Week Ending Feb. 17, 2013. Albums: Mumford’s Grammy Surge
Mumford & Sons’ Babel rebounds from #4 to #1 on The Billboard 200 in the wake of winning the Grammy for Album of the Year. The album spent its first three weeks at #1 in September and October. It dropped as low as #23 before beginning its resurgence, which is due both to the Grammys and to the slow-building success of the band’s great single, “I Will Wait.”
Sales for Babel jumped by 242% this week compared to last week. That’s the biggest gain, on a percentage basis, for an album following a Grammy victory as Album of the Year since Raising Sand by Robert Plant/Alison Krauss surged by 715% four years ago. (The Nielsen SoundScan era record was set the year before that when Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters surged by 967% in the week following its surprise win.)
Babel is the first album by a British group to log four or more weeks at #1 since the Beatles’ hit-studded compilation 1, which spent eight weeks on top in late 2000 and early 2001. It’s the first studio album by a British group to remain #1 this long since Spice Girls’ Spice spent five weeks on top in 1997. That frothy female quintet has virtually nothing in common with the rootsy Mumford & Sons beyond nationality and success, but that’s the fun of the charts.
Babel has sold 1,922,000 copies in just 21 weeks. The group’s previous album, Sigh No More, took 93 weeks to sell that many copies. (For five of those weeks, it wasn’t even listed on the chart.) Sigh No More has been in the top 100 continuously since June 2010.
Digital accounts for more than half of Babel’s sales to date. The album tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. Sigh No More has sold 1,542,000 digital copies. Mumford & Sons is the only act with two albums that have sold 1 million or more digital copies. Adele, Eminem and Lady Gaga each have one album that has sold 1 million digital copies.
Babel sold 101K digital copies this week, which puts it at #1 on this week’s Top Digital Albums chart. This is the first time an album that has been out this long has sold 100K digital copies in a week since Adele’s 21 sold 176K digital copies in its 52nd week in February 2012 (following her Grammy sweep).