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Official Charts Analysis: Olympics boost for albums

Official Charts Analysis: Olympics boost for albums

ALBUMS: The Olympics are over - but the Olympic flame burns brightly on the chart this week, with artists featured in opening and closing ceremonies directly or indirectly through cover versions occupying  66 positions on the Top 200 singles and 57 in the Top 200 albums.
 
Arguably the Olympics organisers' favourite artist - she appeared in the opening ceremony and twice in the closing ceremony - Emeli Sande reaps the rewards with her debut album Our Version Of Events returning to number one on sales of 30,825 copies. The album has now had four runs at the summit - it debuted at number one, returned to pole position on its third and 15th week on the chart, and now jumps 4-1 on its 27th straight week in the Top 10. Only 13 albums in chart history have had more than four separate runs at number one, the most recent being Adele's 21.
 
Our Version Of Events has sold 621,301 copies since its release in February. It is the biggest selling 2012 artist album release, ahead of Lana Del Rey's Born To Die which opened at number one two weeks before Our Version Of Events, and has thus far sold 524,887 copies. Overall, Sande's album is the second biggest selling artist album of 2012, behind the aforementioned Adele set 21, which has sold 647,176 copies this year to increase its cumulative sales to 4,419,522.
 
Sande's gold medal sprint is at the expense of Paloma Faith who, even without an Olympic boost, has seen her second album Fall To Grace rebound from its lowest chart position to equal its highest in the last two weeks. The album, which debuted and peaked 11 weeks ago at number two, has sprinted 16-5-2 in the last fortnight, as its second single, 30 Minute Love Affair, ignites. Fall To Grace increased sales by 196.60% last week to 20,681, and has sold a total of 152,515 copies to date. 30 Minute Love Affair jumps 87-50 (7,414 sales).
 
In the Top 75, the Olympics effect also boosted Ed Sheeran's + (8-3, 10,013 sales), Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid (139-6, 8,187 sales) and Build A Rocket Boys (a re-entry at number 35, 3,300 sales), Jessie J's Who You Are (15-7, 8,060 sales), One Direction's Up All Night (19-10, 7,316 sales), Total Madness (a re-entry at number 13, 7,145 sales), The Spice Girls' Greatest Hits (a re-entry at number 18, 5,708 sales), Kate Bush's The Whole Story (92-21, 5,175 sales), The Who's Greatest Hits & More (a re-entry at number 62, 1,981 sales) and Oasis' Time Flies: 1994-2009 (a re-entry at number 72, 1,743 sales). The Seldom Seen Kid's chart placing is its highest since it debuted at number five in March 2008, and its first for 11 months, while Build A Rocket Boy - which debuted and peaked at number two in March 2011 - is back in the chart for the first time this year. Kate Bush's The Whole Story debuted at number three in 1986, reached number one in 1987, and last entered the Top 75 in 2006. The Spice Girls' Greatest Hits (number two in 2007) last charted in February 2008.
 
The newly released Waterloo Sunset: The Very Best Of The Kinks & Ray Davies (number 14, 6,507 sales) charts for the first time in the wake of Ray Davies' performance of Waterloo Sunset.  But Blur - who were heard in absentia doing Parklife - fall short of the Top 75, debuting at number 91 (1,373 sales) with Parklive, a recording of their concert in Hyde Park at the conclusion of the Olympic Games, available thus far only digitally.
 
It was actually a much better week for new releases last week too, with five debuts in the Top 50 - all by acts enjoying their first album chart success. London rock quintet Spector's Enjoy It While It Lasts debuts at number 12 (7,150 sales); Irish singer/songwriter Ryan O'Shaughnessy, a graduate of Britain's Got Talent, debuts at number nine (7,570 sales) with his self-penned and self-titled six track, 21 minute EP; Sheffield metalcore quartet While She Sleeps' This Is The Six debuts at number 27 (3,804 sales); Bedford rock quartet Don Broco's Priorities debuts at number 25 (3,846 sales); and TV comedy trio The Midnight Beast's self-titled set enters at number 24 (4,141 sales). It is the first album release for all but Don Broco, whose 2011 debut Big Fat Smile failed to make the Top 200.
 
Number one last week with the lowest sale ever for a number one album, Rihanna's Talk That Talk was inevitably vulnerable to the mass influx of Olympic-related albums, and slides to number eight (7,848 sales). Plan B's soundtrack album Ill Manors is similarly affected, dipping 2-11 (7,267 sales) and Conor Maynard's Contrast dips 6-37 (3,236 sales).
 
Amy Macdonald's third album, Life In A Beautiful Light, does a great job swimming against the tide of Olympic-related titles in the chart, surging 17-4 (8,916 sales) as upcoming single Pride leaps 39-25 on the radio airplay chart. The album, which debuted and peaked at number two in June, has climbed four weeks in a row, after falling for five weeks in a row. Despite its UK surge, Life In A Beautiful Light slips 1-3 in Scotland, where Emeli Sande rebounds 4-1 and Paloma Faith climbs 6-2. Alongside Sande and Macdonald, a third SCottish female singer/songwriter is in the country's Top 10 - 41 year old Karine Polwart, whose album Traces debuts at number nine north of the border, and at number 57 (2,086 sales) in the UK as a whole.
 
