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Paul McCartney Scores First U.S. No. 1 Debut Ever With 'Egypt Station'

Paul McCartney's 18th solo album <em>Egypt Station</em> debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Gustavo Caballero
Getty Images
Paul McCartney's 18th solo album Egypt Station debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

It might sound hard to believe, but being a Beatle doesn't necessarily assure chart-topping success — but never underestimate the pull of Paul McCartney.

The iconic pop star's 18th solo album, Egypt Station, has debuted in the top spot on the Billboard 200, marking the singer's first No. 1 album in the U.S. in 36 years and his first No. 1 debut — McCartney's last appearance in the No. 1 spot in the U.S. was in 1982, for his fourth studio album Tug of War, according to Billboard .McCartney's 1984 album, Give My Regards to Broad Street,which served as the soundtrack to the film of the same name (in which McCartney also starred), and his 1989 album, Flowers in the Dirt, both went to No. 1 in the U.K., but only reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200.

Egypt Station was released Sept. 7 via MPL/Capitol Records and, thanks to an enduring fan base and some prolonged, tactical promotion on McCartney's part — the 76-year-old participated in a celebrated episode of Carpool Karaoke in June and held a not-so-secret show in New York City's Grand Central Station on the album's release day — Billboard reports the record moved 153,000 units between Sept. 7 and 13.

Egypt Stationruns 16 tracks and, as McCartney stated back in June, is a journey to different parts of his emotional state, each song serving as a different station stop on the trip. NPR's Ann Powers commented that the playful record highlights McCartney's wisdom and and "overall mood of joy in the moment, joy in the studio, joy in making music."

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Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.