Mumford & Sons Bring Rock Back to the Top of the Charts

Another rock band at No. 1 means another ticket bundle, the music industry’s current tactic to inflate first-week sales.

Like Bon Jovi, Arcade Fire, Dave Matthews Band and many others recently (including pop singers like Pink, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake), the British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons offered a copy of its new album, “Delta,” as a bonus to anyone buying tickets to its current arena tour. (The album must be redeemed to count as an official sale.) And once again, it did the trick, landing the group its third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart.

“Delta” (Gentleman of the Road/Glassnote) moved a total of 230,000 album equivalent units in its first week out, according to Nielsen Music, including 214,000 in traditional digital and physical sales (including those ticket bundles) and 19 million streams. Mumford & Sons previously landed No. 1 albums with “Wilder Mind” in 2015 and “Babel” in 2012 — with “Babel” going on to win the Grammy for album of the year.

Billboard reported that the totals for “Delta” were the biggest for an alternative rock album this year, and second to only Dave Matthews Band for rock groups overall. Mumford & Sons also have the No. 1 song on Billboard’s adult alternative airplay chart with “Guiding Light.”

The No. 2 album this week — “Love” (Reprise/Warner Bros.) by the old-fashioned crooner Michael Bublé — had even fewer streams than “Delta,” at just six million, but the album sold 105,000 copies for a total of 111,000 units. At No. 3 is “The Greatest Showman: Reimagined” (Atlantic), a soundtrack update that features acts like Pink and Zac Brown Band covering songs from the 2017 musical film. The new version was purchased 70,000 times and streamed 18 million times for a total of 89,000 units. (In its 50th week on the chart, the original soundtrack, a former No. 1, is also No. 19.)

This week marks the first Billboard 200 chart this year without a rap album in the Top 5. Another soundtrack — for the Lady Gaga-led “A Star Is Born” (Interscope) — is No. 4 in its seventh chart week, adding another 36,000 in sales and 26 million in streams. And No. 5 is the new Mariah Carey album, “Caution” (Epic), which debuted without a radio hit and sold 51,000 units, with 43,000 in sales and nine million streams.

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