Panic! at the Disco bows atop the Billboard 200 with Pray for the Wicked, earning the act its second No. 1 album on the chart. Panic previously got to the top of the list with its last studio effort, Death of a Bachelor, which opened at No. 1 in 2016.
Pray for the Wicked; which was released on June 22, launches with 180,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 28, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 151,000 were in the traditional album sales. Both figures represent the biggest week for an alternative rock album so far in 2018.
Pray for the Wicked’s start in both total units and traditional album sales marks the largest week for an alternative rock album since U2’s Songs of Experience debuted at No. 1 on the Dec. 23, 2017-dated chart with 186,000 units (i.e. 180,000 in album sales). Pray’s wonderful sales were encouraged by a pre-order campaign for the album through the act’s official merch store, with pre-orders made by June 21 included early access to purchase tickets to the act’s tour.
Pray also attributes its wonderful start to vinyl album sales, bowing with 26,000 copies sold. That’s the fifth-largest week for a vinyl effort in Nielsen Music history, which dates to when the company began tracking such sales in 1991. The largest week for a vinyl set belongs to Jack White’s Lazaretto with 40,000 sold in its debut frame in the week ending June 15, 2014.
Pray is led by the single “Say Amen (Saturday Night),” which became Panic’s first No. 1 on the Alternative Songs airplay chart after 11 previous entries. “Say Amen” ascended to the top of the list dated June 30.