U2's 'Bomb' Explodes At No. 1
U2 earns its sixth No. 1 on The Billboard 200 this week with "How To
Dismantle an Atomic Bomb." The Interscope set nearly doubled the
band's previous best SoundScan era sales week (1991-present), moving
840,000 U.S. copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
In 2000, the Irish quartet's Grammy-winning "All That You Can't Leave
Behind" entered at No. 3 on sales of 428,000 copies; the set has a
to-date total of 4.2 million.
U2 ends the two-week chart reign of labelmate Eminem's "Encore"
(Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), which drops to No. 2 on a 46% tilt to
sales of 471,000 copies. As previously reported, U2 also terminated
the rapper's three-week stint at the top of the U.K. album chart,
where "Atomic Bomb" landed at No. 1 after an international Nov. 22
release on Island.
The album's arrival was heralded by first single "Vertigo," which is
featured in Apple Computer's iPod/iTunes TV commercial. The track
spent four weeks atop Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks list, where it
holds this week at No. 3. Additionally, the band made a series of high
profile appearances in the week leading up to the album's release,
including a performance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and an
unannounced free outdoor show in New York.
U2, which first went to No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with 1990's "The
Joshua Tree," has a worldwide sales total of more than 120 million,
according to Interscope.
Another highly anticipated Interscope release lives up to the hype
this week as Gwen Stefani's "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" scores a bigger
opening week than any No Doubt record ever has. Fueled by the pop
radio hit "What You Waiting For?," the singer's solo debut bows at No.
7 on sales of 309,000 copies.
Thanksgiving week sales pricing by selected retailers fueled a 65%
boost for Shania Twain's Mercury Nashville greatest hits compilation
to sales of 384,000 copies and a 5-3 jump. Fellow country star Toby
Keith also makes a two position leap to No. 5 with his DreamWorks
Nashville/Interscope greatest hits set on a 50% increase to 331,000 units.
Destiny's Child slips in between them with a two-slot drop to No. 4 as
sales of "Destiny Fulfilled" (Sony Urban Music/Columbia) slid 32% to
The unofficial start to the holiday shopping season also give the 17th
installment of "NOW That's What I Call Music!" (Sony
BMG/Universal/EMI/Zomba/Capitol) a push, as a 68% sales gain to
319,000 prompts an 8-6 move on the chart.
Falling short of prior "American Idol" stars, third season winner
Fantasia's solo J debut, "Free Yourself," enters at No. 8 on sales of
240,000 copies. First season winner Kelly Clarkson, as well as second
season winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken, opened in the
top slot with larger sales weeks.
Studdard's second album, contemporary gospel album "I Need An Angel"
(J) also debuts this week, taking the No. 20 position with 96,000
copies. His debut set, "Soulful," entered at No. 1 with 417,000 copies
last year and has sold 1.8 million to date.
Rounding out the top 10, Snoop Dogg's ""R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The
Masterpiece" (Doggystyle/Geffen/Star Trax) falls 6-9 on a 9% decline
to 203,000, while Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz' "Crunk Juice" (TVT)
plummets 3-10 on a 46% fall to 196,000.
Boosted by his Nov. 24 NBC prime time concert special "Tim McGraw:
Here and Now," the country superstar's "Live Like You Were Dying"
(Curb) saw a 192% sales spike to 180,000 copies The set moves 24-13 on
The Billboard 200 and 5-3 on the Top Country Albums tally.
Creed's "Greatest Hits," the first Wind-Up release from the band
following its breakup earlier this year, opens at No. 15 on sales of
158,000. The band's final studio album, 2001's "Weathered," debuted at
No. 1 with 887,000 and has sold 6.3 million to date.
Jessica Simpson snares the second largest Nielsen SoundScan week of
her career with "Rejoyce: The Christmas album" (Columbia) moving
152,000 copies to open at No. 16. While the singer's "In This Skin"
opened with 64,000 copies in 2003, a special edition release this year
posted a 159,000-unit week and boosted the set to a No. 2 peak on The
Billboard 200. A Thanksgiving week sales increase of 178% to 31,000
for the same release prompts a 125-64 rebound on the chart.
At No. 19, the Nirvana boxed set "With the Lights Out" (Geffen) rounds
out the top 20 debuts. With 106,000 copies, the set notched the
biggest sales week for any box since Garth Brooks' "The Limited
Series," which opened at No. 1 with 372,000 units in 1998.
Additional debuts this week include Alison Krauss + Union Station's
"Lonely Runs Both Ways" (Rounder, No. 29), Evanescence's "Anywhere But
Home" (Wind-Up, No. 39), Kenny G's "At Last... The Duets Album"
(Arista, No. 40), the Diplomats' "Diplomatic Immunity" (Roc-A-Fella,
No. 46) and the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" soundtrack (Warner Bros.,
Overall U.S. album sales were up 27% over the previous week at 19.5
million units, but down about 5% from the same week last year. Sales
for 2004 are beating those of last year by about 2.9% with 565 million
Well, Interscope's one happy label! ;)
FMQB: Interscope Dominates Sales Charts & Receives Label of the Year Accolades
When you're hot, you're hot! And when it comes to retail right now,
you can't get much hotter than Interscope Records. In the new
Soundscan chart released on Wednesday, 12/01, Interscope will own 30%
of the top ten scanning albums, locking up the #1 & #2 slots. U2 will
debut at #1 (scanning 840,000 units), Eminem (which debuted #1 two
weeks ago) grabs #2 with 471,000 units, while Gwen Stefani parachutes
down at #7 with 309,000 units scanned. Interscope has also scored well
with year-end airplay honors. The label will win 2004 FMQB Leader
Awards as label of the year in the following formats: CHR, Modern Rock
and Triple A. Congrats to Promotion executives Brenda Romano, Chris
Lopes and the entire Interscope promo squad on another exceptional year.