Their first album for more than eight years, The Ballad Of Darren is Blur’s seventh No.1 in a row and in total.
Its week one return of 44,051 units comprised 13,189 CDs, 22,364 vinyl albums, 3,339 cassettes, 593 Blu-ray audio, 1,799 digital downloads and 2,767 sales-equivalent streams.
Blur’s 1991 debut Leisure peaked at No.7, while 1993 set Modern Life Is Rubbish peaked at No.15 in 1993. Their studio albums since then – Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995), Blur (1997), 13 (1999), Think Tank (2003), The Magic Whip (2015) and now The Ballad Of Darren – have all debuted at No.1.
Blur are the 16th group to have seven No.1 albums, and the 31st act in all, and have now had at least one No.1 studio album in each of the last four decades.
Blur with Parlophone, Warner Records and Eleven Management team members earlier this week
The Ballad Of Darren’s opening tally is 0.70% above its predecessor, The Magic Whip, which sold 43,746 copies on debut in 2015. Their biggest weekly sale came in 1995, when The Great Escape sold 127,680 copies debuting at No.1. Its immediate predecessor, Parklife had a lower first week of 27,759 but has sold 1,143,785 copies since its release, making it their biggest studio album ahead of The Great Escape’s 901,349.
Their biggest seller, though, is 2000’s The Best Of, which debuted and peaked at No.3 on first week sales of 89,656 and has gone on to shift 1,430,011 units.
“What an exhilarating moment to witness Blur's ascent to No.1 this week,” said Jennifer Ivory. “Surpassing the sales of their previous studio album The Magic Whip, this is a significant achievement considering the decline in the market over the years. Damon Albarn, a true trailblazer, becomes the first individual to claim two number one albums in a single calendar year with two distinct bands. Undoubtedly, another significant milestone for him.”
Ivory also hailed Eleven Management and wider team.
“Collaborating with the exceptional Eleven Management and the band itself on a concise yet impactful campaign has been an absolute delight,” she said. “Their triumphant comeback gigs and the release of their beautiful new album have resonated with both the public and critics alike. The Parlophone and Warner Music team takes immense pride in guiding this release to the top spot.”