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Songs Of Experience debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart

@U2, December 10, 2017
By: Matt McGee


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Songs Of Experience has given U2 its eighth number one album on the Billboard charts.

Billboard says the album won its opening week with 186,000 "equivalent album units," of which 180,000 were traditional album sales. The other 6,000 come from Billboard's system that converts streams and digital track sales into an estimated equivalent number of album sales. (For example, 1,500 streams from an album or 10 digital track purchases are counted as one album sale.) 

Songs Of Experience benefitted from being bundled with ticket sales for next year's Experience + Innocence tour, a tactic that many artists have used in recent years to bump up an album's sales volume. Without that kind of boost, the album didn't fare as well on the charts in several other countries, including a No. 5 debut in both the UK and Australia.

The last U2 album to top the Billboard charts was No Line On The Horizon in 2009 with 484,000 albums sold in its debut week. In 2014, Songs Of Innocence had essentially no chance to top the charts because it was given away for free to iTunes account holders for more than a month before it went on sale.

U2 becomes the first group to have a No. 1 album in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. Janet Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand are the only other artists to do that. The band's previous seven No. 1 albums are No Line On The Horizon, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, Pop, Zooropa, Achtung Baby, Rattle And Hum and The Joshua Tree.

The full album chart, with Songs Of Experience at No. 1, will be posted on on Tuesday.

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