This week's Official UK Singles Chart

This week's Official UK Albums Chart


As the all-pervading hashtag suggests, this coming week in popular music is all about #Adele25, the release of what is inevitably going to be the biggest selling album of the year and its ascent to the top of charts worldwide is essentially the only story that matters in popular music over the next seven days.

It, therefore, comes as some surprise to note that the one thing Ms Atkins was not able to do ahead of the release of her new work was to retain her crown at the top of the Official UK Singles chart. Midweek she finally loosened her iron grip at the top of the iTunes listings and it was clearly a similar story across other retailers. She still claims the most purchased single of the week regardless, but her streams have dipped by just enough to ensure Hello drops to Number 2 this week. Thus the way is clear for Justin Bieber to be rewarded for his patience as Sorry climbs to the top of the British charts to land him his second Number One single on these shores.

Yet this is actually only half the story, for the availability this week of Bieber's new album Purpose has opened the door for the young Canadian singer do to something so extraordinary it is almost without precedent for an active recording act. Accompanying Sorry at the upper end of the singles chart is not only its predecessor What Do You Mean at Number 5 but also album track Love Yourself, its appeal enhanced no end by the fact it is co-written by no less a figure than Ed Sheeran. Outselling all the other 'new' tracks on the album by a considerable margin, it debuts this week at Number 3 as the highest new entry of the week.

1, 3 and 5. Justin Bieber performs three of the Top 5 singles of the week, never mind the Top 10. Technically the last artist to command three simultaneous Top 10 singles was Rihanna in December 2010, however, she was only a guest star on the third of these - David Guetta's Who's That Chick. The last act to manage three Top 5 hits side by side as lead or sole artist sadly didn’t live to see it, John Lennon pulling off the trick in January 1981 in the aftermath of his death.

And yet the records don't stop there. Cherry-picked and enthusiastically streamed tracks from Purpose dominate the Top 100 singles chart with every single one of its tracks (and that includes the deluxe edition to boot) managing to make the published end of the list. Bieber can boast no less than eight of this week's Top 40 singles - seven as lead artist with the eighth coming thanks to Skrillex and Diplo's Where Are U Know which climbs back to Number 33 this week as it too features on Bieber's album.

The all-time record for Top 40 domination technically belongs to Michael Jackson who in the aftermath of his death in July 2009 had no less than 13 singles on the countdown. Bieber's tally is an all-time record for a living and perhaps most crucially still-active recording act. The previous record holder was Elvis Presley who in November 1957 commanded seven of the Top 30 singles of the week - and technically then he still beats Bieber who only has four hits in this week's Top 30.

Amid all of these superlatives, it seems almost odd to note that the aforementioned Bieber album Purpose isn't actually the week's biggest seller. For sure it debuts with a combined sale (including streams) of over 90,000 copies but it is beaten out in the final tally by the only album so far this year to sell more in the space of a week. Step forward Made In the AM by One Direction which sneaks it by 3,000 more. The group's fifth album in as many years and as has been widely reported their last before a 'hiatus', it duly comes their fourth chart-topper - the group's debut Up All Night their only release to fail to reach the top.

Fascinatingly the Number One album this week is somehow the least visible. It too manages to chart every single one of its tracks individually on the singles chart, none come close to the heights achieved by their Canadian rival. One Direction's current hit single Perfect does at least get a sales boost of its own this week, an X Factor results show performance sending the former Number 2 single back up to Number 10.

The other X Factor performer last weekend was Jess Glynne and this, along with her single's role as the Children In Need anthem this year sends Take Me Home further up the chart to reach Number 6. It duly becomes her eighth Top 10 hit single and matches the peak of her solo debut Right Here from July 2014.

Those who take an interest in the demographic spread of chart stars may be interested in one strange curiosity. With just one exception the only non-European acts in the whole of the singles chart Top 20 are all Canadian - Bieber, Drake and The Weeknd. The only artist from the United States at the upper end of the UK singles chart this week is Beyonce Knowles, this thanks to her guest role on Naughty Boy's Runnin' (Lose It All) which dips to Number 17. Aside than her the highest charting American on the chart this week is Ariana Grande with Focus at Number 21.

Other new Official UK Albums chart new entries this week include a returning Jeff Lynne and ELO with Alone In The Universe at Number 4, Andre Rieu with Roman Holiday at Number 8 and reigning X Factor champion Ben Haenow with his self-titled debut at Number 10. He's the first winner of the talent show not to have his debut album debut inside the Top 5. As I'm so fond of pointing out, it is Fleur East who is the true superstar discovery of last year's series. Her album comes out at the start of December.

All of this will naturally enough be close to irrelevant this time next week. Adele's 25 is out and selling by the bucketload. The all-time weekly sales record for an album in the UK is 696,000 as achieved by Be Here Now by Oasis in August 1997. Strange though it may seem in the light of the state of the current market, Adele is expected to come closer than any act since to beating that record over the course of the coming week.