UK Album Chart analysis: Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto smashes through 200k sales barrier

UK Album Chart analysis: Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto smashes through 200k sales barrier

The only other 2011 album to open with sales north of 200,000 is Adele's 21, which sold 208,090 copies when debuting at number one in February, and still holds the 2011 record for most sales in a week, if not first week, scorching to 257,731 sales on its 10th week at number one in April, helped by Mother's Day gift-buying.

Although Coldplay are the 22nd group to have five number one albums, they are only the third to do so with their first five albums. The Beatles topped the chart with all of their 11 regular albums, and Oasis did so with all of their seven regular albums. The Beatles, however, didn't debut at number one until their fifth album Help! - it was much harder to do at the time, no matter how popular an act was - leaving Oasis and Coldplay as the only groups to debut at number one with their first five albums. Oasis actually did so with all seven, so Coldplay still have some catching up to do. Two other groups have opened with four number ones in a row, and may yet extend their sequences - Boyzone and The Arctic Monkeys.

Talking about Mylo Xyloto to the Official Charts Company at the Q Awards, Coldplay leader Chris Marin seemed to be afflicted by a combination of false modesty and amnesia. Asked if the album would knock Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds off the top of the chart, he replied: "I don't think so, we've never knocked Noel Gallagher off anything...not even a chair," apparently forgetting that Coldplay's 2005 blockbuster X&Y brushed aside Oasis' Don't Believe The Truth. Gallagher was well beaten last week, with High Flying Birds selling 70,837 copies while dipping to number two. The rest of last week's top five also migrate south too, with Matt Cardle's Letters falling 2-6 (26,443 sales), Steps' The Ultimate Collection tripping 3-9 (20,581 sales), Adele's 21 exiting the Top 5 for the first time, as it falls 4-8 (23,029 sales), and Ed Sheeran's + minus two, as it slips 5-7 (25,441 sales).

Mylo Xyloto had the second smallest first week sale for a Coldplay studio album, beating only 2000 debut Parachutes' introductory tally of 70,935 sales. 2002's A Rush Of Blood To The Head opened with sales of 273,924; X&Y moved 464,471 copies when opening its account in 2005, and Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends sold 302,074 copies in 2008, although it was on sale for only 72 hours in the week, having been released on Thursday. A Rush Of Blood... is Coldplay's biggest album thus far, with sales of 2,783,768. X&Y has sold 2,641,456, Parachutes has sold 2,534,247, and Viva La Vida has sold 1,381,309.

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, the first single from Mylo Xyloto, reached number six in June. This week, two other songs from the album make their singles chart debut - Paradise debuts at number 14 (27,277 sales), and Princess Of China (feat. Rihanna) debuts at number 33 (10,308 sales). Paradise was actually released eight weeks ago but was previously ineligible for the chart, as it was being used as a free track to tempt punters into buying the album.

Enough Coldplay - the first seasonally-slanted album to breach the chart this year is Michael Buble's concisely-titled Christmas which, despite the fact the big day is still nearly eight weeks away, opens well, selling 53,736 copies, to debut at number three. It's Canadian crooner Buble's follow-up to Crazy Love, which is his most successful album to date. Crazy Love debuted at number two on sales of 78,006 copies 106 weeks ago, and has remained in the Top 75 ever since. Falling 30-32 this week (6,005 sales), it has thus far sold 2,687,481 copies.

While introductory single Mr Know It All climbs 6-4 (53,307 sales), Kelly Clarkson racks up her fourth Top 10 album, with Stronger debuting at number five (29,233 sales). Clarkson's 2007 album, My December was slammed by critics and issued with the greatest reluctance by her record company, Sony. Clarkson has since confirmed that it caused a major rift, and it is a curious fact that although it is her most successful album in terms of chart peak - reaching number two in 2007 behind The Editors' An End Has A Start - it is also her poorest seller, with a to-date tally of 147,862, trailing even number 41 debut Be Thankful (148,461). Clarkson's biggest seller, Breakaway, has sold 1,556,554 copies, and reached number three in 2005, while her last album, All I Ever Wanted (number three in 2009) has sold 191,953 copies.

Also new to the Top 20 this week: Bad As Me (number 10, 16,074 sales), 61 year old singer/songwriter Tom Waits' 17th studio album but only the second to make the Top 10 (1999's Mule Variations reached number nine); and Message To You (number 11, 13,834 sales), the third album by The Soldiers, following 2009 debut Coming Home (number four), and 2010's Letters Home (number 10.

13-year-old Ronan Parke was runner-up in Britain's Got Talent earlier this year, and his eponymous debut album enters the chart at number 22 (7,960 sales).

Paul Simon's Graceland was number one exactly 25 years ago, and hot on the heels of its re-release in remastered form, it makes its first chart appearance since March 1999, re-entering at number 40 (4,460 sales). The album was number one for five weeks, and was eventually dislodged by the first Police compilation, Every Breath You Take - The Singles. As that album marked the end of The Police - until a recent reunion - it also marked the start of Sting's solo career, hence the release of his new compilation, The Best Of 25 years, which debuts at number 27 (6,686 sales).

Bruno Mars' performance of new single Runaway Baby on The X Factor results show eight days ago help the song to become the fifth Top 20 hit off his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. The single debuts at number 19 (19,044 sales), while the album springs 9-4 (31,477 sales), recording its highest chart placing for 22 weeks. In the 41 weeks since it debuted atop the chart in January, the album has never fallen below number 14, and has sold 832,330 copies. The X Factor's ratings rival, Strictly Come Dancing, was visited by Dutch jazz artist Caro Emerald eight days ago (23 October), and triggered a 282.30% increase in sales of Emerald's album, Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor, week-on-week. It jumps 68-21 (8,053 sales), to achieve its highest chart placing for nine weeks.

Overall album sales are up 19.34% week-on-week at 1,986,842 - that's their highest level for 19 weeks, and their seventh highest level this year - but 1.28% below same week 2010 sales of 2,012,654.


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