Stadium Arcadium is The Red Hot Chili Peppers' third UK number one album but in America it is their very first, writes Alan Jones.
The veteran group, who have been Top 200 regulars for nearly 20 years, managed to claim a number three album as long ago as 1992, with Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and stepped up their game still further in 2002, when By The Way reached number two - but Stadium Arcadium not only eclipses By The Way's peak position but sold 442,489 copies last week, nearly 57% more than its predecessor's first week total. Stadium Arcadium's success swells the RHCP's total album sales to more than 19m, of which Californication accounts for 5,349,230 copies and Blood Sugar Sex Magic for 4,541,122.
In the busiest May week so far in the 21st century, 19 new entries flooded into the chart.
Although nothing came close to Stadium Arcadium in terms of sales, there were Top 20 debuts for former 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey's second solo album, What's Left Of Me, which sold 171,657 copies last week to enter at number two; R&B group Jagged Edge's self-titled album, which arrives at number four on sales of 114,914; The Isley Brothers' Baby Makin' Music, new at five on sales of 110,922, singer/songwriter legends Paul Simon at number 14 with Surprise (60,940 sales) and Neil Young at number 15 with Living With War (60,385 sales). The last new entry to the top tier comes from Gnarls Barkley, in at number 20 with St. Elsewhere on sales of 50,021. Their debut single, Crazy, is also making excellent progress, climbing 91-54 on the Hot 100 singles chart.
The flood of new entries brings cheering sales news - the album market was up 10% week-on-week and 8% over the same week in 2005 at around 11m.
Top British artist was again James Blunt, whose Back To Bedlam saw its sales rise by 22% to 70,856, taking its total to 1,712,216. It improves 13-10 as a result.
The only new entry by a British act is Snow Patrol's Eyes Open, which sold 36,191 copies to debut at number 34, easily beating the number 91 peak of their 2004 breakthrough Final Straw.