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Official Charts Analysis: Robbie LP sells 108k to claim UK's 1,000th Official No.1

November 25, 2013, 12:37 pm UTC

ALBUMS More than 57 years after Frank Sinatra topped the UK's first album chart with Songs For Swinging Lovers, Robbie Williams knocks Lady Gaga's Artpop off the summit to provide the nation's 1,000th number one album with Swings Both Ways. It's Williams' 11th solo number one album, a total which leaves him tied for first place among male solo artists with Elvis Presley. Of course, while Presley's chart-topping is purely in a solo capacity, Williams has also topped the chart as a member of Take That, being a full member of the band when Everything Changes (1993) and Nobody Else (1995) topped the chart, and rejoining them for 2010 chart-topper Progress. He also contributed to most tracks on their 1996 number one compilation, Greatest Hits. He could therefore be said to have had 15 number one albums - a total beaten only by The Beatles. Swings Both Ways sold 108,622 copies last week, beating the 83,508 copies that his last album, Take The Crown, sold when it opened at number one 54 weeks ago. It is the 10th album by Williams to have debuted with sales of more than 100,000. Most recently, compilation In And Out Of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990-2010 secured first week sales of 121,688 in 2010. Prior to that Williams had introductory six figure sales for: Reality Killed The Video Star (238,126, 2009), Rudebox (147,236, 2006), Intensive Care (373,832, 2005), Greatest Hits (320,081, 2004), Live At Knebworth (117,863, 2003), Escapology (264,104, 2002), Swing When You’re Winning (295,024, 2001), Sing When You’re Winning (313,585, 2000) and I’ve Been Expecting You (131,836, 1998). All of the above were number ones, except Reality Killed The Radio Star, which debuted and peaked at number two. It is his only solo studio set NOT to reach number one. His first solo album, Life Thru A Lens made a slower start, with first week sales of 14,533 in 1997. It reached number one 27 weeks later, on sales of 42,996 copies. It never sold more than 62,223 copies in a week but has thus far sold a massive 2,094,399 copies, making it the fifth biggest album of his career. Six albums by Williams have sold more than 2m copies, in a solo career which has seen him sell 18,608,135 albums. Even without his contributions to Take That, he is the biggest selling albums artist of the 21st century, with a total of 14,667,947 sales before Swings Both Ways was released. Williams is jointly the king of the swingers with Sinatra - only four of the 1,000 number one albums have had swing or a variation thereof in their title, two each by Sinatra (Songs For Swinging Lovers and A Swingin' Affair) and Williams (Swing When You're Winning and Swings Both Ways).  It is, of course, more than a coincidence - on Swing When You're Winning, Williams consciously recreated the swing style that served Sinatra so well, and was rewarded with the second biggest selling album of his career (2,336,184 sales, beaten only by I've Been Expecting You's tally of 2,582,016). Although it includes some new songs, Swings Both Ways also ploughs the same furrow with versions of classics like I Wanna Be Like You (feat. Olly Murs), Little Green Apples (feat. Kelly Clarkson), Puttin' On The Ritz and Minnie The Moocher.  Williams' latest coronation comes 22 years to the week after Take That made their chart debut - reaching number 38 with the single Promises - and coincides with fellow band member Gary Barlow's valiant failure to top the singles chart with his new single, Let Me Go. Rising singer/songwriter Jake Bugg was never in the race to gain his second straight number one album, even though his new album Shangri La sold more copies on its debut than his eponymous first album.  19 year old Bugg's self-titled first album sold 35,785 copies to debut at number one 57 weeks ago, and has gone on to sell 570,482 copies. Follow-up Shangri La debuts at number three (39,714 sales), following the modest peformance of first two singles What Doesn't Kill You (number 44 sales, number 33 radio airplay) and Slumville Sunrise (number 81 sales, number 63 radio airplay). Bugg seemed to be on course for a number two debut, but was pipped by Eminem, whose former chart topper The Marshall Mathers LP 2 remains in runners-up position on sales of 40,849 copies. JLS make the smallest first impact of their career with their greatest hits set Goodbye debuting at number six (24,173 sales). The band will split up until the end of their upcoming Goodbye tour next month, and the album is simply a chronological survey of their 12 hits including new single Billion Lights which debuts at number 19 (15,403 sales) this week, and will be their smallest hit unless it can at least match the number 16 peak of their previous smallest success, 2011's Do You Feel What I Feel? A week after debuting at number one, Lady Gaga's Artpop slumps to number nine (15,948 sales), its rapid decline coinciding with the 9-16 (19,068 sales) fall of second single Do What U Like (feat. R. Kelly). The rest of this week's Top 10: Loved Me Back To Life by Celine Dion (3-4, 28,118 sales), The Nation's Favourite Elvis Songs by Elvis Presley (5-5, 26,807 sales), Music Of The Night by Andre Rieu (11-7, 21,905 sales), Salute by Little Mix (4-8, 21,060 sales) and James Arthur (9-10, 15,532 sales).        