Metallica’s Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, the veteran metal band’s first studio album in more than eight years, enters the Billboard 200 at #1, beating out high-powered competition by Bruno Mars and Miranda Lambert.
Hardwired… is Metallica’s sixth consecutive studio album to reach #1, which is the group’s entire output since the 1991 blockbuster Metallica (aka “The Black Album”). Metallica are the first hard rock band to reach #1 with six consecutive studio albums. Disturbed have hit #1 with their last five studio albums. Led Zeppelin hit #1 with four studio albums in a row from 1973-’79. (Led Zep remain ahead of Metallica in total number of #1 albums. The band has had seven, to Metallica’s six.)
Metallica tie the Eagles as the Los Angeles band with the most #1 albums. The Eagles had six #1 albums between 1975 and 2007.
Metallica’s album moved 291K albums in “equivalent sales,” which includes 282K in traditional album sales. Those are the third-best first-week tallies so far this year, behind Drake’s Views and Beyoncé’s Lemonade. This is the best showing for a hard rock album since October 2008, when AC/DC’s Black Ice opened with sales of 784K (in traditional album sales).
Hardwired… nearly became a transatlantic #1 this week. It enters the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart at #2. It was blocked from the top spot by Little Mix’s Glory Days. (The Little Mix album enters the U.S. chart at #25 this week.)
Metallica are the latest in a long line of rock bands to use a variation of the word “destroy” in an album title. Guns N’ Roses reached #1 in 1988 with their classic debut album, Appetite for Destruction. KISS had a platinum album in 1976 with Destroyer.
Bruno Mars debuts at #2 with 24K Magic. It’s his second album in a row to debut in the runner-up spot. Unorthodox Jukebox debuted at #2 behind Taylor Swift’s Red in December 2012. (The album rose to #1 in its 12th week.) Mars is one of the biggest stars in music, yet he has yet to debut at #1.
Mars’s album moved 231K albums in equivalent sales, which includes 194K in traditional album sales. Mars’s album sold 2K more copies in its first week than Unorthodox Jukebox did, which is remarkable given the downward drift of traditional album sales since 2012.
This marks the first time that two albums have opened with (equivalent unit) sales of 200K or more in the same week since the chart dated Dec. 5, 2015, when Justin Bieber’s Purpose bowed with 645K and One Direction’s Made in the A.M. started with 459K.
Miranda Lambert debuts at #3 with her double-album The Weight of These Wings. It’s her fifth consecutive studio album to crack the top 10; her third in a row to reach the top three. The album is Lambert’s first since her divorce from Blake Shelton — whose recent If I’m Honest also debuted at #3. The Weight of These Wings enters Top Country Albums at #1, displacing Christmas Together by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. It’s Lambert’s sixth consecutive #1 country album.
The other supposedly big release of last week, DNCE’s eponymous debut album, debuts at a disappointing #17. It sold 19K copies in its first week (in traditional album sales) — a pittance compared to the album’s smash single, “Cake by the Ocean,” which has sold 1,658,000 copies.
Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” (featuring Gucci Mane) tops the Hot 100 for the third week in its 11th week on the chart. What was the last Beatles single to top the chart for three or more weeks? “Get Back,” which spent five weeks on top in 1969.
“Black Beatles” sold 138K copies this week, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Songs for the third straight week. The song logged 55.9 million U.S. streams this week, up 3 percent from last week’s total of 54.1 million. It’s the first song to top the 50M mark in streams in consecutive weeks since Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” topped 50M three weeks in a row in March 2013.
“Black Beatles” nearly became a transatlantic #1. It jumps from #4 to #2 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart. It was kept from the top spot by Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye,” which is in its third week on top.
The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” (featuring Halsey) holds at #2 in its 17th week. The song logged 12 weeks at #1. “Closer” this week pushes ahead of Drake’s “One Dance” (featuring WizKid & Kyla) to become the fourth-best-selling song so far in 2016. (The top three are Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” Flo Rida’s “My House,” and Lukas Graham’s “7 Years.”)
The Weeknd’s “Starboy” (featuring Daft Punk) holds at #3 in its 10th week. The song spent five weeks at #2.
Bruno Mars’s “24K Magic” jumps from #6 to #4 its seventh week. This is its highest ranking to date.
“Juju on That Beat (TZ Anthem)” by Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall jumps from #8 to #5 in its ninth week.
Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” (featuring Nicki Minaj) drops from #4 to #6 in its 13th week. Three 6 Mafia “bubbled under” the chart in 2006 with a different song titled “Side 2 Side.”
twenty one pilots’ “Heathens” drops from #5 to #7 in its 23rd week. The song spent four weeks at #2.
DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You” (featuring Justin Bieber) dips from #7 to #8 in its 16th week. The song reached #4.
D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” (featuring Lil Yachty) holds at #9 in its 24th week. The song reached #5.
Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” (featuring Kendrick Lamar) holds at #10 its seventh week. This is its highest ranking to date.
X Ambassadors lands its second top 20 hit as “Unsteady” climbs from #21 to #20 in its 28th week on the chart. The group reached #17 last year with “Renegades.
Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas drops from #2 to #4 in its fifth week. The group’s 2014 album That’s Christmas to Me rebounds from #18 to #12 in its 28th week on the chart. It’s #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the third straight week. The album has sold 1,843,000 copies in traditional album sales.
A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service drops from #1 to #5 in its second week.
The Trolls soundtrack drops from #3 to #6 in its ninth week. The album peaked at #3. (There are two more soundtracks in this week’s top 20. Suicide Squad drops from #10 to #15. Moana debuts at #16.)
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood’s Christmas Together jumps from #11 to #7 in its second week. This is Brooks’s 17th top 10 album; Yearwood’s third. This is Brooks’s third Christmas album to crack the top 10. Beyond the Season reached #2 in September 1992. Garth Brooks & The Magic of Christmas hit #7 in December 1999. Brooks is the third artist to crack the top 10 with three different Christmas albums or EPs. He follows Mannheim Streamroller and Pentatonix.
Note: Brooks would have had two albums in the top 10 for the second week in a row were it not for Billboard‘s policy to bar low-priced albums from the chart in their first four weeks of release. Brooks’s 10-CD set The Ultimate Collection sold 77K copies, which would have put it at #5 this week. Target is selling the set for $29.99, which comes out to $2.99 a disk. If Brooks and Target had priced it five dollars higher, at $34.99, it would be on the chart. (That’ll show you, Garth, giving your fans a good deal!)
Rae Sremmurd’s SremmLife 2 drops from #4 to #8 in its 15th week. The album has surged on the popularity of the above-mentioned “Black Beatles,” which tops the Hot 100 for the third straight week.
Hamilton drops from #6 to #9 in its 61st week. The Broadway cast album peaked at #3 in the wake of the Tony Awards.
Drake’s Views drops from #5 to #10 in its 30th week. The album spent its first 26 weeks in the top five. It logged 13 weeks at #1.
Three albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker drops from #7 to #42. Sting’s 57th & 9th drops from #9 to #45. The Chainsmokers’ EP, Collage, drops from #8 to #11.
Coming attractions: Look for the Weeknd’s Starboy to enter the Billboard 200 at #1 next week, with “equivalent sales” of about 340K, including traditional sales of about 220K. Also due: Garth Brooks’s Gunslinger, Prince’s 4Ever.