In an historic album chart - which incorporates the influences of both the 34th annual Brit Awards and, for the first time ever, streaming - Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour bounces 3-1 to secure its seventh week at the chart apex. Smith won the awards for Best British Breakthrough and Global Success at Wednesday's televised Brit Awards, and also took to the stage to sing Lay Me Down. Sales of In The Lonely Hour more than doubled week-on-week to 40,874, a tally which also includes 2,931 sales accrued from audio streams.
Although Smith tops the chart, Ed Sheeran carried off two of the bigger Brit Awards. X won the Brit Award for Album Of The Year, and Sheeran also triumphed in the British Male Soloist category, as well as performing Bloodstream. X jumps 3-2 with sales up 181.20% week-on-week at 38,271, including 3,369 streaming 'sales'. It was, in any case, a banner week for X, which surged past predecessor + to become Sheeran's biggest seller. +, which itself improves 46-25 (4,221 sales, 946 of them from streams) has a to-date tally of 1,926,494 sales, while X has sold 1,949,675 copies. The aforementioned performance of Bloodstream lifted the track - which previously peaked at number 60 the week X was released - 189-35 (13,243 sales), making it the sixth song from the album to make the Top 40.
Brighton duo Royal Blood - who performed Figure It Out at The Brits and collected the award for Best British Band - saw a big revival in fortunes of their eponymous debut album, which catapults 18-3 (27,495 sales) to end a 23 week absence from the Top 10. The album - which debuted at number one on sales of 65,812 copies last September, has had an uninterrupted 27 week run in the Top 40 thus far. Despite the success of the album, which has sold 305,334 copies, Royal Blood has yet to have a Top 40 single. Figure It Out had the highest placing of their three Top 75 entries, peaking at number 50 last August - a position it surpasses this week, re-entering the Top 200 at number 43 with 10,839 sales raising its career tally to 76,175.
George Ezra was nominated in four Brit Award categories but picked up no prizes. However, he performed his big hit Budapest, which leaps 30-18 (21,836 sales) as a result, while his debut album Wanted On Voyage more than doubles its sales to 22,021 as it jumps 6-4.
Completing the top five, Best International Female Solo Artist Taylor Swift's 1989 saw sales jump 54.70% week-on-week to 14,551, and climbs 8-5, while Blank Space, which she performed, holds at number 29 (16,010 sales).
Number one on the first of last week's sales flashes, Led Zeppelin's newly remastered and expanded 1975 album Physical Graffiti returns to the chart at number six on sales of 14,359 copies.
Arriving only 23 weeks after X became his fourth Top 10 album in a solo capacity, Chris Brown returns to the upper echelon with Fan Of A Fan - The Album, a collection of collaborations with rapper Tyga, who has
released several studio albums, mixtapes and compilations in the UK without previously denting the Top 50.
Paloma Faith won for the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist for her third album A Perfect Contradiction, which advances 33-8 (12,324 sales). The album has spent 25 of its 51 chart weeks in the Top 10, and has never dropped lower than number 35. Only Love Can Hurt Like This, a number six single for Faith last May, dashes 102-32 (14,741 sales) after she performed it at the show.
A fortnight after reaching the Top 10 for the first time, Gregory Porter's 76 week old Liquid Spirit climbs 11-9 (11,539 sales) to reach another new peak.
Hozier's self-titled debut album dips 7-10 (11,534 sales).
Exiting the Top 10, Imagine Dragons' Smoke & Mirrors slumps 1-12 (9,274 sales), Meghan Trainor's Title falls 10-14 (8,164 sales), Drake's If You're Reading This, It's Too Late descends 4-15 (7,898 sales), Texas' Texas 25 dives 5-22 (4,587 sales) and Thunder's Wonder Days freefalls 9-43 (2,283 sales). Imagine Dragons' fall is the biggest from number one since Arcade Fire's Reflektor also sagged 1-12 in November 2013.
London duo Public Service Broadcasting's The Race For Space is, as its title might suggest, a concept album about the rivalry between America and the former USSR for extraplanetary domination between 1957 and 1972, and debuts at number 11 on sales of 9,483 copies. Their only previous chart entry, Inform Educate Entertain, got to number 21 in 2013.
Also new to the Top 75 this week are The Killer Instinct (number 13, 8,344 sales), the first chart album by Black Star Riders who are made-up of former Thin Lizzy sidemen; Dark Sky Paradise (number 23, 4,469 sales), the highest charting album by rapper Big Sean, who previously reached number 56 with 2013 release Hall Of Fame; Return To Forever (number 31, 3,089 sales), the ninth Top 75 album in all but the first since 1993 by veteran German metal band The Scorpions.
