After debuting at No.1 in Belgium (both Flanders and Wallonia), Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand and The UK last week, David Bowie’s Blackstar also now leads the chart in Australia, Canada, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and The USA. The artist’s death on 10 January – two days after both the release of Blackstar and his 69th birthday – helped him to net, albeit posthumously, his first ever No.1s in Canada, Croatia and The USA but he would likely have been No.1 in many of the other territories regardless. Blackstar also debuts at No.2 in Austria, No.18 in Greece, and advances 11-4 in Hungary, 9-5 in Japan and 74-29 in South Korea.
The charts are flooded with Bowie product almost everywhere, with a record 17 Bowie albums charting in the Australian Top 100. While Blackstar was instantly the most prominent of Bowie’s studio albums globally, different territories gravitated towards different compilations and catalogue releases last week – but now there is much more of a concensus, with Best Of Bowie and Nothing Has Changed: The Very Best Of now the most charted compilations, and Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane leading the catalogue influx.
Nothing Has Changed is No.3 in Australia, No.4 in Germany, No.5 in Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland, No.6 in Austria, Croatia and The UK, No.7 in The Netherlands, No.8 in Hungary and Italy, No.11 in The Czech Republic, No.12 in Denmark, No.31 in Finland, No.35 in Japan and Spain, No.49 in Poland, No.55 in Sweden, and No.68 in The USA. Best Of Bowie vaults 18-3 in the UK, and is No.4 in both Canada and The USA, No.7 in New Zealand, No.8 in Ireland, No.9 in Australia, No.18 in Sweden and Switzerland, No.23 in Italy, No.34 in Denmark, No.39 in Hungary, No.41 in Germany and No.43 in Austria.
The tide seems about to turn however: iTunes is a less than ideal measurement of popularity – it is, after all just one retailer, and takes no account on physical sales – however, exactly a week ago, Blackstar was No.1 in 25 iTunes national charts, and today it is No.1 in none.
If iTunes is to be believed, Adele is re-establishing her lead, with 25 back on top in 44 countries. The latest official charts from the 29 countries where they exist tells a different story, however, with 25 No.1 only in the torturously slow and notoriously staid South African chart, although it is number two in Australia, France, Canada, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, The UK, The USA and Wallonia.
Nevadan rock band Panic At The Disco!’s fifth studio album, Death Of A Bachelor, is destined to bump Bowie from the Billboard chart in their native USA in a couple of days, but fails to register so highly elsewhere. Its initial raft of chart debuts show it at No.4 in Ireland, New Zealand and The UK, No.14 in Flanders and The Netherlands, No.23 in Germany, No.27 in Sweden, No.66 in Italy and No.88 in Wallonia.
Meanwhile, British veterans Skunk Anansie’s new album, Anarchytecture – only their sixth in a 21 year recording career – fell short of the published (Top 75) chart in the UK, debuting at No.85. In recent years, they have been better received in Europe, and this seems to be true of the new album too – it makes early debuts at No.5 in Italy, No.25 in Flanders, No.36 in Wallonia, No.37 in The Netherlands and No.52 in Germany, with more certain to follow next week.