Madonna retains her supremacy on European Top 100 Albums and Eurochart Hot 100 Singles, as the top three on both of Billboard’s composite sales charts for the region are unchanged.
Her “Confessions on a Dance Floor” (Warner Bros.) rules for a fourth week on the album survey. Although it’s only No. 1 in one market, Norway, it’s top three in eight other territories. “Hung Up” (Warner Bros.) starts a fifth week atop the Eurochart, maintaining top spot in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The track also rebounds 2-1 in the Netherlands, knocking local artist Coole Piet’s “De Streken Van Tante Toets” (Sony BMG) from the top spot.
The Europe-wide albums chart begins to bed down for the holiday season, with relatively little movement in the top ten. Eminem’s “Curtain Call” compilation (Interscope), which debuted at No. 9 after its release late in the previous week, climbs to No. 4 in its first full sales period. It stays at the top in the United Kingdom where the retrospective adds a further 241,000 sales, according to the Official U.K. Charts Company; last week, the album accounted for 112,000 sales in just two-days. “Curtain Call” is also at No. 1 in Ireland, No. 5 in Switzerland and No. 7 in Germany.
The only album to join the pan-European top ten is a re-entry, Westlife’s “Face To Face” (S/Sony BMG). Having debuted at No. 5 last month, it climbs back 14-9 after improving 5-3 in the United Kingdom, where the set is certified triple platinum for 900,000 shipments. “Face” is also down 3-4 in Ireland.
“When You Tell Me That You Love Me,” Westlife’s duet single with Diana Ross which is included in the set, was released in the United Kingdom on Monday (Dec. 12) and is in the running for the No. 1 spot this Sunday. Its chief competitor is “JCB Song” (FDM Records) by Nizlopi, a duo comprising singer-songwriter Luke Concannon and instrumentalist John Parker.
The prime mover on the Eurochart is “La Camisa Negra” (Universal) by Spanish-speaking Colombian native Juanes, which moves into the top ten at No. 6, following a 38-18-6 move last week. It’s the second top ten stint for the track, which previously hit No. 7 on the Eurochart in August, reaching No. 1 in Germany and Austria. It’s now a substantial hit in France, climbing 8-3. Juanes’ “Mi Sangre” album spent seven consecutive weeks in the top ten of Top 100 Albums in August and September.
Sugababes, the British female pop-R&B trio, makes another Eurochart entry with “Ugly” (Universal Island), the latest single from its “Taller In More Ways” album. It’s new at No.1 1 after a No. 3 debut in the United Kingdom, where the album itself climbs back 21-8. “Taller” is also No. 4 in Germany and No. 5 in Switzerland.
Sony BMG is celebrating a strong sales period for several of its local European artists, notably in Italy and Spain. The Italian company currently has four albums in the top six, including Renato Zero’s chart topper with “Il Dono” (Tattica). In Spain, the top six of the album chart contains four Sony BMG artists, including Estopa’s No. 1 “Voces De Ultrarumba.”
Sony BMG president, continental Europe Maarten Steinkamp tells Billboard.biz: “When the Sony BMG joint venture was announced, the critics said the new company would move away from investment in local repertoire and predominantly focus on Anglo-American music. Important though that is, our current successes show that the new company has invested even more in existing and new local stars.”
Steinkamp also reveals that the company is making further investment in local artists. “For 2006, Sony BMG Continental Europe has upped its A&R budget by over 10%, and while we’re only at the start of that long-term investment, it’s great to see that at the most important time of the year, we have a wide range of European acts scoring high in their local markets.”