International Charts Analysis: U2's Songs Of Experience tops charts in North America

International Charts Analysis: U2's Songs Of Experience tops charts in North America

After debuting at No.1 in Ireland, the Netherlands and Flanders, No.2 in Germany, Sweden and Wallonia and Top 10 in three other territories last week, U2's 14th studio set Songs Of Experience enjoys a second wave of high debuts, most pertinently in North America, becoming the Irish veterans' 8th No.1 in the USA and their 11th in Canada. It was helped in both countries, as many albums have been this year, by being bundled with concert tickets – something that would result in voided sales in the UK and many other territories.

Even without such inducements, Songs Of Experience also debuts at No.2 in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland, No.3 in France, No.4 in Argentina and Poland, No.5 in Australia and Norway, No.6 in Finland and No.10 in Greece. Of the countries in which it didn't reach No.1, Australia – where it would have been their 12th chart-topper – is the most surprising. It didn't come near, selling 7,400 copies, 31.10% fewer than Pink's Beautiful Trauma sold in the same frame to secure its sixth straight week at the summit.

Top 10 in two countries last week, and Top 40 in a further six, The Rolling Stones' On Air – 32 restored BBC radio performances spanning 1963-1965, most of them previously unreleased - now adds debuts at No.13 in Argentina, No.19 in Austria, No.22 in Italy and Switzerland, No.23 in Spain, No.29 in Norway, No.40 in the Czech Republic, No.47 in the USA, No.54 in Australia and France and No.58 in Canada.

Van Morrison's 38th studio album, Versatile, opened significantly less well in the six countries in which it charted last week than predecessor Roll With The Punches did a mere 10 weeks earlier. That could be because it was way too soon for a similarly-themed follow-up; because Morrison attracts a fanbase audience – albeit a large one – at a time of year when sales of topline albums spike significantly; or both. Either way, its second tranche of debuts – and failure to reach some charts – continue the trend that started last week, It opens at No.26 in Austria, No.31 in Australia, No.47 in Spain, No.80 in Switzerland, No.88 in Italy and No.119 in the USA.

Although it includes only his solo version of Perfect – which is topping the singles chart in many territories since the release of a duet version featuring Beyoncé – Ed Sheeran's ÷ is on the rise again in many countries, most notably in his native UK, where it jumps 2-1 this week to secure its 18th week at the summit. The album's best territory hitherto has been Denmark, where it has spent 31 weeks at No.1, seven weeks at No.2 and one week at No.3 – but it responds to the new version of Perfect by turning tail and leaving the top three for the first time, dipping to No.4.   

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