According to Billboard, The King Is Dead is the band’s first number one, selling 94,000 its first week. It’s also a career-high for first week sales for the Decemberists. Of course the condition of the music industry is partially why this record — as well as so many of last year’s surprise number ones and top tens — made the Billboard 200. Cake’s Showroom Of Compassion, last week’s number one album, set a SoundScan record for lowest sales to reach number 1 when it sold 44,000 last week. It’s hard to find an indie comparison for an album release ten years ago, but, for example, Kid A sold 207,000 the week it came out and it went to number 1, and that number was considered low for a number one record back in 2000.
Amazon also helped the Decemberists this week. They’re selling digital downloads for $3.99. Billboard says digital sales account for 65% of that 94,000 sales figure.