Official Charts Analysis: Blur's The Magic Whip debuts at No.1 with 43,746 sales

Magic Whip

ALBUMS
Back in harness after a protracted absence, Brit-pop legends Blur return in triumph, with eighth studio album The Magic Whip debuting atop the chart on sales of 43,746 copies (including 1,093 streaming sales).
 
The much-belated follow-up to Think Tank - which opened at number one on sales of 64,803 copies 12 years ago next week - The Magic Whip is the band's sixth straight number one studio album, in a sequence that stretches back more than 20 years and also includes Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995), Blur (1997), 13 (1999) and the aforementioned Think Tank (2003). They are the 15th group and 30th act in all to have six number one albums.
 
Meanwhile, after debuting at number one last week, Josh Groban's Stages dips to number four (13,370 sales).
 
The rest of the Top 10 is massively affected by the re-introduction of Google Play’s 99p 24 Hour Deals, with those that were on offer at any stage of the week prospering at the expense of those that weren’t. In the former category are Taylor Swift’s 1989 (10-2, 16,990 sales), James Bay’s Chaos And The Calm (5-3, 14,904 sales), Meghan Trainor’s Title (7-5, 13,032 sales), George Ezra’s Wanted On Voyage (9-9, 9,929 sales) and Imagine Dragons’ Smoke & Mirrors (20-10, 8,582 sales), which saw sales increasing week-on-week by between 171.80% and 48.34%. Remaining Top 10 titles not in the offer were The Ultimate Collection (2-6, 12,619 sales) by Paul Simon, X (3-7, 10,715 sales) by Ed Sheeran and In the Lonely Hour (4-8, 10,608 sales) by Sam Smith. Sheeran and Smith’s chart positions mark new lows for their albums on their 45th and 49th week in the Top 10, respectively. Both previously had low positions of number six.
 
There were three albums a day in the 99p 24 Hour Deals, and several others make significant upwards progress outside the Top 10 as a result, most notably Mark Ronson's Uptown Special, which had slipped  12 times in 13 weeks since debuting at number one, and reached a low point of number 121 last week. It now leaps to number 15, with sales expanding 631.60% week-on-week to 5,851. Also back in the Top 20 as a result are The Balcony (24-16, 5,814 sales) by Catfish & The Bottlemen, American Beauty/American Psycho(30-17, 5,514 sales), Stay Gold (102-19, 4,940 sales) by First Aid Kit and Caustic Love (53-20, 4,412 sales) by Paolo Nutini.
 
Two albums check out of the Top 10 – Sia’s 1,000 Forms Of Fear (8-13, 6,894 sales) and Alabama Shakes’ Sound And Color (6-23, 3,931 sales).
 
Edinburgh's identical Reid twins Charlie and Craig were 53 earlier this year, and have been making hit albums for more than half that time. Their new album, Let's Hear It For The Dogs, features a baker's dozen of new, original songs and debuts at number 26 (3,307 sales) to become their 11th chart album since 1987. It opens at number four in their native Scotland.  
 
Jekyll + Hyde is the well-named fourth studio album by The Zac Brown Band, who eschew their previous country pedigree to take on a variety of music styles on the set, which debuts at number 36 (2,273 sales). Although some of the tracks remain true to their origins, the album may not go down too well with country purists - but it has certainly perked-up their UK profile, and is their first Top 75 entry here. Their first two albums didn't make the Top 200 at all, while the third - Uncaged - reached number 92 in 2012, and has thus far sold 22,810 copies.
 
Perhaps better known these days for his role as Harry Tressler in Holby City, Jules Knight left the medical drama earlier this year to resume his singing career. Formerly a member of classical crossover group Blake, who racked up three Top 40 albums between 2007 and 2009, 33 year old Knight makes his solo debut with Change Of Heart, which includes covers of songs written by Peter Gabriel, David Gates and Billy Joel among others, and opens at number 45 (1,739 sales).
 
A founder member of Depeche Mode, Martin Gore has had 21 chart albums with the Essex group, who have made the Top 10 with each and every one of their 13 studio albums. 53 year old Gore's only full solo album hitherto, Counterfeit², included covers of songs by David Essex and John Lennon among others and fell short of the Top 75 in 2003, peaking at number 102. Follow-up MG - which also credits him as MG - is very different, comprising 16 experimental instrumentals but fares somewhat better than its predecessor, debuting at number 50 (1,661 sales). It also finds him back on Mute, where Depeche Mode spent 32 years before joining Columbia for their last album, Delta Machine, which debuted and peaked at number two on sales of 28,450 a little over two years ago.
 
Joining +, X, V and III in the chart, Danish alt rock band Mew's sixth album is +-, otherwise expressed as plus minus. Their first album for six years, its unconventional title has been no bar to it becoming their highest charting album by some distance. Debuting at number 59, it sold 1,438 copies last week. Their previous highest charting album, Frengers, reached number 102 in 2003, while their most recent - whose lengthy title No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry They Washed Away//No More Stories, The World Is Grey, I'm Tired, Let's Wash Away is in stark contrast to +- - debuted and peaked at number 110 (1,591 sales) in 2009.
 
Number one on the compilation chart for the fifth straight week but falling to number two on the combined album chart for the first time, Now That's What I Call Music! 90 sold a further 38,959 copies last week.
 
