Dave Matthews Band lands its sixth #1 album on The Billboard 200 with Away From The World. This puts DMB in a tie with Eagles for the most #1 albums by an American band in chart history. (Matthews was born in South Africa, but he formed the band in Virginia. Eagles came together in Southern California.)
Four other groups have notched six or more #1 albums, but they're not from the U.S. The Beatles have amassed 19 #1 albums, followed by the Rolling Stones with nine and Led Zeppelin and U2, with seven each.
Eagles' six #1 albums extended from 1975's One Of These Nights to 2007's Long Road Out Of Eden. DMB landed its first #1 album, Before These Crowded Streets, in 1998. (Here's an aside that will make Don Henley and Glenn Frey feel old: Dave Matthews was just five years old in June 1972 when Eagles first made the album chart.)
Away From The World sold 266K copies in its first week, which is the largest tally for a rock album since Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto opened with sales of 447K in October. Most of the albums were sold digitally, which constitutes a first for DMB. The album sold 146K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. The band's last album, 2009's Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King, sold 134K digital copies in its first week (out of 424K total). Its previous studio album, 2005's Stand Up, sold a mere 23K digital copies in its first week (out of 465K total).
Away From The World is DMB's sixth studio album in a row to debut at #1, which sets a new record for a group. DMB had been tied with Metallica, whose last five studio albums have debuted at #1. This represents DMB's entire studio output since Before These Crowded Streets; Metallica's entire studio output since 1991's Metallica.
But Metallica remains (by far) the American band that has sold the most albums since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard in 1991. Metallica has sold 53,532,000 albums in this period (and many more in the eight years before that). Pearl Jam is second (31,324,000), followed closely by DMB (31,151,000), Aerosmith (31,105,000), Backstreet Boys (31,039,000) and Eagles (30,863,000).
Little Big Town's fifth studio album Tornado debuts at #2. It's the second top five album for the co-ed country quartet. The Reason Why reached #5 in August 2010. Tornado enters Top Country Albums at #1, displacing Carrie Underwood's Blown Away. (I detect a theme with these titles.) It's Little Big Town's second #1 country album. The Reason Why spent one week atop the country chart. "Pontoon," the lead single from Tornado, has ranked #1 on Hot Country Songs for the past two weeks. "Pontoon" has sold 1,261,000 copies, which tops "Boondocks" (1,183,000) as the group's best-selling song to date.
Bob Dylan's Tempest debuts at #3. Dylan, 71, is the third oldest artist in chart history to land a top five album. Tony Bennett was 85 in September 2011 when he debuted at #1 with Duets II. Frank Sinatra was 78 in December 1993 when he last appeared in the top five (in his lifetime) with Duets.
Dylan first climbed as high as #3 in November 1965 with his landmark album Highway 61 Revisited.
Tempest is Dylan's 20th top 10 album. Dylan had six top 10 albums in the 1960s, eight in the 1970s, none in the 1980s, one in the 1990s, four in the 2000s and now one in the 2010s. (His highest-charting album in the 1980s, Infidels, reached #20 in December 1983.)
Tempest is Dylan's fifth consecutive studio album to make the top 10, which is his entire output since 1997's Time Out Of Mind, which won a Grammy as Album of the Year. This is Dylan's longest run of consecutive top 10 albums since he made the top 10 with 11 consecutive studio albums from 1965's Bringing It All Back Home to 1976's Desire. (This nugget also demonstrates how much more prolific artists used to be. Dylan released 11 studio albums in that 11-year span, compared to just five in the last 15 years.)
Tempest also debuts at #3 on the Official U.K. Chart. It's Dylan's 34th album to reach the top 10 in the U.K. His first was The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1964.
Avett Brothers' The Carpenter debuts at #4. This is the first top 10 album for the band, which peaked at #16 in 2009 with I and Love and You. The band, which is fronted by brothers Seth and Scott Avett, memorably performed in a segment on contemporary folk music at the Grammys in February 2011. They were joined in the segment by Dylan and Mumford & Sons.
The xx's Coexist debuts at #5. This is the English pop trio's first top 10 album. Its eponymous debut album reached #92 in 2009. Coexist enters the Official U.K. Chart at #1. xx reached #3 in the U.K.
ZZ Top's La Futura debuts at #6. This gives the Texas-based trio a 38-year span of top 10 albums. ZZ Top first cracked the top 10 in August 1974 with Tres Hombres. This is the band's seventh top 10 album; its first since Greatest Hits in May 1992. La Futura (Spanish for "The Future") is the fifth ZZ Top album with a title in Spanish. It follows Tres Hombres ("Three Men"), Tejas ("Texas"), Deguello ("Beheading," or, idiomatically, "A Fight To The Death") and El Loco ("The Crazy One"). And I'm not even counting Fandango! (a Spanish dance), Mescalero (the name of an Apache tribe) and The Very Best Of ZZ Top: Rancho Texicano (a made-up phrase that suggests TexMex Ranch).
