After changing hands for a record 19 times in a row, leadership of the album chart this week remains in the hands of Mumford & Sons, whose third album, Wilder Mind, again proves too strong for the chasing pack, and landing its second straight victory on sales of 29,922 copies, including 3,054 from streams.
Wilder Mind's tenacity also brings to an end a run of eight straight weeks in which there has been a number one debut - this week's best placed new arrival is Eric Clapton's new compilation Forever Man, which features recordings from his 30 year tenure at Reprise Records, and marks his 70th birthday. Opening at number eight (8,690 sales), it is the 49th chart album of his career, which has seen him top the chart solo and as a member of both Cream and Blind Faith.
A week short of its first birthday in the Top 10, Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour climbs a notch to number two on sales of 14,689 copies. It is its 11th week as runner-up.
Irish singer/songwriter Hozier scored a massive debut hit with Take Me To Church, and the continuing advance of follow-up Someone New - which climbs 27-24 (18,430 sales) this week proves he is not a one hit wonder. Consequently, sales of his eponymous debut album rise for the fourth straight week, lifting it to a new chart peak. The album, which debuted 31 weeks ago at number five and revisited that peak 17 weeks ago and 14 weeks ago, vaults 6-3, with sales of 13,070 in the week, and 228,057 in its career to date.
Elsewhere in the Top 10: Taylor Swift's 1989 jumps 8-4 (12,338 sales), Paul Simon's The Ultimate Collection climbs 7-5 (10,054 sales), Meghan Trainor's Title rebounds 10-6 (9,756 sales), Ed Sheeran's X retreats 4-7 (8,829 sales), James Bay's Chaos And The Calm holds at number nine (8,051 sales) and Sia's 1,000 Forms Of Fear fades 5-10 (6,982 sales).
The only album to depart from the Top 10 is Blur's The Magic Whip (2-11, 6,519 sales).
Housing her number six 2014 debut hit Stay High (feat. Hippie Sabotage) and current single Talking Body - which dips 17-21 (19,687 sales) this week - Tove Lo's first album Queen Of The Clouds debuts at number 17 (4,722 sales). The Swedish singer/songwriter reached number six with the album in her homeland last September.
An unusual combination of actual concert and soundcheck recordings made at multiple venues on his 2012/3 perambulations of the globe, Can't Forget: A Souvenir Of The Grand Tour debuts at number 18 (3,944 sales) for Leonard Cohen. The 80 year old Canadian's most recent studio album, Popular Problems, debuted and peaked at number five last September.
Formerly the mainstay of Moloko, Roisin Murphy went solo 12 years ago and her third album since then - Hairless Toys - debuts at number 19 (3,935 sales). It is 10 years since her first solo album, Ruby Blue debuted and peaked at number 88 (3,149 sales) and over seven years since follow-up Overpowered sold 9,656 copies in debuting and peaking at number 20. Although it has gone on to sell 65,532 copies, Overpowered trails far behind Moloko's biggest album, Things To Make And Do, which reached number three in 2000 and has sold 355,196 copies.
Veteran rapper Snoop Dog's 13th studio album Bush debuts at number 25 (3,206 sales) although introductory hit Peaches N Cream (feat. Charlie Wilson) isn't making much headway on the singles chart, where it slides 58-75 (5,785 sales) on its second frame. Snoop adopted the name Snoop Lion for his last album, the reggae-inflected Reincarnated, which debuted and peaked at number 34 (2,741 sales) a little over two years ago.
Born in Liverpool but based in Ireland, MOR/country singer Nathan Carter's sixth studio album Beautiful Life debuts at number 34 (2,736 sales) here, while becoming his third number one album in his adopted homeland. It is his first Top 75 entry here - his only previous appearance in the Top 200 came from 2013 album Where I Wanna Be, which peaked at number 106.
Folk/rock singer/songwriter Thea Gilmore has proved to be a very prolific recording artist, with 14 studio efforts and a live album being released since her 1998 debut. New album Ghosts & Graffiti contains 10 vintage recordings and 10 new ones, the latter being split between brand new songs and new recordings of old songs with collaborators, among them Billy Bragg and Joan Baez. Gilmore's last regular album, Regardless, provided her highest charting title hitherto, debuting and peaking at number 39 (2,752 sales) two years ago. Follow-up Ghosts & Graffiti equals that peak on debut this week, albeit on lower sales of 2,533.
Two years to the week since their last album Re-Mit debuted and peaked at number 40, The Fall return to the chart with follow-up Sub-Lingual Tablet, which opens at number 58 (1,726 sales). It is the 19th chart album in the career of Mark E. Smith's band, and extends their chart career to 33 years.
