Paul McCartney has the answer to that question he posed so mirthfully 40 years ago. Music fans still need him, and are willing to feed him at 64. With his new release, he realized the biggest sales week of any of his studio albums in Nielsen SoundScan history, reprots Reuters.
Memory Almost Full, the first album in his much-heralded deal with Starbucks/Concord label Hear Music, fetches first-week sales of 161,000, good for No. 3 on the Billboard 200 behind career-best weeks for radio faves T-Pain and Rihanna.
From 1991 (when the big chart began using SoundScan data) through to Memory, McCartney - who turns 65 June 18 - has placed six studio albums on The Billboard 200. His best prior SoundScan week belonged to 1997 set Flaming Pie, which began with 121,000 copies when it bowed at No. 2.
As a solo artist, McCartney has twice launched albums with SoundScan sums exceeding 200,000, the biggest belonging to the opener of live set Back in the US Live 2002, which clocked 224,000 during the holiday selling season of 2002. Retrospective set Wingspan, which mingled solo hits with ones by his band Wings, began with 221,000 in 2001.
Of course, compilations by his other band, the Beatles, garnered even fatter frames, as six Fab Four titles have had bigger weeks than McCartney's solo works. Most notably their hits package 1 sold 1.3 million during Christmas week of 2000, and Anthology 1 - on the heels of a multi-night ABC documentary - began with 855,000 during Thanksgiving week of 1995.
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