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Red Hot Chili Peppers top chart with ‘Unlimited Love’

  • >> Ben Sisario, The New York Times
    Published: 2022-04-12 11:53:58 BdST

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Anthony Kiedis of The Red Hot Chili Peppers performs during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks in East Rutherford, New Jersey, February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Everything aligned for Red Hot Chili Peppers’ latest album, “Unlimited Love,” which has opened at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, the band’s second time at the top.

The Chili Peppers reunited with its former guitarist, John Frusciante, for the album. He has been in and out of the band since 1988 — with his most recent departure coming after the tour for “Stadium Arcadium” (2006), the group’s last album to go to No. 1. “Unlimited Love” also put the band back in the studio with Rick Rubin, who has produced most of the Chili Peppers’ albums since 1991, but not its most recent, “The Getaway” (2016, with Danger Mouse).

And if there were an award for most unusual promotional appearances, it might go to a recent one by Flea, the band’s inimitable bassist, who offered a lunging, psych-funk solo instrumental version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Los Angeles Lakers-Denver Nuggets NBA game April 3. (Did it result in sales or streams of “Unlimited Love”? Who knows, but it’s a must-see for any Chili Peppers fan.)

In its first week out, “Unlimited Love” had the equivalent of 97,500 sales in the United States, according to tracking service Luminate, formerly known as MRC Data. That total includes 19 million streams — modest for a No. 1 album these days — as well as 82,500 copies sold as a complete package, among them a hefty 38,500 copies on vinyl. (On next week’s chart, Jack White’s “Fear of the Dawn” is also expected to arrive with a big vinyl number.)

Also this week, “7220,” by Chicago rapper Lil Durk, is No. 2. The “Encanto” soundtrack is No. 3, Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” holds at No. 4 in its 65th week on the chart — every week but one of that time in the Top 10 — and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” is No. 5.

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