International charts analysis: Drake builds on strong start for Scorpion in global markets

International charts analysis: Drake builds on strong start for Scorpion in global markets

With latest single In My Feelings turning into a global smash, Drake’s latest album, Scorpion, continues its impressive start. 

The Canadian rapper remains at No.1 in Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, while returning to pole position in Sweden (2-1), and heading in the reverse direction in Finland (1-2). Scorpion occupies lower ground in Flanders (3-2), Wallonia (6-3), France (3-5), Germany (10-8) and Austria (4-8) while debuting at No.22 in Portugal.  

Its absence from the Top 10 in Italy – where it holds at No.11 – is a sign of rap’s strength in the territory, rather than its weakness. That is because, in an historic chart all of the country’s top nine albums are homegrown rap albums by (in order of rankings, and with ages) solo male Italians, namely Irama (22), Rkomi (24), Capo Plaza (20), Carl Brave (29), DrefGold (21), Gemitaz (19), Biondo (18), Luche (37) and Sfera Ebbasta (25). Preventing Drake from completing what would be an all-rap Top 10, is Emma Muscat, an 18-year-old singer/songwriter who hails from Malta but came to fame an Italian TV music reality show. Her six-song, 20-minute EP, Moments, which dips 3-10 on its second frame, is performed in English.

Its initial chart forays in 23 countries documented hereabouts in the last fortnight, Florence + The Machine’s fourth album, High As Hope, now opens at No.1 in Croatia, No.3 in Poland, No.5 in Portugal and No.14 in Argentina. Also climbing 36-25 in Greece, it remains in the Top 10 in Flanders (4-4), Australia (2-4), Switzerland (2-5), Ireland (5-7) and the UK (6-10). 

We also shared details of the 25 territories in which Gorillaz’s sixth album The Now Now charted, 15 of them inside the Top 10. It makes gains to reach new peaks in Argentina (4-2), Greece (55-33) and Slovakia (79-60) but is beating a retreat – typically a hasty one – almost everywhere else, while debuting at No.8 in Portugal and No.27 in Poland.

Years & Years’ second album, Palo Santo, opened at No.3 in the UK, No.6 in Flanders, No.7 in Ireland, No.13 in Norway, No.14 in the Netherlands, No.25 in Wallonia, No.27 in Germany and No.38 in Sweden last week. It loses ground in all of them this frame, but is newly-charted in Switzerland (No.15), Finland (No.18), Denmark (No.22), Poland (No.22), Australia (No.26), Hungary (No.35), Austria (No.50), Canada (No.52), Spain (No.68) and the USA (No.75).

Thirty-one years after his chart debut, and two years after he returned to prominence with 50, Rick Astley’s latest self-penned and self-produced album, Beautiful Life, debuts at No.6 in the UK, No.40 in Germany, No.141 in Flanders and No.171 in Wallonia.     

Finally, let’s hear it for two young Brits breaking abroad. Born in London and based in New York, 23-year-old Ella Mai has been making progress in many countries with her song Boo’d Up, which climbs 67-62 in the UK this week and is in the Top 10 in Canada and the USA. It is taken from her EP, Ready, which is currently No.29 on the US album chart, while debuting at No.86 in Canada. Meanwhile, 19-year-old alternative singer/songwriter Dominic Harrison from Yorkshire – aka Yungblud – has just started an Australian tour and enters the Australian album chart at No.97 with his first album, 21st Century Liability.  

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