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Mumford & Sons score their third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as the band’s new studio set, Delta, debuts in the top slot. The quartet’s album, which was released Nov. 16 via Gentlemen of the Road/Glassnote Records, launches with 230,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Nov. 22, according to Nielsen Music. That’s the biggest week for an alternative rock album in 2018. Of the album’s starting sum, 214,000 were in album sales.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Dec. 1-dated chart (where Delta bows at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s websites on Tuesday.
Delta, Mumford & Sons’ fourth full-length studio album, marks the third leader for the group, following their last two studio sets: Wilder Mind (2015) and Babel (2012). Wilder Mind launched with 249,000 units (231,000 in album sales), while Babel bowed with 600,000 in album sales (before the album transitioned to a units-ranked tally in late 2014). The act’s first full-length set, Sigh No More, peaked at No. 2 in 2011.
Overall, Delta is the Mumford’s fifth top 10 effort. All four of the act’s full-length studio releases have reached the top 10. The band notched another top 10 with the five-song Johannesburg EP in 2016, which peaked at No. 9. The set was a collaborative effort with Baaba Maal, The Very Best and Beatenberg.
Delta’s debut of 230,000 equivalent album units is the largest week for an alternative album in 2018, and the second-biggest for any rock album. Among all rock titles, only Dave Matthews Band’s Come Tomorrow collected a bigger week, when it debuted at No. 1 (June 23-dated chart) with 292,000 units.
Delta’s first-week album sales of 214,000 is 2018’s largest week for an alternative album, the second-biggest for a rock title (following Come Tomorrow, with 285,000) and the sixth-largest among all titles this year. The only bigger sales weeks this year so far were tallied by the debut frames of Come Tomorrow (the largest sales week of 2018 overall), Travis Scott’s Astroworld (270,000; Aug. 18), Eminem’s Kamikaze (252,000; Sept. 15), Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty (251,000; Sept. 29) and Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods (242,000; Feb. 17).
Delta’s first-week sales were bolstered by sales generated by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with the group’s upcoming U.S. tour.
Delta’s lead radio single, “Guiding Light,” spent its fourth week at No. 1 on the most recently published Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart (dated Nov. 24). It is the fourth leader for the act on the tally, following “Believe” (five weeks at No. 1 in 2015), “Lover of the Light” (four weeks, 2013) and “I Will Wait” (11 weeks, 2012).
“Guiding Light” also rose from No. 6 to No. 4 on the latest Alternative Songs airplay chart. It is the eighth top 10 hit for Mumford & Sons, and the act’s fifth song to reach the top five.
At No. 2 on the Billboard 200, Michel Bublé collects his eighth top 10 album, as Love (on Reprise/Warner Bros. Records) starts with 111,000 units (105,000 in album sales). Of the pop singer’s eight top 10 sets, six have reached the top two: Love, Nobody But Me (No. 2, 2016); To Be Loved (No. 1 for one week, 2013); Christmas (No. 1, five weeks; 2011-2012); Crazy Love (No. 1, two weeks; 2009); and Call Me Irresponsible (No. 1, one week; 2007).
The various artists compilation The Greatest Showman: Reimagined debuts at No. 3 with 89,000 units (70,000 in album sales). The album (released via Fox/20th Century Fox/Atlantic Records) features an array of chart-topping musicians covering songs from the former No. 1 soundtrack to The Greatest Showman. Among the familiar names on the new album: Panic! at the Disco (covering “The Greatest Show”), Pink (“A Million Dreams”), Zac Brown Band (“From Now On”) and James Arthur and Anne-Marie (“Rewrite the Stars”).
The Reimagined album follows in the footsteps of another Atlantic Records refresher set, the chart-topping The Hamilton Mixtape (released via Hamilton Uptown/Atlantic). The collection boasts a bevy of stars covering and reinterpreting tunes from the top 10-charting Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton: An American Musical.
Back on the new Billboard 200 chart, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born soundtrack climbs from No. 5 to No. 4 with 62,000 units (but down 10 percent). The album spent its first three weeks at No. 1, and has yet to depart the top five after seven weeks on the tally.
Pop diva Mariah Carey earns her 18th top 10 album, as her new studio effort Caution debuts at No. 5 with 51,000 units (43,000 in album sales). Notably, of Carey’s 21 charting efforts, only three have missed the top 10, and all were compilations: #1 To Infinity (No. 29, 2015), The Remixes (No. 26, 2003) and Greatest Hits (No. 52, 2001).
Caution was introduced with a series of prerelease tracks, starting with the teaser cut “GTFO” in September, which was followed by the radio single “With You” and the instant-grat track “The Distance” in October and “A No No.” On the most recently published Adult Contemporary airplay chart (dated Nov. 24), “With You” held at its No. 11 high. It climbed from No. 14 to No. 13 on Adult R&B Songs and 41-38 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
Back on the Billboard 200, Queen’s soundtrack to Bohemian Rhapsody rises from No. 7 to No. 6 (48,000 units; down 10 percent), Travis Scott’s former leader Astroworld ascends from No. 10 to No. 7 (a little more than 44,000 units; up 9 percent) and Drake’s former chart-topper Scorpion moves from No. 9 to No. 8 (44,000 units; up 2 percent). The latter two titles rise in part due to sales generated by their vinyl release on Nov. 16.
Trippie Redd’s A Love Letter to You 3 falls from No. 3 to No. 9 in its second week (41,000 units; down 51 percent) and Metro Boomin’s former No. 1 Not All Heroes Wear Capes dips from No. 8 to No. 10 (39,000 units; down 25 percent).
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