Album sales: One Direction makes history with No. 1 debut of 'Up All Night'

one-direction

Image Credit: Chris Lopez

A few months ago, we asked you, “Are boy bands officially back?” According to this week’s Billboard 200, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

British boy band One Direction debuted atop the chart with their first album, Up All Night, which sold an impressive 176,000 copies in its first week. In doing so, Simon Cowell’s fivesome, who are signed to SYCO/Columbia, became the first-ever British act to debut atop the Billboard 200 with its debut disc. The former highest Brit debut was the Spice Girls’ Spice, which started at No. 6 in 1997, although it did climb to No. 1 three months later.

One Direction turned industry heads a few weeks ago when their American television debut on The Today Show drew over 10,000 screaming fans into Rockefeller Center, but before this week, the group hadn’t demonstrated much sales power Stateside.

Remarkably, their debut single “What Makes You Beautiful,” which currently sits at No. 33 on the Hot 100 (and was predicted as the spring’s biggest song by EW readers), has only been available in America for five weeks. But in a YouTube-driven industry, international artists are available to fans at the click of a mouse (the music video has garnered over 75 million views since its debut in August) — tweens had more than enough time to fall for their new obsession via the Internet.

Fellow Brit Adele held strong in second place once again. Her smash album 21 dipped 24 percent to 148,000 copies, while the man who beat her last week, Bruce Springsteen, dropped into fourth place with 57,000 (–71 percent) of his latest set, Wrecking Ball.

In third, Guns N’ Roses became the latest band to get a gigantic boost from a one-day 25-cent deal on both Google Play and the Amazon MP3 store. Their Greatest Hits collection increased 572 percent and sold 85,000 copies.

Christian worship band Passion notched a fifth-place debut with their latest disc Passion: White Flag, which sold 48,000 copies in its first week. The set features collaborations with high-profile Christian acts like Chris Tomlin and David Crowder Band.

Filling the next three rungs of the chart, Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits stuck around in sixth place (45,000), while Drake’s Take Care (36,000) and Now 41 (29,000) finished close behind.

Two buzzy acts rounded out the Top 10. Gotye, whose “Somebody That I Used to Know” has swept the world and is now sweeping America too, entered the Top 10 for the first time. His album Making Mirrors leaped 14 percent from 14-9 and sold 24,000 copies — his best-ever sales week. Close behind, “We Are Young” pomp-rockers fun. jumped 13-10 with their popular album Some Nights, which sold 22,000.

Check out this week’s Top 10 below:

1. One Direction, Up All Night – 176,000
2. Adele, 21 – 148,000
3.  Guns N’ Roses, Greatest Hits – 85,000
4. Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball – 57,000
5. Passion, Passion: White Flag – 48,000
6. Whitney Houston, The Greatest Hits – 45,000
7. Drake, Take Care – 36,000
8. Various Artists, Now 41 – 29,000
9. Gotye, Making Mirrors – 24,000
10. fun., Some Nights – 22,000

More on EW.com:
One Direction’s Up All Night – The EW Review
Are boy bands officially back?

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