Matchbox Twenty’s fans clearly missed them while they were gone. After a decade-long hiatus from releasing new studio albums, the Florida rock group will roar to its first #1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart next week thanks to sales of 95,000 copies of North, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
The first full new studio album from singer Rob Thomas and his crew since 2002’s More Than You Think You Are bested the debut from 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Best Rock Video nominees Imagine Dragons, Night Visions, which landed at #2 on sales of 83,000.
Christian rapper Lecrae slipped in at #3 with Gravity (72,000) and the long-awaited return of Cat Power, Sun, rounded out the new faces in the top 10 (#10, 23,000).
The rest of the top 10: NOW 43 (#4, 35,000), Carrie Underwood, Blown Away (#5, 29,000), Maroon 5, Overexposed (#6, 29,000), 2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story (#7, 26,000), TobyMac, Eye On It (#8, 26,000) and Trey Songz, Chapter V (#9, 24,000).
Beloved psychedelic explorers Animal Collective came in at #16 with Centipede Hz (17,000), just ahead of Two Door Cinema Club’s Beacon (#17, 17,000). Frank Ocean appeared to benefit from the VMA bump , as his Channel Orange jumped up 24 spots to #21 on sales of nearly 14,000.
The week’s biggest comedown came from Eminem homies Slaughterhouse, as their Welcome To: Our House tanked in week two, falling 75 percent and 21 spots to #23 (13,000). Just behind them was the swan dive by Alanis Morissette, whose Havoc And Bright Lights plunged 24 spots to #29 as sales trailed off by 66 percent in its second week to 11,000.
The iTunes singles chart totally belonged to VMA headliner Taylor Swift, who took the #1 and #2 spots with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Ronan.” Coming in third was Maroon 5 with “One More Night,” followed by Fun.’s “Some Nights,” Flo Rida’s “Whistle,” Alex Clare’s “Too Close,” Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me,” Phillip Phillips’ “Home” and Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Good Time.”
Dragons took the top spot on the iTunes album chart, beating out Lecrae, One Direction, Matchbox Twenty, Underwood, Maroon 5, Fun., the self-titled debut from the Lumineers, the Dave Matthews Band’s Away From The World and NOW 43.
The Matthews Band will make its official chart debut next week, along with folk rock icon Bob Dylan’s 35th album, the Avett Brothers and the XX.