Official charts analysis: Liam Gallagher debuts at No.1 with more than 100,000 album sales
by Alan Jones
Only the third artist album to sell more than 100,000 copies in a week thus far in 2017, Liam Gallagher's debut solo set, As You Were, outpaced the rest of the Top 15 combined and would be No.1 even if it had been released only on vinyl, so emphatic was its victory.
With sales of 102,660 copies, including 8,882 from streams, it provides Gallagher, who turned 45 last month, with the ninth No.1 album of his career, the other eight being as frontman of Oasis between 1994 and 2010. His brother Noel went solo at that point but Liam reconvened with the rest of the band – Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock – as Beady Eye, subsequently reaching No.3 with Different Gear Still Speeding on sales of 66,817 in 2011, and No.2 with BE on sales of 34,552 in 2013, before disbanding in 2014. As You Were thus secured more first week sales than both Beady Eye albums combined total sales.
As You Were is also flying higher than Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' most recent album, Chasing Yesterday, which shifted 89,110 copies when it debuted at No.1 in 2015 but his debut solo album – like his solo career, it was named Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – sold 122,530 copies when it stormed to No.1 in 2011. The next chapter in the battle for supremacy between the squabbling siblings comes in six weeks (24 November) when Who Built The Moon? – the third album by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – will be released.
As You Were sold 54,498 copies on CD, 23,116 on paid-for downloads and 16,164 copies across three vinyl variants, thus securing the highest weekly sale for a vinyl album in the last 20 years. It surpasses by 20.01% the previous record of 13,546 set by Ed Sheeran's ÷ as it debuted atop the chart 31 weeks ago. Sheeran's album was, of course, one of the two artist albums to sell more than 100,000 copies in a week this year, doing so in each of its first five weeks on release, progressing 671,542-303,520-206,411-197,190-108,265. Rag'N'Bone Man's Human also sold a six-figure quantity (117,101 copies) on debut 34 weeks ago.
The release of Gallagher's album also saw big increases in sales for the Oasis catalogue – with their 2010 compilation Time Flies... 1994-2009 surging 32-15 (4,331 sales) – and even Noel Gallagher's solo albums, with Chasing Yesterday returning to the Top 200 (No.165, 810 sales).
London grime artist Giggs must be sick of Mancunians – his fourth album Landlord debuted and peaked at No.2 behind Manchester band Blossom's eponymous first album in August 2016, and his fifth album Wamp 2 Dem is runner-up to Manc legend Liam Gallagher this week. Landlord sold 11,437 copies on its debut – including 2,307 on CD. Wamp 2 Dem is not available physically at all, but still ups the ante with a first week tally of 12,350 sales. It is the ninth album in chart history to make the top two without being available physically, five of which were No.1s.
Starting in 1989, MTV Unplugged was both a popular programme for the MTV network and a potent chart force with many artists enjoying big sales from albums recorded for the series. Its effectiveness and the frequency of such programmes has declined considerably since then but Norway's veteran pop trio A-ha's MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice – which includes guest vocals from Alison Moyet and Ian McCullough among others – powers to a No.6 debut on sales of 6,982 copies this week. The first such album to chart since 2012 – when Florence & The Machine's MTV Unplugged debuted and peaked at No.27 – it delivers A-ha its seventh Top 10 album and 16th Top 75 album some 32 years into their recording career.
Goth rocker Marilyn Manson is in the Top 10 for the first time in a decade and the fifth time in all, with his 10th studio album, Heaven Upside Down, debuting at No.7 (6,636 sales). His last album, The Pale Emperor, debuted and peaked at No.16 (5,984 sales) in 2015.
Fourteen years after their debut album Permission To Land topped the chart, UK metal/glam rock quartet The Darkness secure their third Top 10 album with fifth release Pinewood Smile debuting at No.8 (6,539 sales). Home to three of The Darkness' Top 10 hits – including the back-to-back No.2 smashes I Believe In A Thing Called Love and Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells Chime) – Permission To Land took eight weeks to reach No.1 but went on to spend weeks in the Top 10 (five of them at No.1) and has sold 1,404,906 copies, nearly five times as many as the rest of their output combined.
