U2 makes 7th trip to top of U.S. album chart
By Katie Hasty
NEW YORK (Billboard) - U2 scored its seventh No. 1 album on the U.S. pop album chart Wednesday, although sales were down sharply from the opening haul for its previous release.
"No Line on the Horizon" sold 484,000 copies during the week ended March 8, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In 2004, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" bowed at No. 1 with 840,000.
U2 first topped the Billboard 200 in 1987 with "The Joshua Tree," spending nine consecutive weeks at No. 1. The group followed it with four No. 1s in a row: "Rattle and Hum" (1988), "Achtung Baby" (1991), "Zooropa" (1993) and "Pop" (1997). The run ended in 2000 when "All That You Can't Leave Behind" opened at No. 3 behind two rap releases.
The tally for "No Line on the Horizon" is the best for an artist since Britney Spears' "Circus" arrived at No. 1 in early December with 505,000. U2 is now tied with Led Zeppelin for the third-most No. 1s among groups, behind only the Beatles' 19 and the Rolling Stones' nine.
U2 ended Taylor Swift's nonconsecutive 11-week reign at the top, as the country starlet's second album "Fearless" slipped to No. 2 with 52,000.
Neko Case easily earned her biggest charting week yet as "Middle Cyclone" debuted at No. 3 with 44,000. Her last album, 2006's "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood," debuted and peaked at No. 54 with an 18,000 start.
Lady GaGa's "The Fame" climbed three places to a new peak of No. 4 after selling 42,000 copies. Nickelback's "Dark Horse" held at No. 5 with 36,000.
Jamie Foxx's "Intuition" rose three to No. 6 with 32,000. Denver rock act the Fray's self-titled album rose one to No. 7, also with 32,000. Beyonce's "I Am... Sasha Fierce" fell two to No. 8 with 31,000, while the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning movie "Slumdog Millionaire" fll five to No. 9 with 24,000. In its 23rd week on the chart, T.I.'s "Paper Trail" rebounded one to No. 10 with 24,000.
Total album sales stand at 7.02 million units, up 1.6% from the previous week, but down 8.6% from the year-ago period. Year-to-date sales, at 70.84 million, were off 11.5%.
(Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters)
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