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International Charts Analysis: Gorillaz swing into global charts

The next big thing on the international chart scene will be Humanz, the star-studded new album by Blur frontman Damon Albarn's alternative 'virtual' band Gorillaz. Their first album since 2011's The Fall, Humanz features cameos from Grace Jones, De La ...

Official Charts Analysis: Ed Sheeran makes it eight weeks on top of the albums chart

Overturning a significant initial deficit to Steps' Tears On The Dancefloor album, Ed Sheeran's ÷ managed to pull well ahead by the end of the week and thus secures its eighth consecutive week at No.1 on sales of 53,809 copies. Equalling the opening run atop the chart of his last album - 2014's X - ÷ needs to remain atop the chart for a further three weeks to match the 21st century record of 11 straight weeks at No.1 set in 2011 by Adele's 21. ÷'s 56-day tally of 1,686,499 sales includes a significant contribution (304,998 sales) from streaming but its paid-for sales to date of 1,381,501 compares favourably to X, which had same stage sales of 488,711, and even the 1,340,425 copies that 21 had sold at that juncture - both albums, of course, being released before the streams-as-sales era began.   18,433 of ÷'s streaming sales occurred in the latest frame, and without them it would be Steps who would be No.1 this week, with fifth studio album Tears On The Dancefloor securing a superior paid-for sale of 36,525 but only 1,099 sales from streams for a combined tally of 37,624. Thus debuting at No.2, it nevertheless represents a major triumph for the late 1990s act who split in 2001 and reformed a decade later. Their previous comeback album, Light Up The World, was received far less enthusiastically debuting and peaking at No.32 on sales of 7,365 copies in 2012. Even now, it has sold only 20,015 copies. Their 1998 debut album Step One has sold 1,403,404 copies, 1999's Steptacular has sold 1,292,466 and 2000's Buzz has sold 705,390. Their 2001 compilation Gold: The Greatest Hits, which was released shortly before their spilt was announced, has sold 1,131,168 copies to date but subsequent compilation The Ultimate Collection, from 2011, has sold 240,848 copies to date, including 4,944 in the latest frame, which also see it surge 51-17 to achieve its highest chart position in more than five years. Both compilations topped the chart but Steps' only No.1 studio album was Steptacular, so if Tears On The Dancefloor had made it this week it would have been their first No.1 with a new studio album in more than 18 years - and, remarkably, all five of the group's original members are still on board. Looking sleeker and smoother than the rebellious rockabilly of yore, Irish singer/songwriter Imelda May also has a more sophisticated edge to her sound on her fifth studio album Life Love Flesh Blood, which becomes her third straight Top 10 album here, debuting at No.5 (16,783 sales) exactly three years after its immediate predecessor, Tribal, set a career benchmark by debuting at No.3 (14,380 sales). Prior to that, her 2005 debut No Turning Back failed to chart, 2008 set Love Tattoo peaked at number 58 and 2010's Mayhem debuted at number 19 and eventually peaked at number seven. Like Steps, Texas have three No.1 albums to their credit and also saw their peak around the turn of the century but the Scots band never formally split, only going on hiatus, albeit for an extended period. Their latest album, Jump On Board, is their ninth studio set and debuts at No.6 (12,214 sales) nearly four years after immediate predecessor The Conversation debuted and peaked at No.4 on sales of 18,028 copies. It is their eighth Top 10 album. Their 2000 compilation, The Greatest Hits, remains their biggest seller with a to-date tally of 1,974,890, while 1997's White On Blonde is their biggest studio set, with sales of 1,652,100 copies. While She Sleeps score their first Top 10 entry with their album You Are We debuting at No.8 (7,316 sales). The Sheffield metalcore band's second album Brainwashed debuts at number 29 (3,301 sales) in 2015 after first album This Is The Six debuted and peaked at number 27 on sales of 3,804 copies. Kendrick Lamar's Damn was released physically last week but still falls 2-4 (17,855 sales). Fellow rapper Drake's More Life is thus once again the only album in the Top 75 without a physical release and drifts 4-7 (11,207 sales). Making up the rest of this week's Top 10 are Human (3-3, 20,637 sales) by Rag'n'Bone Man, the Moana soundtrack (7-9, 6,839 sales) and X (8-10, 6,749 sales) by Ed Sheeran. Meanwhile, there are Top 10 departures for Wonderland (5-12, 6,116 sales) by Take That, Memories...Do Not Open (6-13, 6,820 sales) by The Chainsmokers, Glory Days (10-14, 5,684 sales) by Little Mix and Youth (9-25, 3,459 sales) by Tinie Tempah. Newcastle alt-rockers Maximo Park came to prominence in 2005 and their sixth studio album, Risk To Exist, maintains and extends their record