Ghost's new album Impera debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. It was highest-charting rock album in eight months (the last was Sob Rock by John Mayer), and highest-charting hard rock album in over a year (the last was Power Up by AC/DC). Now Machine Gun Kelly has released his new record Mainstream Sellout and in terms of sheer numbers, it outdid Impera. Though the breakdowns are interesting and seem to speak to each artist's audience.
Impera sold 70,000 equivalent album units in its first week. For those unfamiliar, an "equivalent album sale" means the album sold one copy, had 10 individual tracks sold from the album, or had 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid or subscription streams. That 70,000 equivalent album units breaks down to 62,500 album sales, 7,000 streaming equivalent album sales, and 500 track equivalent album sales.
Mainstream Sellout had 93,000 equivalent album units sold. That breaks down to 42,000 album sales, 50,000 streaming equivalent album sales, and 1,000 track equivalent album sales. So why is this interesting? Because two of the top rock albums of 2022 thus far have achieved success in two fairly different ways. Machine Gun Kelly's splits leaned more on streaming than sales, while Ghost's success was mostly all album sales with streaming giving it a little extra lift.
And honestly, it's just nice to see rock artists succeed on this sale. Good on 'em for achieving these numbers.