Despite the close pursuit of releases by Shakira and James Blunt, Coldplay’s “X&Y” (Parlophone) begins its fifth week at the helm of European Top 100 Albums. It retains top place in Germany, Holland, Denmark, Greece and Switzerland.
Shakira’s “Fijacion Oral Vol.1” (Epic) is up 3-2 on the composite chart, holding at No. 2 in Spain and No. 3 in Germany, and climbing 3-2 in Switzerland. Its single “La Tortura,” featuring Alejandro Sanz, holds at No. 7 on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles.
In the United Kingdom, Coldplay is replaced at No. 1 by Blunt’s “Back To Bedlam” (Atlantic), which rises 2-1 in its 14th chart week. “Bedlam” is also No. 1 for a second week in Ireland, helping a 6-3 climb on Top 100 Albums. The single “You’re Beautiful” climbs 11-9 on the Eurochart after rising 7-4 in Ireland and holding at No. 3 in the United Kingdom. Another track from the album, “High,” rises 12-9 in Italy.
The big improver among the top 20 of Top 100 Albums is the Offspring’s “Greatest Hits” (Columbia), up 27-13 after climbs of 8-1 in Finland, 7-5 in Switzerland. The hits set debuts at No. 14 in the United Kingdom on sales of 22,000 units, according to the Official U.K. Charts Co.
Keane and Kaiser Chiefs are among the many artists to enjoy a U.K. album sales upswing on the back of performing at Live 8 on July 2. Keane makes the most notable improvement on Top 100 Albums, climbing back 20-14 with “Hopes and Fears” (Universal Island) after an 11-5 move locally. Kaiser Chiefs jumps 28-19 on the aggregate chart and 7-4 in the United Kingdom after performing at the Philadelphia leg of the event.
Also in the United Kingdom, American producer Jeff Wayne’s 27-year-old, multi-artist production “The War Of The Worlds” is enjoying robust sales (this week at No. 7) via a remastered, hybrid CD/SACD edition of the double CD by Columbia. The label has also released a seven-disc collectors’ edition, including club mixes, rarities and a “making of” documentary.
Wayne tells Billboard.biz that although the album’s return to the U.K. top ten coincides with the release of Steven Spielberg’s film version of the H. G. Wells story, the new activity was originally intended to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1978 album, “but the scale of the projects far exceeded the original ideas.” He estimates total global sales of the album at 13 million units. Wayne is pursuing numerous other activities inspired by “WOTW,” including live presentations early in 2006, when he will conduct concert versions of the album.
Crazy Frog’s “Axel F” (Mach1) is No. 1 on the Eurochart for a fourth week. Wolfgang Boss, managing director of the German indie Mach1, estimates worldwide sales of one million for the novelty song, which rises 8-1 in Spain, 2-1 in Wallony, 4-2 in Sweden, 3-2 in Finland and 10-7 in Italy. “Axel F” is also No. 1 in France, Norway and Switzerland. Boss says the label has just completed a licensing deal with Universal for the U.S. release of the project.
Finally, Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” (Universal Island/Def Jam) is the Eurochart’s top new entry at No. 5, following a No. 3 start in Spain and a 15-3 climb in Denmark. The track is likely to climb next week, as it’s on course for a high entry in the U.K. singles chart on Sunday (July 17).