Foo Fighters kick Blunt off top spot

It's the first time so far this year that we've had six figure sales in consecutive weeks, and help overall album sales to climb for the fourth week in a row, improving 6.6% week-on-week to 2,287,233.

The Foo Fighters tally, at 135,685, is the highest for 22 weeks, and the third highest of the year, trailing only the debut weeks of The Arctic Monkeys' Favourite Worst Nightmare (227,922) and The Kaiser Chiefs' Yours Truly, Angry Mob (151,139)

Compared to the same week last year, however, sales last week were off a worrying 16.5%. This is despite the fact that this week's number one sold slightly more than The Scissor Sisters' Ta-Dah! sold (134,953) when holding the position a year ago.

Foo Fighters seventh album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is their second number one in a 12-year chart career. Its first week sales beat the 91,471 copies that One By One sold when debuting at number one in 2002, but fail to match the impressive 159,179 copies their last studio album, In Your Honor, sold when debuting at number two in 2005 behind Coldplay's X&Y. In the interim, Foo Fighters' 2006 live acoustic album Skin And Bones debuted and peaked at number 35 on sales of 17,363. Helped by discounting, both of the previous Foo Fighters albums mentioned above are currently in the Top 75 - In Your Honor slips 63-69 on sales of 3,382 while Skin And Bones re-enters at number 62, on sales of 3,844.

The Foo Fighters' big debut consigns former number one incumbent James Blunt to number two. Blunt's All The Lost Souls suffers a 47.5% dip in sales to 61,949.

Completing the top three, Amy Winehouse's Back To Black sold 32,831 copies last week - its highest total for 30 weeks. The album has now been in the chart for 48 weeks, with a high of one, a low of 41, and has sold 1,349,807 copies. It has racked up 40 weeks in the Top 10, the last nine of them consecutively, and is a racing certainty to be the biggest selling album of 2007 - obviously it helps that it is already well ahead in the race, with year-to-date sales of 1,052,012. Its closest competitors in an all-British top five are Life In Cartoon Motion by Mika (789,117 sales in 2007), Beautiful World by Take That (661,158), Favourite Worst Nightmare by The Arctic Monkeys (566,687) and Yours Truly, Angry Mob by The Kaiser Chiefs (542,751)

It's exactly three years since former Stone Roses star Ian Brown released an album but he storms back this week with The World Is Yours, which debuts at number four on sales of 32,435, a week after introductory single, Illegal Attacks, peaked at number 16, providing co-vocalist Sinead O'Connor with her highest charting single since 1994. Brown's last studio album, Solarized, debuted and peaked at number seven with first week sales of 30,021 in 2004. In the interim, the compilation The Greatest, debuted at number five on sales of 39,962 in 2005.

Comprising twins Ryan and Dan Kowarsky, RyanDan reap the rewards of an intensive media blitz, debuting at number seven with their self-titled debut album, which sold 18,006 copies last week. The 27-year-old Canadians are being touted as the first identical twins to have Top 10 success with their first album, though of course, The Proclaimers - Charlie and Craig Reid - eventually racked up three Top 10 albums. Matt and Luke Goss enjoyed two Top 10 albums as Bros with Craig Logan. As fans of Big Brother's Samanda (also due to release a record) will know, however, even 'identical' twins aren't.

Elsewhere in the Top 10 artist albums, KanYe West's Graduation and 50 Cent's Curtis continue their declines, falling 2-5 and 4-6 on sales of 23,431 and 19,871 respectively. KT Tunstall's Drastic Fantastic falls 6-9 on sales of 15,726 and The Plain White T's' Every Second Counts dips 7-10 on sales of 15,373. Meanwhile, Phil Collins' Hits improves 10-8 on sales of 17,125.

First single, Down The Line, peaked at number 140 a fortnight ago but Swedish singer/songwriter Jose Gonzales' second album In Our Nature makes a much better showing, debuting at number 19 on sales of 10,562. Gonzales' 2005 debut album Veneer sold only 1,488 copies on its first week in the shops but after the single Heartbeats made the Top 10, the album peaked at number seven, and has thus far sold 391,165 copies. In Our Nature comprises nine original Gonzales songs plus a cover of Massive Attack's Teardrop, which Newton Faulkner also includes on his debut album Hand Built By Robots, which is immediately above Gonzales album on the chart at number 18 (10,929 sales).

