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Tool overtakes Taylor Swift to hit No. 1 on Billboard Top 200 Albums chart

(L-R) Maynard James Keenan, frontman of Tool, and Taylor Swift.
(L-R) Maynard James Keenan, frontman of Tool, and Taylor Swift. CP Images Archive

After heavy speculation and much controversy, Tool officially claimed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with its latest release, Fear Inoculum.

The long-awaited album serves as the progressive rock outfit’s first release in more than 13 years. As a result, it was expected to have sold between 240,000 to 260,000 copies by Sept. 9.

However, according to Billboard, it surpassed those estimations and reached an impressive 270,000 by the end of Sunday night.

The victory dethroned Taylor Swift and her seventh album, Lover, after being in the top spot for only one week.

Taylor Swift posing for a ‘Lover’ photo shoot in 2019.
Taylor Swift posing for a ‘Lover’ photo shoot in 2019. Taylor Swift / Instagram

Fear Inoculum became the first rock album to reach No. 1 on the Top 200 Albums chart since the Dave Matthews Band’s Come Tomorrow in June 2018. It’s also Tool’s third No. 1 album overall.

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READ MORE: Tool likely to take over No. 1 from Taylor Swift, and her fans aren’t pleased

Upon seeing the news, many Swift fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the singer losing the top spot. Some even questioned the existence of the 29-year-old rock band, asking: “Who the f–k is Tool?”

Coincidentally, Swift is also 29 years old.

As the supposed beef resulted in a social media divide between fans of the two acts, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan took to Twitter to join in the fun.

The 55-year-old tagged the pop sensation in a satirical meme that poked fun at her loss with a reference to Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

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He used the hashtags “#comedyfirstandalways” and “#lightenuporjogon” in response to the backlash he and the band received after beating out Swift.

READ MORE: Taylor Swift releases ‘Lover’ album, single

While Lover raked in an impressive 885,000-plus sales in its first week, the singer also offered a variety of different album bundles, including both digital and physical versions.

These included vinyl variants, T-shirts and other merchandise bundles. Not only that, but Swift released four different Target-exclusive CDs, effectively prompting many of her fans to purchase Lover more than once.

Tool band
Tool band Image credit: Courtesy Speakeasy Public Relations & Marketing

Tool, on the other hand, has not yet released a vinyl variant of Fear Inoculum. Its website does not offer T-shirt bundles or any varying exclusives, either — only the CD package itself, which, before selling out, cost fans US$45 due to its “over-the-top” contents.

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Now that the album has sold out twice worldwide, it’s going for upwards of $250 on websites like eBay and Amazon.

READ MORE: Seth Rogen to host adults-only pot-friendly charity carnival for Alzheimer’s

As reported by Billboard, Fear Inoculum is also a rare example of a chart-topping album that didn’t utilize a concert ticket/album sale bundle offer.

While the news upset a large number of Swifties, Tool fans celebrated the accolade on social media.

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“Tool outselling Taylor Swift by potentially 80,000 units while their CD costs $45 is the most badass and hopeful thing music has seen in a while,” tweeted another user.

READ MORE: Tool releases ‘Fear Inoculum,’ announces North American tour, 2 Canadian dates

As of this writing, Swift has not scheduled any upcoming concerts, however Tool will be embarking on a 25-date North American tour with Killing Joke this fall.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through the official Tool website.

Tool’s Canadian 2019 tour dates

Nov. 11 — Toronto, Ont. @ Scotiabank Arena
Nov. 12 — Toronto, Ont. @ Scotiabank Arena

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca
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