Pearl Jam ‘backspaces’ past Jay-Z into the top spot on the Billboard 200

09.30.09 8 years ago


It’s a sweet day for Pearl Jam.  The band lands its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 13 years, as its ninth studio album, “Backspacer” claims to top spot.

It’s the group’s first release on its own  Monkeywrench Records  in its nearly 20-year career.  After a long stint on Epic Records and a shorter one on J Records, the band decided to go the indie route and set up a very well-conceived distribution network that included Target, indie retailers, iTunes and Pearl Jam’s very active fan club.

“Backspacer” sold 189,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s almost 100,000 less than its last studio album, 2006’s self-titled effort, sold in its opening weekm says Billboard.  Back then, that landed the band at No. 2. Even though the music industry was already in the tank in 2006, those look like the good old days compared to now. This is the fourth album that Eddie Vedder and company have taken to the summit.

It’s a rocking Top 10  on the Billboard charts this week: Three Days Grace’s “Life Starts Now” starts its chart life at No. 3; Brand New’s  “Daisy” is No. 6 and Five Finger Death Punch’s  “War is the Answer” lands a blow at No. 7. These are all personal bests for each band.

Harry Connick Jr. shows he’s still got that swing with his cover album, “Your Songs,” which debuts at No. 7, marking his second top 10 album.

In terms of non-debuts, last week’s charttopper, Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint 3,”  drops to No. 2, while Whitney Houston’s “I Look to You” falls to No. 4.

Next week is going to see some major changes in the Top 10 as Mariah Carey is odds-on favorite to come on top, while Madonna, Barbra Streisand, AFI, Paramore, Miranda Lambert, Ghostface Killah and Alice in Chains will likely all come in within the Top 10.

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