For all the sneering and grumbling that takes place in these pages (along with many other places) about the sales ploy which sees certain in-demand tracks have their UK release delayed long after they have come out across the world, it is hard to dispute the effectiveness of the tactic in generating a rush of pent-up demand.
So it is that after weeks of watching and waiting and grumbling at useless cover versions charting instead, Wake Me Up! by Avicii flies straight to the top of the Official UK Singles Chart in a manner which eclipses even some of the biggest dead certs of the year so far. When it was announced that the single had registered over 88,000 sales in its first day alone it was all too easy to dismiss this as the effect of the two weeks of pre-sales being credited to its virtual account. This was however just the start it seems. Tim Bergling's latest creation tops the charts this week with an extraordinary sale of nearly 267,000 copies. To put that in some perspective that is far and away the highest weekly sale of the year, the biggest in fact by any record since the charity cover of He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother sold 269,000 to be Christmas Number One in December last year. That is also achingly close to the 292,000 copies sold by Cheryl Cole's Fight For This Love back in 2009, the current high water benchmark for non-charity, non-Christmas and non-X Factor winner singles. Put simply, the Avicii track is an utter phenomenon.
For those keeping score, it is the Swedish producer's second Number One hit of the year, making him the first lead credited act to do the double in 2013 (Pharrell Williams having topped the charts twice as guest star), following on from I Could Be The One which had a week of glory back in February. The uncredited guest vocals on Wake Me Up! are by Aloe Blacc, thus eclipsing the Number 2 peak scaled by his one and only hit single to date I Need A Dollar during its epic chart run back in 2011.
With iTunes staging a mini-Avicii festival to mark the long-awaited release of the single, the chart is peppered with various highlights from his back catalogue, with the aforementioned I Could Be The One back at Number 48 and Levels at Number 62.
All of this (plus the way the last four Number One singles all line up one after the other at the top end of the chart) pushes the other two big new single releases of the week down the running order slightly, but it is still appropriate to note the Top 10 arrival of Come & Get It from Selena Gomez which lands at Number 9 to give the former Disney star her first ever solo Top 10 hit and indeed only the second of her career following Naturally which was a Number 7 hit for her and her band The Scene back in 2010. Her single is closely followed at Number 9 by Jack by Breach, a pseudonym for Dutch-based British singer and producer Ben Westbeech.
It is now 11 years since Avril Lavigne made her chart debut as a fresh-faced 17-year-old with the single Complicated so it seems only appropriate that the first hit of her second decade of hitmaking is entitled Here's To Never Growing Up, the first single from her as-yet-untitled fifth album which is due to land later in the autumn. Co-written with her new husband Chad Kroeger, the track lands at a rather disappointing Number 14 but which is at the very least a slight improvement on the Number 16 scaled by her last chart hit What The Hell back in January 2011 and thus her highest chart placing since her last Top 10 hit When You're Gone which peaked at Number 3 just over six years ago this week.
Having semi-retired from the music business to raise a family a few years ago, one time noughties darling Lily Allen has been true to her word and kept a low profile since the release of her last album in 2009, with just a solitary guest role on a Professor Green single and a chart credit for a T-Pain single which sampled one of her own tracks her only musical contributions in recent years. With talk of a comeback on the cards, it is thus with perfect timing that her contribution to Pink's The Truth About Love album is now making waves as a single, the duet between the two women True Love gaining traction and moving 36-22 in its third week as a chart single.
When X Factor hopeful Lucy Spraggan was forced to pull out of the 2012 series midway through the live shows last year, it appeared that the show had lost one of its brightest discoveries for some time, especially after her self-released single Last Night made Number 11 off the back of her performance of the song during the audition stages before she voluntarily withdrew it and her debut album from sale after anxious pleas from the producers. Now with her health issues of last winter behind her, the chirpy singer-songwriter makes what is essentially her chart debut proper with the single Lighthouse landing at Number 26. Surfing nicely the current nu-folk wave, the single is as bright and breezy as her older material was and makes it all the more galling that she was never given the chance to fulfil her potential on the talent show last year.
Over on the Official UK Album chart, Robin Thicke makes up for being unceremoniously deposed from the top of the singles chart by debuting easily at the top with his album, also entitled Blurred Lines. That's a dramatic improvement on his previous album chart fortunes with The Evolution Of Robin Thicke making Number 30 in July 2007 whilst its follow-up Something Else made a mere Number 83 in October the following year. He is joined in the Top 10 by the returning Pet Shop Boys, now on new label X2 after a two and half decade spell on Parlophone records. New album Electric makes Number 3, their highest charting studio album since Very topped the charts in October 1993 and their first Top 3 album of any kind since b-sides collection Alternative peaked at Number 2 in August 1995.