Chemical Brothers score fifth chart-topping album

The Concert For Diana attracted a bumper TV audience and resulted in considerable improvements in sales for most featured artists but it couldn't prevent an overall 5.8% dip in album sales last week to 2,259,017, with sales at the top of the artist album chart proving particularly weak, writes Alan Jones.

With introductory single Do It Again remaining in the Top 20, The Chemical Brothers' new album We Are The Night becomes the duo's fifth number one album - a record for a dance act. Arriving 12 years to the week since the Chemical Brothers made their album chart debut with Exit Planet Earth, it sold 36,392 copies to debut at the summit.

The Chemical Brothers' sixth regular album includes collaborations with Midlake, The Klaxons and Willy Mason, and is the first studio album to top the charts for a dance act since their last album, Push The Button, in February 2005 - although compilations by Basement Jaxx, Faithless and Jamiroquai have reached number one in the interim.

Of their previous number ones, Push The Button opened with sales of 58,364 in 2005, Come With Us (2002) opened with 49,811 sales, Surrender (1999) with 70,043, and Dig Your Own Hole (1997) with 62,793. The Chemical Brothers' two other albums both debuted and peaked at number nine - Exit Planet Earth in 1995 on sales of 10,690, and the compilation The Singles 93-03 on sales of 26,476. Surrender was the fastest starting album by the band, and is their most successful, with to date sales of 599,492. Overall, they have sold 2,125,034 albums in the UK. 

We Are The Night's sales are the lowest for a number one album for 12 weeks, and the fourth lowest of the year. It was the only album to sell more than 30,000 copies last week - runners-up The Traveling Wilburys' Collection sold 28,757 copies.

Antipodean veterans Crowded House's first new album for 14 years, Time On Earth becomes their highest charting studio album to date, debuting at number three on sales of 27,799. Their previous best placed regular release hitherto was Together Alone, the number four album which ended the first phase of their career in 1993, though they did reach number one with Recurring Dream: The Very Best Of Crowded House in 1996, after they disbanded. That album is by far their most successful, with UK sales of 1,300,389.

Last week's chart-toppers, The Editors, slide to number four with An End Has A Start, which suffered a 56.2% dip in sales to 25,996.

Helped by the band's televised appearance on The Concert For Diana and a £4 price tag in the HMV sale, Take That's Never Forget - The Ultimate Collection reaches its highest chart placing since 2005 this week. Moving 88-9-10-5 since the sale started, it sold 25,517 copies last week, (1,272,784 to date). Although current single I'd Wait For Life was Take That's least successful since Once You've Tasted Love in 1992, the band's current album Beautiful World also enjoys a major Diana lift, jumping 40-11 on sales of 16,763, increasing its career tally to 1,727,975.

Velvet Revolver's second Libertad makes its maiden chart appearance at number six on sales of 25,403, beating the number 11 debut/peak of their 2004 debut Contraband, which enjoyed first week sales of 23,157, which have since swollen to 212,426. Velvet Revolver is made up of five veterans with an average age of 42. Vocalist Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) is the youngest at 39. The band's other members are Guns n' Roses members Slash (41), Duff McKagan (43) and Matt Sorum (46) and Dave Kushner (41) formerly with Wasted Youth.

Another performer at The Concert For Diana, the newly-engaged Nelly Furtado is back in the Top 10 after a gap of nine weeks with Loose. The album, Furtado's third, was released 13 months ago and peaked at number four. It jumps 20-7 this week on sales of 20,750, which lift its overall tally to 827,411 - making it, by some distance, her biggest seller. First album Whoa! Nelly sold 655,418 copies while follow-up Folklore managed only 239,252 sales. With next single In God's Hands due soon, Loose should eventually pass the million mark.

The Top 10 is rounded out by Amy Winehouse's Back To Black (down 5-8, on sales of 19,226), Kelly Clarkson's My December (down 2-9, on sales of 17,790), and Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad (down 7-10, on sales of 17,519).

Diana concert beneficiaries not mentioned elsewhere include Lily Allen (Alright, Still climbs 46-15 on sales of 14,313), Elton John (Rocket Man, 93-23, 11,495), James Morrison (Undiscovered, 66-25, 10,978), The Feeling (Twelve Stops, 117-34, 8,106) and Rod Stewart, whose newly released set combining all four of his American Songbook albums debuts at number 16 on sales of 14,234.

Number one on the compilation chart for the third week in a row, Clubland 11 lost a third of its sales thrust last week but still managed to appeal to 25,649 buyers, more than the number two (Just Great Songs, 13,929 sales) and three (Hard Energy, 10,801 sales) albums together.

Meanwhile, the sun is finally out but Rihanna and Jay-Z's Umbrella remains up at the top of the singles chart, where its reign is now extended to eight weeks.

