Love, the Canadian crooner’s 10th solo album, won the huge chart battle in which the Top 3 featured new entries that all comfortably passed 50,000 sales. Six of the Top 10 albums were above 20,000 sales, also including The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody and Boyzone.
Bublé’s fourth chart-topper opened with 66,794 combines sales, of which 88% were physical, according to the Official Charts Company. As revealed in Music Week’s charts analysis, Love scored the second biggest opening sale of the year behind Arctic Monkeys’ 86,359 sales for Tranqulity Base Hotel & Casino in May.
"Michael’s new album is his best yet,” Phil Christie, president, Warner Bros UK, told Music Week. “Reunited with producer David Foster for a collection of classic love songs, the arrangements are impeccable and Michael’s voice is better than ever - it is clearly resonating with his audience. We’re confident this will be one of the big albums for the remainder of 2018 and a classic for years to come.”
Unusually for a returning artist in 2018, Bublé’s first week sales were well up (21.25%) on the 55,087 units for Nobody But Me two years ago.
"The campaign has been animated this time by the emotional story of Michael’s experiences over the last couple of years,” said Christie. “His son’s illness and Michael’s response with a collection of love songs has moved people to lean in. We have delivered big TV [performances] in advance of the album, a fantastic appearance on Graham Norton being the pick of the bunch and a detailed social media campaign of great content to reinforce the message. Michael has worked his arse off for us as well and that has made all the difference. No one sells Michael Bublé like Michael himself.”
He was fought hard by Mumford & Sons, who can console themselves with an impressive tally of 58,239 sales to reach No.2. The band are also set to beat Bublé in the US, where they are heading for a No.1 finish.
Little Mix - who parted company with Syco on the eve of release - almost nicked second place (56,841 sales) but were ultimately held off by Mumford & Sons’ superior downloads. LM5 was the week’s most streamed album.
The Greatest Showman Reimagined opened with sales of 25,911 on the compilation chart.