U2′s ‘Songs of Innocence’ Cracks Top 10 in First Week on Sale

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 10.22.14 in News

U2 can still sell a few albums the old-fashioned way. The rock giants’ new Songs of Innocence bounded onto the higher reaches of the Billboard 200 on its first week of commercial release.

The latest from Bono and co. sold 28,000 copies in the seven days through October 19, according to Nielsen SoundScan, good enough for No. 9 and the band’s 11th top 10 album overall. That’s down from 484K first-week sales for 2010′s chart-topping clunker No Line on the Horizon, but bear in mind Apple has said 26 million customers already downloaded the Songs after its free iTunes release this month. As you might expect, 96 percent of the album’s sales last week were in physical formats, including roughly 1,000 vinyl copies (making it the week’s third-biggest vinyl seller).

Outside of U2′s big experiment in distribution, the chart once again belonged to country. Florida Georgia Line topped the Billboard 200 for the first time with Anything Goes (197K). The No. 1 the previous two weeks also went country, with Jason Aldean‘s Old Boots, New Dirt following Blake Shelton’s Bringing Back the Sunshine. If Taylor Swift‘s soon-to-arrive “pop” album still counts as nominally country, Nashville could be dominating the charts for weeks on end.

The rest of the top 10 was fairly light on drama. Bob Seger‘s Ride Out notched him his best first-week sales ever (No. 3, 59K). Pink and City and Colour maestro Dallas Green’s You+Me bowed with Rose Ave. (No. 4, 50K), Barbra Streisand‘s Partners dropped a couple of spots (No. 5, 40K), and Sam Smith‘s In the Lonely Hour benefited from TV performances (No. 6, 37K), The Game‘s Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf started at No. 7 (33K), while fellow rapper Hoodie Allen’s People Keep Talking debuted at No. 8 (30K). Rounding out the ranking was Jessie J‘s Sweet Talker, the seventh new album last week to arrive in the top 10 (25K). U2′s Songs of Innocence remains the only one of those LPs to show up on phones all by itself.