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US acts rule UK charts

US acts rule UK charts

After looking susceptible in initial midweek sales flashes, Owl City's Fireflies continues its reign for a third straight week, with sales of 77,669 lifting its career tally to 295,994. On Tuesday, it was just 24 sales ahead of X Factor duo Jedward's debut single, Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby) a recreated mash-up of Queen & David Bowie's Under Pressure and the rap hit based on it, Vanilla Ices Ice Ice Baby, number one hits in their own right in 1981 and 1990, respectively.

Jedward, 18-year-old Dubliners John & Edward Grimes thus fall short, at least for the moment, of becoming the latest identical(ish) twins to top the charts. Hal & Herbie Kalin (The Kalin Twins) did it, so did Charlie & Craig Reid (The Proclaimers), not to mention Matt & Luke Goss (two thirds of Bros).

Vanilla Ice himself joins Jedward on Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby), which debuts at number two on sales of 50,468 copies. Vanilla Ice's original recording of Ice Ice Baby sold more than 600,000 copies. Although critically panned, it's a recording that has prospered in the digital age, selling 104,912 copies in a little over five years since OCC started counting sales of the format, and spending 14 weeks in the Top 200. It climbs 129-113 this week on sales of 2,272 copies.

Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby) is not the only new entry to the chart this week to bear a writing credit for Freddie Mercury. The late Queen legend's Somebody To Love is one of two newly released songs from Glee Cast to make the Top 75, arriving at number 26 (11,772 sales), while Heart cover Alone debuts at number 47 (6,151 sales). All 14 Glee Cast songs issued as downloads to date are in the Top 200 this week, with the cover of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' continuing as the TV show's major hit, slipping 2-4 (43,285 sales).

After plucking four Top 30 hits off her album One Of The Boys, Katy Perry is enjoying two concurrent Top 10 hits as featured guest on other acts songs. Starstrukk, on which she accompanies 3OH!3, has barely moved since its first charted, with a chart history to date of 5-5-6-3-4-4-4-7, and is now joined in the top tier by If We Ever Meet Again, her collaboration with Timbaland.

Starstrukk sold 36,260 copies last week to lift its career tally to 344,143 but its success and the number 21 position posted by first single Don't Trust Me has not translated into sales for 3OH!3s album Want, which peaked at number 77 four weeks ago and now dips out of the Top 200. If We Ever Meet Again up 17-3 on sales of 47,494 - is similarly the second single from Timbalands current album, Shock Value II, following the Nelly Furtado collaboration Morning After Dark, which reached number six in December. It is rather more successful in attracting sales to its parent, which jumps 83-58 (3,463 sales) to eclipse the number 60 position in which the set debuted and initially peaked eight weeks ago.

Madonna said it felt so good, Thin Lizzy said nobody gives a damn, there, and Boz Scaggs said it never had it quite this good, but the fourth different hit called Hollywood says it infected your brain. Its jaundiced viewpoint isn't enough to stop the latest Hollywood from becoming the debut smash for Marina & The Diamonds, for whom it debuts at number 12 (25,746 sales).

Singles sales increase 4.07% week-on-week to 3,029,919 10.90% above same week 2009 sales of 2,732,059.

A busy release slate and the approach of Valentines Day help album sales to jump 6.30% week-on-week to 2,034,416 an excellent 18.75% above same week 2009 sales of 1,713,255.

Making the biggest contribution, The Element Of Freedom tops the artist album chart at the eighth attempt, becoming the first UK number one album for Alicia Keys. Ironically, the album is her first NOT to reach number one in America, after a quartet of chart-toppers. Galvanised by the success of first two singles Empire State Of Mind (Part II) and Doesn't Mean Anything, The Element Of Freedom sold 35,337 copies last week, and is the 21st Top 75 album, 13th Top 10 album but first number one album in the UK for Sony CEO Clive Davis' J Records imprint since its 2000 inception.

Dutch violinist Andre Rieu's Forever Vienna set continues to make sterling progress, moving 4-2 on sales of 33,709 copies. Although Sunny Side Up slips 1-3, Paolo Nutini still has cause to celebrate: the 31,607 copies it sold last week lift its overall tally to 1,019,208, making it the Paisley singer/songwriter's second straight million selling album from as many releases following 2006 debut These Streets, which has thus far sold 1,220,576 copies.

Among 12 debuts on the Top 75 the biggest intake for eight weeks are albums by four acts who have at various times topped the chart, including Corinne Bailey Rae, who nabs top debut honours, with The Sea entering at number five (22,914 sales), three years to the month after her self-titled debut set arrived at number one on first-week sales of 108,181. Other former chart-toppers to occupy lower berths this week are: Peter Andre (Unconditional Love Songs, number nine, 18,331 sales), George Benson (Classic Love Songs, number 30, 7,107 sales) and Ocean Colour Scene (Saturday, number 35, 6,454 sales). Andre's album is a compilation including five new songs, and arrives just 20 weeks after his successful comeback album, Revelation, which reached number three and sold 258,181 copies.

Meanwhile, two artists make their first ever appearance in the Top 75 album chart. Ke$ha's debut album Animal enters at number eight (18,723 sales), following the success of introductory single Tik Tok, which has spent 14 weeks in the Top 20, selling 422,287 copies to date; and Midlake's second album, The Courage Of Others, debuts at number 18 (10,803 sales), following the sleeper success of their 2006 debut The Trails Of Van Occupanther, which never got higher than number 162 but has sold more than 38,000 copies to date. Several tracks from Ke$ha's album debut on the Top 200 singles chart, most notably the 3OH!3 collaboration Blah Blah Blah, new at number 11 (27,161 sales).

Elsewhere, there are album chart debuts for Hot Chip (One Life Stand, number 11, 14,613 sales), Lil Wayne (Rebirth, number 24, 8,552 sales), Marvin Gaye (The Greatest Love Songs Of, number 38, 5,790 sales), Nick Jonas & Administration (Who I Am, number 50, 4,220 sales) and Rob Zombie (Hellbilly Deluxe 2, number 65, 3,053 sales).

While the rest of this week's album entries have taken just six days to cement their chart debut, it has taken Journey's Greatest Hits 22 years. The 1988 compilation has sold more than 100,000 copies since it was first released without ever bothering the chart compilers but the success of Don't Stop Believin' which has been in the Top 10 for eight weeks and a new TV campaign prove the charm, as the album debuts at number 12 (13,578 sales).

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