Four more first-timers: A Conspiracy Of Stars (number 50, 2,039 sales), the highest charting album by British heavy metal band UFO since 1983; First Kiss (number 52, 1,843 sales), the third chart album for singer/rapper Kid Rock; Just Like You (number 57, 1,794 sales), the third and highest charting album by hardcore band Falling In Reverse; and The Real Dolly Parton (125-73, 1,312 sales), a 3CD 2013 compilation, currently heavily discounted.
Madonna captured most of the Brit Awards headlines after her fall, and her performance of Living For Love - the first single from upcoming, 13th studio album Rebel Heart - resulted in a number 26 chart debut for the track on sales of 17,936 copies. Her 2009 compilation, Celebration, also enjoys a lift, jumping 130-38 (2,476 sales).
Google Play 99p deals have helped a lot of albums to chart in recent months, but that era may be over - the search giant's website had no 99p albums last week, instead pricing its album of the week - The Eagles' 1976 number two success Hotel California - at £1.99. It benefitted less than most 99p albums have done, but still re-enters the chart at number 39 after selling 2,396 copies.
Google Play did, of course, also reduce the price of most a lot of Brit Award winners/nominees' albums to £3.99, and picked up a lot of sales that way.
Dipping 1-3 on the overall album chart, the Fifty Shades Of Grey soundtrack is number one on the compilation chart for the third straight week on sales of 36,038 copies.
Overall album sales are up 9.88% week-on-week at 1,365,101 - 2.27% above same week 2014 sales of 1,334,834.
In a week with a fair amount of chart action, the top end of singles chart is nevertheless becalmed, with Ellie Goulding's Love Me Like You Do topping the list for the fourth straight week, while the rest of the top five also retain their positions.
It is the first time that there has been no movement in the top five for 188 weeks - since week 29, 2011 Sales week ending 24 July), when The Wanted's Glad You Came headed up a logjammed top five that also included DJ Fresh's Louder, Ed Sheeran's The A Team, Beyonce's Best Thing I Never Had and Loick Essien's How We Roll, in that order
Despite retaining its position, Love Me Like You Do recorded the lowest sale of its tenure, dipping below the 100,000 mark for the first time, with a total of 98,167 sales, 23,235 of them from streaming.
Hozier's Take Me To Church suffered a much smaller week-on-week dimunution, falling by just 64 to 62,006 to secure its fourth week at number two in total, and its third in a row.
Sales of Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk! (feat. Bruno Mars) and The Weeknd's Earned It edged down gently too, falling to 57,215 and 55,118, respectively as they repeated at numbers three and four. Completing the frozen five, Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney's FourFive Seconds increased sales a little to 51,775.
What I Did For Love charges 20-6 to become David Guetta's 21st Top 10 hit, and Emeli Sande's 11th.
Inaugural (2002) American Idol champion Kelly Clarkson racks up her ninth Top 10 hit more than three years after her eighth, and has the week's highest debuting track, with Heartbeat Song opening at number seven (44,498 sales).
James Bay's Hold Back The River is new to the Top 10, climbing 13-8 (41,283 sales). Although its chart position hasn't always improved, it is the eighth week in a row that the track's sales have increased. It has now sold 240,516 copies.
Despite increasing sales by 4.22% week-on-week, Maroon 5's Sugar is down for the first time in its chart career, falling 7-9 (36,540 sales).
After falling 6-12 last week, Ayo recovers to number 10 (33,899 sales) for Chris Brown & Tyga.
Sam Smith's performance of Lay Me Down at The Brit Awards ceremony helps said track to catapult 88-15 on sales of 25,161 copies. Previously peaking at number 46 the same week that Money On My Mind debuted at number one - a year ago last week - Lay Me Down is now the fifth Top 20 song from Smith's debut album, In The Lonely Hour.
Featured extensively on the new Beats By Dre TV commercial, Swedish dance duo Axwell Ingrosso's Something New debuts at number 22 (19,574 sales), closely followed by another dance smash, They Don't Know (number 24, 18,670 sales), the first hit by South London trio Disciples.
Also new to the Top 75 this week are Glory (number 62, 7,200 sales) by John Legend & Common, Time Of Our Lives (79-68, 6,532 sales) by Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo and Cassy O' (87-70, 6,446 sales) by George Ezra.
Aside from those already mentioned, the following songs reach new peaks within the Top 75: Style (36-28, 17,269 sales) by Taylor Swift, Ballad Of The Mighty I (115-54, 8,686 sales, previous peak: number 75) by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Pray To God (67-57, 8,089 sales) by Calvin Harris feat. Haim.
Overall singles sales increased 2.56% week-on-week to 6,631,775. Streaming accounted for 3,853,924 sales – 58.11% of the total. Under previously existing criteria where only paid-for purchases were included, overall singles sales are up 7.44% week-on-week at 2,777,851 – 8.40% below same week 2014 sales of 3,032,571 and the 81st consecutive week in which they have declined versus a year ago.