Experts say there is a line on the horizon for U2: The 500,000 sales mark.
The band pulled out all stops last week for the rollout of its "No Line on the Horizon" (Interscope) album - special sales, including Amazon.com selling the album for $3.99 Tuesday; a weeklong residency on "Letterman," including a shot of them shoveling snow in front of the Ed Sullivan Theater, and a rare live morning-show performance Friday at Fordham University for "Good Morning America." Mayor Michael Bloomberg even renamed 53rd Street "U2 Way" for the week.
Given the economy, the industry's decline and the lukewarm reception for the first single, "Get on Your Boots," which dropped off Billboard's Hot 100 chart before the album dropped, even the most optimistic doubt that the group will come close to the first-week sales of "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," which sold 840,000 in 2004. But will all the promotion keep the band from losing 50 percent of those first-week U.S. fans? Will it help sales for its summer tour?
The band will surely have next week's No. 1 album, beating out Taylor Swift's "Fearless," which has been selling around 70,000 to hold on to the top spot. In England, U2 sold 69,800 copies on album release day - strong, but not even close to opening numbers for boy band Take That's last album, which sold 133,000 in December, or Coldplay's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends," which moved 125,000 in June.