Kanye West "Yeezus" Tops Billboard 200 Album Chart

Brad Bershad

by Brad Bershad

Published June 28, 2013


To the surprise of no one, Kanye West's Yeezus album took the #1 slot on the Billboard 200 album chart this week.  West employed an extremely unconventional marketing strategy by projecting videos of himself on buildings in cities across the world and refusing to release a single in advance of the album coming out.

Entertainment Weekly reports that West sold  327,000 copies of the album in the first week, which fell below Billboard's projection of 500,000 for first week sales.  Sales were certainly hurt by an online leak of the album 4 days before the official release date.  It was also an unusual week because he was competing against two other major rap albums released by J. Cole and Mac Miller, which ended up as #2 and #3 on the album sales chart which is compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.

It is somewhat surprising that Yeezus hasn't been released on vinyl, considering that people are buying lots of vinyl records these days. In an interview with the New York Times, Kanye compared himself to Steve Jobs and said "I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus." Daft Punk sold 19,000 vinyl copies of Random Access Memories in the first week and other bands have had significant sales with vinyl releases, as well. What is the reason behind the lack of a vinyl record? Kanye and Rick Rubin have openly discussed that the album was rushed and finished at the last minute, and vinyl records take more time than CDs to manufacture. Mastering for vinyl may be an issue because the heavy distorted digital sounds on the album are not very friendly to turntable needles that like to sit in a solid groove with conventional analog harmonic frequencies.

Black Sabbath was knocked from the #1 slot to #5, as Kelly Rowland also had a strong first week.

Here's the top 10:

Artist Album
1 Kanye West Yeezus
2 J. Cole Born Sinner
3 Mac Miller Watching Movies With The Sound Off
4 Kelly Rowland Talk A Good Game
5 Black Sabbath 13
6 Daft Punk Random Access Memories
7 Hunter Hayes Hunter Hayes
8 Florida Georgia Line Here's To The Good Times
9 Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience
10 Imagine Dragons Night Visions

Source: Billboard 200 Chart

Kanye West
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