By Mikael Wood
Los Angeles Times
3:15 PM EDT, October 23, 2013
"Lightning Bolt" has powered Pearl Jam to the top of the chart.
The latest album by the veteran band enters the Billboard 200 this week at No. 1, reflecting sales of 166,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
It's Pearl Jam's second consecutive chart-topper (following "Backspacer" in 2009) and fifth overall, though the album's "launch is the smallest debut frame for any of Pearl Jam's studio releases," wrote Billboard's Keith Caulfield.
"Still, it's the largest debut week for any rock album since last November," Caulfield added, when Phillip Phillips sold 169,000 copies of "The World From the Side of the Moon."
More chart info that rock fans might find comforting: Paul McCartney's "New" bows at No. 3 (right behind Miley Cyrus's "Bangerz") with 67,000 copies sold.
Then again, that total is lower than the 74,000 first-week copies McCartney moved of his 2012 standards disc "Kisses on the Bottom" (with far less promotion, we might add). And it's a way smaller number than the former Beatle notched in 2007 with his previous set of original songs, "Memory Almost Full," which debuted at No. 3 with 161,000.
The takeaway here? Rock isn't dead -- it's only dying.
Other albums entering the chart this week include the Avett Brothers' "Magpie and the Dandelion" at No. 5, Scotty McCreery's "See You Tonight" at No. 6 and Willie Nelson's "To All the Girls" at No. 9.
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