Billboard's Keith Caulfield notes that this week marks only the second time in chart history that the top six albums have all been new entries. This last happened the week ending Sept. 28, 2003, when OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below debuted at #1.
Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is #1 on Top Digital Songs for the fifth straight week. It's the first song to spend its first five weeks as the nation's top-seller since "Love The Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna led the chart for its first six weeks in 2010. "Love The Way You Lie" would have been #1 for its first eight weeks, but its run was interrupted for one week by (wait for it) Taylor Swift's "Mine." Will "We Are Never Ever…" also hold at #1 on the Hot 100? You'll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
The Top Five: Dave Matthews Band's Away From The World debuts at #1 (266K). It's the group's 12th top 10 album (not counting three albums Matthews recorded by himself or with Tim Reynolds)… Little Big Town's Tornado debuts at #2 (113K). It's the country group's second top five album…Bob Dylan's Tempest debuts at #3 (110K). It's Dylan's 20th top 10 album… Avett Brothers' The Carpenter debuts at #4 (98K). It's the group's first top 10 album…The xx's Coexist debuts at #5 (73K). It's the band's first top 10 album.
The Second Five: ZZ Top's La Futura debuts at #6 (31K). It's the trio's seventh top 10 album…Imagine Dragons' Night Visions drops from #2 to #7 in its second week (29K)…Matchbox Twenty's North heads south from #1 to #8 in its second week (28K)…Now 43 drops from #4 to #9 in its sixth week (24K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra's Theatre Is Evil debuts at #10 (24K). It's Palmer's first top 10 album. She first charted in 2008 with Who Killed Amanda Palmer.
Seven albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Lecrae's Gravity drops from #3 to #14, Carrie Underwood's Blown Away drops from #5 to #24, Maroon 5's Overexposed drops from #6 to #11, 2 Chainz' Based On A T.R.U. Story drops from #7 to #13, tobyMac's Eye On It drops from #8 to #16, Trey Songz's Chapter V drops from #9 to #21 and Cat Power's Sun drops from #10 to #32.
DMX's seventh studio album, Undisputed, debuts at #19. This is DMX's first studio album to fall short of the top five. DMX is the only act in chart history to reach #1 with his first five albums. The streak extended from It's Dark And Hell Is Hot in 1998 to Grand Champ in 2003. The rapper's sixth studio album, Year Of The Dog…Again, hit #2 in 2006. Why has DMX faded while such other veteran rappers Nas and Jay-Z stay strong? Discuss amongst yourselves.
Fifty Shades Of Grey: The Classical Album debuts at #22. EL James, who wrote the erotic novel that has become a global publishing phenomenon, selected the works on the album. The collection includes compositions by Chopin, Debussy, Bach and Pachelbel.
Love This Giant by David Byrne & St. Vincent debuts at #23. Byrne has been charting since 1977, when he scored with the Talking Heads' Talking Heads: 77. St. Vincent, who was born Annie Clark, first charted in 2009 with Actor. Love This Giant is Byrne's highest-charting album to date as a solo artist. It tops My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, a 1981 collabo with Brian Eno, which peaked at #44. With the Talking Heads, Byrne amassed seven top 30 albums, from 1978's More Songs About Buildings And Food to 1988's Naked.
The soundtrack to the Disney Channel's Austin & Ally debuts at #27. It's #1 on Top Soundtracks. The set consists primarily of music by the show's 16-year-old co-star Ross Lynch…Chris Tomlin's 2010 album And If Our God Is For Us… drops from #27 to #38 in its 41st week. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the third straight week.
Kix Brooks' New To This Town, his first album since the break-up of Brooks & Dunn, debuts at a disappointing #53. Brooks' former partner Ronnie Dunn debuted and peaked at #5 last year with his first solo album, Ronnie Dunn. Brooks & Dunn was formed in 1991. The pair notched nine top 10 albums, more than any other duo in history.
The Sparkle soundtrack dives from #55 to #138 in its seventh week. It is, nonetheless, the highest-charting soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for the seventh week.
One Direction's Up All Night: The Live Tour is #1 on Top Music Videos for the 16th week. It sold 6K copies this week, bringing its 16-week total to 296K.
Resident Evil: Retribution was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. It's the fourth consecutive movie in this franchise to open at #1. The first installment in the series, Resident Evil, bowed at #2 in 2002.
Coming Attractions: P!nk's The Truth About Love will debut at #1 next week, with sales in the 225K range. Kanye West's GOOD Music compilation Cruel Summer will open at #2, with sales of about 180K. The Killers' Battle Born will debut at #3, with sales in the 110K range. Also eyeing top 10 debuts: Grizzly Bear's Shields (#6), Carly Rae Jepsen Kiss (#7) and Easton Corbin's All Over The Road (#9). Two other albums will probably open in the top 15: Band Of Horses' Mirage Rock (#12) and Ben Folds Five's The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind (#13).