UK acts have claimed their highest tally of US No 1 albums in a calendar year since the mid-Eighties thanks to One Direction's latest chart-topper.
The boy band's Take Me Home debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart this week after selling 540,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It is the Syco/Columbia act's second No 1 on the chart this year after Up All Night led the listings in March and the fourth in all by UK artists in 2012 with Adele's 21 and Mumford & Sons' Babel also reaching No 1. That is the most No 1s on the chart in a calendar year by UK acts since 1985.
Twenty-seven years ago four British albums headed the chart, firstly Wham!'s Make It Big, then No Jacket Required by Phil Collins, followed by Songs From The Big Chair by Tears For Fears and Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms. However, if you go by acts who signed to UK companies, rather than having British nationality, a tally of four No 1s happened slightly more recently - in 1988. UK-sourced albums reaching No 1 that year were George Michael's Faith, Def Leppard's Hysteria, Steve Winwood's Roll With It and UK-signed Irish band U2 with Rattle And Hum.
As previously reported, One Direction achieved the third highest opening sales of the year with Take Me Home, behind only the 1.2 million first-week sales of Taylor Swift's Red and the 600,000 total for Mumford & Sons' Babel. It outsold its nearest rival to reach the top by 3.7 copies to one with Swift dropping to 2 on the weekly chart with 145,000 copies sold. That represented a 26% week-on-week fall but takes its cumulative tally to 1.89 million copies after just four weeks.
All the tracks from One Direction's album clocked up impressive sales as individual downloads last week, led by Little Things, which sold 91,000 copies, enough to help it to debut at 41 on the Hot 100. Kiss You also arrives on the same countdown - at 95 - as Live While We're Young drops 42-68. Their first album Up All Night eases 23-26 on the Billboard 200.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 becomes the fifth soundtrack out of five in the saga to debut in the Billboard 200 top four as it arrives at 3 with 93,000 copies sold. It finishes just ahead of Canadian act The Weeknd's Triology, which debuts ar 4 after selling 86,000 copies. Soundgarden's King Animal, the band's first new studio set in 16 years, enters at 5 with 83,000 units sold, while Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby slips 3-6 because of the high influx of new entries but sees its weekly sales rise 8% to 80,000 copies.
Christina Aguilera returns to the Top 10 with Lotus debuting at 7 and a first-week total of 73,000 units, while there is a 29% sales drip to 70,000 for Now 44 which drops 2-8. Green Day's Dos enters at 9 with 69,000 sales and follows the band's Uno charting and peaking at 2 in October, while Lana Del Rey's eight-track Paradise is new at 10 after selling 67,000 copies. Like Green Day, Del Rey has achieved two Top 10 albums this year with Born To Die having previously debuted and peaked at 2. That album surges 79-37 this week followng the roll-out of a deluxe edition.
One album missing out on a Top 10 debut is Susan Boyle's Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage, marking further diminshing returns for the reality star. Her first two albums I Dreamed A Dream and The Gift entered at No 1, starting with sales of 701,000 and 318,000 respectively, while last year's Someone To Watch Over Me entered at 4. Her new album starts this week at 12.
As Mumford & Sons' Babel loses its Top 10 status after 7 weeks, slipping 7-15, The Rolling Stones' 50th anniversary retrospective GRRR! enters at 19. Their last frontline retrospective Forty Licks reached No 2 10 years ago. Meanwhile, the band's great Sixties rivals The Beatles make a Billboard 200 return with the vinyl The Beatles In Stereo boxed set entering at 161.
Katherine Jenkins reaches a new Billboard 200 peak as This Is Christmas rises 176-119, while Adele's 21 drops out of the Top 30 for the first time, falling 24-31. However, her track Skyfall continues its Hot 100 revival, lifting 33-21 with its weekly download sales up 31% to 120,000. Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris similarly make progress on the Hot 100 but fall on the albums chart. Sheeran's The A Team climbs 26-25 as + declines 46-57 on the Billboard 200, while Mumford's single I Will Wait improves 36-30 having previously peaked at 23. Goudling's Anything Could Happen single is up 58-57 as its predecessor Lights drops 21-27, while her album Halcyon is down 55-73, and Harris's sharp 78-193 albums drop with 18 Months is contrasted by his Sweet Nothing single with Florence Welch re-entering the Hot 100 at 97.
Affter nine weeks in charge, Maroon 5's One More Night drops to 2 on the Hot 100 as Rihanna achieves her 12th chart-topper on the survey with Diamonds. Also the top download seller last week after shifting 171,000 copies, it puts her on the all-time list for No 1s in joint fourth place with Madonna and The Supremes and behind only The Beatles with 20 No 1s, Mariah Carey with 18 and Michael Jackson with 13. Elvis Presley had 17 US chart-toppers in total, but some of these date from before the creation of the Hot 100 in 1958.
Ke$ha's Die Young holds at 3 as Bruno Mars' Locked Out Of Heaven climbs 6-4 and Fun's Some Nights slips 4-5. There is no longer a UK act in the Hot 100's Top 10 as Alex Clare's Too Close drops 9-11 in its 34th week on the survey.
One Direction's hefty first-week number helped to lift US album sales last week by 24.0% week-on-week to 6.76 million units, although this was 4.0% down on the equivalent week in 2011. In all, 258.05 million albums have been sold this year, 4.0% lower than at this stage last year.
One-track digital sales rose 3.3% on the week and were 1.4% higher than the equivalent week in 2011 with 22.03 million units sold, while year-to-date sales are 5.6% ahead of 2011 at 1.162 billion.