International Charts Analysis: U2's Songs Of Experience makes strong start in Europe

International Charts Analysis: U2's Songs Of Experience makes strong start in Europe

U2 become the first band to rack up a dozen No.1 albums in their home country of Ireland, with their 14th studio set, Songs Of Experience, opening atop the list in the Emerald Isle. It also delivers their 12th No.1 in the Netherlands and their seventh in Flanders, while opening at No.2 in Germany, Sweden and Wallonia and No.9 in Japan and New Zealand. It will doubtless enjoy a second wave of high debuts in the next week, with early projections suggesting it will do particularly well in North America.

While U2 grab the headlines, another veteran band, The Rolling Stones acquit themselves well with On Air, 32 painstakingly restored radio performances spanning 1963-1965, taken from the BBC archives and released exactly a year after their most recent studio album Blue & Lonesome was a global smash, On Air opens at No.27 in their UK homeland, where it is their 50th chart album. Elsewhere, it opens at No.8 in The Netherlands, No.10 in Germany, No.12 in Flanders, No.16 in Japan, No.22 in Sweden, No.32 in Wallonia and No.36 in Ireland.

Van Morrison's second album in 10 weeks and 38th studio album in all, Versatile opens far less well than predecessor Roll With The Punches, debuting at No.28 in Ireland and the Netherlands, No.35 in Germany, No.36 in Flanders, No.38 in the UK and No.50 in Sweden for the 72-year-old Ulsterman.

Noel Gallagher's third High Flying Birds effort, Who Built The Moon?, was No.1 in the UK on debut last week but now slides to No.10. It also declines in each of the 10 other territories in which it debuted last week, but now surfaces at No.9 in Switzerland, No.15 in Austria, No.18 in Australia and Canada, No.38 in Finland, No.43 in The Czech Republic, No.44 in France and No.48 in the USA. 

No.1 in eight countries thus far, Sam Smith's The Thrill Of It All returns to the chart summit in the UK, and remains in the Top 10 in the USA (3-3), Denmark (2-3), Norway (5-5), Canada (4-5), New Zealand (7-6), Sweden (3-6), Australia (5-7), Ireland (5-7) and Croatia (3-7). 

The release of an expanded edition of Little Mix's Glory Days triggered jumps of 46-3 in the UK and 33-8 in Ireland, and re-entries in the Netherlands (No.16), Flanders (No.23), Italy (No.56), Germany (No.77) and Wallonia (No.139) last week for the 2016 album. It slips back in all of those countries this week but the new edition now precipitates re-entries in Spain (No.35), Australia (No.11), Switzerland (No.75), the USA (No.116) and France (No.158) for the set. 

It is seven months since One Direction's Harry Styles released his eponymous debut solo album. It drifts 53-56 in the UK but is enjoying a resurgence in some countries, climbing 28-15 in New Zealand, 72-26 in Australia (he's touring there), 54-46 in Sweden, 75-55 in Spain, 139-101 in the USA while re-entering the chart at No.26 in Croatia, No.92 in Canada and No.183 in Wallonia. 

Finally, Taylor Swift's Reputation is No.1 for the third straight week in the USA and Canada and makes belated debuts in South Africa (No.3) and Croatia (No.4) while remaining in the Top 10 in Argentina (2-2), Australia (1-2) and Ireland (4-4).  

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