James Blunt's "Back To Bedlam" (Atlantic) is back to the top of European Top 100 Albums. As the English singer-songwriter climbs ever nearer to the top ten of The Billboard 200, this week moving 16-13

James Blunt's "Back To Bedlam" (Atlantic) is back to the top of European Top 100 Albums. As the English singer-songwriter climbs ever nearer to the top ten of The Billboard 200, this week moving 16-13, he regains the European summit. He previously reached the European chart peak for one week in October, after 11 consecutive weeks at No. 2.

The return to No. 1 is fuelled by strong chart performances in numerous European territories. "Bedlam" makes a 2-1 move in the United Kingdom, where the album is in its 41st chart week and now has total sales of 2.4 million, according to Official U.K. Charts Company data. It narrowly outsells last week's U.K. No. 1, the Strokes' "First Impressions of Earth" (Rough Trade), which slips to No. 2. "Bedlam" also rises 3-1 in Ireland, 7-2 in Sweden, 4-3 in Germany, 9-5 in Holland and 6-5 in Portugal.

Birmingham-based rock quartet Editors is coming up fast on the rails in the United Kingdom with "The Back Room" (Kitchenware), rising 10-3 on weekly sales of 24,000 copies, prompting a 63-11 leap on Top 100 Albums. The band is currently in the United States, where it is due to play Popscene in San Francisco tonight (Jan. 19), with two sold-out shows in New York to come over the weekend. A 31-date European itinerary begins Jan. 26 in Lille, France.

In a strong week for rock acts on the composite chart, London-based outfit Hard-Fi improves 20-13 with "Stars of CCTV" (Necessary/Atlantic) after a 5-4 climb in the United Kingdom. The album, platinum for 300,000 shipments at home, is nominated for British album of the year at the forthcoming BRIT Awards, where Hard-Fi also has a nod as British rock act.

New at No. 14 on the pan-European chart is Fonky Family's "Marginal Musique" (Sony BMG), following a No. 1 debut in France. The hip-hop collective, a longtime local favorite, originates from Marseille and first came to attention on the soundtrack of the 1998 French film "Taxi."

It's rare for a classical recording to enter any pop sales chart at No. 1, but that's the achievement in Austria this week. "Neujahrskonzert 2006" (Deutsche Grammophon) by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons is at the top spot there. The recording of Vienna's New Year's Day Concert is a tradition extending over six decades. It is certified platinum with local sales totaling more than 45,000, according to Universal Music International. Worldwide shipments are estimated at close to 100,000 since its release Jan. 6.

Meanwhile, two departed music giants have a weighty presence on the Norwegian album chart, where "Ring of Fire - The Legend of Johnny Cash" (Columbia/UMTV) rises 4-2 and Sam Cooke's "Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964" (ABKCO/Universal TV) holds at No. 3.

While Madonna loses top billing on the aggregate album chart with "Confessions on a Dance Floor" (Warner Bros.), she starts a tenth week at No. 1 on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles with "Hung Up." The track is still No. 1 in Spain and Italy, but loses its crown in Germany.

"Big City Life" by Mattafix, the London-based duo of Marlon Roudette and Preetesh Hirji, moves 3-2 on the Eurochart, closing in on Madonna after climbing 2-1 in Germany. The single is still No. 1 in Austria and No. 2 in Italy.

Breaking back into the composite singles top ten, 17-7, is "Love Generation" (Yellow Production) by French DJ-producer Bob Sinclar featuring Gary Pine. It benefits from climbs of 14-4 in Austria and 11-4 in Germany. It's the third time the dance track has made the Eurochart top 10; the first was when it debuted at No. 8 in September, after hitting No. 3 in France.

Finally, Richard Ashcroft, former frontman with 1990s British modern rock act the Verve, previews his third solo album "Keys To The World" (Parlophone), out in Europe next Monday (Jan. 23), with a U.K. hit single. "Break The Night With Colour," already a substantial airplay hit there, hits the sales chart at No. 3 on sales of 20,000 units, for a No. 10 Eurochart debut.

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