Masked Swedish rockers Ghost have scored their first No. 1 entry on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart -- and not with an album, either.
The group's five-song Popestar EP tops the survey with 21,000 first-week copies sold; According to Billboard it's the first EP to ever reach No. 1 on this particular chart. Popestar includes one original track, "Square Hammer," along with covers of songs by Eurythmics, Echo & the Bunnymen, Simian Mobile Disco and fellow Swedish troupe Imperiet.
One of Ghost's Nameless Ghouls tells us that "Square Hammer" dates back to when the group was working on its latest full album, 2015's Meliora:
"It was conceived around the end of the conception of 'Meliora;' I guess there was a moment there where it was like, 'Oh, shit, I have a new song' but then 'forget it' 'cause...by then 'Meliora' had already been hammered out as the conceptual aspect of it was already in place, and 'Square Hammer' felt like a different song. And also knowing that you don't have to blow your load every time. If you have something you can sit on it -- sit on your load, man! (laughs) So we basically saved it until a rainy day and that rainy day came a few months later and we recorded it."
Ghost, still riding the momentum of a Grammy Award win earlier this year, is in the midst of its Popestar tour of North America.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.