Still No.1 on iTunes in 23 countries a week after it was released, Canadian rapper Drake’s latest album, Scorpion, makes its much-anticipated debut on official chart tabulations – and it doesn’t disappoint, opening at No.1 in Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand and The UK, No.2 in Sweden, No.3 in Flanders, No.4 in Italy and Wallonia and No.8 in Germany – with a further slew of Top 10 debuts expected in the next week.
Florence + The Machine’s fourth album, High As Hope, also makes a fine first showing, debuting at No.1 in Flanders, No.2 in Ireland, New Zealand and The UK, No.5 in Germany, No.6 in Italy, The Netherlands and Wallonia and No.9 in Sweden.
Meanwhile, Damon Albarn’s ‘virtual group’ Gorillaz’s sixth studio album, The Now Now - released little more than a year after its predecessor Humanz – is up and running, with introductory perches of No.2 in Wallonia, No.4 in Ireland, No.5 in Flanders, Netherlands and The UK, No.9 in New Zealand, No.10 in Germany, No.17 in Italy, No.18 in Sweden and No.39 in Japan.
Welsh rockers Bullet For My Valentine’s sixth studio set, Gravity, makes a noticeably less impressive dent that its 2015 predecessor Venom, debuting at No.7 in Germany, No.13 in The UK, No.21 in Flanders, No.27 in Wallonia, No.47 in Sweden and No.65 in The Netherlands.
No.2 in New Zealand and The UK, No.6 in The Netherlands, No.7 in Ireland, No.8 in Germany, No.10 in Flanders, No.14 in Norway, No.27 in Sweden, No.35 in Italy and No.39 in Wallonia last week, Pray For The Wicked is the sixth album by Nevada rockers Panic! At The Disco. It is in steep decline in all the above, but is now No.1 in Australia and The USA, No.3 in Canada, No.13 in Switzerland, No.23 in Hungary, No.24 in Spain, No.26 in The Czech Republic and Slovakia, No.27 in Denmark and No.135 in France.
Kamasi Washington’s latest release, Heaven & Earth, became his most successful album in all eight of the territories in which it debuted last week, and now opens its account in a further five, namely and Switzerland (No.8), Spain (No.20), Greece (No.28), France (No.79) and his native USA, where it provides his chart debut but underlines the fact he is much more popular overseas, debuting at No.115.
Washington’s breakthrough coincides with the introductory appearance of the new posthumous album by a fellow jazz saxophonist, the legendary John Coltrane, who died in 1967 at the age of 40. Both Directions At Once: The Lost Sessions – comprising of previously unheard 1963 sessions by Coltrane – is his first and/or highest charted album in every one of the eight territories in which it makes its debut this week, these being Germany (No.3), Flanders (No.7), Japan (No.14), The UK (No.15), The Netherlands (No.17), Italy (No.18), Wallonia (No.23) and Ireland (No.37).
Finally, the enormous resurgence in interest in rapper Xxxtentacion’s work following his murder last month continues, though after being No.1 in five countries last week, his last album, ? (Question Mark), is dethroned in New Zealand, Norway and Sweden. It remains atop the chart in Canada and Denmark, while advancing 2-1 in The Czech Republic and 3-1 in neighbouring Slovakia.