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John Prine Scores the Biggest Album of Career, Will Debut Tomorrow at Number 5

by VVN Music

For 47 years, John Prine has been one of music's best kept secrets.

It's not that Prine hasn't had fans. His self-titled debut album from 1971 is still considered one of the greats of the singer-songwriter/Americana genre with classics like "Sam Stone", "Hello In There" (covered by Bette Midler among many others), "Paradise", "Illegal Smile", "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" and "Angel From Montgomery" which has been recorded by dozens of artists.

His first 8 albums all charted but in the 101 to 200 range except for "Common Sense" (1975 / #66) and he had a resurgence starting in 2005 with four straight top 100 albums including For Better, or Worse which peaked at 30 in 2016.

This week, Prine's new album, The Tree of Forgiveness, blows away all expectations and his own history with sales plus streaming of 54,000, giving him a number 5 debut when charts are released tomorrow.

Word is that, like many albums in the past couple of months, sales were increased by a album redemption offer that came with ticket sales, but Prine plays much smaller venues than artists like Bon Jovi and David Byrne who also had big albums after redemptions.

Metallica is also back big according to Hits magazine with their Self Destruct at number 7 and $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited at number 8 in pure sales with 19,900 and 17,600 respectively. When streaming is added, the two albums come in at 15 and 20 on Hits' chart.

The official Billboard charts will be released tomorrow morning.