Anglo-American-Swedish trio Placebo delivers its traditionally powerful first European sales week to debut on European Top 100 Albums at No. 1 with its fifth studio set "Meds" (Virgin).

Anglo-American-Swedish trio Placebo delivers its traditionally powerful first European sales week to debut on European Top 100 Albums at No. 1 with its fifth studio set "Meds" (Virgin).

That improves on the No. 4 overall start for its predecessor "Sleeping With Ghosts" in April 2003. A compilation "Once More With Feeling" arrived at No. 9 in November 2004.

In June, Placebo will celebrate ten years since the chart debut of its first, eponymous album, and has shown remarkable staying power in the fast-moving modern rock climate ever since. In the United Kingdom, where the band's profile is considerably lower than during its initial success, "Meds" opens at No. 7 and enjoys solid first-week sales of 28,000 units, according to charts compiler the Official U.K. Charts Co. British sales are only marginally below those for "Ghosts," which debuted in there at No. 11.

However, it's in other European markets that Placebo enjoys its most concentrated popularity, debuting at No. 1 in France, Austria and Switzerland, No. 2 in Germany, No. 3 in Portugal and No. 4 in Italy. Further afield, “Meds” is new at No. 4 in Australia.

Mike Allen, senior VP of international marketing, EMI Music U.K. and Ireland, says Placebo experienced their best-ever opening sales weeks in many European countries, such as Holland and Italy, and had very strong showings in markets where they generally sell well, such as France and Germany. "We had a fantastic first week," says Allen, adding that total shipments for "Meds" in Europe exceeded half a million units. "Ghosts" has shipped 1.4 million worldwide, he adds.

EMI has three of the top five titles on Top 100 Albums, with David Gilmour's "On An Island" dipping to No. 2 and Corinne Bailey Rae's self-titled debut set climbing back 7-5 after returning to No. 1 in the United Kingdom. Weekly sales of “Corinne Bailey Rae” there are of 50,000, the OCC says, and its three-week tally is 226,000.

Universal Music U.K. scores a stellar week in Britain for its classical repertoire, with three albums by tenors in the top ten. Russell Watson's "The Voice - The Ultimate Collection" (Decca) arrives at No. 2 on sales of 45,000, for a No. 12 start on the composite chart. Andrea Bocelli's "Amore" (Sugar/UCJ) dips 4-5 in the United Kingdom, and 2-3 on Top 100 Albums, while his Italian countryman, crossover newcomer Vittorio Grigolo, starts at No. 6 in Britain with "In The Hands Of Love" (Polydor), selling 31,000. The 28-year-old, born in Rome but brought up in Arezzo, near Florence, performs some new material on the set as well as covers of such pop material as Keane's "Bedshaped" and Stevie Wonder's "All In Love Is Fair."

Madonna's "Sorry" (Warner Bros.) starts a fourth week atop Eurochart Hot 100 Singles, climbing 2-1 in Greece, 4-3 in Denmark and 5-4 in Norway. Its latest challenger is Black Eyed Peas' "Pump It" (A&M), up 25-2 on the Eurochart after a 16-3 climb in the United Kingdom. Chart eligibility rules there now allow for download sales to be included one week prior to a physical single release, which is why "Pump It" jumps into the top ten after initial digital-only sales.

Two tracks open in the top ten on the Eurochart. "Rette Mich" (Universal Island) by German rock quartet Tokio Hotel debuts at No. 6, after a No. 1 launch in Austria. Pink's "Stupid Girls" (LaFace/RCA) is new at No. 10, after starting at No. 4 in Switzerland, No. 9 in Spain and rising 19-3 in Norway. “Stupid Girls” opens on download sales alone at No. 49 in the United Kingdom, where a physical equivalent was released on Monday (March 20).

Sony BMG's Michael Jackson dual disc singles reissue campaign continues to deliver top 20 entries in the United Kingdom, where "Beat It" is new at No. 15. Results however are spectacular in Spain, where Jackson now stakes out the entire top four, with "Billie Jean" new at No. 1, followed by last week's bestseller "Rock With You," "Thriller" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough." Jackson is also flying high in Italy, where "Billie Jean" arrives at No. 7 and "Rock With You" is at No. 9.

Additional reporting by Emmanuel Legrand.