Springsteen first topped the chart in 1984 with Born In The USA, and subsequently returned to the summit with Tunnel Of Love (1987), Human Touch (1992), Greatest Hits (1995), The Rising (2002), Devils And Dust (2005), Magic (2007) and Working On A Dream (2009). The only male solo artist with more number one albums is Elvis Presley, who has 11, three of them posthumously. Robbie Williams also has nine, to share second place. Springsteen has charted 29 albums in the UK, including compialtions and live sets, dating all the way back to 1975's Born To Run.
Although beaten by Springsteen, The Military Wives' debut album In My Dreams opens strongly at number two on sales of 56,154 - and with Mother's Day falling this Sunday (17th) it must still stand a chance of reaching pole position, with its safe versions of classic songs like You've Got A Friend (Carole King), With Or Without You (U2) and True Love Ways (Buddy Holly) plus the original title track, and number one single Wherever You Are.
Emeli Sande's debut album, Our Version Of Events, is toppled from the album summit for the second time, falling to number three on sales of 35,498 copies. Adele's 21 is also off a couple of notches to accommodate the newcomers, slipping 2-4 (32,526 sales).
Katie Melua's first four studio albums all made the top five. Her fifth, Secret Symphony, debuts at number eight this week (19,071 sales). Only her debut album, Call Off The Search, made a slower start, debuting at number 40 on sales of 10,999 in 2003 - though it was subsequently a smash, racking up sales of 1,874,263 to date. Follow-up Piece By Piece smashed its way to a number one debut on sales of 120,549 in 2005, Pictures debuted at number two on sales of 53,878 in 2007, and The House arrived at number four in 2010 on sales of 29,611 copies.
Although 62, Bruce Springsteen isn't even one of the three oldest artists to register a new entry on the chart this week - he is younger than Lionel Richie, Gilbert O'Sullivan and Doris Day.
Lionel Richie, who was three months old when Springsteen was born, makes a strong debut at number seven (19,320 sales) with Tuskegee. Named after his Alabama birthplace, it has a distinctly country flavour, and comprises duet remakes of songs he previously cut solo and with The Commodores. Co-vocalists include Willie Nelson (Easy), Darius Rucker (Stuck On You), Tim McGraw (Sail On) - and, most surprisingly, Pixie Lott (Angel). It is Richie's 11th Top 10 album.
65 year old Gilbert O'Sullivan and 87 year old Doris Day return with new compilations. The Very Best Of Gilbert O'Sullivan - A Singer And His Songs (number 12, 9,908 sales) on USM complements sister label Salvo's ongoing reissues of original Sullivan albums, and celebrates his 45th anniversary as a recording artist. It provides his first chart appearance since his weakly punning EMI title, The Berry Vest Of - which reached number 20 and sold 80,000 copies in 2004 - and is his highest charting set since 1974, when Stranger In My Own Back Yard reached number nine.
Doris Day was last in the charts much more recently, reaching number nine with My Heart - a collection of previously unissued recordings - last September, and number 65 with The Greatest Hits & More the following month. She is back again with the new compilation, The Ultimate Collection debuting at number 36 (4,389 sales).
Dutch violinist and bandleader Andre Rieu is younger than Springsteen - by eight days - and registers his seventh chart album with You Raise Me Up: Songs For Mum (number 38, 3,849 sales).
Also new to the Top 40 in a busy week, CBeebies' TV presenter Justin Fletcher's compendium of children's songs, Hands Up - The Album (number 16, 8,715 sales), the follow-up to 2008 release Sings Something Special, which never charted but has sold 33,283 copies; London folk/rock band Dry The River's debut release Shallow Bed (number 28, 5,930 sales); and How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? (number 33, 4,950 sales), Sinead O'Connor's highest charting album since Universal Mother, number 19 in 1994.
