It is impossible to consider the top end of the UK album chart this week without noting the Brit awards effect. The acts recognised by the music industry at their annual awards ceremony are further rewarded by the public with increased record sales. One year on from her career being propelled to stratospheric new heights after a performance on the televised ceremony, Adele reaps the benefits once more. Best British Album 21 makes an effortless two place climb to top the chart for the third time in 2012. Whilst America salivates over her extended stay at the top of their listings, we are left to merely shrug our shoulders and note that this is now neatly the 21st week at Number One for the career-defining release - now just 12 short of the 33 week record for a "pop" album set by Bridge Over Troubled Water. Naturally enough 19 is still hanging in there as well, rising to Number 7 this week. Both of her albums hit brand new sales milestones during the week as well, 21 topping 4 million UK sales and 19 now certified for 2 million.
Adele's hit singles have long reached saturation levels in sales terms, but the Brit awards effect still flows through to two of them. Rolling In The Deep is at 28 and Someone Like You is at 32, both over a year since they first appeared on the charts.
The most successful male artist to emerge from the Brit awards was Ed Sheeran, so naturally + also rises the charts to sit at Number 3. His Brits bounce is more pronounced on the singles chart with current single Drunk climbing to a new peak of Number 11 whilst Lego House soars 20 places to Number 17 and The A Team returns to the Top 40 at Number 33. Show openers (and fellow award winners) Coldplay also get an obligatory boost as Mylo Xyloto climbs to Number 6 whilst they are joined in the Top 10 by Florence And The Machine who experiences a 23-9 rise for Ceremonials after her own performance at the awards ceremony.
With no show-stopping song performance of the Adele kind, nor a novelty mash-up duet to chart on short notice the top end of the singles chart is immune from the Brits effect by and large. This leaves the way clear for a former Number One to reassert its authority. Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra was dumped down to Number 3 last week despite clocking up its highest weekly sale to date. Indeed it sold so many copies it was the highest selling Number 3 single for over eight years and barring a dramatic drop in sales it was hard to imagine that it would not mount a further challenge this week. So it proves, as Gotye and DJ Fresh swap places and Somebody That I Used To Know climbs back to Number One for its second week, once again increasing its sales to top 100,000 copies in a week for the very first time. This means that 2012 is now the fourth year in a row that at least one single has had multiple runs at Number One. What used to be a comparative rarity is now almost commonplace.
It is a good week for two overseas female stars and one Frenchman who all find themselves with two concurrent Top 10 singles. For the second week running Sia has back to back chart singles as Flo Rida's Wild Ones and David Guetta's Titanium swap places and sit at 4 and 5 respectively. After a fortnight locked at Number 11, Guetta's other single of the moment Turn Me On climbs to Number 8, this also to the benefit of guest star Nicki Minaj whose own single Starships jumps 16-7 to ensure she too occupies consecutive chart positions inside the Top 10. The single is now Minaj's biggest UK hit to date as lead artist, eclipsing the Number 8 peak of Super Bass last autumn. Her highest chart placing to date came thanks to the Number 3 scaled by Where Them Girls At? - a David Guetta track naturally.
The only genuinely brand new release to penetrate the top end of the singles chart this week is Ass Back Home from Gym Class Heroes featuring Neon Hitch which is a new entry at Number 9. Continuing their chart comeback which began with Stereo Hearts last year, the new single has the honour of being their first ever Top 10 hit in this country, their previous best coming in August 2007 when Clothes Off peaked at Number 12 [except that's bollocks as it was actually their fifth Top 10 hit. I correct this in next week's column]. Lead singer Travie McCoy can boast a larger hit of his own however, as Billionaire hit Number 3 in August 2010.
We should finally this week note the indifferent fortunes of two X Factor created acts this week. Despite selling out a forthcoming concert tour in minutes this week, One Direction take a massive 9-24 tumble with current single One Thing as the momentum behind its single release wears off. The implication that their music is of interest to their fans and hardly anyone else is not a positive one. At least they made the Top 10 I guess. Cher Lloyd's single version of her album track Want U Back was finally released this week, but despite hard promotional work the track can do little more than limp to Number 25, just one place higher than the Number 26 the track scaled back in January when it first charted as an album cut. Perhaps more notably the single marks the first ever chart appearance on either side of the Atlantic for former X Factor USA contestant Astro who has been enlisted to supply a guest rap on the track.