Chart Watch: Tom Petty's Record-Setting American Band


Nearly 37 years after first cracking The Billboard 200 with their eponymous debut album, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers finally land their first #1 album with Hypnotic Eye. This constitutes a new record for an American band. That’s fitting, because Petty and the Heartbreakers, which formed in Florida and found their footing in Los Angeles, are a quintessential American band. Their debut album included the classic “American Girl.”

Among all acts, Petty and the Heartbreakers arein fourth place for the longest wait between first chart album and first #1, behind Tony Bennett (54 years and eight months), Black Sabbath (42 years and 10 months) and Neil Diamond (41 years and seven months). (Black Sabbath, of course, is English.)

Petty and his band had climbed as high as #2 twice, with Damn The Torpedoes (which logged seven weeks in the runner-up spot in 1980) and Mojo (one week at #2 in 2010).

Hypnotic Eye sold 131K copies in its first week. The album was boosted by a Ticketmaster ticket bundle. About half of this week’s sales were linked to ticket purchases for the band’s current tour. (Mojo was also boosted by a album/ticket bundle.) Other veteran acts to have benefitted from such bundles include Cher and Bon Jovi.

This is the 15th top 10 album of Petty’s career. That tally that includes nine albums with the Heartbreakers, three solo albums, two albums as a member of Traveling Wilburys and one as a member of Mudcrutch.

Petty is also featured on Eric Clapton & Friends’s The Breeze—An Appreciation Of J.J. Cale, a tribute album which debuts at #2 (61K). Clapton co-produced and is featured on the album, which also features John Mayer, Mark Knopfler and Willie Nelson, among others.

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