U2 has the No. 1 album in Canada this week with Songs of Experience generating 25,000 equivalent album units for the week ending Dec. 7, according to data provided by Nielsen Music Canada. Out of this total, 24,000 were generated from traditional album sales.
This is the Dublin band’s sixth chart-topper in the Nielsen SoundScan era, and first since No Line on the Horizon spent three weeks at No. 1 in ’09. U2’s last album, Songs of Innocence, peaked at 5 after digital copies were made available for free to iTunes subscribers (and not counted in the chart reckoning). A 2018 North American tour will further propel interest in the new song set, although the lone Canadian tour stop announced takes them to Montreal’s Bell Centre, on June 5-6.
Songs of Experience is the fourteenth studio album by the Irish rock band and is produced by Jacknife Lee and Ryan Tedder with Steve Lillywhite, Andy Barlow, Jolyon Thomas, Brent Kutzle, Paul Epworth, Danger Mouse, and Declan Gaffney.
The album is intended to be a companion piece to U2's previous record, Songs of Innocence (2014). Whereas its predecessor explored the group members' adolescence in Ireland in the 1970s, Songs of Experience thematically is a collection of letters written by lead vocalist Bono to people and places closest to his heart. The personal nature of the lyrics reflects a "brush with mortality" that he had following a 2014 bicycle accident.
The photo on the album cover, taken by the band's long-time photographer Anton Corbijn, depicts Bono's son Eli and The Edge's daughter Sian holding hands.
And here's the lead single from the album
Ed Sheeran’s Divide holds at 2, picking up a 30% consumption increase that blends sales of albums with track equivalents and on-demand streams. The boost in interest in the seven-month-old album is due to a new version of his current single, “Perfect,” featuring Beyoncé. The song bolts to No. 1 on the Streaming Songs chart–his second chart-topping streaming single, following “Shape of You” earlier this year. “Perfect” also holds at the top of the Digital Songs chart.
Taylor Swift’s Reputation drops to 3 after three weeks at No. 1. Helped by a ticket bundle campaign, Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me rockets into 4th place, matching the album’s peak in its first week of release back in October.
Chris Stapleton’s From a Room: Volume 2 debuts at 5. This is the alt-country superstar’s third straight top five album. Both of his previous albums return to the top 100 this week.
Three holiday albums remain in the top ten with consumption increases this week. Mario Pelchat avec Les Pretres’ Noel Ensemble (featuring eight priests and seminarians of the archdiocese of Quebec on the Christmas praise album) falls to 6, with a 25% gain; Michael Buble’s Christmas slips one position, to 7, with a 31% gain; and Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas edges 9-8, with a 45% increase.
Other debuts in the top 50 include Brampton, ON-rapper Roy Woods’ Say Less, at 26; LA electro-R&B singer Miguel’s War & Leisure, lands at 28; Vegas metal band Five Finger Death Punch’s A Decade Of Destruction, at 30; and Neil Young’s The Visitor, at 43.
– All data courtesy of SoundScan with additional detail provided by Nielsen Music Director Paul Tuch, and U2 backgrounder via Wikipedia