Overall album sales last week recovered from a 1,031 week low (thanks, Google Play) climbing 15.91% week-on-week to 1,297,818 – 0.81% below same week 2014 sales of 1,308,460.

SINGLES
Carly Rae Jepsen threatened their cosy duopoly in early midweek sales flashes but Wiz Khalifa's See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth) and OMI's Cheerleader remain at one and two for the third straight week – but with their positions reversed.
 
See You Again strolled to the title in the first two weeks, besting Cheerleader's sales by a margin of 49.33% in the first week, and by 20.56% on the second – but See You Again continued to lose support at a faster rate last week, and Cheerleader has seized its opportunity to move into pole position for OMI.
 
Jamaica has proved to be a fertile breeding ground for UK chart-toppers over the years but OMI is the first primary recording artist from the Caribbean island to have a number one here since 2001, when Shaggy’s Angel (feat. Rayvon from Barbados) spent three weeks at the summit. Since then, The Saturdays’ 2012 number one What About Us and Blu Cantrell’s 2003 chart-topper Breathe both featured assists from Kingston-born Sean Paul.  
 
Cheerleader’s move to number one was fuelled by streaming sales, which accounted for 35,324 of its total sales of 112,626. That’s its highest streaming sale yet and crucially gave it the edge over See You Again, which saw overall sales of 111,542, within which its streaming sales fell from the record high of 37,191 to 33,649, although its paid-for sales were 592 higher than Cheerleader’s at 77,893.
 
Despite falling short of the top two, Carly Rae Jepsen's new single I Really Like You - the first single from upcoming album E-MO-TION - opens with an excellent first week tally of 85,840 sales, enough to debut at number three. That is the highest sale for a number three since June 2013 - when Daft Punk’s Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams) held the position on sales of 88,136 - and makes it the Canadian singer's highest charting single since introductory smash Call Me Maybe opened at number one (on sales of 106,657 copies) a shade over three years ago. Call Me Maybe has since gone on to sell 1,372,444 copies. 29 year old Jepsen co-wrote both songs.
 
Between 1952 and 1999, there were no Top 10 hits called Trouble, but the current millennium has seen Coldplay (number 10, 2000), Pink (number seven, 2003), Leona Lewis (number seven, 2012) and now Iggy Azalea feat. Jennifer Hudson all making the grade with songs of that title. All the rest debuted in their peak position but Azalea and Hudson’s Trouble – first available for download as an album track last November – has spent nine weeks in the Top 200 before getting there, moving 185-81-52-50-43-47-21-13-7. It sold 34,612 copies last week, delivering Aussie Azalea’s fifth Top 10 hit and American Hudson’s first, eclipsing her 2008 solo breakthrough Spotlight, which peaked at number 11.
 
Swedish DJ Alesso chalks up his fourth Top 10 hit with Cool - a collaboration with American singer Roy English - debuting at number 10 (31,842 sales). His last single, Heroes (We Could Be) reached number six at the start of the year, and now ends an 18 week run in the Top 50 by falling 46-51 (9,454 sales). With to-date sales of 377,172, it should soon become his biggest seller, ahead of Under Control his 2013 number one collaboration with Calvin Harris and Hurts, which has so far sold 393,762 copies.
 
Major Lazer’s Lean On (feat. MO and DJ Snake) reaches a new peak for the sixth week in a row, climbing 6-4 (44,033 sales).    
 
The rest of the Top 10: Hold My Hand (3-5, 42,968 sales) by Jess Glynne, Jealous (5-6, 35,713 sales) by Nick Jonas, Firestone (8-8, 34,419 sales) by Kygo feat. Conrad Sewell and Sugar (9-9, 32,789 sales) by Maroon 5.
 
I'm An Albatraoz is a novelty record by former Swedish professional footballer Aron Ekberg under the name AronChupa. It has been a massive hit on the continent and now debuts here at number 25 (17,889 sales).
 
Shutdown is hip-hopper Skepta's ninth hit in six years and debuts at number 39 (12,434 sales).
 
There are also Top 75 debuts this week for: I Bet (111-65, 6,244 sales) by Ciara and Hey Mama (98-68, 5,921 sales) by David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj and AfroJack.   
 
Climbers within the Top 75 arriving at new peaks are Where Are You Now (32-18, 24,490 sales) by Skrillex & Diplo feat. Justin Bieber, Dear Future Husband (25-20, 22,577 sales) by Meghan Trainor, Someone New (63-36, 13,325 sales) by Hozier, Stole The Show (53-49, 9,930 sales) by Kygo feat. Parson James, Trap Queen (72-60, 7,462 sales) by Fetty Wap and Post To Be (75-74, 5,401 sales) by Omarion feat. Chris Brown and Jhene Aiko.   
 
Overall singles sales increased 4.77% week-on-week to 7,042,827. Streaming accounted for 4,419,858 sales –  62.76% of the total. Under previously existing criteria where only paid-for purchases were included, overall singles sales are up 7.11% week-on-week at 2,622,969 – 10.74% below same week 2014 sales of 2,938,579 and the 90th consecutive week in which they have declined versus a year ago.

VIDEOS
Music Week Radar, 26th May 2016

JP Cooper – Tidal Wave. Filmed at Music Week Radar, Under the Bridge.

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