Queens Of The Stone Age are kings of the chart for the first time, with their seventh studio album, Villains, providing the Californian hard rock heroes with their fifth straight Top 10 album, opening atop the list on sales of 32,056 copies, including 1,860 from sales-equivalent streams.
The first album by the band to have its first week sales boosted by streaming, it provides only their third highest first week tally but is their fifth album in a row to open with sales north of 30,000. Last album, ...Like Clockwork, opened at number two on sales of 37,532 copies in 2013 behind Disclosure's Settle. Before that, Era Vulgaris sold 30,483 copies debuting at No.7 in 2007, Lullabies To Paralyze achieved their biggest weekly sale of 53,270 when opening at No.4 in 2005 and Songs For The Deaf sold 31,778 copies when arriving at No.4 in 2002. All opened at their peaks. Their eponymous 1998 album sold just 418 copies the week it was released, only making the chart in 2011 (No.48, 2,745 sales) when remastered and reissued in an expanded version, while 2000's Rated R sold 222 copies the week of release, peaking 11 weeks later at No.54 (3,042 sales). Songs For The Deaf has sold more copies than their next two biggest albums combined, with a to-date tally of 582,208.
Produced primarily by Mark Ronson, Villains is also the first No.1 for the US indie label Matador, some 28 years after its foundation. The label has also had album chart entries with Belle & Sebastian, Cat Power, Interpol, Kurt Vile, The Savages and Sonic Youth, among others.
The QOTSA album is one of five to debut inside the Top 10 this week, all by foreign acts. Last week all five new arrivals were by UK acts - and every one of them dips out of the Top 10 this week.
Concentrating first on the new arrivals: US indie band The War On Drugs' fourth album, A Deeper Understanding, opens at No.3 (12,045 sales) more than three years after their third album, Lost In The Dream provided their breakthrough, debuting and peaking at No.18 (5,957 sales) but spending 19 weeks in the Top 75 on the way to excellent sales of 122,412; Massachusetts band Pvris's second album, All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell debuts at No.4 (9,549 sales), marking a huge improvement over 2014 debut, White Noise which made its only Top 75 appearance (No.55, 1,664 sales) in May of last year following the release of a deluxe edition; an American band of a different type to those above, US X Factor 2012 graduates Fifth Harmony score their third UK Top 20 album, and their first since the departure of Camila Cabello, with their eponymous new album debuting at No.10 (4,805 sales) despite the tepid reception accorded to introductory single Down (feat. Gucci Mane), which climbed no higher than No.47.
All 10 of Westlife's studio albums made the top three, with six of them reaching number one, both records for boy bands. Shane Filan was the first member of the Irish group to land a Top 20 album of his own when his first solo set, You And Me, debuted and peaked at No.6 (18,451 sales) in 2013. Follow-up Right Here reached No.11 (8,918 sales) in 2015. His third album, Love Always, surpasses them both, albeit on lower sales, debuting at No.5 (8,728 sales) this week. Of 38-year-old Filan's erstwhile bandmates, Brian McFadden has released four albums with a peak position of No.24, and the rest have released just one album apiece. Kian Egan's Home reached number nine in 2014, Mark (aka Markus) Feehily's Fire reached No.25 in 2015 and Nicky Byrne's Sunlight reached No.114 in 2016.
Toppled from the chart summit for the fifth time, Ed Sheeran's ÷ dips to No.2 (13,419 sales).
The rest of the Top 10: The 50 Greatest Hits (2-6, 7,497 sales) by Elvis Presley, Human (8-7, 5,866 sales) by Rag'n'Bone Man, Adios (9-8, 5,280 sales) by Glen Campbell and Dua Lipa (10-9, 5,018 sales).
As mentioned above, all of last week's Top 10 debuts have already departed the top tier. They are: To The Bone (3-20, 2,882 sales) by Steven Wilson, Tribe (7-37, 2,209 sales) by Chase & Status, The Peace And The Panic (4-46, 1,936 sales) by Neck Deep, A Fever Dream (5-77, 1,353 sales) by Everything Everything and Live For The Moment (6-80, 1,270 sales) by The Sherlocks.
Three US hip-hop acts chart for the first time - none of their albums is available physically, and all derive the vast majority of their sales from streaming. They are 17 (No.12, 4,520 sales), the introductory release by 19-year-old Floridian XXXTentacion; Luv Is Rage 2 (No.14, 3,706 sales) by 23-year-old Philadelphian Lil Uzi Vert, from which the first hit XO Tour Llif 3 reached a new peak (30-25, 11,739 sales) on its 19th week in the Top 75; and Cozy Tapes Volume 2: Too Cozy, the second album by the multitudinous New York collective A$AP Mob, which arrives at No.54 (1,700 sales) 10 months after Volume 1 peaked at No.84. XXXTentacion's track Jocelyn Flores, incidentally, is the shortest song on the singles chart - where it debuts at No.56 (5,998 sales) - with a playing time of 1m 59s, while the album itself, despite having 11 tracks is also exceedingly brief, checking in at under 22 minutes.
Southern rock trio The Cadillac Three's third album, Legacy, debuts at No.16 (3,375 sales), building on the No.33 debut/peak (2,371 sales) of their second album Bury Me In My Boots in August 2016.
Completing this week's intake, US indie singer/songwriter Iron & Wine's fourth chart album is Beast Epic (No.60, 1,623 sales) and eclectic singer/songwriter Nadine Shah, from the North East of England, scores her second chart album with Holiday Destination (No.71, 1,465 sales).
Festival performances trigger increased sales for Eminem, who has six albums climbing the Top 200, most notably 2005 compilation Curtain Call: The Hits, which climbs 26-18 (3,134 sales) to secure a Top 20 slot for the first time in more than 11 years.
Fifteen weeks after debuting and peaking at No.4 and seven weeks after exiting the Top 75, Paramore's After Laughter bounds 107-49 (1,837 sales); 731 of its 1,318 paid-for sales are for the newly-released vinyl editions, in fetching pink and teal.
Now That's What I Call Music 97 tops the compilation chart for the sixth time, on sales of 25,834 copies, but loses leadership of the combined album chart for the first time, bowing to the mighty Queens Of The Stone Age.
Overall album sales are down 1.10% week-on-week at 1,548,497, 0.54% above same week 2016 sales of 1,540,137. Streaming accounted for 731,567 sales – 47.24% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 0.41% week-on-week at 816,930, 19.89% below same week 2016 sales of 1,022,745.