Exiting the top tier: Trust by Alfie Boe (8-11, 15,363 sales), The Best Of Keane (10-12, 15,205 sales), The Fabulous Rock 'N' Roll Songbook by Cliff Richard (7-13, 15,112 sales) and Direct Hits by The Killers (6-16, 12,359 sales). The Military Wives topped the chart in March 2012 with their album In My Dreams 'presented by Gareth Malone' and reached number five later that year with follow-up Stronger Together. Now accompanied by 'Gareth Malone's Voices', the choirmaster now makes the chart in his own right with Voices (number 23, 7,904 sales), which includes versions of The Moody Blues' Nights In White Satin, Erasure's A Little Respect and Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me with guest vocals by Amber Le Bon, Lianne La Havas and Fyfe Dangerfield, respectively. Continuing their pattern of charting an album every 'odd' year, American Idol 2006 winner Chris Daughtry's band Daughtry debut at number 42 with fourth album Baptized. Although it falls below first album Daughtry's number 13 debut/peak scaled on sales of 10,040 in 2007, it exceeds the peak positions of 2009's Leave This Town (number 53, 3,889 sales) and 2011's Break The Spell (number 67, 4,962 sales). The latter album, incidentally, charted two years ago this week - and it is a measure of how much the market has declined since then that an almost identical sale (4,978, just 16 more) earn Baptized a 25 place higher debut on the current list. In a much quieter week for debuts than of late, there are also Top 75 arrivals for Gabrielle's hits retrospective Now And Always - 20 Years Of Dreaming (number 38, 5,427 sales), Five Finger Death Punch's The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 2 (number 44, 4,955 sales) and Clockwork Angels Tour by Rush (number 65, 2,649 sales). Looking to make the Top 10 for the third year in a row, Michael Buble's Christmas jumps 37-14 (12,761 sales) ahead of similarly seasonal selections from Rod Stewart (Merry Christmas Baby, 22-20, 10,475 sales) and Andre Rieu (December Lights, 73-61, 2,853 sales).    Robbie Williams gets all the publicity and kudos for scoring the 1,000th number one album this week but the biggest selling album of the week is actually Now That's What I Call Music! 86. It dashed to first week sales of 269,834 - selling slightly more than the rest of the Top 40 compilations combined, and outsold the number two title (Pop Party 12) by a margin of twelve to one.  However, that's 8.77% below first week sales of 2012 equivalent Now! 83, which roared to a first week tally of 295,789 on its way to becoming the second biggest seller in the iconic series, and 14.98% below immediate predecessor Now! 85, which opened on sales of 317,376, easily the biggest weekly sale of any album in 2013.      Now! 86 includes 10 number one singles among its 44 tracks. ALl but two of them made the Top 12, the exceptions being Ylvis' The Fox, which got to number 17, and Bruno Mars' Gorilla, which may well have peaked at number 62 - it dips to number 75 this week (3,657 sales), and also falls 51-117 on the radio airplay chart, a fortnight after reaching number 43.  Overall album sales are up 17.95% week-on-week at 2,294,996 - their highest level of 2013, but 17.84% below same week 2012 sales of 2,793,288. It is the first time in 2013 that sales have topped the 2m mark - and a far cry from albums' peak year of 2004, when their lowest tally any week was 2,171,603, and when the comparable week's sales were 4,770,616. SINGLES A fortnight ago, Lily Allen was completely absent from the charts - but this week she has the number one single, another new entry to the Top 10, and appears on both the number one artist and compilation albums. The 28 year old Londoner topped the chart with 2006 debut hit Smile and 2009 single The Fear but took an extended sabbatical from music during which, among other things, she opened a shop with her sister, got married and had two children. She returned to the chart as featured vocalist on Pink's True Love, which reached number 16 in July, and now scores her third number one, with her version of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know, which serves as the theme to John Lewis Christmas TV advertising campaign. After debuting last week at number two behind Dutch DJ Martin Garrix's Animals, it initially looked likely to miss out again this week, trailing Bastille's new single Of The Night, with Gary Barlow's Let Me Go also in close attendance in midweek sales flashes. However, neither of its rivals were able to sustain their initial pace, leaving the way clear for Somewhere Only We Know to climb 2-1 (80,917 sales). Its coronation coincides with the debut of another new Allen single, Hard Out Here (number nine, 30,213 sales), which uses a vocoder ironically, and is - according to speculation - addressing various other current chart stars via its lyrics and video. Somewhere Only We Know is on the new number one compilation, Now That's What I Call Music! 