U2 Hit the No. 1 Spot in Ireland

Hot Press (www.hotpress.com) (2006-11-10)

“The Saints Are Coming,” the new single by U2 and Green Day, has debuted at No. 1 in Ireland.

The competition could hardly have been tougher, with U2 and Billy Joe Armstrong’s boys having to beat the new Westlife single “The Rose” to the top spot.

In the U.K., meanwhile, it was the Irish boyband that grabbed the No. 1 Slot, ahead of the U2 Green Day collaboration.

The album chart saw Damien Rice shoot in at No. 1 with 9, selling 8,644 copies. In the U.K., he was at No. 2 in the mid-weeks.

Downloads seem to have played a significant part in the success of the U2/Green Day single in Ireland — which can be seen as a vindication of U2’s involvement with Apple, a deliberate strategy on the band’s part that seems to be paying off in the way their music is crossing over into the new online sales arena.

“The Saints Are Coming” is a charity single, in aid of Music Rising, the trust which Edge launched with record producer Bob Ezrin, to assist the musicians of New Orleans, many of whom suffered the loss of homes, instruments and equipment when Hurricane Katrina hit the city known as the Big Easy.

The single is one of two brand new tracks included in U218, whose November 17 release is to be celebrated by Channel 4 with a U2 Week.

Along with an extensive interview with the station’s June Sarpong, there will be videos and concert footage from throughout their career.

So as not to be accused of bias, they’ll also be giving an airing to the Oasis documentary, Lord Don’t Slow Me Down, and an hour-long Noel Gallagher: Sitting in Silence acoustic show.

Meanwhile, today, November 10, saw the official www.u218.com site go live. Highlights include a track-by-track guide to, and 30-second extracts from the accompanying videos to the singles.

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