According to Nielsen SoundScan numbers, Linkin Park’s Living Things sold 223,000 copies in its first week on the shelves, just more than the 222,000 that Maroon 5’s Overexposed sold. Accordingly, Linkin Park will enter the charts at No. 1 for the fourth consecutive album. And like they did with 2010’s Hands All Over, Maroon 5 will take the runners-up spot.
Maroon 5’s Adam Levine unfortunately saw this coming. “Listen, would we like to debut at number 1? Of course,” he said when we spoke to him ahead of the album’s release. But he couldn’t help but note the competition they had to face in a week of high-profile releases: “But Justin Bieber is Justin Bieber, and Linkin Park is Linkin Park.” (For what it’s worth, the Biebz proved not to be the challenge, as Believe dropped to #3 with only 115,000 copies sold.) James Valentine agreed, suggesting that anything less than the top spot could be the consequence of poor planning. “We just can’t seem to pick the right week,” he said.
And they were both right, Maroon 5’s showing was overall a winning one. First week sales for Overexposed nearly doubled the first week numbers for Hands All Over, which sold 142,000 copies in its first week out. Meanwhile, “Payphone” has hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart; the same spot that “Moves Like Jagger” held for four weeks last fall. It looks like Maroon 5’s “light and fun” approach to the album creation process (see video below) was well-received by the public at large.
As coveted as the top spot may be, it does not speak to an album’s strength. In the case of Overexposed, release week competition was tough and the numbers were good regardless. When the new releases are so anticipated that the No. 1 and No. 2 albums are separated by only 1,000 sales, everybody wins — music fans especially. Mozel tovs all around, we say!