Given all the success that Kings Of Leon have had over the years, you might be surprised to learn that they’ve never actually had a number one album before. With seven albums in their history, the band had only managed to reach number two previously with Come Around Sundown and Mechanical Bull. But that was before the new Kings Of Leon arrived and released their latest record, WALLS – which is now their first effort to nab a number one spot on the charts.
WALLS hits number one this week with only 77,000 equivalent album units moved, while 68,000 of them were traditional sales. In comparison to their past efforts, WALLS sold significantly less in its debut week, as 2013’s Mechanical Bull sold over 110,000. It’s an interesting trend to see in charts where a band’s new album charts higher but sells less than a previous one. It raises the question: does it matter more to sell a lot of records, or does chart position ultimately reign supreme? After all, when we look back at Kings Of Leon’s discography in the future, we’ll notice WALLS at number one and there won’t be much attention paid to the fact that it didn’t sell as well, so maybe it’s not as big of a deal as it seems.
Even if WALLS didn’t move as many copies as possibly expected, it doesn’t change the fact that the number one record is rightfully deserved. The album comes away as the band’s most eclectic, inventive, and honest record yet, and it’s impressive that they can still stay relevant in the mainstream despite such a shift in sound. There’s something to admire about longevity, and Kings Of Leon have proven that they’re the masters of it.