Mancunian singer-songwriter JP Cooper first came to notice as vocalist on Jonas Blue's No.2 smash Perfect Strangers. He subsequently had a No.7 hit in his own right with September Song, one of the highlights of his first album, Raised Under Grey Skies, which debuts at No.9 (6,524 sales).
Comedian Jason Manford is the third Mancunian to penetrate the Top 10 this week, courtesy of his debut album as a singer – the appropriately titled A Different Stage, wherein he majors on show tunes like The Impossible Dream, I Have Dreamed and On The Street Where You Live. The seventh and last new entry to the Top 10, it debuts at No.10 (5,862 sales). Manford previously released two albums of live comedy sketches, neither of which charted.
The other three albums in the Top 10 are all climbers, namely ÷ (4-3, 11,831 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Wonderful Wonderful (7-4, 7,473 sales) by The Killers and Concrete And Gold (6-5, 7,065 sales) by Foo Fighters.
Falling out of the Top 10 are: Now (1-11, 5,704 sales) by Shania Twain, Visions Of A Life (2-16, 4,076 sales) by Wolf Alice, Live At Pompeii (3-21, 3,584 sales) by David Gilmour, Tell Me You Love Me (5-26, 3,018 sales) by Demi Lovato, Younger Now (8-28, 2,892 sales) by Miley Cyrus, Scream (9-30, 2,664 sales) by Michael Jackson and The Best Of Feeder (10-87, 1,239 sales).
West Londoner AJ Tracey is a rising star of grime and rap. His latest EP – the eight-song, 26-minute set Secure The Bag! – provides him with his introductory album chart appearance, debuting at No.13 (4,798 sales).
Following the template of 2015's If I Can Dream and 2016's The Wonder Of You – both No.1s – the latest Elvis Presley offering comprises newly constructed recordings blending archive vocals with freshly coined orchestral stylings from The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This time however, the album – whose title appears to be Elvis Christmas, although the OCC have gone with Christmas With Elvis & The RPO – has a seasonal twist, with the late king's advent audio adventures getting bespoke treatments. It is, of course, still more than 10 weeks to Christmas, so the album can be excused its comparatively low debut position of No.22 (3,572 sales). Several other Christmas albums – including offerings from Gwen Stefani and Fantasia – also dropped last week but Presley's is the only one to chart thus far.
Also new to the chart this week are Blade Runner 2049 (No.43, 2,179 sales), Hans Zimmer and Banjamin Wallfisch's soundtrack to the new sci-fi movie, a follow-up to the classic 1982 flick Bladerunner; Take Me Apart (No.51, 1,999 sales), the debut album by US alternative R&B singer/songwriter Kelela; and Daylight, the 14th studio album by Coventry ska veterans The Selecter. Still fronted by the enigmatic Pauline Black, Daylight debuts at No.66 (1,531 sales) to become just their fourth chart album.
Newly released on vinyl, which accounts for 1,405 of its 2,511 sales, Lana Del Rey's Lust For Life rallies 109-33.
New Ministry Of Sound compilation Old Skool Ravers sold 9,533 copies last week, and debuts atop the compilation chart, ending the 11-week reign of Now That's What I Call Music! 97... which also sold 9,533 copies. I am assuming that the former prevails because it had higher 'fractional' sales – as a result of the upweighting of an under-represented sales cell – than the latter. Either way, it is the first dead heat on a major chart since 1990 when The Steve Miller Band's The Joker was placed at No.1 on the singles list ahead of Deee-Lite's Groove Is In The Heart with sales tied.
Overall album sales are down 1.10% week-on-week at 1,700,286, 12.27% above same week 2016 sales of 1,514,426. Streaming accounted for 821,928 sales – 48.34% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are down 4.66% week-on-week at 878,358, 11.09% below same week 2016 sales of 976,851.
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