#4 U2 – How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb – 8,500,000
We make a huge jump with U2‘s last blockbuster album, How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. Returning 4 years after their strong come back to form with All That You Can’t Leave Behind, the Irish band was hyped massively.
The heavy competition from Greatest Hits sets by Robbie Williams and Shania Twain, as well as Encore by Eminem, didn’t prevent U2 from entering at #1 almost everywhere. They shifted 840,000 copies in their first week in the US and 201,000 in the UK. The album was a terrific seller during the Christmas season.
Its very late release (November 22nd) means many copies were unsold by the end of the year. As an example, the album went 3xP in the US, at least 3 million copies shipped, as soon as it was eligible for turning 1 month old, although it had sold 2,156,000 units by the end of the year. In a way similar to the Destiny’s Child‘s album Destiny Fulfilled, the album broke the 3 million barrier more than one year later in February 2006.