Sony BMG enjoys a stellar week on the European sales charts, securing the top three titles on European Top 100 Albums and dominating the album listings in many individual markets.

Sony BMG enjoys a stellar week on the European sales charts, securing the top three titles on European Top 100 Albums and dominating the album listings in many individual markets.

Tool's "10,000 Days" (Volcano/Zomba) repeats its achievement on The Billboard 200 by debuting on the Europe-wide chart at No. 1, followed by Pearl Jam's eponymous J set at No. 2 and Bruce Springsteen's "We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions" (Columbia), which falls 1-3.

The Tool album opens at No. 1 in Holland, Austria and Norway, No. 2 in Germany, Finland and Denmark, No. 3 in Switzerland, No. 4 in Italy and the United Kingdom (with sales of 29,000 units) and No. 6 in Portugal. “10,000 Days” climbs 2-1 in the Belgian region of Flanders. Pearl Jam, meanwhile, is new at No. 1 in Italy and Portugal, No. 2 in Germany, Switzerland and Holland, No. 3 in Austria, No. 4 in Norway and Ireland, No. 5 in the United Kingdom (selling 26,000 units), and climbs 8-2 in Flanders.

Sony BMG achieves remarkable album chart domination in several European countries, none more than so Spain, where it has the top 11 titles, and 13 of the top 14. La Oreja De Van Gogh, the hugely popular group from San Sebastian, opens at No. 1 there with its new set "Guapa," immediately turning double platinum. Total first-week sales worldwide of “Guapa” reach 400,000, according to the label. The group starts a tour of Latin America, another of its sales strongholds, on Saturday (May 13), with a 25,000-capacity show in Santiago, Chile.

In addition to big international sellers by Springsteen, Shakira and two titles by Il Divo, the Spanish top ten contains such domestic successes as Joan Manuel Serrat, Nina Pastori, Rosario, Jose Luis Perales and Rocio Jurado. Sony BMG also has the entire top five in Germany, where "Deutschland Sucht Den Superstar" graduate Tobias Regner's "Straight" (Hansa) enters at No. 1, also hitting No. 5 in Austria for a No. 6 start on Top 100 Albums. The label group additionally has the complete top five albums in Holland, and nine of the top ten in Austria.

Sony BMG president of continental Europe Maarten Steinkamp says that the pan-European figures reflect the company's ever-increasing commitment to local talent. "I can say that we've invested more than 100 million [U.S.] dollars in local repertoire this year, that's up another 10%. What was being said 18 or 24 months ago [about the Sony BMG merger] was 'They won't invest in local repertoire.' But we really focus on it, and we can see it pays off.”

Steinkamp adds, “Some of these may just be local hits, but there are six or seven acts we think we can cross around the region." Of these, he singles out La Oreja De Van Gogh, who will have a "huge European push" later in the year. Steinkamp puts the act's worldwide career sales at 10 million albums.

In other news on Top 100 Albums, Scottish-Irish rock outfit Snow Patrol opens at No. 5 with "Eyes Open" (Fiction/Polydor), which is new at No. 1 in the United Kingdom on sales of 126,000 copies. Its predecessor "The Final Straw," which was released in 2003 but broke through in 2004, now has U.K. sales of 1.3 million, according to charts compiler the Official U.K. Charts Company. "Eyes Open" also debuts at No. 1 in Ireland.

Rihanna's "S.O.S. (Rescue Me)" (SRP/Def Jam) tops Eurochart Hot 100 Singles for a third week, climbing 4-2 in Germany, 3-2 in Flanders and 5-4 in Austria. Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" (Warner Bros.) is at No. 2 again on the Eurochart and tops the British chart for a sixth week, with cumulative sales there of 540,000.

The big Eurochart climber is another Warner Bros. single, Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California," up 39-3 after its physical release in the United Kingdom sends the track up 12-2 there. "Dani" is also new at No. 1 in Denmark, No. 4 in Italy and Switzerland, No. 7 in Spain and climbs 7-5 in Norway. Its parent album "Stadium Arcadium" was released internationally on Monday.

Also making healthy strides on the Eurochart is "No No Fever" (X-Cell/Sony BMG) by Texas Lightning, after a 2-1 climb in Germany. The track is the German entry in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place May 18 and 20 in Athens. Texas Lightning comprises Olli Dittrich and Jon Flemming Olsen, stars of the hit German comedy TV series "Dittsche," with Australian singer (and writer of the hit) Jane Comerford and musicians Markus Schmidt and Uwe Frenzel.

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