Also new to the Top 75 this week are: The Travelling Kind (number 65, 1,534 sales) by country veterans Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell; A Comfortable Man (number 68, 1,470 sales) by Cathal Smyth (aka Chas Smash of Madness); Dark Bird Is Home (number 69, 1,459 sales) by Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Mattson under the guise of The Tallest Man On Earth; Ark (number 73, 1,356 sales), the third chart album by Essex band We Are The Ocean and Brain Waves (number 75, 1,332 sales), the fourth album but first Top 200 entry by Yorkshire band Eureka Machines.
With lead singer Brandon Flowers in the UK to promote his second solo album The Desired Effect, which dropped today (18th), The Killers' 2013 compilation Direct Hits - which has been back in the Top 75 for the last 11 weeks - sprints 18-12 (5,823 sales), achieving its highest chart position for 72 weeks.
Now That's What I Call Music! 90 spends its seventh straight week at number one on the compilation chart (25,964 sales). After being runner-up for four weeks in a row, Love House slips to number three (14,678 sales), being passed by Just Great Songs 2015, which debuts at number two (15,697 sales). Just Great Songs 2015 is somewhat indebted to Google Play, where it was £1.99 all week - less than 5p a song for the likes of Uptown Funk, All About That Bass and Rather Be. It is, of course, the follow-up to the similarly boastful Just Great Songs 2014, which debuted and peaked last May at number three, and advances 37-34 this week, with 1,442 sales raising its 50 week cumulative tally to 145,358. It too was £1.99 at Google Play last week.
Overall album sales are down 6.99% week-on-week at 1,199,679 - 1.58% below same week 2014 sales of 1,218,965.
Recovering from a big midweek deficit, OMI's Cheerleader spends its third straight week atop the singles chart, selling a further 89,201 copies (including 31,590 streaming sales).
Its would-be conqueror Bills is the debut hit by American rapper LunchMoney Lewis. Entering at number two (77,790 sales), it was actually number one on paid-for sales by some distance but achieved only 7,079 streaming sales, hence its failure to top the chart. Bills has already been a big hit in several countries but not, oddly, in America, where it ended a short stint in the Hot 100 - where it peaked at number 79 - a couple of weeks ago.
Although Bills was unable to challenge Cheerleader in the final analysis, it pushes Wiz Khalifa's former number one, See You Again, down to third place on sales of 67,609 copies.
Swedish dance duo Galantis are also doing better here than in their homeland. Their maiden hit Runaway (U & I) peaked at number 25 there but surges 133-4 here (47,503 sales) to comprehensively cap that. Follow-up Peanut Butter Jelly enters the Swedish singles chart at number 77 this week.
Completing the Top 10: Lean On (5-5, 46,679 sales) by Major Lazer feat. M.O. & DJ Snake, I Really Like You (3-6, 44,466 sales) by Carly Rae Jepsen, Where Are U Now (6-7, 41,164 sales) by Skrillex & Diplo feat. Justin Bieber, Hold My Hand (7-8, 38,491 sales) by Jess Glynne, All Cried Out (4-9, 34,796 sales) by Blonde feat. Alex Newell and Firestone (8-10, 28,127 sales) by Kygo feat. Conrad Sewell.
Aside from LunchMoney Lewis, all of this week's Top 75 debuts are below number 60. They are Younger (number 61, 7,810 sales) by Seinabo Sey, Flashlight (number 62, 7,659 sales) by Jessie J, She Knows (87-67, 7,002 sales) by Ne-Yo feat. Juicy J, Ship To Wreck (79-69, 6,388 sales) by Florence + The Machine, Riverman (number 70, 6,101 sales) by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and C'est La Vie (number 75, 5,954 sales) by Stereophonics.
Hey Mama vaults 47-17 (22,850 sales) to reach a new peak for David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj and AfroJack. There are also new peaks for Trap Queen (38-29, 16,792 sales) by Fetty Wap, One Last Time (36-33, 14,770 sales) by Ariana Grande, Nasty Freestyle (74-41, 11,288 sales) by T-Wayne, Stole The Show (49-45, 9,595 sales) by Kygo feat. Parson James and I Bet (63-56, 8,479 sales) by Ciara.
Overall singles sales increased 2.74% week-on-week to 7,011,958. Streaming accounted for 4,578,015 sales – a record 65.29% of the total. Under previously existing criteria where only paid-for purchases were included, overall singles sales are down 0.77% week-on-week at 2,433,943. That is 11.93% below same week 2014 sales of 2,763,640, and the 92nd consecutive week in which they have declined versus a year ago.