available physical singles in order to be eligible for Hot 100 inclusion, and in the ’90s, many radio hits were serviced to radio only as promotional singles; Green Day, for instance, scored 10 Alternative Songs top 10s in the ’90s, and even though its longest-leading Alternative Songs No. 1 in the decade, “When I Come Around,” crossed to a No. 2 peak on the Pop Songs airplay chart, it was not available for purchase individually and, thus, could not appear on the Hot 100.)
Similarly, Josh Groban and Norah Jones have scored Adult Contemporary success, which, like rock, doesn’t often translate to Hot 100 chart action if songs don’t also segue to top 40 or other radio formats.
Meanwhile, BTS, especially, could graduate from the list above, given that it’s tallied its three Billboard 200 No. 1s since June 2018 and its seventh Hot 100 hit, “Boy With Luv,” featuring Halsey, is currently on the survey.