Adele's 21 slides 9-17, although it sold 5,878 copies last week - an increase of 182 over the previous week. It is the lowest position the album has occupied yet in an 82 week chart run. Its previous lowest placing, number 15, came seven weeks ago.
 
Now! That's What I Call Music! 82 tops the compilation chart for the fourth straight week on sales of 56,050 copies, with the Olympics opening ceremony album Isles Of Wonder remaining at number two (18,691 sales) and the closing ceremony album A Symphony Of British Music debuting at number four (16,655 sales).
 
Overall, album sales are up 8.14% week-on-week at 1,410,081 - 4.88% below same week 2011 sales of 1,482,414.  

SINGLES: Striking gold for the third time this year, Rita Ora is unstoppable. The London-based Kosovan races to a number one debut with latest single How We Do (Party) - just as she did in February, when she was featured vocalist on DJ Fresh's Fresh Right Now, and in May, when her introductory solo single R.I.P. topped the list. All three singles are on the 21 year old's debut album, Ora, which is released next Monday (27th), and all three achieved six figure first week sales: Fresh Right Now secured first week sales of 127,998, R.I.P. 104,592 and How We Do (Party) 100,436.  
 
Ora thus becomes the first artist to open her career with a trio of instant number ones each with first week sales in excess of 100,000 copies since Will Young and Gareth Gates in 2002. Young won The X Factor forerunner Pop Idol earlier that year, and Gates was runner-up. Their third single to open at number one was a duet of The Beatles' classic The Long And Winding Road, which opened at the summit on sales of 132,401 copies in September 2002. Young had previously debuted and peaked at number one with Anything Is Possible/Evergreen and Light My Fire, on sales of 1,108,269 and 176,707 earlier that year, as had Gates with Unchained Melody and Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake), which had first week tallies of 850,535 and 240,973, respectively.   
 
Ora easily outpaced the chasing pack, which includes a formidable selection of tracks with Olympic associations. The best performances came from Emeli Sande's Read All About It (Part III), Elbow's One Day Like This and Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill. A balladic descendant of Professor Green's more abrasive 2011 chart-topper Read All About It, on which she is featured vocalist, Sande's song's gentle vibe helped it to reach number 49 as an album track when Our Version Of Events was released but it far surpasses that peak this week dashing to number three on sales of 44,953 copies. It might have fared even better if the version she performed at the Olympics closing ceremony wasn't available only as part of the album A Symphony Of British Music.  Number 35 in 2008, Elbow's One Day At A Time re-enters at number four (35,236 sales) to become their first Top 10 hit. Kate Bush wasn't even at the Stratford ceremony but her newly revocalised recording of her 1985 number three smash Running Up That Hill was featured heavily, and dashes to a number six debut (33,664 sales).
 
Olympic beneficiaries returning to the chart include: John Lennon's 1975 number six/1980 number one Imagine, a re-entry at number 18 (16,330 sales); One Direction's 2011 number one What Makes You Beautiful, a re-entry at number 32 (10,727 sales); Oasis' 1995 number two hit Wonderwall, a re-entry at number 38 (9,282 sales).
 
Meanwhile, the title track of Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here debuts at number 34 (10,619 sales) in the closing ceremony version performed by the band's Nick Mason, alongside Ed Sheeran, Richard Jones, Mike Rutherford and David Arnold. It also precipitates a chart debut for the original version (number 68, 5,328 sales), which becomes Pink Floyd's 10th hit single, some 18 years after their ninth.
 
The only person to use the occasion to promote a new recording, George Michael is rewarded with a number 15 debut (19,237 sales) for White Light.
 
Muse's official Olympics anthem, the rousing Survival, is resurgent, leaping 62-22 (13,739 sales) to beat the number 25 position in which it debuted and previously peaked seven weeks ago.
 
 In the singles chart for the first time since a 1996 re-issue of their 1965 classic My Generation reached number 31, The Who rack up their 29th hit with Baba O'Riley. Although never a UK single, the track was performed by The Who at the Olympic closing ceremony but sales of that version contribute very little to the overall 6,770 copies the track sold last week to debut at number 55. The original 1971 recording accounted for the bulk of the track's sales. Although My Generation is widely regarded as The Who's top track - and it IS their biggest seller - the digital era has seen Baba O'Riley come into its own, with sales before the current week of 133,174 copies making it the group's top download title. Won't Get Fooled Again (102,449) and Who Are You (80,632) also overshadow My Generation, which had sold exactly 80,000 digitally to the end of last week.     
 
In amidst all this frantic activity, the two songs that have dominated the chart for the last fortnight both falter. Wiley's Heatwave (feat Ms. D) slips to number two (50,382 sales) after a fortnight at number one, and We'll Be Back slips to number five (34,917 sales) after two weeks at number two for Calvin Harris feat. Example.
 
In other chart news, US R&B singer Trey Songz debuts at number eight (28,323 sales) with Simply Amazing, nine weeks after his Top 40 breakthrough Heart Attack reached number 28; US dance DJ Porter Robinson's first hit Language debuts at number nine (27,110 sales); Irish singer/songwriter Ryan O'Shaughnessy's Britain's Got Talent teaser No Name debuts at number 31 (10,747 sales).
 
Overall singles sales are up 13.31% week-on-week at 3,418,998 - 17.47% above same week 2011 sales of 2,910,445.

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