Official Charts Analysis: Sam Smith debuts at No.1 just short of 100,000 sales
by Alan Jones
Eight weeks after its introductory single Too Good At Goodbyes debuted atop the chart for Sam Smith, his second album, The Thrill Of It All, does likewise.
With a first frame of 97,328 sales (60,641 CD, 1,961 vinyl, 21,035 downloads and 13,691 from sales-equivalent streams), The Thrill Of It All has the fifth-biggest opening of 2017 for an artist album, trailing Ed Sheeran's ÷ (671,542 sales), Rag'N'Bone Man's Human (117,101 sales), Take That's Wonderland (113,211 sales) and Liam Gallagher's As You Were (102,660 sales).
Also home to instant-grat chartmakers Pray and Burning plus One Last Song – the new single which becomes the set's latest charted track this week – The Thrill Of It All opens lower than Smith's 2014 debut, In The Lonely Hour – but with good reason.
In The Lonely Hour was home to three No.1s on release - La La La (Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith), Money On My Mind and Stay With Me – and had a huge first week digitally, with paid-for downloads accounting for 50.14% of its 101,752 sales due to aggressively-priced deals which saw it at £4.99 at Google Play, Amazon and Sainsbury's. Google and Amazon both charge £9.99 for Smith's new album digitally, while Sainsbury's have exited digital sales altogether.
In The Lonely Hour jumps 21-15 (6,821 sales) this week to achieve its highest chart position for nearly two years, and with cumulative sales of 2,358,380 it is the second biggest selling debut album of the 2010s, trailing only Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events (2,367,340 sales), with Ed Sheeran's + in third place on sales of 2,300,215.
After adding new strings and appeal to three albums of original recordings by Elvis Presley, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra now work their magic on Roy Orbison, with their newly-recorded contributions to A Love So Beautiful propelling the set to a No.2 debut on sales of 31,762 copies. Helmed by producers Don Reedman and Nick Patrick – who were responsible for the same role on the Presley albums – and with additional instrumental flavourings from Orbison's sons, Wesley, Alex and Roy Jr. – A Love So Beautiful arrives in the Top 10 nearly 29 years after Orbison's death, and exactly a year to the week after his career-spanning compilation The Ultimate Collection peaked at No.10.
A little over three years after her version of Cilla Black's hit Anyone Who Had A Heart – recorded for her role as the late Liverpudlian in ITV's biopic – peaked at No.80 on the singles chart, actress Sheridan Smith's first album, Sheridan, debuts at No.9. With first week sales of 10,839 copies the album – which includes Smith's versions of songs like Mad About The Boy, Superstar and, less expectedly Gnarls Barkley's Crazy – was helped by a TV special devoted to Smith on ITV last Sunday (November 5).
The rest of the Top 10: Together Again (1-3, 28,785 sales) by Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, Divide (6-4, 16,435 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Beautiful Trauma (5-5, 14,844 sales) by Pink, Nat "King" Cole & Me (3-6, 14,740 sales) by Gregory Porter, Listen Without Prejudice Volume 1 (4-7, 14,170 sales) by George Michael, As You Were (7-8, 11,753 sales) by Liam Gallagher and Scream Above The Sounds (2-10, 10,645 sales) by Stereophonics. It is the first time every Top 10 album has sold more than 10,000 copies for 20 weeks.
Exiting the Top 10: Heartbreak On A Full Moon (10-14, 7,081 sales) by Chris Brown, Flicker (9-20, 5,350 sales) by Niall Horan and Tears On The Dancefloor (8-36, 2,837 sales) by Steps.
Canadian singer/songwriter Bryan Adams just misses out on his 10th Top 10 album with Ultimate debuting at No.11 (10,238 sales). Cherry-picking tracks from throughout his long and successful career, the album includes a pair of new tracks – Ultimate Love and Please Stay – and is his highest-charting compilation since 1993, when So Far So Good topped the chart, though subsequent (1999) compilation The Best Of Me peaked at No.12 and has sold 1,022,003 copies.
