David Bowie's The Next Day has achieved the highest first-week sales of the year so far after selling nearly 80,000 copies in the UK in four days.
The RCA album, his first studio set since 2003's Reality, overtook on Thursday the opening week tally of Warner Bros act Biffy Clyro's Opposites, which sold 71,584 copies at the end of January/beginning of February, according to the Official Charts Company. Until Bowie's album tally, this was the biggest first-week sales of 2013 for an artist album.
With two days of trading still to go in the chart week, The Next Day's sales were 154% ahead of its nearest rival, Mercury act Bon Jovi's brand new album What About Now, by the end of trading on Thursday, while it had sold more than four times as many copies as Virgin act Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events, which drops 2-3 in the midweeks. Fellow Virgin release Bad Blood by Bastille falls to 4 having debuted at No 1 last Sunday, while Bruno Mars' second Atlantic album Unorthodox Jukebox loses a place to 5.
Fuelled by a performance on Jonathan Ross's ITV1 show last Saturday, Nicole Scherzinger's brand new Interscope/Polydor single Boomerang had started the week leading the midweek singles chart but has now dropped to 4. Ahead of it, Justin Timberlake's Mirrors looks like holding on to No 1 this Sunday with its closest challenger another RCA release, Pink featuring Nate Ruess's Just Give Me A Reason, which progresses 4-2. Bruno Mars' Atlantic single When I Was Your Man drops 2-3 as VIrgin-signed Bastille's Pompeii falls 3-5.
The full midweek singles and albums charts are on musicweek.com.