86, and Allen duets with Robbie Williams on Dream A Little Dream Of Me on his new number one album Swings Both Ways.   Bidding for the 15th number one of his career (he has previously had 11 with Take That, two solo and one with The Commonwealth Band feat. Military Wives), Gary Barlow almost got his nose in front with Let Me Go on Thursday's midweek sales flashes but the impact of his performance of the song on The X Factor results show faded, and the song debuts at number three (72,423 sales). Bastille would also have fancied their chances of being number one with Of The Night - an unexpected combination of Rhythm Is A Dancer (Snap!) and Rhythm Of The Night (Corona) that appears on All This Bad Blood, the newly expanded version of their number one album Bad Blood - roaring into an early lead but failing to sustain, and debuting at number two (80,257sales). It's the band's fifth Top 75 hit, and their second number two hit, following Pompeii in March. As the more observant of you will have noted, the gap between sales for this week's number one, Somewhere Out There, and number two, Of The Night was 660 sales - the smallest since Example's Stay Awake debuted at number one on sales of 73,402 copies, 266 more than runner-up Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera in September 2011, 116 weeks ago.   Elsewhere in the Top 10, Ellie Goulding's How Long Will I Love You slips 3-4 (62,648 sales), Eminem's The Monster (feat. Rihanna) falls 4-5 (47,647 sales), Martin Garrix's Animals dives 1-6 (46,967 sales), Storm Queen's Look Right Through eases 6-7 (37,287 sales), Little Mix's Move dips 5-8 (33,891 sales) and One Direction's Story Of My Life falls 8-10 (29,889 sales). Story Of My Life is the only One Direction song in the Top 20 but they would have debuted at number eight with Diana (34,810 sales), at number 10 with Midnight Memories (31,733 sales) and number 13 with Strong (29,122 sales) if the three tracks had not been released as 'instant gratification' tracks from the Midnight Memories album. Had they been chart eligible (as they will be this week), Story Of My Life would be number 12, not number 10.  Week seven of Justin Bieber's Music Monday project - which sees him release a new single every week for 10 weeks - bring him a number 30 debut (9,802 sales) for PYD. His 28th hit, it also features R. Kelly who, having been without a new Top 40 hit since 2007, has now scored two in as many weeks. The other was as featured vocalist on Lady Gaga's Do What U Want, which dips 9-16 this week. Many recent hits enjoy increased sales and improved chart positions this week, probably due to the high profile release of Now! 86, on which they are featured. Avicci's Wake Me Up! is one of the biggest gainers, jumping 33-18 (16,271 sales) just as his new hit Hey Brother arrives in the Top 75, leaping 80-27 (11,100 sales). There are also first time Top 75 appearances for Boyzone's Love Will Save The Day (number 39, 7,118 sales), Jason DeRulo's Trumpets (105-49, 5,682 sales), Kate Williams & Paul Hart's Christmas Lullaby (number 62, 4,395 sales), The Luminites' Do Something (number 65, 4,213 sales), Rihanna's What Now (173-69, 3,737 sales) and  Up Down (Do This All Day) by T-Pain feat. B.o.B. (number 74, 3,668 sales). Singles are seldom advertised on TV, and almost never at 59p, but Awolnation's 2010 track Sail was last week. Also featuring in the hit movie The Counsellor, it jumps 42-31 (9,394 sales) to reach a new peak. Also reaching new peaks within the Top 75: Free by Rudimental feat. Emeli Sande (39-26, 11,222 sales), Love This Town by Dizzee Rascal feat. Teddy Sky (40-35, 8,226 sales), Girls by 1975 (46-45, 6,234 sales), Unconditionally by Katy Perry (71-47, 5,937 sales), Berlin by RY X (55-48, 5,686 sales) and Forever Young by Rod Stewart (70-61, 4,401 sales). With Christmas little more than four weeks away, the Kate Williams & Paul Hart song mentioned above is the first new seasonal chart invader of the year - but many old campaigners are gearing up for chart battle again, and the first to breach the Top 75 is Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, up 98-68 with sales increasing 73.50% to 3,823. Overall singles sales are down 4.27% week-on-week at 2,987,129 - 15.55% below same week 2012 sales of 3,537,312.   


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