Earlier this year, Barbra Streisand charted a new live album at the age of 65, and Shirley Bassey became the first female solo septuagenarian to make the chart. At 63, Joni Mitchell is younger than either but she is the oldest female to chart an album of self-penned songs, debuting at number 36 with her new set Shine, on sales of 6,473. Containing a new version of her classic Big Yellow Taxi and nine new Mitchell compositions, it is her 18th chart album since her 1970 debut, and the second release on Starbucks' Hearmusic imprint, following Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full, which reached number five in June.

There are also Top 75 debuts this week for PJ Harvey's White Chalk at number 11 (13,986 sales), Fightstar's One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours at number 27 (7,977), Over The Under by Down at number 46 (5,100), These Are The Facts by Milburn at number 51 (4,703), Superstar - The Hits by Jamelia at number 55 (4,181) and The Shepherd's Dog by Iron & Wine at number 74 (3,175).

The Foo Fighters are the fourth act to top the artist album chart in as many weeks but High School Musical 2 is number one on the compilation chart for the seventh week in a row. The Disney soundtrack gained new impetus following the TV movie's premiere on the Disney Channel 10 days ago (21 September), which earned the channel its highest ever rating. The album sold 46,276 copies last week - a 61.8% increase - to lift its overall sales to 213,934, outselling nearest competitor 12" Grooves 11,313 tally by a ratio of more than four to one.. The original High School Musical album has sold 806,770 copies to date but slips 6-8 this week despite increasing sales 10.9% to 7,880.

No fewer than six tracks from High School Musical 2 also flood into the Top 75 singles chart this week, with the ensemble piece You Are The Music In Me leading the way at number 26 on sales of 5,324.

It helps singles to post an impressive 14% gain in sales week-on-week to 1,515,475 - a 13 week high.

In a close fought battle for singles chart supremacy, The Sugababes' About You Now overturned an early lead by Shayne Ward's No U Hang Up/If That's OK With You to finish 624 sales ahead and end a 19 week strangehold on the chart's top slot by overseas acts.

Released physically today (1st), About You Now is Sugababes' sixth number one, following Freak Like Me (2002), Round Round (2002), Hole In The Head (2003), Push The Button (2005) and Walk This Way (with Girls Aloud, 2007). Their 19th Top 40 hit in all, it sold 34,068 copies last week to bring their tally of singles sales to more than 2m. Biggest contributors: Push The Button (375,388 sales), Freak Like Me (260,983) and Round Round (244,327). About You Now is the first single from Sugababes' sixth album, Change, released next Monday (8th).

They are the first UK act to have a number one since McFly in May, and provide only the fourth instance of a number one powered by downloads alone, emulating Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, Mika's Grace Kelly and Rihanna's Umbrella.

Shayne Ward returns to the chart after an absence of more than a year with No U Hang Up/If That's OK With You, the introductory double-header from his upcoming second album, Breathless. The single debuts at number two on sales of 33,444. That easily beats Stand By Me's debut and peak at number 14 on sales of 11,098 but is a very far cry from the 742,180 copies his debut hit That's My Goal sold in four days to top the chart in 2005, and is also short of the 67,628 sales registered by No Promises when it debuted at number two.

Dutch DJ Fedde Le Grand celebrated his 30th birthday recently, and gets a belated gift from British record buyers who provide him with his Top 20 hit in less than a year. Le Grand topped the chart last November with Put Your Hands Up (For Detroit), which has so far sold 246,000 copies. He teamed up with Danish singer Camille Jones for follow-up The Creeps, a number seven hit in March, and his latest hit, teams him with another Dane, this time Ida Corr, who provides vocals for Let Me Think About It, which jumps 64-5 this week on sales of 20,039.

50 Cent's Ayo Technology slips 2-3 on sales of 21,177, while Sean Kingston's four week grip on the chart title ends with Beautiful Girls slipping to number four on sales of 20,988. The rest of the Top 10 are all downers too, with Plain White T's' Hey There Delilah falling 3-6, albeit with sales UP 2.1% at 19,848; KanYe West's Stronger is weaker by 20%, and falls 4-7 on sales of 13,097, James Blunt plays the numbers game with 1973 falling 5-8 on sales of 12,537; and Scouting For Girls are off their peak with She's So Lovely ebbing 7-9 while increasing sales by 0.8% to 12,140. Rihanna's Shut Up & Drive parks in the Top 10 for the fifth week, selling 10,152 copies as it dips 9-10.

