Vampire Weekend Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart
As forecast, Vampire Weekend notches its second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart as Modern Vampires of the City debuts atop the list this week. The set sold 134,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which is a record high sales week for the act.
The group's last album, Contra, previously held the act's one-week sales record when it started at No. 1 in January of 2010 with 124,000.
Modern Vampires of the City is the 19th independently-distributed album to reach No. 1 since the Billboard 200 chart began using SoundScan sales data in 1991. The set is released on XL Recordings and distributed by Warner Music's indie-distribution arm Alternative Distribution Alliance.
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The new album is the first indie set to debut at No. 1 this year. The last indie to start at No. 1 was Jason Aldean's Night Train on the chart dated Nov. 3, 2012. A few weeks before Aldean, Mumford & Sons' Babel opened at No. 1. It then returned to the top this year, after it won the Grammy Award for album of the year.
At No. 2 this week is country legend George Strait with his arriving Love Is Everything. It sold 125,000 in its first frame, which surpasses the start of Strait's last studio release, 2011's Here For a Good Time (91,000) (Strait's first week sales figure was revised by SoundScan on the morning of May 22 from 120,000 to 125,000).
Love Is Everything is Strait's 18th top 10 album on the Billboard 200, tying him with Paul McCartney for the fourth-most top 10s among male artists in history. Only Frank Sinatra (33), Elvis Presley (27) and Bob Dylan (20) have logged more top 10s among the gents.
Over on the Country Albums chart, Strait secures his 25th No. 1 album with Love Is Everything, extending his record for the most No. 1s on the Country Albums chart in history. In a distant second place are Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, who each have 15 No. 1s.
At No. 3 on the Billboard 200 is the third and final debut in the top 10: Demi Lovato's Demi. The singer/actress' fourth album is her fourth straight set to debut in the top four, and it scores her best sales week yet (110,000).
Lovato's last album, 2011's Unbroken, started at No. 4 with 96,000. She previously opened at No. 1 with her sophomore set, Here We Go Again, in 2009 (108,000 in its debut -- her previous best sales week). Her first album, 2008's Don't Forget, debuted and peaked at No. 2 off an 89,000 launch.
As for the rest of the top 10 this week, last week's No. 1, Lady Antebellum's Golden, falls to No. 5 with 56,000 (down 67%). Right above it is the soundtrack to the film The Great Gatsby, which slips from No. 2 to No. 4 in its second week with 95,000 (down just 30%). The Now 46 compilation falls 3-6 (52,000; down 43%), Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience descends 6-7 (44,000; down 34%) and Michael Buble's To Be Loved dips 4-8 (40,000; down 53%). Closing out the top 10: Pistol Annies' "Annie Up" drops 5-9 (30,000; down 64%) and Blake Shelton's Based On a True Story steps down 9-10 (28,000; down 26%).