George Michael makes a strong return to the European album-sales charts with "Patience" (Aegean/Sony Music), which debuts at No. 1 on European Top 100 Albums. It opens at the top in the U.K., Germany,
George Michael makes a strong return to the European album-sales charts with "Patience" (Aegean/Sony Music), which debuts at No. 1 on European Top 100 Albums. It opens at the top in the U.K., Germany, Italy and Denmark. The set's other debuts include No. 2 in Ireland, No. 3 in Austria and Finland, No. 4 in France and Spain and No. 7 in Poland. Its first-week U.K. sales total of almost 275,000 is the highest seven-day sales figure of any album there this year.
With a new "Greatest Hits" set on Geffen debuting at No. 3 overall, Guns N' Roses makes its first significant appearance on the European survey since "The Spaghetti Incident?" in 1993. Even though the band has not released a new studio album since then, European audience loyalty remains high; in the United Kingdom, the compilation opens at No. 2 on sales of 131,000. It's also new at No. 1 in Ireland, Norway and Austria and No. 4 in Germany.
The other high debut on the aggregate chart -- at No. 12 -- is "And Love Said No ... 1997-2004" (RCA), a 16-track hits collection by Finnish rock diehards HIM. It makes a No. 5 entry in Germany, where the band has a strong fanbase. HIM's last appearance on Top 100 Albums was in the spring of last year, when "Love Metal" opened at No. 8. "And Love Said No" marks HIM's final album release through BMG.
Among a wave of adult contemporary titles selling strongly in the United Kingdom is Engelbert Humperdinck's "His Greatest Love Songs" (Universal Music TV), which is up 7-4 to prompt a 31-16 climb on the overall chart. Humperdinck has not ranked this high on the British album chart since "His Greatest Hits" reached No. 1 in 1974.
UMTV managing director Brian Berg tells Billboard.biz that British sales of the Humperdinck compilation have reached 200,000, and that the 1967 smash "Release Me" will be reissued to coincide with the singer's U.K. tour, which starts May 14 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Universal puts Humperdinck's worldwide career sales at 130 million.
The AC boom in the United Kingdom also includes a new top-10 entry for Barry Manilow, whose "Ultimate Manilow" (Arista) is up 11-8. It's his best showing since "I Wanna Do It With You" reached No. 7 in 1982. Pop singer-songwriter Gilbert O'Sullivan, who had 10 top-10 U.K. hits between 1970 and 1980, enters the album chart at No. 20 with his "The Berry Vest Of" collection (EMI).
Usher repeats his Billboard Hot 100 success, opening at No. 1 on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles with "Yeah!" (Arista), featuring Lil' Jon and Ludacris. It's new at the top of the U.K. chart on sales of 87,000. The single also debuts at No. 1 in Denmark and Norway and No. 2 in Germany, and soars 26-2 in Holland.