Vampire Weekend tops the albums chart

It’s a grand day for indie rock, as Vampire Weekend have just debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Go ahead and hoist a refreshing glass of horchata in their honor. The preppy foursome sold 124,000 copies of their sophomore album Contra, according to Nielsen SoundScan — a nice number that, combined with weak retail competition, was enough to make them the biggest band in the nation for at least one week. Considering that the No. 1 spot generally belongs to major-label acts like Ke$ha and Susan Boyle, it’s impressive to see a scrappy young indie group pull this off. (Contra came out on XL Recordings.) In fact, this is only the 12th time an independent release has topped Billboard‘s flagship chart since the SoundScan era began in 1991.

Speaking of Susan Boyle, I Dreamed a Dream stayed at No. 2 by selling 77,000 copies. Barring any surprises, her lengthy reign on this chart would seem to have reached a definitive end. Meanwhile, last week’s chart-topper, Ke$ha, slipped to No. 3 with 67,000 copies sold of Animal in its second week.

Aside from Vampire Weekend, it was a quiet week for new releases. R&B crooner Omarion’s alliteratively titled Ollusion landed at No. 19, with 19,000 copies sold; no other new albums made the Top 20.

What do you think of Vampire Weekend’s chart triumph? How far do you think they’ll drop next week? Sound off in the comments, below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Ke$ha dethrones Susan Boyle on the albums chart
Stephen Gately: Is new Boyzone video a fitting tribute?
Susan Boyle talks to Oprah about her hospitalization
New Taylor Swift song, “Today Was a Fairytale”: Listen here


Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • Rob

    Good for VP! They are a good band with a great sound. Its nice to see a band like this top the charts instead of acts like Kesha and Boyle and any other crappy singers.

    • A Keys Album Suck !!

      Alicia Keys is a homewrecker !!
      Element of Freedom suck !!
      Her label is buying their own product to pretend like shes moving unit . She’s NOT ! Industry scam!

    • Jimmy Doogan

      Amazing how the TWILIGHT phenomenon is still pervasive in pop culture…this is clearly another effect that all things vamoire are hot right now.

      • Mike

        Really?! you think that this is because “vampires are hot right now.” If your not being sarcastic then your an idiot. Anyway I only cared for a few songs on this album, although it’s hard to follow up their first which was perfection.

  • Phil

    The Vampire Weekend album is great! I love “Holiday”…not really a fan of the single, “Cousins”, but if you are iTunes has the Video FREE this week!
    Sidenote: Gaga hasn’t gone to #1 with either “The Fame” or “Fame Monster” in the U.S. MOSTLY because Billboard counts each disc separately, whereas if the combined totals were calculated she’d have gone to #1 by now. I’d like to see her have a #1 album, esp. since her best song to date “Bad Romance” has been kept from #1 on the Hot 100 chart by Ke$ha now.

  • GagaMonster

    Gaga is still in the top 10 with The Fame and its Monster offspring. TFM actually went up in sales thanks to Oprah and The Fame only went down 3% in sales..! So Ke$ha falls and Boyle holds strong, but the only thing that matters is that VAMPIRE WEEKEND IS NUMBER ONE! WHOO!

  • edlover311

    I think we should all thank Twilight for this.

    • S.O.

      ummm, it was more than just Twilight girls that like Vampire Weekend. More like young adults or people in their 30s who still listen to any type of Indie, Modern Alternative rock.

      & I can’t stand Twilight. But I do like the artists/bands on their soundtrack.

      • Gerardo

        book is in a secipfic genre, that is)If you had to be one of your characters for a day, who would you pick, and why?

    • darthwilson

      I am 36 year old male who can’t stand twilight. I was a big fan of there last album as well. The new spoon album might be even better IMO.

    • vincenotvance

      Twilight has nothing to do with Vampire Weekend.

      Twilight might have to do with some of the “newfound” success of Paramore, Muse & Radiohead, but not Vampire Weekend.

      With that said, I downloaded it on a whim (thank you Deal of the Day on Amazon!) and it’s very good. Though I’ve yet to listen to the new Spoon album, which I also bought through a DOTD thing on Amazon. Hear that one’s even better.

    • Fatima

      Weren’t even aware they were on that soundtrack. Loved them since the debut.

      • Jeff

        They were never on any Twilight soundtrack, he was trying to make a bad joke because of the word “vampire”.

  • congrats to vampire weekend. not my type of music, but it’s nice to see new people on top of the charts and all different types of music, too.

  • Jeff

    Wow, did not expect this! Congrats to them though, they completely deserve this! FINALLY, a cool, fresh, unique, smart, fun band hits it big.

  • S.O.

    Congrats Vampire Weekend! Its nice to see a Indie/Modern Alternative rock band top the US album charts in this era of flooded pop & hip hop stars as this is rare.

  • Blinktx69

    Good I’m glad to see someone different at #1, but I seen them live and let me tell you they have no energy on stage and are just plan boring. There sound is not all that great, but some of there songs a really good.

  • darthwilson

    Nice! It’s a great album. Glad to see some “indie” bands getting some good sales.

  • Heather

    YAYAYAYAY :D

  • JAM

    I saw this band on Bully Beatdown and thought to myself, what a pack of cookie cutter sellouts. A thousand bands have their sound, only they were smart enough to capitalize on the trend of vampires. WEAK

    • catlin

      Yea…Vampire Weekend came out debuted back in 2007, while the movie Twilight came out in November 2008. Name 5 other bands that sound like them.

    • Paul

      Are you SURE your talking about this band. ‘Cause I haven’t heard many other bands copping the Afropop sound that VW has. Besides, I think their name precedes the current vampire surge–vampires have been around a long time, ya know.

  • Koi

    The real story is Lady Gaga’s THE FAME at #4 over a YEAR after its release!

    • Menchy

      True. That girl has longetivity out the wazoo.

    • Mike

      too bad her songs are so fixed up with computers that she’s barely singing, there aren’t very many instruments (I know music w/out instruments how could that ever catch on *cough cough* rap) and she sounds like everything else mainstream…accept VW apparently. good for them

  • duffy

    now this is a number one that was deserved! horchata has been on near constant loop on my itunes since i got this. love cousins too.

  • Josh

    Muse has been successful since before Twilight, so let’s not include them in Twilight’s crap-effect.

    • S.O.

      Exactly. I 1st heard of them way back in late 1999. When their debut 1st album came out. Then heard them again on most Alternative rock stations w/ “Time Is Running Out” & “Hysteria” in 2003-2004. Way before Twilight. Been a fan of Muse for over 5 years.

    • Leena

      Same for Radiohead and the very young Paramore. I don’t need to explain how Radiohead have always been huge, but even Paramore had already made a name for themselves before Twilight came along. Hell, they even garnered a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist before they were ever featured on the soundtrack of Twilight. Misery Business anyone? Practically every band featured in Twilight were already fairly popular before that movie existed.

      • Estefany

        (#4) if i saw “Bella” wkilang towards me… I’d throw up too… (if i was “Edward”) and i happen to think the movies are way over rated… :D

  • Alex

    The name vampire weekend came from the title of a movie that they were making when the band was in college. It has nothing to do with Twilight.

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