Strong European chart showing for new album.
R.E.M.'s "Around the Sun" (Warner Bros.) enters European Top 100 Albums at No. 1. The veteran rock act amasses bestselling debuts in five territories: the United Kingdom (on sales of almost 70,000 units), Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Norway. The set also arrives at No. 2 in Italy and Denmark, No. 3 in Finland, No. 7 in Spain and No. 9 in France.
The band's last studio album, "Reveal," spent three weeks at the pan-European summit in June 2001, and last year's compilation "In Time -- The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003" had five weeks at No. 2. Warner Music International executive VP of marketing John Reid says initial European shipments for "Around the Sun" were 950,000 units.
Natasha Bedingfield's "These Words" (BMG) improves 9-4 on the Top 100 after breaking out in several markets. It climbs 8-3 in Norway, 6-4 in Germany and holds at No. 2 in Austria. The album reached No. 1 in Britain in August.
Phil Collins' "Love Songs -- A Compilation Old & New" (Warner Bros.) rises 15-8. The collection climbs 6-3 in Denmark and 15-6 in Portugal.
Aside from R.E.M., this week's other top-10 debut is Tom Waits' "Real Gone" (Anti), at No. 9. Waits' last two albums, his simultaneous 2002 releases "Alice" and "Blood Money," debuted at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively.
"Amor Amor" (Columbia) by 46-year-old singer/actress Arielle Dombasle starts at No. 18 on Top 100 Albums. It is prompted by a No. 1 opening in her home market of France, where it sells 19,000 units, according to chart compiler IFOP/Tite Live. The record is a collection of classic songs such as "Besame Mucho," "As Time Goes By" and "Perfidia." Dombasle was born in Connecticut, grew up in Mexico and is multi-lingual.
Despite a strong sales base in Scandinavia, John Fogerty's new album "Deja Vu All Over Again" (Geffen) slips 34-53 on the composite chart. However, the set rises 12-5 in Norway following a No. 1 debut last week in Sweden.
On Eurochart Hot 100 Singles, Robbie Williams' "Radio" (Chrysalis) debuts at No. 1 to end the five-week reign of Aventura's "Obsesion" (Up Music/Warner Music). "Radio" sells a relatively modest 41,000 units in the United Kingdom to open at the top. It's also new at No. 2 in Germany, No. 3 in Austria and No. 4 in Denmark. Williams' "Greatest Hits" album is due in stores Monday (Oct. 18).
Rachel Stevens' Polydor cover of Andrea True Connection's 1976 hit "More More More" debuts at No. 8 overall after a No. 3 bow in Britain.
Italian superstar vocalist Laura Pausini's "Resta In Ascolto" (Atlantic) enters at No. 81 on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles, following a No. 1 debut in Italy. Her new album, which carries that title, will be released internationally Oct. 25; WEA International will issue it the following day in the United States. A Spanish version for the Latin markets is titled "Escucha Atento." Pausini has just returned from promotion work in Miami and Mexico and is now in Europe to promote the release in key markets. She will deliver an international album presentation and showcase performance Oct. 21 in Milan.
Swedish modern rock act the Soundtrack Of Our Lives debuts at No. 97 on Eurochart Hot 100 singles with "Big Time" (Warner Music). The single, which opened at No. 1 locally, is taken from the act's fourth album, "Origin (Part 1)," which was released in Sweden and the United Kingdom on Monday (Oct. 11).