According to Billboard, JUDAS PRIEST‘s “Firepower” has entered the Billboard 200 chart at position No. 5, making it the band’s highest-charting album ever. 2014’s “Redeemer Of Souls” debuted and peaked at No. 6, while 2008’s “Nostradamus” landed at No. 11 and 2005’s “Angel Of Retribution” came in at No. 13.
“Firepower” moved 49,000 equivalent album units in first week of release. Of that sum, 48,000 were in traditional album sales, just shy of the 54,000 copies sold by “Angel Of Retribution” in that album’s first week. The “Firepower” chart position was bolstered by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer in association with the band’s current North American tour.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
As previously reported, “Firepower” landed at position No. 5 on the U.K. album chart. It marks the band’s highest ranking, and first time in the Top 10, since “British Steel” reached No. 4 in 1980. Elsewhere, “Firepower” has also become PRIEST‘s first-ever No. 1 in Sweden.
“Firepower” was released on March 9 via Epic. The disc was recorded by British producer Andy Sneap, the band’s longtime collaborator Tom Allom and engineer Mike Exeter (BLACK SABBATH). The cover artwork for “Firepower” was created by the Chilean/Italian artist Claudio Bergamin.
JUDAS PRIEST “Firepower” world tour marks the band’s first run of dates since guitarist Glenn Tipton announced that he was retiring from the road due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is being replaced on tour by Sneap, also known for his work as the guitar player in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT.
Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago — after being stricken by the degenerative condition at least half a decade earlier — but only recently announced he was going to sit out touring activities in support of “Firepower”. The guitarist, who is now 70 and has performed on every PRIEST album since the band’s 1974 debut set, “Rocka Rolla”, is not quitting the band, but simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live.
The North American leg of the “Firepower” tour will wrap on May 1 in San Antonio, Texas.