After a 13 year hiatus, Tool is topping the album charts on multiple continents.
Just last week, Tool’s Fear Inoculum was drawing huge crowds at record stores across the U.S., with lines out the door at some shops. That was pretty shocking given that Tool was selling a $45 CD —though Americans weren’t the only ones snapping up copies.
According to stats emerging this weekend, Fear Inoculum has debuted atop the album charts in at least five different countries. Beyond the U.S., the album also debuted at #1 in Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and Belgium. Additionally, the album landed in the top five in the U.K., Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Italy and Finland. And those are just the countries reporting so far.
In the U.S., Tool’s latest release sold 270,000 copies, most of which were actual albums (instead of streaming-based equivalents). That easily topped contender Taylor Swift, whose Lover topped the Billboard 200 last week but easily got outrun by Fear Inoculum in the current period.
Of course, it takes a certain moxie to charge $45 for a CD (plus extras), especially after 13 years.
But Tool quickly sold out of its high-priced album packages, with die-hard fans turning out in force. Incidentally, the album was also available on streaming platforms like Spotify, though it looks like most fans wanted the real thing.
The 270,000 figure was tracked by Soundscan, which also reports that 248,000 were physical album sales. The rest came almost entirely from streaming equivalent albums, or SEAs. That turnout could mean that Tool beat Taylor Swift’s first-week revenue total for Lover. Swift’s release drew a much larger percentage of its sales from streaming platforms — and wasn’t priced at $45.
In the current week, Lover scored 178,000 equivalent album units, a drop of 79% from first-week sales of 867,000 units. Incidentally, Swift’s label, Republic/UMG touted first-week global sales of more than 3 million, though that figure has been called into question.