Justin Timberlake's fifth solo studio album, Man Of The Woods, opened at No.1 in three territories and made the Top 10 in a further six last week, and now adds further debuts at No.1 in Canada, The Czech Republic, Denmark and The USA, No.2 in Australia, Slovakia and Switzerland, No.4 in Austria, No.7 in Spain, No.8 in Norway, No.10 in France and No.11 in Finland. It also holds at No.1 in Flanders, while falling 1-3 in Germany, 1-4 in The Netherlands, 3-6 in New Zealand, 2-8 in The UK, 6-12 in Sweden, 6-18 in Flanders, 3-18 in Ireland, 32-35 in Japan and 8-54 in Italy.
Film soundtracks are doing great business at the moment, with The Greatest Showman at No.1 for the sixth time in The UK, the fourth time in Ireland and the second time in New Zealand, while Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther start their campaigns. How they are treated for chart purposes varies from territory to territory. In the UK, for example, The Greatest Showman is in the artist album chart on the grounds that the ensemble cast performs it - although Lorin Allred is not in the film and performs two of its top tracks. Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther, however, are exiled to the compilation chart in the UK, with the logic being that they are compilations of tracks which may or may not be in the film but which are by artists who (largely) are not, and therefore don't qualify as ensemble cast efforts. Fifty Shades Freed starts at No.2 in the UK compilation chart and Black Panther at No.9 - but albums in the compilation chart receive no sales-equivalent boost from streams. If they did, both would rank higher, particularly Black Panther, which is chock-a-bloc with hip-hop, which is huge on streaming, less so on paid-for sales.
With that in mind, Fifty Shades Freed debuts at No.1 in Germany, No.5 in Flanders, No.9 in Norway, No.10 in New Zealand, No.12 in Wallonia and No.18 in The Netherlands in regular (artist) chart action, while Black Panther is No.1 in Norway, No.2 in The Netherlands and New Zealand, No.8 in Flanders and No.43 in Wallonia.
Liverpool band The Wombats equal their highest chart position domestically, with fourth release Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life debuting at No.3 in The UK. It also opens at No.19 in Norway, No.39 in Germany, No.67 in The Netherlands and No.75 in Flanders.
Glasgow band Franz Ferdinand's fifth regular studio album, Always Ascending, debuts at No.6 in The UK, No.13 in Germany and Wallonia, No.19 in The Netherlands, No.21 in Flanders, No.26 in Japan, No.31 in Italy and No.35 in Ireland.
Apologies to Yorkshire heavy metal veterans Saxon for missing their name off a paragraph about them last week, when they scored their highest charting album in the UK for 33 years with Thunderbolt - their 22nd studio set - debuting at No.29. It performed even more impressively in Germany, where it became their 23rd chart album, and the first to make the Top 10, debuting at No.5. It also debuted at No.13 in Sweden, No.48 in Wallonia, No.53 in Flanders and Italy and No.172 in The Netherlands. Although making spectacular declines in many of the above this week, it now adds debuts in Switzerland (No.6), Austria (No.18), The Czech Republic (No.31) Spain (No.39) and France (No.113).
Meanwhile, Scots legends Simple Minds' 18th studio album Walk Between Worlds - which opened at No.4 in The UK and Flanders and at No.7 in Germany last week, while opening its account in another five countries - now debuts at No.5 in Switzerland, No.29 in Spain, No.36 in Austria, No.52 in The Czech Republic and No.82 in Australia.
Finally, Dua Lipa's eponymous debut demands our attention yet again, securing new peaks in Argentina (13-7), Norway (11-10), Canada (16-15), The USA (35-27) and France (91-90) while heading north again in Denmark (12-11), Finland (14-13), Sweden (14-13), New Zealand (27-26), Australia (45-39) and Slovakia (81-61).