On The Charts: Welcome To The Big Leagues, Daft Punk

After a perfectly pitched promotional campaign that made Daft Punk the most talked-about musical act in the world, the French electronic duo’s wildly anticipated Random Access Memories dominated the Billboard 200 album chart, selling 339,000 copies in its first week of release, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan.

Led by breakout single “Get Lucky” (currently at No. 10 on the Hot 100 chart), Random Access Memories rang up the second-biggest sales week of 2013 so far, only behind Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience. According to Billboard, Daft Punk’s numbers even exceeded expectations, which were predicted to be closer to 300,000.

It’s a significant milestone for Daft Punk, with the first-week sales of RAM more than twice the number of copies the band’s last studio album, 2005’s Human After All, which has sold 125,000 copies total to date. While their soundtrack to Tron: Legacy peaked at No. 4, the band’s highest charting original release was Discovery from 2001 at No. 44, which has sold 796,000 copies to date. This is what happens when a major label (Columbia) shells out the money to throw an old-school promo party behind an act that, 20 years into its career, has not lost its worldwide cool status.

Coming in at No. 2 is maverick country artist Darius Rucker, whose fourth solo release, True Believers, moved more than 83,000 copies first week out. Rucker’s previous album, 2010’s Charleston, SC 1966, also debuted at No. 2. As Billboard points out, True Believers marks Rucker’s third straight No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart.

The No. 3 slot belongs to stalwart indie band the National, whose sixth album, Trouble Will Find Me, moved a career-high 75,000 copies. The National’s last album, 2010’s High Violet, also debuted at No. 3.

Rapper French Montana sold 56,000 copies of his debut, Excuse My French, to take the No. 4 spot, followed by The Great Gatsby soundtrack, which falls back from No. 4 to No. 5 with 54,000.

Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars scored their first Top 10 album with Love Lust Faith + Dreams landing at No. 6 with 53,000 copies sold opening week.

The rest of the Top 10 rounds out with Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City falling from 1-7, George Strait’s Love is Everything sliding from 2-8, Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience dropping two spots from 7-9, and Lady Antebellum’s Golden slipping from 5-10.

More from Scott T. Sterling

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