Charts analysis: The Greatest Showman sees off chart challengers
by Alan Jones
BRIT Award winners fill the rest of the top five places but the Motion Picture Cast Recording of The Greatest Showman remains way ahead, topping the chart for the eighth week in a row, on sales of 36,312 copies (including 13,479 sales-equivalent streams).
Ed Sheeran's ÷ is No.2 for the third week in a row (15,229 sales), and the 15th time in its career, as it completes a full year of chart duty in which it has never fallen below No.6.
Sheeran is the only artist in chart history to have three albums spend a year or more in the Top 10 – his 2011 debut + has spent 56 weeks in the Top 10 in total, while 2014 follow-up X has spent 98 weeks in the top tier, including the current week, in which it rebounds 13-10 (3,944 sales) to achieve its highest chart placing in 29 weeks.
÷'s first week sales of 671,542 have since swollen to 2,866,019 – 1,711,010 CDs, 56,187 vinyl, 444,645 paid-for downloads and 654,177 sales-equivalent streams – and the album has outpaced both of Sheeran's previous albums. On its first anniversary, his 2011 debut album + had sold 1,326,058 copies (939,994 CDs, 1,154 vinyl LPs, 384,910 paid-for downloads) at the same stage, while 2014 follow-up X had sold 2,230,741 copies (1,516,663 CDs, 9,503 vinyl LPs, 625,024 paid-for downloads, 79,551 sales-equivalent streams) .
÷ advances 17-16 on the list of the 21st century's biggest sellers, and is the fourth biggest seller of the 2010s.
Winner of BRITs for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act, Dua Lipa continues at a career high No.3 with her eponymous debut album, which sees sales increase 39.80% week-on-week to 13,308.
Rag'N'Bone Man's Human – home to the identically-named BRITs British Single Of The Year – is also static, staying at No.4, though its sales are up 24.72% week-on-week to 7,616. British Male Solo Artist winner Stormzy's British Album Of The Year, debut set Gang Signs & Prayer, jumps 10-5 – a 50-week high – with sales up 52.4% at 6,623.
The rest of the Top 10: The Thrill Of It All (11-6, 4,878 sales) by Sam Smith, Man Of The Woods (7-7, 4,812 sales) by Justin Timberlake, Camila (5-8, 4,481 sales) by Camila Cabello and Beautiful Trauma (9-9, 4,023 sales) by Pink. Exiting the Top 10: Revival (8-12, 3,596 sales) by Eminem and A Deeper Cut (6-90, 1,103 sales) by The Temperance Movement.
Rapper 6ix9ine, from Brooklyn, has yet to achieve a hit single but his debut album/mixtape Day69 is the highest of just three new entries to the Top 75 this week, debuting at No.20 (2,930 sales). The album includes collaborations with Fetty Wap, Young Thug, Troy Lanez and Migos star Offset.
More than three years after his debut album, Dream Your Life Away, debuted and peaked at No.20 (3,917 sales), Australian singer/songwriter Vance Joy's follow-up Nation Of Two debuts at No.32 (2,293 sales).
With 21 songs and a playing time in excess of 81 minutes, Brighton rapper Ocean Wisdom's second album Wizville is a sprawling effort which accommodates guest appearances from Dizzee Rascal, Roots Manuva, Method Man and Jehst among others. Available on CD, vinyl, download, streaming and cassette – a very rare full whammy for any release – it debuts at No.39 (1,954 sales). His 2016 debut, Chaos 93, reached No.180, and has sold 7,809 copies.
With single Killer at No.32 on the radio airplay chart, and the album itself £4.99 on iTunes and £5 at Amazon, Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra's Ibiza Classics surges 63-11 (3,769 sales) to surpass the No.17 position in which it debuted in December, and the No.14 position in which it previously peaked in January. With sales to date of 97,663 copies, the album is the follow-up to Classic House, which topped the chart in January 2017, has sold 207,433 copies, and also enjoys a resurgence, re-entering the Top 200 at No.80 (1,168 sales).
While their compilation Time Flies: 1994-2009 (27-15, 3,344 sales) is back in the Top 20 for the first time in 19 weeks, Oasis' 1995 album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? (35-33, 2,229 sales), achieves a notable landmark. It has taken more than 23 years, but the album achieved its 100,000th sale on vinyl in the week, adding 354 to take its cumulative tally to 100,089. The only album released since then to secure a six-figure sale on vinyl is Amy Winehouse's Back To Black, which passed the figure six weeks ago and has sold 101,825 copies – including 291 in the latest frame – since its slightly belated release in the format in June 2007.
David Bowie occupies four of the top five positions in the vinyl album chart, with Low (No.1, 1,360 sales), Heroes (No.2, 1,151 sales), Scary Monsters (No.4, 918 sales) and Lodger (No.5, 767 sales) – all in stand-alone vinyl editions for the first time since 1991 – making a sandwich of Porcupine Tree's Deadwing (No.3, 1,024 sales), which is on vinyl for the first time, 13 years after its first release. The Bowie albums also return to the overall Top 200 album chart, Low at No.50 (1,594 sales), Heroes at No.65 (1,355 sales), Scary Monsters at No.91 (1,099 sales) and Lodger at No.116 (950 sales).
Gary Numan and Wildwood Kin both start new UK tours this month, appeared on the one-off Old Grey Whistle Test revival on BBC4 last week, and reap the rewards with re-entries for their latest albums. The former's 2017 No.2 album Savage (Songs From A Broken World) (No.60, 1,385 sales) is back in the Top 75 after a break of 21 weeks and the latter's 2017 No.37 album Turning Tides (No.63, 1,368 sales) making its second chart appearance 27 weeks after its first.
Twenty-eight years after the Magic radio brand was introduced to the airwaves it secures its first No.1 compilation, with Magic 80s – which includes 22 No.1 hits among its 60 tracks – debuting at the summit on sales of 10,227 copies.
With bad weather and a threadbare release schedule to blame, overall album sales are down 2.05% week-on-week at 1,587,451, 4.60% below same week 2017 sales of 1,663,944. Streaming accounted for 907,831 sales – 57.19% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are down 0.84% week-on-week at 679,620 – their lowest level since Kantar Millward Brown started compiling sales data for OCC in 1994 – and 30.58% below same week 2017 sales of 979,082.
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