In what can only be described as a bit of a shock, U2 has blasted to #1 on the Billboard Album Chart with Songs of Experience.
The band is now the only group with No. 1s in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.
U2 achieves its eighth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as the rock band’s new Songs of Experience debuts atop the tally. The set bows with 186,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 7, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 180,000 were in traditional album sales.
I know I was one of many who didn’t believe the band had it in them. The marketing campaign put in place by manager Guy Oseary has certainly paid off.
Songs of Experience nets the biggest week for a rock album in 2017, both in terms of overall units, as well as album sales. The last rock set to log a larger frame was Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, which launched at No. 1 on the Dec. 10, 2016-dated chart with 291,000 units, of which 282,000 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, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Dec. 23-dated chart (where Songs of Experience debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s websites on Tuesday (Dec. 12).
This adds to their historical run and influence.
Also, among all acts with the most No. 1s in the history of the Billboard 200 chart, U2 is now tied with Kenny Chesney and Madonna for the sixth-most leaders (and third-most among groups). Ahead of them are The Beatles (with 19), JAY-Z (14), Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand (each with 11), Elvis Presley (10), and Garth Brooks and The Rolling Stones (both with nine). U2 is also just the fourth act — and only group — to have earned No. 1s in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, following Janet Jackson, Springsteen and Streisand.