Pearl Jam has notched its fifth Number One record on theBillboard 200 album chart on Wednesday (October 23rd), as Lightning Bolt sold 166,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at the top of the survey. The band’s 10th studio effort follows 2009’s Backspacer, which moved 189,000 copies to also land in the top spot. The group’s previous chart-toppers were 1996’s No Code, 1994’sVitalogy and 1993’s Vs.
Guitarist Mike McCready told us that although Lightning Bolt touches on different eras of the band’s sound, the band didn’t plan it that way: “You know, I think there’s some looking back and some looking forward in this record. When you sit down to write a record, it’s not — we kind of never go, ‘This is what our thoughts are on what it should be.’ The recording process itself and the songs will tell you as it goes on what it is, so we don’t know exactly what we have when we first start out.”
Although the first-week sales for Lightning Bolt are the lowest for any of the band’s studio releases, it’s the largest debut week for any rock album in 2013.
The band has also reached Number Two four times, with Ten in 1992, Yield in 1998, Binaural in 2000 and a self-titled effort in 2006.
All 10 of Pearl Jam’s studio albums have reached the Billboard chart’s Top 10.