Arcade Fire scores second No. 1 album with ‘Reflektor’

Arcade Fire's "Reflektor" entered the Billboard 200 album chart this week at No. 1.
(JF Lalonde)

Arcade Fire burned through the competition on its way to the top of the Billboard 200 this week.

The Canadian group bowed at No. 1 on the album chart Wednesday with “Reflektor,” which sold 140,000 copies in its first week in stores, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

This is Arcade Fire’s second straight chart-topper following 2010’s “The Suburbs,” which won a Grammy for album of the year and sparked widespread chatter about indie rock’s increased commercial viability.

Yet as Billboard’s Keith Caulfield points out, “Reflektor” -- which the band recorded with help from James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem -- is being distributed by the Universal Music Group, a first for Arcade Fire. It has enlisted another major label, Capitol Records, to handle radio promotion.


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Last week Arcade Fire played two concerts at the Capitol Records building in Hollywood: a private indoor performance for National Public Radio and an outdoor show open to winners of a contest sponsored by MTV and Intel.

But those were only parts of an elaborate promotional campaign that also included recent appearances on “Saturday Night Live,” “The Colbert Report” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” as well as relatively small-scale gigs at venues such as the Hollywood Palladium (where the band played on Halloween) and a warehouse in Brooklyn, N.Y.

On Sunday evening, just hours before before the cut-off for sales to be counted toward this week’s album chart, the band performed on the inaugural YouTube Music Awards.

Behind Arcade Fire on the Billboard 200, Katy Perry’s “Prism” fell from its spot last week at No. 1 to No. 2, while a pair of holiday albums entered the chart at Nos. 3 and 4: Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red” followed by “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas,” which features the cast of the A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty.”

Fun fact courtesy of Caulfield: "[T]his is the first time that two Christmas albums have concurrently debuted in the top five.”

Other albums appearing on the chart for the first time this week include Thomas Rhett’s “It Goes Like This” at No. 6, Toby Keith’s “Drinks After Work” at No. 7 and Linkin Park’s remix set “Recharged” at No. 10.


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