Beyond The Sun became Chris Isaak's highest charting album for 21 years when it debuted at number six in February. With Isaak making several radio and TV appearances in the last fortnight - most notably on Let's Dance For Sport Relief (BBC), Loose Women (ITV) and Live With Gabby (Channel 5), the album has jumped 91-30-17. Sales of 8,256 copies last week raise its seven week tally to 42,489. Nashville duo The Civil Wars are also resurgent with their album Barton Hollow. Originally released in February 2011, the album reached number 54 last October, and has now been expanded, with covers of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean and Leonard Cohen's Dance Me To The End Of Love plus originals Goodbye Girl and Marionette among the new additions. It re-enters the chart at number 13 (9,143 sales).
Joining Gilbert O'Sullivan and Sinead O'Connor in Top 40, which therefore hosts three debuts by Irish acts this week, X Factor alumnus Mary Byrne's second album, ...With Love, debuts at number 40 (3,743). Her debut album, Mine & Yours, reached number six last year.
Overall album sales are up 8.30% week-on-week at 1,746,222 - 8.63% below same week 2011 sales of 1,911,098.
SINGLES: Its sales declining for the second week in a row, Somebody That I Used To Know nevertheless tops the chart for the fourth time in five weeks for Gotye feat. Kimbra. Selling 81,437 copies in the week, it has a fairly easy victory over Emeli Sande's Next To Me, which rebounds 3-2 despite its sales falling 1.11% week-on-week to 54,909. It also becomes the first single to sell more than half a million copies in 2012, with year-to-date sales of 558,348 (and career sales of 564,964) to midnight on Saturday.
Nicki Minaj's Starships rockets 5-3, with sales up 8.33% week-on-week to 53,661. None of the 14 previous Top 75 hits on which Minaj has featured since her August 2010 chart debut has gone into higher chart orbit - thought Where Them Girls At?, which was credited to David Guetta feat. Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj, also reached number three. Her more recent collaboration with Guetta - Turn Me On - reached number eight a fortnight ago, and returns to the Top 10 this week, climbing 11-10 (30,031 sales).
The week's highest new entry is Love Me, the debut hit by London-based girl group StooShe. Also featuring Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, the track debuts at number five (37,780 sales). It shades another collaboration, Bright Lights, which debuts at number seven (34,012 sales) for Tinchy Stryder feat. Pixie Lott. The third single from Stryder's fourth album, Full Tank, which was released today (12th), it is his 15th hit, and Lott's 12th. Lot was the primary artist of all of her previous hits, as was Stryder on all but two of his.
Runner-up to Little Mix in the eighth (2011) season of The X Factor, Liverpudlian Marcus Collins enters the chart with his first single, a cover of White Stripes 2003 single 7 Nation Army. Collins' version - styled Seven Nation Army - debuts at number nine. The White Stripes original debuted and peaked at number seven but in an era of low sales it shifted only 14,579 copies to earn that spot. Collins' version sold more than twice as many - 30,781 copies - last week. In terms of the long game, however, Collins has a long way to go to match the original, which has amassed total sales of 245,822, including 2,986 last week, enough for it to climb 108-81 on the latest chart.
Meanwhile, Hangover debuts at number 34 (8,210 sales) for Taio Cruz feat. Flo Rida.
Lil Wayne can reflect on the fact that Mirrors is the highest charting of eight hits on which he has been the primary artist. Climbing 68-38-23-21-20-17, the track is his 28th hit in all - but on 20 of them his name was on the right of the featuring credit. Featuring Bruno Mars, Mirrors has thus far sold 105,647 copies, 17,155 of them last week.
N****s In Paris is the third single from hip-hop heroes Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaborative album Watch The Throne, and the highest charting. Otis (feat. Otis Redding) and Lift Off (feat. Beyonce) reached number 28, and number 48, respectively but N****s In Paris has eclipsed them both, moving 37-27-18 in the last fortnight, and sold 16,325 copies last week. Another track on which Jay-Z features, Talk That Talk, is resurgent. The title track from Rihanna's current album, and credited to Rihanna feat. Jay-Z, it reached number 25 in December on the album's release but it is only now an official single, and jumps 75-31 (9,862 sales) on its way to a doubtless higher peak.
Overall singles sales are down 6.89% week-on-week at 3,196,574 - 6.95% above same week 2011 sales of 2,988,811.