Mumford & Sons enjoyed a Pyrrhic victory on the Billboard 200 as their new album Wilder Mind cruised to the Number One spot thanks to 249,000 albums sold. The British group’s first studio outing with electric guitars was the band’s second consecutive Number One album and scored the third best debut sales week of 2015, outselling all albums except Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Billboard reports.
So why wasn’t Mumford and Sons’ seizure of the top spot not a clear-cut win? Compare their previous album Babel‘s first week sales in 2012 to what Wilder Mind did in 2015. Babel sold 600,000 when it was released in September 2012, the biggest sales week of that year and more than double what Wilder Mind managed to move in its debut.
It’s no wonder Mumford & Sons are so opposed to services like Tidal, since the outbreak of streaming in the three years since Babel helped erode Wilder Mind‘s sales. On the bright side, Wilder Mind was the bestselling rock debut since Coldplay’s Ghost Stories a year ago.
Josh Groban’s Stages retained its Number Two spot for the second straight week, while a pair of debuts filled Numbers Three and Four: Now 54, the latest installment in the series that celebrates last season’s biggest radio hits, sold 71,000 copies to finish in third place while Tech N9ne’s Special Effects scooped up fourth thanks to 58,000 units sold, the rapper’s best sales week ever. Last week’s winner, Zac Brown Band’s Jekyll + Hyde, rounded out the Top Five.