Music Business

Iron Maiden achieves highest charting album ever on Billboard with ‘Senjutsu’

Following nearly half a century together, the band Iron Maiden continues to climb to new heights, debuting at No. 3 in the Billboard 200 with the release of their latest album Senjutsu.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

After nearly half a century together, Iron Maiden continues to reach new heights with the release of Senjutsu.

Rock legends Iron Maiden earns their highest-charting album ever on the Billboard 200 chart (dated Sept. 18), as its latest studio effort Senjutsu, debuts at No. 3. The achievement, which marks the band’s highest chart performance to date in the United States, follows a tremendous first week of sale where the group moved 64,000 equivalent album units and 61,000 in pure album sales. 

Iron Maiden previously peaked at No. 4 with its last two studio releases, 2015’s The Book of Souls and 2010’s The Final Frontier.

In total, Senjutsu is Iron Maiden’s 15th top 40-charting album (dating to its first, The Number of the Beast, in 1982), of which four have hit the top 10.

Critics and fans alike love Senjutsu. In his review for Pitchfork, Brad Sanders celebrate Iron Maiden’s devotion to creativity:

Iron Maiden’s late-career albums have been stubbornly anti-nostalgia. While plenty of their peers eventually returned to the sounds that made them famous—Metallica on Hardwired…to Self-DestructBlack Sabbath on 13Judas Priest on Firepower—the British metal titans have walked their own road, to the frustration of casual fans who just want to relive the high-octane gallop of “Run to the Hills” and “The Trooper.” When they toured 2006’s grim, downtempo A Matter of Life and Death and played the 70-plus minute album in its entirety, it was seen as provocation. But this dedication showed that Maiden take their new work—more concerned with slow-building atmosphere and progressive song structures than the live-wire energy of their biggest albums—just as seriously as the classics. The band’s 17th full-length, Senjutsu, continues this trend. It’s another thoughtful, knotty album that has no interest in rehashing the 1980s.

Our friends at Distorted Sound Mag were similarly shocked and delighted by the record:

There aren’t many artists out there who can have such a distinguishable sound and yet still come out with something new enough it creates excitement each time – IRON MAIDEN are different. Senjutsu is crazy; it’s outrageously long, it’s got everything your heart desires and then some. It is an album in which displays IRON MAIDEN’s best songwriting in recent years, proving again why they can still smash record sales and fill huge venues worldwide after so much time doing what they do. Senjutsu proves just how crucial this band has been, are, and continues to be to heavy metal. If you want to know why this band of almost 50 years is so special, just take a listen to this.

Senjutsu is available now through longtime Haulix client BMG Records. You can stream the album below via Spotify.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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