Vet group's 'Away From the World' leads a host of new titles
After weeks of lackluster sales, the Dave Matthews Band led a parade of fresh titles into the U.S. album this week with the sizeable debut of the group’s sixth straight No. 1 album, “Away From the World.”The Virginia rock act bowed with a first-week score of 266,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending Sept. 16. Matthews’ string of No. 1 albums stretches back to “Before These Crowded Streets” in 1998. Sales of the new DMB paled beside the 424,000-unit debut tally of 2009’s “Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King.” But the new title nonetheless keyed the first week since mid-July in which more than one album sold in six figures. The top six slots and seven of the frame’s top 10 were all new arrivals. Country quartet Little Big Town took the No. 2 position with “Tornado” (Capitol Nashville). It’s the Music City foursome’s highest-charting and biggest-selling release to date, with 113,000 sold out of the box. Legendary troubadour Bob Dylan’s “Tempest” (Columbia) arrived at No. 3, shifting 110,000. It’s the singer-songwriter’s fourth consecutive top-five bow, following “Together Through Life” (No. 1, 2009), “Modern Times” (No. 1, 2006) and “Love and Theft” (No. 5, 2001). His first album was released 50 years ago. Americana siblings the Avett Brothers — who performed with Dylan at the 2011 Grammy Awards — made their first top-10 appearance with “The Carpenter” (Universal Republic), which reached No. 4 with a career-best 98,000-unit week. The U.K. pop-rock band the xx marched in at No. 5 with the 73,000-unit score of its sophomore release “Coexist” (XL). The Mercury Prize-winning group rose no higher than No. 92 in the States with its self-titled 2009 debut. Blues-rocking vets ZZ Top made their first top-10 appearance in more than two decades and highest SoundScan-era mark with their American Recordings debut “La Futura,” which reached No. 6 with 31,000 sold. It’s that li’l ol’ band from Texas’ highest bow since “Recycler” arrived at No. 6 in 1990. A surprising title closed out the week’s top ten: Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra’s crowd-funded, self-released “Theatre is Evil,” which entered at No. 10 with 24,000 shifted. The former Dresden Dolls singer’s collection was backed by a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $1.2 million and rewarded supporters with uniquely packaged editions of the release and other perks. The week’s holdovers included Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” (No. 7, 29,000 sold, off 65%), Matchbox Twenty’s “North” (No. 8, 28,000, down 71%) and the “Now 43″ comp (No. 9, 24,000, off 32%). New titles by Pink, the Killers, Carly Rae Jepsen and the Kanye West-led Good Music’s “Cruel Summer” compilation will ring up sales on next week’s chart.