Canadian alternative hard rockers Nickelback have released their sixth studio album, “Dark Horse,” and, if not for Beyonce’s nude cover on her latest album, would most likely have debuted at No. 1. But Beyonceis nudeon the cover of her new album, “I Am…Sasha Fierce,” so Nickelback picked up the runner-up position for the new album‘s debut week. Somehow, one does not think that the guys in Nickelback will mind coming in behind a beautiful nude woman.
Besides, considering the sales from their previous album, “All The Right Reasons,” they should do just fine. “All The Right Reasons” charted five Top 20 Billboard Hot 100 singles. The album peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, stayed in the Top Thirty for over 100 weeks, and remains on the charts, heading for its 170th week. “All The Right Reasons” has been certified 7 times platinum (7 million copies sold) since its release on October 4, 2005.
Every now and then a band comes along that is just different enough to hold the public’s interest for more than the usual three-minute time limit that has become the attention span given anything post-MTV launch. Nickelback is one of those bands. There seems to be a different twist to Nickelback’s post-grunge sound, almost as if Chad Kroeger, Nickelback’s lead singer and songwriter, lives the songs he sings and lets you hear them in defiance, not the usual maudlin, pained angst of the grunge and post-grunge artists that dominated the charts at the turn of the millennium.
Nickelback came out of Canada in 2000 after releasing “The State” through EMI and Roadrunner Records. “The State” had been recorded and released as an independent album in 1998. “The State” saw airplay and placed two songs in the Top Ten on Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.
Their next album, “Silver Side Up,” would catapult them into star status. “How You Remind Me” went to No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream and Modern Rock charts, peaking at No. 2 on the Adult Top 40. It would become 2002’s single of the year. “Too Bad” and “Never Enough” would also hit No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
The march to the present has been steady, strong, and gaining momentum. Although it is difficult to know if “Dark Horse” will surpass “All The Right Reasons,” it is doubtful. Rock groups are lucky to have one album like “All The Right Reasons.” Most never see one. To ask for two albums to sell and be as popular as “All The Right Reasons” is asking the buying public to do something that has rarely happened in the history of music, except long term (such as with the Beatles).
But “Dark Horse” is out and running, selling 320,000 units its first week. Super producer Mutt Lange (Shania Twain’s ex) produced the 11-track album and co-wrote five of the songs. Lange also produced, besides Shania Twain’s immensely successful albums, recordings by AC/DC, Def Leppard, and Bryan Adams.
The first single off the album, “Gotta Be Somebody,” currently sits at No. 19 on the Hot 100 singles chart, having peaked at No. 10.
It should be noted that Nickelback had two albums prior to “The State.” Both were independent productions. The first, “Hesher,” was an EP released in 1996. “Curb” was their first full-length album and was released in 1998. “The State” was also first released in 1998 as an independent album, but was later picked up and re-released under the EMI and Roadrunner labels.