Judas Priest Scores Highest-Ever Chart Entry with ‘Firepower’


Story and photo by Anne Erickson

Congratulations are in order for Judas Priest for scoring their highest chart debut ever

Who says rock and heavy music is dead? Not the real music fans, since it’s a fantastic week for major rock and metal acts on the new Billboard 200 albums chart. Notably, longstanding heavy metal band Judas Priest has snagged the group’s highest-ever position on the albums chart, entering the Billboard 200 at an impressive No. 5.

The album scored 49,000 equivalent album units, and everything except 1,000 of those were from traditional album sales, which proves that some people still like to grab an old-fashioned hard copy of an album.

Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner tweeted today (March 19) that it’s “a monumental day today as we celebrate Priests highest EVER chart entry! #5 on the Billboard chart, meaning you maniacs have put heavy metal back where it belongs.” He also thanked the band’s legion of metal fans for their constant support.

For Judas Priest, “Firepower” and the band’s last album, 2014’s “Redeemer of Souls,” have been the only two discs to make it into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, even though the band’s full catalog is considered legendary. That just goes to show metal music is experiencing a rise in popularity.

In other chart news for rockers, classic artist David Byrne of Talking Heads snagged his highest-ever charting album, too, entering the Billboard 200 chart at No. 3 with his new studio release, “American Utopia.” The showing also marks his first time making it into the top ten, both as a solo artist and with Talking Heads. 

Meanwhile, the new posthumous release from guitarist Jimi Hendrix, “Both Sides of the Sky,” entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 8 this week, with a total of 37,000 equivalent album units.



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