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On The Charts: The Beach Boys’ Highest Debut Ever, Neil Young Makes Top 5

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Provided photo/Guy Webster

Provided photo/Guy Webster

Following what was easily the best week all year for new classic rock releases, it’s no surprise that a slew of legacy artists are making high debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart this week. Albums from the reunited Beach Boys, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh all hit the top 15 on the chart, with the Beach Boys’ That’s Why God Made The Radio coming in at No. 3 behind Adele and Alan Jackson.

That’s Why God Made The Radio is the Beach Boys’ highest debut on the album chart ever, as well as their highest-charting album since their greatest hits compilation, Endless Summer, reached No. 1 in 1974, reports Billboard. As for studio albums, the Beach Boys’ latest – their 29th album, in celebration of their 50th anniversary – is their highest-charting entry since 1965’s Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), a No. 2 record. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the record sold 61,000 copies in its debut week, thanks in part to a big QVC pre-order that moved nearly 20,000 copies. It’s fair to say “America’s band” – Brian Wilson included – is back.

Neil Young can also be proud this week, as his latest album Americana debuts at No. 4 with 44,000 copies sold. This is Young’s highest ranking on the Billboard 200 since Harvest, the best-selling album of 1972 and a Young classic featuring “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man.” Reuniting with Crazy Horse as his backing band on Americana, Young reimagines patriotic folk standards most learned in grade school – like “This Land Is Your Land” and “Clementine” – as feedback-laden jam sessions.

Just out of the top 10, Eagles and James Gang guitarist Joe Walsh debuts at No. 12 with his first solo album in 20 years, Analog Man. In its first week, the album sold 23,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. On Analog Man, Walsh revisits two of his most iconic songs, “Life’s Been Good” and the James Gang’s “Funk #49,” essentially writing sequels to both in the form of “Lucky That Way” and “Funk #50.”

Also debuting high this week is the Rock of Ages soundtrack, which comes in at No. 15 with 18,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. On it, the cast of the Broadway-musical-turns-movie takes on iconic ’80s rock, from “Don’t Stop Believin'” to “Paradise City.” The film, starring Tom Cruise, opens this Friday (June 15).

- Jillian Mapes, CBS Local

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