Tool’s “Fear Inoculum” Debuts at No. 1 With Biggest Week for a Rock Album in Over a Year

The group dethrones Taylor Swift with its first album in 13 years

Tool has their third No. 1 album with "Fear Inoculum."
Tool has their third No. 1 album with "Fear Inoculum."
By Bonnie Stiernberg / September 9, 2019 11:00 am

If you had money on Taylor Swift’s Lover being dethroned by a Tool album, congratulations: you’re rich. As Billboard reports, the band’s Fear Inoculum, its first album in 13 years, has debuted at No. 1 with the biggest week for a rock album in over a year.

Fear Inoculum moved 270,000 units, the most for a rock album in a single week since Dave Matthews Band’s Come Tomorrow sold 292,000 during the week of June 23, 2018. It’s the group’s third No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, following 2006’s 10,000 Days and 2001’s Lateralus.

Perhaps what’s most significant about Tool’s feat is that wasn’t aided by any of the special promotional deals that are commonly used to beef up album sales. As Billboard notes, “Remarkably, Fear Inoculum’s big debut is a now-rare example of a No. 1 album without the assistance of a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer, any sort of album pre-order/pre-sale access code promotion, or a single merchandise/album bundle — all of which have become the norm for most major albums in recent years as artists struggle to sell albums through more old-fashioned or traditional methods.”

Taylor Swift’s Lover dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 this week, selling 178,000 units. That’s a 79 percent decrease from its huge debut week of 867,000 units.

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