One Direction has scored its second No. 1 album in less than a year, as “Take Me Home” explodes atop the Billboard 200 chart with 540,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s the third-largest sales week of the year, surpassed only by the debuts of Taylor Swift’s “Red” (1.2 million in its bow) and Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” (a 600,000-unit start). “Take Me Home,” the group’s second effort, follows its “Up All Night” debut, which started atop the Billboard 200 dated March 31 with 176,000 sold. That set marked the first time a U.K. group’s debut album bowed at No. 1 in the 56-year history of the chart. The vocal ensemble also becomes the first group to debut at No. 1 with their first two albums since Danity Kane strutted into the penthouse with “Welcome to the Dollhouse” in 2008 and its self-titled debut in 2006. Further, One Direction is the second act this year to notch a pair of No. 1 albums within 12 months’ time: Justin Bieber did it with “Believe” in July, which came eight months after he bowed at No. 1 with “Under the Mistletoe.” “Take Me Home’s” launch is right on target with the number that industry forecasters were projecting last week. Label sources said last Wednesday (14) that the album was aiming to start with between 500,000 to 575,000.
Viva asks One Direction