AC/DC's "Iron Man 2" soundtrack (Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment) withstands the challenge of the Rolling Stones to start a fifth week atop Billboard's European Albums chart. Stromae moves into a ninth non-consecutive week at No. 1 on European Hot 100 Singles with "Alors On Danse" (Mosaert/Vertigo).
The AC/DC album posts another week at the top of the Swedish and Austrian charts, and races 15-3 in Norway. But it slips 1-3 in the Belgian region of Flanders and is in a slow descent in most other European markets.
Behind it as a "new" entry at No. 2 on European Albums is the Stones' reissued "Exile on Main St" (Polydor/Universal). The 1972 classic, now augmented with an optional second CD of unreleased and newly-completed material, arrives at No. 1 in the United Kingdom and Norway, No. 2 in Spain and Holland, No. 3 in Germany, No. 5 in Denmark, No. 7 in Austria, No. 8 in Switzerland and Flanders and No. 9 in neighboring Wallony.
"Exile" sold 31,000 copies in the United Kingdom last week to finish about 1,200 units ahead of stalwart dance act Faithless' "The Dance" (on its own Nate's Tunes label) in a close-run contest. In 2005, the Stones' last studio album "A Bigger Bang" missed a chart-topping U.K. debut by just 11 copies, losing out to James Blunt's "Back To Bedlam" (Atlantic/Warner Music).
Lady Gaga's "The Fame" (Interscope/Universal) slips 2-3 on the pan-European listing, although it's up 6-4 in Holland and 7-5 in France. The Faithless album, new at No. 4 overall, augments that No. 2 U.K. debut by debuting at No. 4 in Switzerland, No. 6 in Holland and No. 10 in Germany, also racing 60-1 in Wallony and 11-1 in Flanders. The band's "Forever Faithless - The Greatest Hits" retrospective opened at No. 2 Europe-wide in 2005, but its last studio set, "To All New Arrivals," reached only No. 30 in the United Kingdom (albeit on sales in a bullish pre-Christmas market of 28,000, close to those for the new set) and failed to reach the European Albums top 100.
German rap group Die Fantastischen Vier returns to the pan-European album arena at No. 5 with "Für Dich Immer Noch Fanta Sie" (Sony Music Entertainment). It's new at No. 1 in Germany and Switzerland and No. 2 in Austria. The Stuttgart-based band has been charting since 1991 and was last in the composite top ten when "Fornika" debuted at No. 7 in 2007.
Black Eyed Peas records a 50th week on European Albums as "The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)" (Interscope/Universal) stays at No. 6. It climbs 4-3 in Portugal and 12-9 in France. Vaulting 48-7 on the overall chart is Berlin-based rock 'n' roll revival band the Baseballs' "Strike" (Rhino/Warner Music). The album first appeared at No. 22 a year ago when it debuted on the German chart at No. 6. It's recharged by a No. 4 U.K. debut on sales of 18,000. "Strike" is down 2-4 in Flanders and 4-5 in Holland, where the single "Umbrella" is up 11-3.
Slipping down the pan-European album top ten is "My Cassette Player" (USFO) by Germany's Eurovision Song Contest entrant this weekend in Oslo, Lena Meyer-Landrut, 5-8, while Plan B's "The Defamation of Strickland Banks" (679/Atlantic/Warner Music) holds at No. 9. Meyer-Landrut falls 1-2 behind Die Fantastischen Vier in Germany, while Plan B is up 18-10 in Ireland.
New York dance staple LCD Soundsystem debuts at No. 10 on the pan-European chart with "This Is Happening" (DFA) after starting at No. 7 in the United Kingdom (on sales of 13,000), No. 9 in Ireland and No. 17 in Portugal.
Stromae has now spent five weeks in a row atop Hot 100 Singles and nine in total. "Alors On Danse" climbs 2-1 in France and stays at the summit in Holland, Denmark and Wallony, but slips 1-2 in Flanders and 1-3 in Italy.