In a singles market which dipped by 2.8% to 1,485,963 units, Umbrella drifted 9.3% lower at 26,757 sales - the second lowest for a number one this year, beating only the 20,665 copies that Leona Lewis' A Moment Like This sold on its fourth and last week at number one, some 25 weeks ago. Kate Nash remains runner-up, with Foundations selling a further 19,676 copies (down 1.2%).

Avril Lavigne scores her seventh Top 10 hit in total, and second in a row from current album The Best Damn Thing, jumping 17-3 with When You're Gone, on sales of 15,632. It's the follow-up to Girlfriend, which reached number two in February, and has so far sold 218,705 copies. Despite the success of When You're Gone - which is also enjoying major radio support, and moves 5-3 on the airplay chart this week - The Best Damn Thing only moves 31-28 on sales of 9,762, raising its 12 week sales tally to 191,981.

Enrique Iglesias drifts 3-4 with Do You Know? on sales of 15,165, while The Hoosiers move a notch in the opposite direction to a new peak with Worried About Ray, climbing 6-5 on sales of 13,190. 

One of the busiest of producers and artists in the last few years, with credits on 99 different album projects since 2000, Timbaland is nevertheless threatening to retire. He hasn't yet, and lands his third Top 10 hit this week, as The Way I Are jumps 18-6 on sales of 12,181.

Featuring vocals by Keri Hilson and D.O.E., it's the second single from Timbaland's second solo album Shock Value. The first, Give It To Me, a collaboration with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, topped the chart 12 weeks ago, and has sold 192,222 copies to date.

Seventy-56-49-7: Natasha Bedingfield's Soulmate finally got released on CD last week and sales of 10,647 help it to make a 42 place leap, and equal the chart peak of predecessor I Wanna Have Your Babies. They are first two singles from Bedingfield's second album, N.B. which has proved a major retail disappointment compared to her debut album, Unwritten. The latter disc, a number one, has sold 967,773 copies. After debuting at number nine, N.B. sunk to number 146. It climbs 122-72 this week on sales of 3,816, raising its cumulative tally to 46,532.

Fergie was one of the star attractions of The Concert For Diana - no, not Duchess and former sister-in-law Sarah but Stacy 'Fergie' Ferguson, from Black Eyed Peas, whose set went down a storm. On downloads alone, Fergie  secures her third straight Top 10 hit from The Dutchess with Big Girls Don't Cry rocketing 28-8 on sales of 9,963, while previous hit Glamorous rebounds 77-36. The Dutchess itself moves 105-51 on sales of 5,655.  its highest placing for 11 weeks. The Dutchess peaked at number 27, and has a 42 week sales tally of 93,214.

As Lee Mead's new role in the title role of the West End revival of Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat draws closer, his single Any Dream Will Do falls 5-9 on sales of 8,212. Kelly Rowland slips too, falling 8-10 with Like This on sales of 7,798.

The Diana effect was felt here too, with resurgences of old hits by Fergie, Nelly Furtado, Take That, Lily Allen and most notably Puff Daddy's I'll Be Missing You, the Notorious B.I.G. tribute which became identified with Diana following her death. It charts for the first time since 1997, surging to number 32 on sales of 3,931 downloads.

With iTunes pushing The Spice Girls back catalogue, Stop came within an ace of returning to the Top 75 - the anchor position is held by Ne-Yo's Because Of You on sales of 1,998, while Stop sold 1,952 copies to rank 78th.

While 1,998 sales for 75th place may seem insignificant, downloads have significantly increased sales at the bottom of the chart in the last couple of years. In the same week last year, the number 75 single sold just 1,050 copies, and in 2005 only 802 sales. However, turn back the clock 10 years - when, incidentally, I'll Be Missing You was number one with 166,906 sales, and you find that Skunk Anansie's Brazen 'Weep' sold 2,504 copies, all physical (obviously) for 75th place.

In the same week, every one of the top eleven singles sold more than Umbrella did last week. Apart from I'll Be Missing You, they lined up like this: 2 Ecuador - Sash! (71,797 sales), 3 The Journey - 911 (59,134), 4 Free - Ultra Nate (44,581), 5 Something Goin' On - Todd Terry (42,491), 6 Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve (36,119), 7 Mmm Bop - Hanson (34,861), 8 A Change Would Do You Good - Sheryl Crow (32,701), 9 I Wanna Be The Only One - Eternal feat. BeBe Winans (31,660), 10 Just A Girl - No Doubt (31,130), 11 All That I Got Is You - Ghostface Killah (28,477).

On the album chart, The Prodigy also turned in a big sale, shifting 316,951 copies of The Fat Of The Land. Radiohead's OK Computer was a distant second, with sales of 39,290.


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