Dave Matthews Band strikes again with its fifth-consecutive studio album to debut at No. 1 as "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King" bows in the penthouse of the Billboard 200 with a whopping 424,000. Better still, it's the fifth-straight studio set from the group to open with a sales week of at least 400,000. The act's last studio set, 2005's "Stand Up," stood tall with 465,000 in its first frame.
DMB's opener is the third-best debut of the year, after Eminem's "Relapse" (608,000) and U2's "No Line On the Horizon" (484,000). Speaking of Eminem, his "Relapse" slips to No. 2 with 141,000 (down 33%) in its third week.
The Billboard 200's top six debuts this week all come from rock acts, with 311 coming in as the chart's second highest debut, at No. 3, with
"Uplifter." The set begins with 60,000 and gives the band its highest charting album ever, but the 60,000 unit opening is actually the group's smallest first week sales debut for a studio album since 1995, when its self-titled album bowed at No. 56 with 20,000.
Rock super group Chickenfoot debuts at No. 4 with its self-titled debut, shifting 52,000. The quartet - which consists of Van Halen's Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony along with Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith and guitar god Joe Satriani - also debuts at No. 1 on Top Independent Albums. Behind Chickenfoot at No. 7 on the the Billboard 200 is Taking Back Sunday's "New Again," which enters with 48,000.
Rancid returns to the chart after a nearly six-year absence as "Let the Dominoes Fall" bows at No. 11, giving the band its best rank ever. "Dominoes'" 33,000 entrance is smaller than what greeted its last set, 2003's "Indestructible," when it jumped onto the tally at No. 15 with 51,000.
In other "highest charting" news, Elvis Costello's "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane" sweetens up the Billboard 200 with its debut at No. 13, starting with 28,000. The set gives Costello his highest rank on the Billboard 200 since 1980's "Get Happy!!" peaked at No. 11.
Lastly, here's a recap of the rest of the top 10 this week that we haven't already mentioned: Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown" falls three slots to No. 5 (52,000; down 32%) and the "Hannah Montana: the Movie" soundtrack also slips three positions to No. 6 (50,000; down 4%). Lady GaGa's "The Fame" sold 47,000 and posts a gain of 3%, but is pushed back three rungs to No. 8 courtesy of all of the new entries ahead of it. Kenny Chesney's "Greatest Hits II" slides three slots to No. 9 with 39,000 -- down just 10%. And finally, the top 10's favorite gal, Taylor Swift, sees her "Fearless" pull in a gain of 9%, but drops from No. 9 to No. 10 (36,000).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending June 7) totaled 6.38 million units, up 10.9% compared to the sum last week (5.75 million) and down 15.6% compared to the same sales week of 2008 (7.56 million). Year to date album sales stand at 155.1 million, down 14% compared to the same total at this point last year (179.3 million).