U2 rolls a seven with year's biggest debut


There's no trouble on the Billboard 200 horizon this week, but there's no history being made, either.

To no one's surprise, U2 notches its seventh No. 1 album with "No Line on the Horizon." The album sold 494,000 copies during its first week — the most for any disc since Britney Spears' "Circus" moved 505,000 in December but far short of the 840,000 for the Irish quartet's previous set, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb." That 2004 collection, however, bowed during the always-busy Thanksgiving week frame.

The seven No. 1 albums ties U2 with Led Zeppelin for third among groups, trailing only the Beatles (19) and the Rolling Stones (nine). "Horizon's" start was buoyed by sales of 155,000 digital albums, the second-most ever behind the first week of Coldplay's "Vida la Vida," which moved 288,000 in June.

While U2's chart attack was a no-brainer, there's a huge sleeper at No. 3: Alt-country veteran Neko Case scores her best sales week and chart position with "Middle Cyclone." Her previous album, 2006's "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood," debuted and peaked at No. 54 with an 18,000-unit start.

Billboard analyst Keith Caulfield contributed to this report.