Mumford & Sons Smash Records

"Babel" is the fastest selling digital album all year, despite being available in full for free on Spotify which has left industry observers scratching their heads.

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Mumford & Sons have set a record for this year in the US after selling 600,000 copies of their album "Babel" in its first week.

It currently puts the album at the top of the Billboard album chart, ahead of "Uno!" by Green Day and "Push & Shove" by No Doubt. It is the second biggest digital sale ever, and the fastest selling rock album since AC/DC's "Black Ice" in 2008.

What makes it even more impressive is that the album was released on the independent label Glassnote Records, and that their debut album "Sigh No More" is back in the top 20.

Music industry observers were fascinated to see that "Babel" was given a boost by being available in full on Spotify. The group Alt-J saw a similar boost to their fan base after streaming their debut album in its entirety on their website via Soundcloud.

In the past, some labels were concerned that availability on Spotify would reduce album sales. Coldplay were one example of a band avoiding Spotify upon their last album release, though added "Mylo Xyloto" to the Spotify catalog later.

However, "Babel" broke Spotify streaming records with more than eight million streams last week, so concerns over album streams reducing album sales could soon be put to rest.

What would you do if you had an album to release? Do acts like Mumford & Sons deserve to top the chart? Share your view in the comments.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It must be too early in the day for me, but for some reason I totally thought that headline meant they were physically smashing vinyl records. I was kinda pissed thinking, "why are these *****s doing that? Vinyl records are awesome!" Fail on my part.
    I hate it when I band I've never heard (I've heard OF them, but only vaguely) comes out big and sells out concerts and breaks records! It always make me think "WTF! Where have I been and why don't I know about these guys?" I am now leaving here and heading over to YouTube to hear what I've been missing, LOL. Any suggestions?
    The Cave, Roll away your stone, Little lion man are some good ones from the first album. From the second album ''Holland road'' ''Babel'' and ''Lover of the light'' If you don't like them after hearing those songs you're probably not going to like the rest of their music. Otherwise: ''Congratulations! you just found an awesome band with 2 full albums + a live album to enjoy to bits!''
    Same here... Checking them out now, good stuff.
    I'll have to show these to our drummer. If you keep forgetting the breaks and playing at the wrong tempo, you can go hang out with their drummer. We can make it w/o ya! LOL
    Most of their first album is fantastic. With standouts being Little Lion Man and Roll Away Your Stone. Also, Dust Bowl Dance is a personal favorite. Proved to me you don't need distortion or down-tuning to still be aggressive and heavy as hell. The new album is really nothing new in comparison to their debut, but a tad more refined, I guess if it ain't broke don't fix it.
    I always thought that Mumford and Sons were the A.C./DC of pop folk. They sound great and they've got their own thing going on which is fantastic, but all the songs sound the same. But hey, glad to see a band so unique doing so well when all the other music out there is so different.
    I thought of them throwing the records at zombies, like in Shaun of the Dead.
    I'm a die hard metal head but I actually really like this album. I'm glad to see something good is popular for once.
    Loving the new album! Huge metalhead and punk fan but Mumford & Sons is just amazing and makes anyone listen to them, regardless of their favourite genre. Proud to see their progress!!
    So everyone is confused because they arent on a BIG Label and they also have theyre songs for free out? Maybe because theyre just GOOD MUSICIANS? Whoa, you mean to tell me that you dont have to wear a dress made of raw meat to sell hundreds of records???
    Absolutely love Babel, but somehow they feel handcuffed by the constrictions of still being a "folk" band. The songs feel as if they could be soooo huge with the option of using more instrumentation. Their crescendos already crush Coldplay and U2 who in my opinon were the leaders, but they could be even bigger.
    From the first album my fav is 'the cave' or ''after the storm'. From the new album id go with whispers in the dark or below my feet
    I definitely contributed to the majority of those 8 million streams. lol Bought Sigh No More a little bit after it first came out, looking forward to purchasing the new one!
    I don't see anything particularly unique about their aristocratic folk-pop music, but still, they're a great band and it's good to see them doing well.
    I'm really enjoying their new album. They certainly didn't stray far from their sound, but I'm not complaining. Also great to see that a band can still sell tons of copies even though they made the songs available for free. Just means that it needs to be an solid album. Wish record companies would take notice...
    The music of M&S is really touching something deep down in the soul. I think that is, why they are so successful. Many of todays pop artists merely push some emotions, but M&S relate in a more deeper way to the heartache of managing ones one life, while trying to be true to oneself. Also they express it in a beautifully lyrical way which most of todays artists are not able to do it. And then they combine it with really hitting melodies, just perfectly supporting the lyrics. M&S is showing todays world of music, what music once was meant to be...