On the compilations chart Now That's What I Call Music! 76 extends its compilation chart superiority to nine weeks.
Burke's Start Without You, which also features US rapper Laza Morgan, sold a further 53,123 copies last week - the lowest for a number one for 15 weeks - to stay at the apex, and is the first song to spend more than one week as the nation's top single since California Gurls spent a fortnight in pole position for Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg in July.
Perry's follow-up to that, Teenage Dream, has spent two weeks at number two but dips to number three this week (46,162 sales), swapping positions with Taio Cruz's former number one, Dynamite (48,869 sales). Also trading places, The Script's For The First Time improves 5-4 (43,080 sales), at the expense of Olly Murs' Please Don't Let Me Go (34,411 sales).
Getting to number one is obviously desirable but NOT getting to number one can be cool too - Love The Way You Lie by Eminem feat. Rihanna spent four weeks at number two without ever making it to the top but is rewarded for sustained high sales by jumping 3-1 on the year to date rankings.
The track rallies 7-6 on its 13th straight week in the Top 10, with sales of 31,877 lifting its overall tally to 651,197, enough to eclipse both Fireflies by Owl City (639,587 sales), and Everybody Hurts by Helping Haiti (620,596 sales). Stan (791,278 sales) is the only one of 33 previous Eminem chart entries - as main or featured artist, or with band D12 - to still have higher sales than Love The Way You Lie.
Shontelle provides the week's highest new entry, arriving at number 10 (22,292 sales) with Impossible, the introductory single from her upcoming second album, No Gravity. It's her second Top 10 single, following T-Shirt, which got to number six.
Usher topped the chart last time out, with OMG, but follow-up DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love looked like it was going to fall short of the Top 10, uniquely spending its first four weeks in the chart rooted at number 20 before a decline set in.
However, the track has proved very tenacious and makes the Top 10 at the ninth attempt this week. With a career chart log reading 20-20-20-20-21-24-17-14-7, the track - which also features Pitbull - has thus far sold 144,982 copies, including 27,077 last week. OMG holds at number 60 on its 26th chart appearance, has thus far sold 622,718 copies, and moves to third for the year ahead of Helping Haiti.
Sky 1's talent contest Must Be The Music has provided Top 10 debuts for new acts for each of the last two weeks but supplies lesser chart entries this week for Missing Andy's Song For The Deaf (number 36, 6,623 sales) and Hero's Swept Away (number 131, 1,494 sales). The final was screened last night, and will doubtless give the six finalists' songs a further boost a week hence. Missing Andy also make the chart with a second song, The Way We Were (Made In England), which was released on their own, eponymous label three months ago and debuts at number 62 (3,400 sales).
The Manic Street Preachers log their 35th chart entry - and their first for nearly three years - debuting at number 28 (9,749 sales) with (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love, the introductory single from their 10th studio album Postcards From A Young Man.
It lengthens their lead over The Stereophonics (26 hits) as the Welsh band with most singles success, though they still trail Tom Jones in the overall Welsh rankings.
Singles sales are down 6.60% week-on-week to 2,446,032 - 1.87% above same week 2009 sales of 2,401,047.
The Script secure their second number one album, with Science & Faith opening in pole position on sales of 70,816.
Their self-titled 2008 album also opened at number one, on sales of 54,520. It has enjoyed a revival in the run-up to the launch of the group's new album, and leaps 39-21 this week to secure its highest chart position for more than a year, selling a further 6,249 copies to lift its career tally to 942,998.
With the final, vital quarter of the year under way in a fortnight, album release schedules are bulging, and no fewer than 17 new entries flood into the Top 75 this week - the highest tally for 102 weeks - five of them in the Top 10.
Although they are the least experienced chart campaigners, The Script lead an all new top four - the first this year - with the three acts following immediately in their wake having notched up a grand total of 20 number ones between them.
Looking to register their third number one in a row, Linkin Park have to settle for second place with A Thousand Suns (46,711 sales), having opened at number one with Meteora (2003, 93,886 sales) and Minutes To Midnight (2007, 94,501 sales).
Robert Plant had eight number ones with Led Zeppelin, and reached number two last time out (2007) with his Alison Krauss collaboration Raising Sand. His Band Of Joy debuts at number three (35,354 sales).
Phil Collins has fared even better, with 10 number ones under his belt - six as a member of Genesis and four solo. His new album, Going Back, is a collection of covers, primarily of Motown material, and opens at number four (35,072 sales). It's Collins' first new album since Testify opened at number 15 on sales of 26,952, in the more rarefied sales atmosphere of November.
Also new to the Top 75 this week are Interpol's self-titled second album (number 10, 11,114 sales), Grinderman 2 by Grinderman (number 14, 9,486 sales), Anthems by actress Kerry Ellis (number 15, 9,165 sales), Barking by dance veterans Underworld (number 26, 5,146 sales), Senior by Royksopp (number 33, 3,864 sales), Dream Of You by Sharon Corr (number 37, 3,754 sales), Body Talk Part 2 by Robyn (number 38, 3,602 sales), Great Expectation by The Jolly Boys feat. Albert Minott (number 48, 3,045 sales), Hurley by Weezer (number 49, 3,033 sales), Acid Country by Paul Heaton (number 51, 2,936 sales), Songs From The Road by Leonard Cohen (number 68, 2,114 sales), Wilderness Heart by Black Mountain (number 66, 2,151 sales) and Wonderlustre by Skunk Anansie (number 58, 2,619 sales).
Naturally, a lot of albums take a severe buffeting from the mass influx - Brandon Flowers' Flamingo slips 1-5 (30,090 sales), Katy Perry's Teenage Dream falls 2-7 (19,264 sales), Stone Sour's Audio Secrecy slumps 6-29 (4,286 sales) and even The xx's self-titled debut suffers a 3-6 dip (22,956 sales) in its first full week after its Mercury Prize win.
But a sense of comparative calm pervades the compilation chart with only five debuts in the Top 50 and Now! 76 selling 17,532 copies to top the chart for the ninth time - the longest reign since Now! 73 topped for 12 weeks last year.
Despite the rash of new product, album sales increase only 3.24% week-on-week to 1,719,477 - 12.60% below same week 2009 sales of 1,967,303.