Brand New had to overcome a crucial mistake but it did it and claimed their first ever No. 1 album with Science Fiction this week. The Long Island band accidentally sent physical copies of the stellar new album to fans weeks early, but neither that nor the 8-year hiatus they’ve been on was enough to stop them from topping the charts with 58,000 equivalent album units earned last week. The number is right in line with early predictions for the digital-only album, as 55,000 of those units came via traditional album sales.
While the digital-only album becomes more of a mainstay in the industry, Science Fiction is one of several albums to top the Billboard charts this year without a physical album release, including Future’s duo of No. 1s Future and HNDRXX, along with Drake’s More Life, Migos Culture amongst others. Science Fiction is also just the third rock album to top the Billboard 200 this year, following Linkin Park’s One More in June and Arcade Fire’s Everything Now just a few weeks ago.
Behind Brand New, a pair of rappers locked up the 2 and 3 spots on the chart as Kodak Black scored his highest ever charting album with his new album Project Baby 2. The surprise release moved 50,000 units, mostly by streams as the LP only sold 8,000 traditional album sales. Kendrick Lamar’s massively successful DAMN. locked up the No. 3 spot with 41,000 units.