It’s always exciting when an up-and-coming band manages to beat the odds and find some legitimate success. We all get sick of manufactured superstars like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus eventually, but a hard-working group of folks that manages to build itself a career through sheer musical strength is one that anybody can get behind. One such group is Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, a plucky, young Florida band that has just managed to nab its very first No. 1 album on the Billboard Top 200 charts—only a few weeks after “Weird Al” Yankovic managed to do the same. This news comes via Billboard itself, which reports that Petty’s new album, Hypnotic Eye, managed to sell 131,000 copies last week. This is an especially respectable number when you consider the fact that Petty and The Heartbreakers have only been making music together for a scant 38 years.
Billboard says these sales numbers were bolstered a bit by a promotion that Petty used in concert with his ongoing concert tour, which allowed fans to bundle ticket and album purchases together. It sounds like a pretty clever scheme, since it gets people to commit to buying the album before they even see the band live, but a group like Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers that doesn’t have much name recognition has to do whatever it can to get noticed these days. If they stick to it, though, we think they have a good shot at becoming pretty big.