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.
- Metal band Five Finger Death Punch’s “War Is The Answer” at No. 7 with 44,000 copies. Its debut album, “The Way Of The Fist,” peaked at No. 107 over a year ago.
- Jazz vocalist Harry Connick, Jr.’s “Your Songs” at No. 8 with 37,000.
Elsewhere, Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You” fell two spots to No. 4 with 66,000, Miley Cyrus’ “The Time Of Our Lives” held steady at No. 5 with 61,000, Drake’s “So Far Gone” fell three to No. 9 with 36,000, and Muse’s “The Resistance” dropped seven to No. 10 with just under 36,000.
Overall album sales totaled 5.93 million units, down 8 percent from the previous week, and also down 8 percent compared to the same sales week of 2008. Year-to-date album sales are off 14 percent compared to the same total at this point last year.
Editing by DGoodman at Reuters