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[M]usic is worship. [W]hether it comes from that ancient place we call soul or simply the spinal cortex. . . . The smoke goes upwards, to God or something you replace God with -- usually yourself. -- Bono

U2's 'Best of' Highest Greatest Hits Debut By Any Band in the History of SoundScan

NEW YORK, Nov. 13/PRNewswire/ -- U2 The Best of 1980-1990, which instored last Tuesday, November 3, sold 237,434 units over the counter last week, making the two-disc set the highest selling greatest hits collection by any band in its first week of release since the industry has been able to accurately monitor sales on a weekly basis. The album has already qualified for Double Platinum status.

"We couldn't be happier with the first week's sales," said Island Records President John Barbis. "We knew this would be huge, but the first week number is a testament to the enduring loyalty of U2's fans."

The two-disc collection entered the charts at Number One in 17 countries including Canada, U.K., France, Australia and Japan. A single disc version of the collection, minus a B-sides disc, was released on Tuesday, November 10.

"The consumer has spoken: U2 The Best of 1980-1990 is the definitive must have for Christmas!" said Gary Arnold, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for Best Buy.

"The U2 sales for the week were absolutely spectacular," said Jim Litwak, Executive Vice President of Merchandising for Transworld Entertainment. "Obviously U2 is one of the greatest bands of all time and they certainly proved it once again with the latest release. We're very pleased and looking forward to having a terrific holiday season with this album."

The esteemed Baltimore Sun critic J.D. Considine summed it up best when he recently wrote: "U2's strengths were common knowledge for anyone who listened to the radio during the '80s. But just how great the band could be doesn't become fully apparent until those moments are laid end-to-end, as they are on The Best of 1980-1990."