of making the Top 15 with every release, opening at No.11 (6,545 sales). Although they have never had a No.1, their second album, Our Earthly Pleasure, sold 39,595 copies while debuting at No.2 in 2007, and has sold 197,384 copies but their No.15 debut album A Certain Trigger remains their biggest seller with a to-date tally of 234,224. Its title suggests that it might contain covers of songs by American folk and country musicians but Kinks leader Ray Davies' new solo album Americana is an autobiographical album written and arranged by Davies and based on his experience of America over 50 or more years. Debuting at No.15 (5,397 sales) it is his first release since 2010's See My Friends, a No.12 album on which he was joined on versions of Kinks songs by contemporary and classic collaborators, including Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Jackson Browne, Mumford & Sons and Paloma Faith. Americana is his 11th Top 20 album in total (nine of them by The Kinks), stretching back to 1964. At 73, Barry Manilow is a year older than Davies, and he too returns to the chart with a US-themed album. In his case, the title of the album - This Is My Town: Songs Of New York - could not be more explicit, with the Brooklyn-born singer singing songs of his city, including his own New York City Rhythm. The album debuts at No.26 (3,315 sales), becoming Manilow's 32nd Top 75 album in a shade under 40 years, and his 24th to make the Top 40. Brad Paisley has had 13 chart albums in his native America since his 1999 debut but the 44 year old country singer has only recently got into his stride on the UK charts, with 2013 album Wheelhouse reaching No.69 and 2014 follow-up Moonshine In The Trunk reaching No.34. He makes it three in a row with Love And War - which features collaborations with Mick Jagger, John Fogerty and Timbaland - debuting at No.33 (2,547 sales). 8 is indeed the eighth album by Californian band Incubus. It is set to become their fifth straight top five album in The USA but falls short of becoming their fourth Top 20 album here, debuting at No.35 (2,334 sales). Liverpool band Cast had three straight Top 10 albums between 1995 and 1999, but haven't made the Top 40 since, with a nine-year hiatus partly to blame. Their last album, Troubled Times, reached No.117 in 2012 but follow-up Kicking Up The Dust fares much better, debuting this week at No.49 (1,837 sales). Also new to the Top 75 this week are Hypnotic (No.41, 2,036 sales), the second album by drum'n'bass star Wilkinson, whose 2013 debut Lazers Not Included reached No.46; Be Myself (No.47, 1,865 sales), from veteran singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow, 55, who has made the Top 40 with each of her nine previous studio albums and a compilation; Death Song (No.68, 1,319 sales), the fifth album but the first to chart by Texan band Black Angels. The sales impact of Record Store Day is dealt with in more detail below, but vinyl-only releases of Cracked Actor (No.20, 4,432 sales) - a previously unreleased Los Angeles concert recording dating from 1974 - and BowPromo (No.38, 2,189 sales), a single-sided seven song album - make posthumous debuts for David Bowie. The Cure's 2001 No.33 compilation Greatest Hits re-enters at No.48 (1,852 sales) after being released on vinyl for the first time and Bruce Springsteen's Hammersmith Odeon London '75 live set - also No.33, but in 2006 - is also on vinyl (quadruple at that) for the first time and re-enters at No.70 (1,294 sales). The Cure and Spirngsteen albums have some help from streaming and downloads but the Bowie albums are charting purely on vinyl sales - the first and only other album to make the Top 75 on vinyl alone this century is Transience, which reached No.59 for prog. rocker Steve Wilson in January 2016. Home to just one No.1 hit, Now That's What I Call Music! 96 has seen its sales fall at an almost unprecedented rate for the series, and its third week tally of just 46,299 sales - although enough for it to remain atop the compilation chart - represent the lowest week three haul for a regular Now! album since April 1994, when Now! 31 sold 38,561 copies. The previous lowest third week Now! tally in the 21st century came in April 2006, when Now! 63 recorded week three sales of 46,453. Overall album sales are up 8.86% week-on-week at 1,736,744, 5.84% above same week 2016 sales of 1,640,975. Streaming accounted for 735,997 sales – 42.38% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 13.18% week-on-week at 1,000,747, 11.02% below same week 2016 sales of 1,124,642. With the majority of 2017's Record Store Day releases on vinyl, sales of that format jumped 151.88% week-on-week to 127,349 - 12.73% of paid-for sales. Both the number of vinyl sales and its percentage of overall paid-for sales were 21st century records. Eight albums sold upwards of 1,000 copies on CD, with the two David Bowie albums mentioned above leading the charge. Cassette sales jumped 225.32% from 141 to 459.

