It’s a long way to the top but it’s beautiful when you get there.
James Blunt’s “Back To Bedlam” was released 52 weeks ago and entered Billboard’s European Top 100 Albums chart 28 weeks ago. However, it is only this week that it managed to reach the No. 1 slot in the European album chart.
Over the past few weeks, Blunt was held from the top slot by the likes of Gorillaz, Coldplay, Bon Jovi and Franz Ferdinand. Blunt benefits from a rather weak week in terms of new releases, and stronger positions atop the British chart, where it moved 3-2, in Ireland (3-1) and in Germany (5-4).
“We have a fantastic record and artist, and we did a pretty good artist development job,” says London-based Warner Music International executive VP of international marketing John Reid.
The album — out this week in the U.S. — has shipped so far 3.3 million units around the world, according to Reid. He adds that there is at least another nine months of marketing push on the album, with more European promotion in the coming weeks and the start of a European tour. “We’re in this for a long time,” Reid says.
Last week’s chart-topper, Franz Ferdinand’s “You Could Have It So Much Better” (Domino), falls to No. 3 in it second week in the European chart. Meanwhile, Katie Melua’s “Piece by Piece” (Dramatico) moves 4-2, earning the young Georgia-born singer a career peak position in the European charts.
British female pop/R&B trio Sugababes’ “Taller In More Ways” (Island) debuts at No. 5 in the Top 100 Albums chart. The set benefits from a No. 1 entry in Britain, where it sold 65,781 units, according to the Official U.K. Charts Company. It is the act’s highest entry in both the European and British charts.
Elsewhere, Paul Weller’s “As Is Now” (V2) debuts at No. 17 in the aggregate chart, following an entry in the United Kingdom at No. 4. Alicia Keys’ “Unplugged” (J Records) bows in Europe at No. 19.
The hierarchy does not change atop the European Hot 100 Singles chart, with Robbie Williams’ “Tripping” (Chrysalis) holding its position for the second-straight week. “Don’t Cha” (A&M) by the Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes is again at No. 2 and the Sugababes’ “Push the Button” (Island) is stable at No. 3.
U2’s “All Because Of You” (Island), the latest single from the 2004 hit album “How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” is the highest new entry in the European chart at No. 13, following a No. 4 landing in the United Kingdom.
The other new entry in the Top 20 is Rammstein’s “Benzin” (Universal) at No. 15. The new track from the Germany metal band bows at No. 6 in its homeland, and scores a No. 1 debut in Finland and No. 3 launch in Spain.
The single is the first release from the band’s forthcoming album “Rosenrot,” due out on a scattered basis from Oct. 28 in Europe and the rest of the world. The act’s previous album, “Reise, Reise,” topped the European Top 100 Albums chart in October 2004.