International charts analysis: Full steam ahead for The Greatest Showman as OST nets Japanese No.1

International charts analysis: Full steam ahead for The Greatest Showman as OST nets Japanese No.1

It didn't pick up any of the 24 Oscars doled out by The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Hollywood last Sunday (4th) but The Greatest Showman has a powerhouse soundtrack which continues atop the album chart in Ireland, New Zealand and The UK, while moving into pole position in Japan for the first time and remaining in the Top 10 in a further host of nations.

On its ninth week at the summit in The UK, where sales of 41,547 raise its cumulative tally to 383,333, The Greatest Showman took advantage of a softer sales week to claim its prize in Japan.

Despite the fact seven of the Top 10 albums in the country - which has twice the population of The UK - are new entries, The Greatest Showman's coronation came on sales of just 26,957 copies. It is the first Western album to reach No.1 in the country since November 2015, when the new edition of The Beatles' 2000 chart-topping compilation, 1, topped the list. The last album of new material from the west to lead the list was One Direction's Four in 2014.

In America, where The Greatest Showman drifts 3-5, there is a dramatic change of leadership on the Top 200, where the Black Panther soundtrack is toppled by Bon Jovi's This House Is Not For Sale, which previously debuted at No.1 in 2016. The first album to both enter and re-enter at No.1 in chart history, its somewhat bemusing return to prominence is due to the bundling of tickets for the veteran New Jersey band's upcoming tour with a redeemable voucher for the album. As they'd theoretically paid for it anyway, nearly 120,000 people mailed in their vouchers which contributed to the chart this week, turning it into a laughing stock. This House Is Not For Sale's original debut was also fuelled by a similar offer, as are many US No.1 albums these days. Its resurgence is likely to be brief - it sagged 1-43 following debut in 2016, and will likely droop further next week, if it even manages to remain in the Top 200.

There's very little of note to report elsewhere this week but The Greatest Showman's eight week run at No.1 in Australia was ended by local singer/songwriter Vance Joy, whose second album, Nation Of Two, opens at the summit - just as his debut album Dream Your Life Away did in 2014.

The Greatest Showman's continued reign in The UK means A Real Labour Of Love by UB40 feat. Ali, Astro & Mickey is the fifth album this year to debut at No.2 behind it. A Real Labour Of Love also debuts at No.67 in The Netherlands, No.84 in Ireland, No.152 in Flanders and No.199 in Wallonia.

Congratulations to Joan Baez who, at the age of 77, registers her highest charting album in The UK (No.47) since 1971 and only her second ever Top 10 album in Germany (No.8), more than 36 years after her first. Baez's success comes with her 25th - and, apparently, last - studio album, Whistle Down The Wind.

Intriguingly, although it has embraced the new Joan Baez album, Germany is one of the few territories in which UK singer/songwriter Dua Lipa's eponymous debut is currently not charting. The album reached No.22 there last June but has been absent from the chart ever since, even though IDGAF becomes her fifth Top 20 hit in the country this week, climbing 22-17.

Dua Lipa, however, continues to impress, with new peaks in New Zealand (17-7), Denmark (14-8), Norway (9-8), Greece (70-38) and France (100-81).   

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