Official Charts Analysis: Clean Bandit raid singles chart top spot

Dethroned for the second time, Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You slips to No.2 (45,608 sales), as Clean Bandit rack up their third No.1 in total, and second in a row with Symphony. A collaboration with Swedish singer Zara Larsson, for whom it is the first No.1, Symphony looked to be in trouble when it slipped 3-4 a fortnight ago, with its sales in decline but upped its game to climb to No.2 last week, and reaches No.1 with sales up 18.33% week-on-week at 54,223 (including 30,223 from streams). While it is likely that sustained radio support for Symphony - which tops the radio airplay chart for the fourth straight week - has helped, it will certainly have benefitted from being reduced from 99p to 83p on Juno, 79p on Google Play, 69p at Amazon and 59p on iTunes for the last two weeks, although having reached No.1 it returned to full price on Friday (28th April). Clean Bandit's last single Rockabye (feat. Sean Paul and Anne-Marie), which spent nine weeks at No.1 between November last year and January, is a full 99p everywhere and moves 57-59 (9,288 sales) on its 27th week on the chart. Rockabye's reign was, of course, ended by Shape Of You, so Symphony's coronation provides sweet revenge over Sheeran. Also sale-priced during the week, Swalla (15-6, 29,167 sales) becomes Jason Derulo's 12th Top 10 hit, and featured artists Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign's 11th and second, respectively. A new addition to his Illuminate album - which sprints 92-39 (2,182 sales) this week - There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back leaps 143-7 (28,547 sales) to become the fourth Top 10 hit for Shaun Mendes. Elsewhere in the Top 10, Galway Girl (3-3, 39,291 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Sign Of The Times (4-4, 34,807 sales) by Harry Styles. Passionfruit (5-5, 29,680 sales) by Drake and Solo Dance (8-8, 28,479) by Martin Jensen are static, while Something Just Like This (7-9, 25,857 sales) by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay and Humble (6-10, 25,024 sales) by Kendrick Lamar decline.   Exiting from the Top 10 are Stay (9-11, 24,599 sales) by Zedd & Alessia Cara and Issues (10-13, 23,568 sales) by Julia Michaels. After Laughter is the forthcoming fifth album by Paramore, and from it first single Hard Times jumps 144-34 (16,231 sales) to become the band's seventh Top 40 hit but their first in four years. Also released a little too late to make much impact last week, Lust For Life is the title track from Lana Del Rey's upcoming album and advances 169-38 (14,453 sales) on its first full week of availability. Del Rey's 14th Top 75 entry it is her second with The Weeknd, coming five months after Stargirl Interlude (from his Starboy album), reached No.73. It is his 26th chart entry. Charlie Puth is readying his second album for release, and from it first single Attention debuts at No.50 (11,294 sales), while rapper Lil Uzi Vert makes his first Top 75 appearance with his viral US Top 10 single XO Tour Llif3 (95-70, 7,385 sales) Climbers reaching new peaks: That's What I Like (13-12, 24,123 sales) by Bruno Mars, No More Sad Songs (16-15, 22,643 sales) by Little Mix, Skin (17-16, 22,598 sales) by Rag'N'Bone Man, The Cure (23-19, 20,978 sales) by Lady Gaga, Did You See (34-20, 19,776 sales) by J Hus, Despacito (70-22, 19,613 sales) by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (and an uncredited [by OCC] Justin Bieber), Unforgettable (63-24, 19,027 sales) by French Montana feat. Swae Lee, On My Mind (31-28, 18,124 sales) by Disciples, No Promises (48-39, 12,947 sales) by Cheat Codes feat. Demi Lovato, iSpy (51-42, 12,422 sales) by Kyle feat. Lil Yachty and Good Life (62-56, 9,780 sales) by G-Eazy & Kehlani. No.37 on debut in March, Steps' Scared Of The Dark leaps 140-44 (11,946 sales). It might have improved on its peak had it been released on vinyl - their new album Tears On The Dancefloor, which opens at No.2, surprisingly sold 1,110 copies in the format to debut at No.7 on the vinyl album chart this week. Record Store Day brought an avalanche of new and reissued vinyl, with 39 of the Top 40 titles in the vinyl singles chart being new or re-entries. The top seven titles sold more than 1,000 copies, with David Bowie's No Plan - the only survivor from last week's vinyl chart - jumping 8-1 on sales of 5,711 copies. The Smiths' The Boy With The Thorn In His Side is No.2 with 3,222 sales. Overall singles sales are up 5.09% week-on-week at 13,061,308, 30.23% above same week 2016 sales of 10,029,790. Streams accounted for 11,702,013 sales, 89.59% of the total. Paid-for sales are up 1.73% week-on-week at 1,359,295 – 36.42% below same week 2016 sales of 2,137,991 and below same-week, previous-year sales for the 195th week in a row. Vinyl sales jumped 2484.85% week-on-week from 2,284 to 59,038, snaring a 4.34% share of the paid-for market, while cassette sales were up from zero to 273.      

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