Depeche Mode's 'Angel' Flies High In Europe

Depeche Mode makes a triumphant return to claim the top spot on European Top 100 Albums, after topping the charts in a string of markets. The British alternative rock veteran's latest set "Playing the

Depeche Mode makes a triumphant return to claim the top spot on European Top 100 Albums, after topping the charts in a string of markets.

The British alternative rock veteran's latest set "Playing the Angel" (Mute) opens at No. 1 in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium and Poland. "Angel" also starts at No. 2 in Spain. In their home market, however, Depeche Mode manages only a No. 6 bow.

European shipments of the album are close to a million, according to a spokesperson for Mute. Germany alone accounted for 200,000 units and has already certified platinum. In the United States, where "Angel" is handled by Sire/Reprise, the set has shipped about 300,000 units, and sold 98,000 units in its first week according to Nielsen Soundscan, peaking at No. 7 in the Billboard 200.

Depeche Mode's last studio album "Exiter" debuted at No. 2 on the pan-European listing in 2001, while last year's "Remixes 81-04" (Mute) peaked at No. 3.

The band, which started life as a synth-pop act in the early 1980s, begins an extensive tour of north America and Europe on Nov. 2 at the Office Depot, Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

'Angel' marks the 25th week this year in which EMI has had the chart-topping European album.

Simply Red is new at No. 2 in Europe with "Simplified," released on frontman Mick Hucknall's own label "Simplified" is helped by strong openings at No. 2 in Austria and No. 3 in the act's home market, the United Kingdom. The album also has top five chart launches in Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

The next highest entry on the European survey is the Prodigy's hits compilation "Their Law - The Singles 1990 - 2000" (XL Recordings) at No. 6. Liam Howlett's techno-rock act claims the top position in Britain, where the album sold almost 80,000 units in its first week, according to the Official U.K. Charts Company. "Their Law" continues a fine chart run there, which has seen the British band top the national albums chart with four successive sets. "Their Law" also drops in at No. 4 in Ireland.

The Prodigy's stay at the U.K. chart peak is bound to be brief. Robbie Williams' new album "Intensive Care" is expected to canter to No. 1 when that chart is published on Monday (Oct. 31). "Tripping" (Chrysalis), the first single taken from Williams' album, is currently unmoved from the top position on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles and Nielsen Music Control's European Airplay Chart.

British-signed acts figure prominently in the upper-ranks of the European albums chart, claiming the top seven positions. James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" (Atlantic) moves 1-3, Katie Melua's "Piece by Piece" (Dramatico) slips 2-4, Sugababes' "Taller in More Ways" (Island) holds at No. 5 and Franz Ferdinand's "You Could Have It So Much Better" (Domino) drops 3-7.

Germany's hip hop and reggae collective Seeed's "Next!" (Downbeat/Warner Music) is the other new entry in the top 10, where it starts at No. 9. The album opens at No. 2 in Germany and No. 3 in Austria. Rounding out the top 10 in Europe are Bon Jovi's "Have a Nice Day" (Island/Def Jam), which slides 4-8, and Tokio Hotel's "Schrei" (Island), which is down 6-10.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Cardigan's "Super Extra Gravity" (Stockholm) enters at No. 22, thanks largely to a No. 1 debut in the band's home market, Sweden. Russian duo T.A.T.U.'s "Dangerous and Moving" (Interscope), the follow-up to 2002's "200 Po Vstrechnoy" (200 Kilometers an Hour in a Wrong Lane), is new at No. 23.

British band Starsailor's "On the Outside" (EMI) starts at No. 35, and Stevie Wonder's "A Time 2 Love" (Motown) begins at No. 41. New albums from Canadian rapper K-Maro and Michael Ball open in the top 50.

The highest new entry on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles survey at No. 7 is "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," the debut release from Sheffield, England buzz-band the Arctic Monkeys. Lifted by an online marketing campaign, "Dancefloor" debuted at No. 1 in the United Kingdom. Celine Dion's "Je Ne Vous Oublie Pas" (Columbia) is the only single to crack the European singles top ten in its first week, where it is No. 8.