France Album Sales: U2

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (2004) Era

Up to six consecutive Platinum selling albums, a rare feat for international acts in France, U2 return was heavily anticipated in 2004. Pairing their new single Vertigo with iPod extensive promotional campaign, the album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was everywhere.

This new record reproduced very exactly the run of its three predecessors, #1 debut, a bit more than one month Top 10, then several months floating around lower down the charts without ever coming back into the Top 10 and then a natural drop out. Even in Year End position all U2 albums were quite close as Pop was 1997 #16 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind was #19 of 2000 and now How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb closed 2004 as the #18 seller of the year, a huge result within’ a mere five weeks.

Both Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own and City Of Blinding Lights did nothing in the singles chart but stabilized the LP until the end of August 2005. By the end of 2008, this album had sold 474,000 physical units and 6,000 digital sales.

Just like the last two eras, this one was also succeeded by a greatest hits package. It was in 2006 fall with U2 first career spanning compilation, U218 Singles. A five weeks #1 in the Compilation chart, their third in a row, U218 Singles sold 158,000 physical units in 2006 and 250,000 by the end of 2008, plus 3,000 digital units.

From 2003 to 2008, the band catalog main album was logically The Best Of 1980-1990 at 130,000 copies sold. Among studio albums, the pair War (55,000) and The Joshua Tree (53,000) are the two fan favorites. A second pack consisting of All That You Can’t Leave Behind (24,000), Unforgettable Fire, Achtung Baby (23,000 each), Boy (20,000) and October (18,000) follows. Rattle And Hum struggles to attract as many buyers (14,000) but it is really Zooropa (9,000) and Pop (8,000) that failed to remain relevant.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Vertigo – 17,566,000
  2. City Of Blinding Lights – 8,701,000
  3. Sometimes You Can Make It On Your Own – 7,587,000

2 thoughts on “France Album Sales: U2”

    1. Hi Hernán!

      To be honest I wasn’t expecting such a massive total myself. The irony is that The Joshua Tree has been largely inflated for many years, assumed at 2 million when it appears to be on 1,2 million, but the rest of their discography is much stronger than everyone would have assume. The simple fact that Achtung Baby is only their fourth best seller in spite of over 900,000 copies sold is outstanding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *