Pearl Jam tops chart for first time in 13 years

Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:29pm EDT
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By Keith Caulfield and Monica Herrera

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Billboard) - Pearl Jam topped the U.S. pop album chart for the first time in 13 years on Wednesday, ending the two-week reign of rapper Jay-Z.

The veteran Seattle rockers sold 189,000 copies of their ninth studio album "Backspacer," during the week ended September 27, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The band had ruled the Billboard 200 on three other occasions, most recently in 1996 when "No Code" led the field with 367,000 copies. It first went to the top in 1993 when its second album "Vs" kicked off with 950,000 copies, and returned the following year with "Vitalogy" (877,000). Such hefty first-week numbers are unheard of these days as the music industry keeps spiraling downward.

Pearl Jam's last studio album, a self-titled release that came out in 2006, debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 279,000.

Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" slipped to No. 2 with 134,000 copies. The set has blown through 908,000 copies in its three weeks on the chart.

Four other new releases entered the top 10:

- Canadian rock band Three Days Grace's "Life Starts Now" at No. 3 with 79,000. It's the best sales week and highest charting album for the band, which previously went as high as No. 5 with its last set, 2006's "One - X."

- Brand New's "Daisy" leading at No. 6 with 46,000. The rock group previously hadn't gone any higher than No. 31.   Continued...

<p>Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam performs at the taping of the third annual VH1 Rock Honors: The Who concert in Los Angeles July 12, 2008. The concert airs on VH1 on July 17. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>