Not due for physical release yet for a couple of weeks, Valerie nevertheless secures DJ Mark Ronson his third straight Top 20 hit from his current album Version, leaping 41-12 on sales of 9,287. Featuring the unmistakeable vocals of Amy Winehouse, it's a cover of the Zutons song that peaked at number nine for the group last year. Previous Version singles Stop Me (Smiths cover featuring Daniel Merriweather) and Oh My God (Kaiser Chiefs tune with Lily Allen) peaked at two and eight, respectively. Version itself has moved 75-48-29 in the last fortnight, and has thus far sold 290,754 copies, including 7,757 last week. Ronson also sprinkles his magic on Bob Dylan's Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine). Originally recorded for Dylan's 1966 album Blonde On Blonde, it was remixed by Ronson to promote Dylan's upcoming hits album, even though it doesn't appear on it, and debuts at number 51 on sales of 2,848. It's Dylan's 20th hit single in a 42 year chart career, and his first since 2000.

With a CD and two 7-inch formats released last week, Jack Penate's second hit Second, Minute Or Hour catapults 48-17 on sales of 8,681. Penate's debut hit Torn On The Platform reached number seven in June. The 22 year old Londoner has had a busy summer, taking part in several festivals, making his own short UK tour and completing his debut album Matinee, for release next Monday (8th). Penate cites Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake among his influences but like his debut, the spirited Second, Minute Or Hour is ska-inflected.

On the day Radio One is 40, two Top 40 chart records are shattered.

Sugababes' About You Now, rockets 35-1 on download sales to complete the biggest ever jump to the summit from within the Top 40, beating the previous 33-1 record established by Captain Sensible's cover of the South Pacific song Happy Talk in 1982.

Meanwhile, the record for the shortest Top 40 hit changes hands for the third time this year. Just nine weeks ago, Green Day's version of The Simpsons Theme, which they recorded for The Simpsons Movie, reached number 19. It has a playing time of 81 seconds. A week later, another track from the movie soundtrack, Hans Zimmer's Spider Pig entered the Top 40 and shattered that record, with a playing time of 64 seconds.

The latest record holder is Jonny Trunk and Wisbey's Ladies' Bras, which checks in at just 36 seconds, and enters the Top 40 at number 27. The track was originally released five weeks ago in order to test the power of journalist and DJ Danny Baker's All Day Breakfast Show podcast, and reached number 70. It looked like it had all gone tits up, but it was picked up by Scott Mills on Radio One last week, and enjoys a spectacular uplift, its sales jumping from 37 the previous week to 5,318.

Still getting massive exposure in its new role as the bed for Apple's new iPod Nano, Canadian singer/songwriter Feist's 1234 rockets 40-16 on sales of 8,850. The campaign has a similarly galvanising effect on the track in America, where it leaps 61-28 this week. Feist's latest album, The Reminder, is also getting massively increased attention and jumps 137-76, with sales up 112.8% at 3,077.

On the radio airplay chart, Plain White T's Hey There Delilah spends a fourth straight week at number one, and continues to hold an impressive lead, with an audience of 49.64m putting it 30.25% ahead of new runners-up Scouting For Girls' She's So Lovely.

But shaping up to become the biggest threat to Delilah's crown is Valerie. The new Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse single races 59-6 this week to become the highest debut on the Top 50 so far this year. Taken from Ronson's Version album, it earned an audience of 33.51m from 632 plays last week, with 71 of 115 monitored stations airing it at least once. Its four biggest supporters were the Galaxy network stations, which aired it 140 times between them, followed by Capital 95.8 FM (26 plays) and 107.6 Juice FM (23).

It was also much-loved by Radio One and Radio Two in their 40th birthday weeks, earning 12 plays from the former and 17 from the latter, where it ranks as the week's second most-played song behind Cherry Ghost's 4AM.

On Radio One it ranks 19th - but I have a hunch it should be 20th. Radio One's most-aired track, according to Music Control data, was She's So Lovely, by Scouting For Girls, which was aired 22 times - but Scott Mills gave multiple plays to the novelty song The Ladies' Bras by Jonny Trunk & Wisby throughout the week, airing it seven times one day. The track has not been serviced to Music Control and slipped through the gaps in their system, possibly because of its very short (36 seconds) duration. It may well have been the station's most-aired song, having also been played on Rob Da Bank's show on the station.

As well as its impressive surge on radio, Valerie has made a powerful start to its TV career, with the promo clip for the track - in which Winehouse does not appear - moving 64-5-3 thus far. It was aired 307 times by 14 supporters last week with top tallies of 54 plays from the Box and 52 from B4. It is just behind KanYe West's Stronger and The Foo Fighters' The Pretender, which have been having quite a scrap at the top. They earned joint pole position a fortnight ago, with The Foo Fighters going ahead last week, while West takes the title this week, by 317 plays to 316.


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