In an age when the album’s death-knell is often sounded, Brighton duo Royal Blood have risen up and sold 66,000 copies of their album, making it the fastest-selling debut since Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds in 2011. It’s also trumped first-week sales performances by artists who’ve gone on to enormous heights of success.
Royal Blood’s 'Royal Blood' rocketed to number 1 in the UK Album Charts this week and became the fastest-selling rock debut album since Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds in 2011. The Brighton duo sold 66,000 copies within a week of release, beating first-week debut album sales from Lily Allen, Kasabian and Muse. Here’s 10 classic debut albums Royal Blood sold more than in their first week.
The Strokes – ‘Is This It’
The debut album from NYC’s The Strokes might have paved the way for bands like Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys but its first week sales performance wasn’t particularly impressive. It sold 48,000 copies in the first week, entering the UK Albums Chart at number 2 back in 2001.
Linkin Park – ‘Hybrid Theory’
Though Linkin Park’s debut album has gone platinum a solid eight times and influenced countless nu-metal bands ever since, it sold a less than legendary 50,000 copies in its first week in 2000. Its legacy has endured: the US rap-rockers performed their debut album 'Hybrid Theory' in full as they closed out Download Festival this year.
The xx – ‘xx’
The xx’s first album, ‘xx’, was a sleeper hit that sold just 4,180 copies in its first week. It neither pinballed nor slumped but instead went on to continuously do well, selling steadily for the next 44 weeks. Sales spiked upwards when the Londoners were nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2010 and their album leapt from number 44 to number 12 in the UK Album Charts.
Jake Bugg – ‘Jake Bugg’
Nottingham born Jake Bugg shot to glory in 2012 with cool indifference. Bugg topped the UK Album Charts with 35,000 sales in the first week. He beat Leona Lewis’s third studio album ‘Glassheart’, causing a backlash from her adoring fans. Bugg responded by telling NME: "It's my job to keep that X Factor sh*t off the top of the charts."
Kasabian – ‘Kasabian’
After seven years of playing, writing, recording and finding a full-time drummer, Kasabian released their debut album back in 2004, selling 36,000 records and scoring a UK number 4 in the Albums Chart. The album, including the single that prompted its success, ‘Club Foot’, will be played this Friday (Sept 5), the day before the album’s 10th anniversary.
Vampire Weekend – ‘Vampire Weekend’
Vampire Weekend sold 27,000 copies of their self-titled debut album in the US in its first week. In the UK, the self-produced album peaked at number 15 but not until it had been in the chart for 11 weeks. The album formed the basis of a commandeering musical fingerprint for years to come.
Muse – ‘Showbiz’
Though its self-assuming title would suggest otherwise, ‘Showbiz’ was a slow seller, peaking at number 29 in the UK Album Charts. The melancholic debut has sold 700,000 copies to date since its 1999 release - a fraction of the success of Muse’s four UK number 1 albums that came later.
Mumford & Sons – ‘Sigh No More’
It seems pretty incredible that the folk-rock phenomenon Mumford & Sons only sold 4,000 copies of their debut album ‘Sigh No More’ in its first week of release back in 2009. Undeterred by the rather foggy start to their career, the British band went on to huge success including two Grammy awards, three Billboard Music awards and two Brit Awards.
Lily Allen – ‘Alright, Still’
Lily Allen’s brilliant debut almost touched Royal Blood’s 66K selling 62,701 copies in its first week, which is nothing to be embarrassed about. In the eight years since then it has sold over three millions copies worldwide and Allen has gone on to play big stages all over the world, including headlining Latitude Festival (2014).
Arcade Fire – ‘Funeral’
Arcade Fire had neither glorious nor envy-inducing debut album sales, selling just 4,782 copies of ‘Funeral’ in its first week. The album continued to make small splashes in the music world, until, 47 weeks later, it reached number 33 in the UK Albums Chart. 10 years later they were headlining Glastonbury.
By Jessica Dawson