According to Billboard.com, IRON MAIDEN’s “The Book Of Souls” debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 75,000 equivalent album units in the week ending September 10. That equals MAIDEN’s highest rank ever, first achieved with 2010’s “The Final Frontier”.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
In terms of pure album sales, “The Book Of Souls” landed at No. 3 on the Top Album Sales chart with first-week sales of 74,000 copies. This marks MAIDEN’s best sales week since Nielsen Music started tracking sales in 1991.
“The Book Of Souls” is the sixth consecutive IRON MAIDEN studio album to show debut week sales growth. The band’s 1998’s “Virtual XI” set opened with 10,000 units, up from the 6,000 of 1995’s “X Factor”, and was followed by 2000’s “Brave New World” (38,000), 2003’s “Dance Of Death” (40,000), 2006’s “A Matter Of Life And Death” (56,000) and the aforementioned “The Final Frontier” (63,000).
Released globally on September 4 through Parlophone Records (Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG in the U.S.), “The Book Of Souls” was recorded in Paris, France with producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year.
“The Book Of Souls” includes “Empire Of The Clouds”, an 18-minute track penned by IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear after being diagnosed with a tumor on his tongue late last year.
The band announced in May that touring plans to support the album wouldn’t happen until 2016 to allow Dickinson time to fully recuperate after his successful cancer treatment.