Official Album Chart Analysis: Rihanna LP sells 163,819 units

Official Album Chart Analysis: Rihanna LP sells 163,819 units

Opening with the fourth highest first week sale of any artist album thus far in 2010 - Lady GaGa's Born This Way, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto and Adele's 21 all had bigger debuts - it comfortably eclipses her previous best first week, the 91,916 copies that Loud sold when entering at number two a year ago last week. With Talk That Talk's first single We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) remaining at number one, Rihanna is simultaneously atop both charts for the third time in total, and the second time this year: Umbrella (feat Jay-Z) was number one single when Good Girl Gone Bad debuted at the summit in 2007, and Drake collaboration What's My Name reached number one on the singles chart in the first week of 2011, when Loud was on the second of its three weeks at the summit.

The last act to top the singles and albums charts simultaneously twice in a calendar year with difference singles and albums was T.Rex, who did so in 1972, topping in February with Telegram Sam (single) and Electric Warrior (album) and again in May courtesy of Metal Guru (single) and Bolan Boogie (album) - though Gary Numan did it both solo and as Tubeway Army's main man in 1979. The Beatles, inevitably, hold the record for topping the chart simultaneously in 1964 with I Want To Hold Your Hand (single) and With The Beatles (album) in January, Can't Buy Me Love (single) and With The Beatles (album) in April, A Hard Days Night (single AND album) in July, and finished with a flourish, with I Feel Fine topping the singles chart while A Hard Days Night was on its last week at the album summit, and staying there for the last two weeks of the year while Beatles For Sale topped the album listing.

Rihanna's fast start put paid to One Direction's attempts to debut at number one with their debut album, Up All Night. The X Factor graduates - who topped the chart with debut single What Makes You Beautiful in September and reached number three with follow-up Gotta Be You last week - can take solace from the fact that Up All Night's sales last week of 138,631 were the highest for a number two album thus far this year, and also the highest first week sale by any X Factor act any week this year, beating the opening tallies of Mary Byrne's Mine & Yours, Jedward's Victory, Matt Cardle's Letters, Cher Lloyd's Sticks + Stones and JLS' Jukebox.

As the freshest new boy band on the block (average age 18) it is only fitting that One Direction's album also sold more copies last week than one of the genre's most durable groups, Westlife (average age 33) whose new Greatest Hits set draws a line under their career, and debuts at number four (96,475 sales). Arriving 12 years after Westlife's self-titled debut, Greatest Hits lifts the band's UK career album sales to more than 12m. Of Westlife's 10 studio albums, six reached number one, two reached number two and the others got to number three. But their previous compilation, Unbreakable: The Greatest Hits Volume 1 is their top title, with sales of 1,827,903 since its release exactly nine years ago. It is one of six albums by the band to sell more than a million in the UK (a seventh, 2007's Back Home, is just 7,270 sales away from the landmark) and is comfortably clear of their top regular album, 2000's Coast To Coast, which has sold 1,685,971 copies. Their last studio album, Gravity, is also their least successful, attracting sales of 358,943 copies since its release a year ago.

Last week's number one, Michael Buble's Christmas, dips to number three to accommodate the newcomers, but has its biggest week yet in terms of sales, improving 34.60% week-on-week to 115,445.

With as much as 12 years between releases, Kate Bush is a notoriously slow worker but her second album of the year, 50 Words For Snow, debuts at number five (49,812 sales) just 27 weeks after Director's Cut - featuring new versions of tracks from previous efforts The Sensual World and The Red Shoes - debuted and peaked at number two, on sales of 34,755. Comprising seven lengthy, experimental tracks on a wintery theme, it extends the 53 year old's unbroken string of Top 10 albums to 11 (including a hits set) since her 1978 debut.

Also new to the Top 40: Canadian rockers Nickelback's sixth studio album, Here And Now, debuts at number 10 (34,754 sales), becoming their fifth straight Top 10 entry; On Your Radar (number 23, 18,044 sales), a bit of a blip for The Saturdays ending their introductory run of three Top 10 albums, following the under-powered number 15 peak of new single My Heart Takes Over; and Soul 2 (number 24, 17,687 sales), Seal's second selection of R&B covers following - logically enough - 2008's Soul, which got to number 12.

Elsewhere there are major second week declines for JLS's Jukebox (2-6, 48,365 sales), Snow Patrol's Fallen Empires (3-11, 34,107 sales) and Drake's Take Care (5-20, 20,314 sales)

Adele's 21 dips 8-9, to equal the lowest position of its 44 week chart career, although its sales are up for the fifth week in a row at 41,430 - its best tally for 11 weeks.

Meanwhile, Now That's What I Call Music! 80 outsells all artist albums and debuts atop the compilation chart, with first week sales of 295,823. While that represents the highest weekly sale thus far this year for any album, it is 11.37% below the 333,772 copies its 2010 equivalent Now! 77 sold on its first week. Now! 80 outsold the number two compilation (Pop Party 9) by a margin of more than seven to one last week. It sold more copies that the rest of the Top 100 compilations added together, and commanded a 38.66% of overall compilation sales of 765,209.

With the Christmas shopping season apparently beginning in earnest, overall album sales are up nearly a million (40.39%) week-on-week to a 2011 best of 3,427,302 - but that's 8.27% below same week 2010 sales of 3,736,406.


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