Paul McCartney is back on the top of the charts, on Sunday earning his first solo number-one album in the United States in 36 years.
Egypt Station — a confident 16-track album in which McCartney experiments with a younger rock feel in addition to his classic Beatles sound — marked the first time that he has ever debuted as a solo artist on top of the benchmark US Billboard chart.
The English legend — who at 76 retains a hectic touring schedule — spared no promotional effort for the album, appearing on US late-night shows and live-streaming an invite-only concert inside New York’s Grand Central Station.
Surprisingly, McCartney did not replicate the feat in his native Britain, where Egypt Station debuted at number three, with veteran US rapper Eminem’s surprise album Kamikaze reigning for a second week.
Egypt Station sold the equivalent of 153,000 copies in the United States in the week since its release on September 7, tracking service Nielsen Music said.
Unusually for a chart-topping album in recent years, virtually all of the sales were traditional purchases rather than through streaming or individually downloaded tracks.
McCartney, who last topped the chart as a solo artist in 1982 with Tug of War, achieved the second largest gap between number-one albums for any artist.
Johnny Cash holds the record with a break that was seven months longer than McCartney’s when the country great posthumously hit number one in 2006.
Since Tug of War, McCartney has also reached number one four times in the United States with Beatles anthologies.