As projected last week, Linkin Park debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with its new album, "Living Things," ahead of the also-debuting "Overexposed" by Maroon 5 at No. 2.
However, the race for No. 1 turned out to be much closer than initially expected. Linkin Park starts with 223,000 while Maroon 5 enters with 222,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan. A little over 1,000 copies sold separates the two titles -- the smallest gap between Nos. 1 and 2 on the chart since the Dec. 11, 2011 tally.
That week, the gap was less than 1,000 between the top two rungs. Nickelback's "Here and Now" debuted at No. 2 with just under 227,000, while Michael Buble's "Christmas" rose 2-1 with a little more than 227,000.
Linkin Park's "Living Things" secures the band its fifth No. 1 on the chart. In the span of time since 2000 -- when Linkin Park debuted on the Billboard 200 -- no other band has had more No. 1 albums.
Linkin Park's previous studio effort, "A Thousand Suns," was released in 2010 and also bowed at No. 1 -- with 241,000. Of the act's five studio releases, all but its first reached No. 1. That album, 2000's "Hybrid Theory," peaked at No. 2 for four nonconsecutive weeks in early 2002. Though it never hit No. 1, "Hybrid Theory" did finish 2001 as that year's top selling album.
In addition to four No. 1 studio sets, Linkin Park also earned a No. 1 album with its Jay-Z collaboration effort "MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents: Collision Course."