Released on Friday – the day after his 36th birthday – Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V immediately set about colonizing iTunes charts and by 6pm on release day it was already No.1 in 33 of them, from Anguila to Zimbabwe.
A revised version of an album that was originally scheduled to drop in 2014, it houses 23 new tracks, with a playing time of nearly an hour and a half, and features Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamarr and Travis Scott, among others.
In what has been a banner year for the genre, it is the latest in a sequence of hip-hop albums to initially dominate iTunes but if it is to make a similarly lofty first appearance on official chart tabulations it must first overcome Eminem’s Kamikaze, which is still No.1 in Australia, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The UK while returning to the summit in The Czech Republic (2-1). Kamikaze’s reign comes to an end in Canada (1-2), Austria (1-3), Flanders (1-3) and The Netherlands (1-3).
Paul McCartney’s Egypt Station was Top 10 in 19 countries in the last fortnight but is now in decline almost everywhere, though it makes a belated No.49 debut in Greece, while climbing 38-28 – a new peak - in Hungary, rebounding 11-9 in Japan (where it was No.6 a fortnight ago) and holding at No.3 in Argentina.
French dance legend David Guetta’s 7 has had a very successful launch. We itemised nine debuts it made – all within a tight 5-13 range – last week. It is falling in all of those territories now, but adds debuts at No.2 in Switzerland, No.3 in Spain, No.4 in The Czech Republic and France, No.7 in Austria, No.8 in Finland, No.9 in Australia, No.12 in Canada, No.13 in Denmark, No.14 in Hungary, No.20 in Slovakia and No.37 in The USA.
Paul Weller turned 60 in May, and - having made its initial foray into the chart in eight countries last week - his acclaimed 14th solo album True Meanings now opens at No.2 in Croatia, No.28 in Austria, No.38 in Spain, No.51 in Switzerland and No.199 in France. And after five debuts last week, London soul/funk septet Jungle’s second album, For Ever, adds a further four, namely Switzerland (No.22), Australia (No.28), France (No.68), Spain (No.85).
Meanwhile, new albums by Christine & The Queens, Slash, Suede, Josh Groban and Joe Bonamassa all open their accounts this week but none of them is in commanding form.
Christine & The Queens, for example, open at No.1 in Wallonia – the French-speaking part of Belgium with second album, Chris, which also impresses with a No.3 debut in The UK but which has mixed fortunes elsewhere, debuting at No.5 in Wallonia, No.12 in Ireland, No.32 in The Netherlands, No.36 in Germany and No.186 in their home country of France – though I should qualify that by saying that the French chart lags a week behind the other on that list, and rather than representing its full impact, that chart position reflects early sales/streaming leakage, and the album will likely surge ahead next week.
A quarter of a century into their chart career, UK veterans Suede’s eighth album, The Blue Hour, is their highest charting set on home turf since 1999, debuting at No.5. It also makes the cut in Ireland (No.22), Wallonia (No.29), Germany (No.32), Flanders (No.33), Italy (No.40), Sweden (No.48) and The Netherlands (No.52).