Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tom Petty Scores First No. 1 Album On Billboard 200

After a nearly 37-year wait, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers earn their first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.

The band's new Hypnotic Eye arrives atop the chart, selling 131,000 copies in the week ending Aug. 3, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's the best debut sales week for Petty since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, and his best sales frame overall (debut or otherwise) since 1994, when his solo album Wildflowers sold 161,000 in the week after Christmas.

Petty and The Heartbreakers first appeared on the Billboard 200 back in September 1977 with their self-titled debut album that featured the classics "Breakdown" and "American Girl."

Petty's long wait for No. 1 isn't the longest an act has had to wait for its first chart-topper. That honor belongs to Tony Bennett, who patiently waited 54 years for his first leader: 2011's Duets II. The pop singer's first charted album was 1957's Tony, which debuted on the chart dated Feb. 23, 1957.

Sales for Hypnotic Eye were aided by an album promotion with Petty's current concert tour. Customers who bought a ticket to Petty's shows had the option of also receiving the album as part of their purchase. Only albums that were redeemed by the consumer count as sales toward Billboard's charts. (Many ticket buyers decline the album.)

Petty employed a similar album/ticket promotion for his last album, 2010's Mojo, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 125,000 sold in its first week. Aside from Petty, a great number of other acts have offered album/ticket deals, such as Austin Mahone, Cher and Bon Jovi.