Although it has thus far spawned three Top 30 hits – Don't Wanna Know (feat. Kendrick Lamar, No.5), Cold (feat. Future, No.24) and What Lovers Do (feat. SZA, No.12) – Maroon 5's sixth studio album, Red Pill Blues has their lowest debut (No.12) on fewest sales (8,069) since their debut album Songs About Jane opened quietly – debuting at No.59 on sales of 3,395 copies – in 2004. It eventually reached number one on sales of 46,998 copies 30 weeks later, and sold a massive 141,522 copies in its peak week. Subsequent to that, The band's second album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, debuted at No.1 in 2007, on first week sales of 73,517; third album, Hands All Over, debuted at number six on sales of 16,496 copies in 2010; fourth album Overexposed, sold 38,717 copies when debuting at number two in 2012; and fifth album, V, sold 16,917 copies while debuting at No.4 in 2014. Despite its slow start, Songs About Jane has sold more copies than the rest of Maroon 5's canon combined, with a to-date tally of 2,064,955.
It is a year to the week since grime star/rapper Dave – David Santan – made his singles chart debut, with Drake collaboration Wanna Know peaking at No.51. Since then, he has had another couple of singles chart below No.50, but he really arrives this week with second EP No Words – seven songs and a playing time of 36 minutes – delivering the 19 year old Londoner a No.13 debut (7,971 sales) on the album chart. That's a big improvement on first EP, Six Oaths, which reached No.76 in October 2016. Not available physically, Game Over's strength is streaming, where it ranks at No.3 (5,630 sales). Those streams combined with low level sales drive three of its tracks (the maximum allowed) to debut simultaneously on the singles chart this week: No Words (feat. Mostack) at No.18 (17,226 sales), How I Met My Ex at No.32 (11,240 sales) and My19th Birthday at No.55 (5,999 sales).
The third and final release in Aled Jones' One Voice trilogy – which has seen him duet with his younger soprano self – One Voice: Believe is a collection of spiritual classics and earns the 46 year old presenter and singer a No.17 debut on sales of 6,258 copies. The first of the three albums One Voice – a selection of folk/traditional songs – debuted at No.6 (11,185 sales) last year and went on to peak at No.3, while One Voice At Christmas debuted at No.30 (9,858 sales), and climbed to No.22 last December. One Voice: Believe lifts Jones' tally of Top 75 albums since his 1984 chart debut as a schoolboy to 18.
Two years to the week after The Best Of The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12 debuted at number 12 (9,153 sales), the archive follow-up Trouble No More 1979-1981: The Bootleg Series Volume 13 opens at No.21 (4,958 sales) for Bob Dylan. It is the 76-year-old's 65th Top 75 album, of which 37 have made the Top 10.
Norwegian DJ Kygo's second regular album, Kids In Love, opens at No.35 (2,999 sales), whereas his 2016 debut Cloud Nine debuted and peaked at No.3 (13,570 sales). The difference is that Cloud Nine is packed with hits but Kids In Love contains none, as yet.
Radio 2 is giving country singer Kelsea Ballerini's latest single Legends great support, helping the 24-year-old from Tennessee to make her album chart debut with her newly release second album, Unapologetically (No.50, 2,161 sales).
Literally a cruise ship singer when she first came to fame, Jane McDonald topped the album chart with her eponymous 1998 debut going on to sell 338,564 copies – but she didn't even make the Top 200 with last album, The Singer Of Your Song, which has sold only 3,829 copies since its 2014 release. However, the 54-year-old from Yorkshire has been enjoying renewed TV success with her travel series Cruising With Jane McDonald this year and secures her seventh chart album with Hold The Covers Back debuting at No.69 (1,637 sales).
No.68 on three days’ sales last week, Without Warning improves to No.41 (2,474 sales) on its first full week for 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin.
Housing 100 hits from the 1950s and 1960s, Dreamboats & Petticoats: The Diamond Edition is the sixth No.1 on the compilation chart for the hugely successful series in 11 years, debuting atop the list on sales of 18,836 copies.
Overall album sales are up 6.74% week-on-week at 1,892,238, 7.95% above same week 2016 sales of 1,752,812. Streaming accounted for 843,439 sales – 44.57% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 9.23% week-on-week at 1,048,799, 15.11% below same week 2016 sales of 1,235,541. It is the highest level for overall album sales for 32 weeks, the highest ever level for sales-equivalent streams and the first time that paid-for sales have topped a million for 14 weeks.
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