LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Coldplay keeps the top soil fertile on the Billboard 200, as "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" opens with 721,000 sold.
With that U.S. splash, the British band ices the No. 1 slot on both sides of the Atlantic as it holds court for a second week on the U.K. albums chart. Coming a week after Lil Wayne joined the million-per-week club with "Tha Carter III," Coldplay's American splash invokes a few "first since" chart feats.
This marks the first time since March 2005 that the Billboard 200 was led by a 700,000-plus sum in consecutive weeks. The last occasion happened when 50 Cent's "The Massacre" sold 1.1 million in its first frame, then 771,000 in its second.
The parlay from Lil Wayne, now No. 2 with 308,000 sold, to Coldplay also represents just the second time in Nielsen SoundScan history that two different albums open north of 700,000 in back-to-back weeks. Britney Spears' "Oops! ... I Did It Again" and Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" accomplished that feat in May 2000, when they each started with million-plus weeks; 1.8 million for "LP" and 1.3 million for "Oops!"
Following a 2005 start of 737,000 for "X&Y," Coldplay also becomes the first act to field weeks of 700,000-plus copies on consecutive albums since September and the first band or group to do so since 2001.
Kanye West was the last artist to do it, when "Graduation" arrived last year with first-week sales of 957,000 after his "Late Registration" rang 860,000 in 2005. 'N Sync became the last ensemble to do so when it followed its historic 2.4 million-unit launch of "No Strings Attached" in 2000 with an opener of 1.9 million the following year for "Celebrity."
Similar to the battle of divas that happened a couple of months ago, when Mariah Carey's "E=MC2" had a bigger U.S. number while Madonna's "Hard Candy" had larger global success, with more No. 1s scored outside the United States, Coldplay has more of an impact on Billboard's Hits of the World charts than Lil Wayne did.
The band's "Viva" goes No. 1 in 18 of the global territories tracked by Billboard. With 15 of those aces notched in Europe, the set also leads the Euro Albums chart.
By contrast, Canada was the only country outside the States where Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" went No. 1. Its highest rank outside North America was a No. 11 start in Portugal.
According to Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart, posted June 25, Coldplay will likely have the first album in 10 weeks to hold at No. 1 for more than a week, as it appears the top bow on the upcoming list will be a No. 2 or No. 3 start for Motley Crue's "Saints of Los Angeles." Carey's "E=MC2" was the last to hold the fort for multiple weeks.