Bob Dylan captures his highest charting album in over a decade on the Billboard 200 chart, as Rough and Rowdy Ways debuts at No. 2 with 53,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending June 25, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Rough’s debut also makes Dylan the first act to have achieved at least one new top 40-charting album in every decade from the 1960s through the 2020s.
Dylan was last higher on the chart with 2009’s Together Through Life, which debuted and peaked at No. 1 on the May 16, 2009-dated chart. All told, Rough and Rowdy Ways marks Dylan’s 23rd top 10 album and 50th top 40 set.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new July 4-dated chart (where Rough and Rowdy Ways bows at No. 2) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on June 30.
Of Rough and Rowdy Ways’ starting sum of 53,000 units, 51,000 are in album sales, 2,000 are in SEA units, and a negligible figure are in TEA units.
With Rough and Rowdy Ways’ debut, Dylan logs his seventh consecutive decade of charting new top 40 albums. He captured eight in the 1960s, 14 in the ‘70s, seven in the ‘80s, four in the ‘90s, seven in the ‘00s, nine in the ‘10s, and now one in the ‘20s. He’s the first act to have achieved at least one new top 40 album in each decade from the ‘60s through ‘20s. (The 2020s decade is still young, so a number of other acts could join him in this achievement.)
Dylan made his Billboard 200 debut (and overall Billboard chart debut) nearly 57 years ago with The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, which arrived on the list dated Sept. 7, 1963 at No. 125. It peaked at No. 22 on Oct. 5 of that year. He got his first top 10 with the No. 6-peaking Bringing It All Back Home on Oct. 9, 1965. He earned his first of five No. 1s with Planet Waves on Feb. 16, 1974.
The new album was led by the 17-minute track “Murder Most Foul,” which debuted and peaked at No. 5 on the Hot Rock Songs chart (April 11, 2020). It also entered atop the Rock Digital Song Sales chart, marking Dylan’s first No. 1 song on any Billboard chart.