The Beatles return to the European Top 100 Albums summit as "Love" (Apple/Parlophone) makes a bestselling start in France and a total of nine other top five starts around the region. It's No. 2 in Ger

The Beatles return to the European Top 100 Albums summit as "Love" (Apple/Parlophone) makes a bestselling start in France and a total of nine other top five starts around the region. It's No. 2 in Germany; No. 3 in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland and Switzerland; No. 4 in Holland, Austria and Spain; and No. 5 in Portugal and Finland.

In the United Kingdom, opening sales are a robust 173,000, a notable total for a No. 3 entry. This is more than three times the initial performance of the augmented "Let It Be Naked" album in 2003 and compares with a first-week U.K. tally of 319,000 for the "1" compilation in November 2000.

"It's hugely gratifying to see the Beatles at No. 1 across Europe in such a competitive week where new releases are concerned," says Mike Allen, senior VP of international marketing, EMI Music U.K. and Ireland. "Compared with '1,' 'Love' has been a relatively complex and potentially controversial proposition to communicate. But now it's out there to be heard in full, we're full of confidence that it will only get stronger from here to year-end, as word of mouth takes hold along with the marketing effort."

That highly competitive market saw "Love" overcome new releases by U2, Rammstein, Westlife and Oasis, all of which also debut in the pan-European top ten. "U218 Singles" (Mercury) arrives at No. 2 overall, with one pole position, in Switzerland. The retrospective is No. 2 in Spain, Austria, Portugal and Ireland; No. 3 in Holland; No. 4 in Italy and the United Kingdom, the latter on sales of 101,000; and No. 5 in Germany.

Rammstein's "Volkerball" (Universal) comes in at No. 5 on the composite chart, although its success is more localized, at No. 1 in Germany and No. 3 in Austria. The "deluxe" set comprises a 75-minute live CD and a 140-minute live DVD.

Westlife's "The Love Album" (S/Sony BMG) opens at No. 6 on Top 100 Albums but outdoes all its heavy-hitting rivals in the United Kingdom, selling 219,000 to open at No. 1. It's actually outpaced by sales of 235,000 for the new "Now! 65" (EMI/Virgin/Universal), but that album qualifies for the compilation chart rather than the higher-profile artist list.

Oasis' "Stop The Clocks" compilation (Big Brother) runs Westlife close on the U.K. chart, with sales of 213,000 for a No. 2. Europe-wide it's No. 7, also helped by a No. 5 start in Ireland and an 8-4 climb in Italy.

Tom Waits is back on European Top 100 Albums at No. 14 with his "Orphans" (Anti) collection, which stands at No. 5 in four markets, debuting in Holland, Norway and Denmark and climbing from No. 20 in the Belgian region of Flanders. Its U.K. entry, despite rapturous press reviews for the three-CD set, is more modest, at No. 49. Waits' last debut on the pan-European chart was at No. 9 with "Real Gone" in 2004.

On Eurochart Hot 100 Singles, Take That's "Patience" climbs 17-1, a decade after the British pop act's last chart activity. The reunited quartet is up 4-1 with the track in the United Kingdom, on sales of 61,000; "Patience" also debuts at No. 1 in Germany and Switzerland, No. 4 in Austria, and climbs 12-2 in Ireland. The group's comeback album "Beautiful World" was released across Europe on Monday (Nov. 27).

"Fous Ta Cagoule" (Up Music) by French rap act Fatal Bazooka climbs 10-6 on the Eurochart, after climbing 2-1 in France and 21-4 in Wallony. Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable" (Columbia) is also making strides on the European singles scene, up 13-7 overall. It holds at No. 4 in Ireland and spends a fifth week in the U.K. top ten, at No. 6.