Ed Sheeran has a tough task ahead if ÷ is to join the ranks of the UK’s fastest-selling albums of all time.
There are huge expectations for the 26-year-old singer’s third LP, which drops via Atlantic today (March 3). Sheeran’s 2011 debut + sold 102,000 in its first week, while follow-up x shifted 180,000 upon its release three years later.
Adele’s 25 holds the current record according to the Official Charts Company, with 803,000 first-week sales after its release in 2015. Oasis’ infamous third album Be Here Now was the previous incumbent, selling 696,000 to enter the chart at No.1 in August 1997.
The Be Here Now figure is based on just three days’ sales as it was unconventionally released on a Thursday – a total of 813,000 copies of the LP were sold in its first seven days.
Take That’s sixth studio album – Progress (2010) – which featured the return of Robbie Williams, is third on the list, with 518,601 units shifted in a week. Coldplay’s X&Y (2005) is at No.4 on 464,471 sales, while Take That again feature at No.5 with The Circus (2008), which moved 432,490 units in its first week.
The Top 10 is completed by Susan Boyle’s 2009 debut I Dreamed A Dream (411,820 sales); Life For Rent (400,351) by Dido; Leona Lewis’ 2008 debut Spirit (375,872); and Robbie Williams sixth studio album Intensive Care (373,832) and Arctic Monkeys’ debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (363,735), both from 2005. Nine of the Top 10 have been released since the turn of the century.