The Decemberists' The King Is Dead Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Charts

The Decemberists' <i>The King Is Dead</i> Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Charts
Though it seems funny coming from a group whose last album was a sprawling, fantasy-realm rock opera, the Decemberists' latest effort, the humble, country-inflected The King Is Dead, has managed to become the Portland outfit's biggest record. The album, released last week, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Billboard reports that the disc topped the charts by selling 94,000 copies in its first week, a career high for the group. The publication initially predicted sales would reach 70,000.

Billboard continues to say, however, that despite The King Is Dead's numbers, this is "a so-so figure for the top-selling album." Just try telling that to the band, though. Their last album, 2009's The Hazards of Love sold 19,000 in its first week. We'd say that's a pretty significant jump.

It's been reported that Amazon's bargain basement pricing of the new set aided its No. 1 status. The digital copy of the album was sold for $3.99 on its January 18 street date. Digital downloads account for 65 percent of the record's sales, though that figure also factors in sales from iTunes and other digital retailers.

Regardless, this has to be a triumphant time for the Decemberists. Maybe the current Exclaim! cover stars will have to reconsider taking that "long break," after all.