Week Ending Sept. 9, 2012. Albums: Matchbox Twenty’s Long Wait
More than 15 years after releasing its smash debut album, Yourself Or Someone Like You, Matchbox Twenty finally lands its first #1 album, North. It's the Florida-based group's first all-new album in nearly 10 years. Group leader Rob Thomas released two albums during the group's hiatus. The first, …Something To Be, hit #1 in April 2005.
Thus, Thomas reached #1 on The Billboard 200 on his own before he did it with the group that first made him famous. This is very unusual. Only one other musician who rose to prominence with a group has hit #1 on his own before hitting #1 with the group. That's Bobby Brown, who hit #1 in January 1989 with Don't Be Cruel. He returned to the top spot with the other members of New Edition in September 1996 with their reunion album, Home Again.
Yourself Or Someone Like You peaked at #5 in September 1997. It has sold 8,178,000 copies, which makes it the 38th best-selling album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard in 1991. The album accounts for a little more than half of matchbox's total album sales to date (15,748,000). The group reached #3 with two subsequent albums: 2000's Mad Season and 2007's Exile On Mainstream.
Shameless Plug: Thomas is the 26th musician to reach #1 on The Billboard 200 both as a solo artist and as a member of a group, duo or collective of artists (such as Ruff Ryders or The Firm). Later this morning, I'll post a Chart Watch Extra in which I look at these 26 artists.
Pop Quiz: Who was the first artist to reach #1 both as a solo artist and with a group? I'll give you a clue: His group was a famous jazz trio. If that clue gave it away, here's a second pop quiz for you: Who was the first female artist to reach #1 both as a solo artist and with a group? All will be revealed in the Chart Watch Extra.
Imagine Dragons' first full-length album, Night Visions, debuts at #2. The album sold 75K digital copies (out of 83K total). That tally puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. The band has released five EPs, including Continued Silence, which cracked the top 40 last month. The band received a VMA nomination last week for Best Rock Video for "It's Time," a track from the album. "It's Time" will get the Glee treatment on the series' season premiere on Thursday (Sept. 13).
Lecrae's sixth studio album, Gravity, debuts at #3. It's the Christian hip-hop music artist's first top 10 album. He reached #17 in 2010 with Rehab and #15 in 2011 with Rehab: The Overdose. Lecrae is featured on a song ("Forgiveness") on fellow Christian music artist tobyMac's Eye On It, which hit #1 last week (and drops to #8 this week.)