The Capitol Nashville debut of Hootie & the Blowfish, Imperfect Circle, has given the band their highest ranking on The Billboard 200 for 21 years — and their first-ever appearance on the country album chart.
The reunion set, the band’s sixth studio record, enters the all-genre countdown for the week of 16 November at No. 26. That’s their best showing since their third album Musical Chairs reached No. 4 in October 1998. They went to No. 1 with both their record-smashing 1994 debut Cracked Rear View and the 1996 follow-up Fairweather Johnson, but after Musical Chairs they found the going tougher. Their self-titled 2003 release peaked at No. 46 and 2005’s Looking For Lucky at No. 47.
Imperfect Circle becomes Hootie’s first title to figure on Top Country Albums, where it makes a prominent No. 3 start. That’s a reflection of the ever-increasing cross-fertilisation of audiences that exists in many genres in the streaming era, as frontman Darius Rucker reflected in a previously unpublished part of the band’s recent conversation with uDiscover Music. “There’s such a blurring,” he said. “You’ve got kids who’ll listen to Jason Aldean and Nicki Minaj back to back, and to them that’s no big deal.”
Hootie & the Blowfish also now have a country chart single to their name, as ‘Hold On’ enters Hot Country Songs at No. 43 while climbing 43-42 on Country Airplay. The band debuts at No. 34 on Billboard’s Artist 100 chart, which is led by Post Malone, followed by Miranda Lambert, whose Wildcard becomes her seventh consecutive and total No. 1 on Top Country Albums and hits the all-genre list at No. 4.
Internationally, Imperfect Circle arrives at No. 24 on the ARIA digital album chart for the week commencing 11 November, on which Kanye West continues at No. 1 with Jesus Is King.
Imperfect Circle can be bought here.