Tramps like us, baby we were born to rule the Billboard charts.
With Letter to You hitting the charts, Bruce Springsteen is proving why he’s the Boss. After the Oct. 23 release of his latest album, the rock icon has made history as the first artist to have a top 5 album on the Billboard 200 chart for six consecutive decades.
Billboard reports that Letter to You, his 21st album to clear the top 10, is the best-selling album of the week with 96,000 equivalent album units earned. Springsteen last hit No. 1 on the album sales charts in 2014 with High Hopes.
But he’s been talking about a dream and doing more than trying to make it real for six decades now. He first hit Billboard glory in 1975, with his history-making record Born to Run, which rose to number three, as well as landing him on the cover of Time and Newsweek in the same week. He quickly repeated the feat with 1978’s Darkness on the Edge of Town, which hit number five.
Springsteen and the 1980s are nearly synonymous with each other, and his chart performance reflects that with five of his albums hitting the top 5. He kicked things off with The River, which became Springsteen’s first to hit No. 1 on the chart (and it stayed there for four weeks). But never one to rest on his laurels, he hit No. 1 three more times that decade, including with his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A.
The 1990s, though generally perceived as a more fallow period for Springsteen as the only decade without an original E Street Band album release, still brought him chart success. Both of his 1992 solo efforts, Human Touch and Lucky Town, cracked the top five, topping off at number two and number three, respectively. He also hit No. 1 in 1995 with his Greatest Hits album.
But fans kept coming up for the rising in the new millennium as six of his albums hit the top five in the new decade. His first album with the E Street Band in 18 years, The Rising, easily hit No. 1 in 2002. Three additional albums reached that milestone: Devils & Dust in 2005, Magic in 2007, and Working On a Dream in 2009.
Springsteen didn’t slow down in the 2010s with four records clearing the top five, including 2012’s Wrecking Ball and 2014’s High Hopes both hitting No. 1.
Now, Letter to You helps Springsteen extend his success to a new decade, hitting number two on the charts.
“In a moment when we are starved for the kinetic energy and giddy thrum of reveling to live music in darkened venues, cueing up both Letter to You, the new album from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and its Apple TV + companion documentary, is like sitting down to a buffet in an oasis,” EW’s Sarah Rodman wrote of the new album and its accompanying documentary.
Letter to You marks Springsteen’s 20th studio album. He has also released 23 live albums, eight compilation albums, 17 video albums, and a soundtrack album.