All hail the wisdom of old age. A glance at the Official UK Album chart this week presents the casual observer with the shocking sight of three men, all of whom began their careers in the 1950s and 1960s and with a combined age of 214, all with brand new entries in the Top 10.
Sometime Rolling Stone Keith Richards is at Number 7 with Crosseyed Heart, his third charted solo album and first since Main Offender back in 1992. It is also far and away the highest charting of his three solo releases to date. Just ahead at Number 4 is the convolutedly titled 75 at 75 - 75 Career-Spanning Hits by Cliff Richard which as the title suggests gathers together 75 of the veteran star's biggest hits to commemorate his 75th birthday (which is upcoming in the middle of October). It is the 43rd Top 10 album of his career.
Leading the charge, however, is another rock guitarist most usually known for his work in a very famous group. Pink Floyd's David Gilmour reaps the benefits of an extensive promotional campaign to see his own new solo album Rattle That Lock storm to the top of the charts, finishing 20,000 copies ahead of Lana Del Rey's Honeymoon which is thus relegated to second place. Gilmour's album is his second Number One release, following 2006's On An Island which made a similarly barnstorming chart debut upon release in March that year.
The Official UK Singles chart sees Justin Bieber still locked in place at Number One as What Do You Mean spends a second straight week and its third in total at the top of the charts. Although he remains the streaming king, Bieber this week also has the most purchased single of the week meaning his status at the top of the charts was never truly in any doubt. Meanwhile Sigala's former Number One hit Easy Love remains a comfortable Number 2.
James Bond themes notwithstanding, the most likely of the current chart incumbents to displace Bieber are R.City and Adam Levine who continue to make strides in the right direction with Locked Away as it soars 16-3 to complete this week's Top 3.
Ellie Goulding's last chart single was the Number One smash Love Me Like You Do taken from the soundtrack of the film Fifty Shades Of Grey, a single which remains one of the biggest sellers of the year to date and which is still on the Top 75 after a 37-week stay. This week she returns with her first new track since, On My Mind heralding the imminent release of her new album Delirium which is due to land in November. Released just a day after it premiered on the radio, the single makes what is for her a rather understated debut at Number 7. Never one to rest on her musical laurels, this track is nonetheless a rather startling musical departure for the fragile-voiced singer, its ska flavour very much in the style of The Police. Any suggestions that it is possible to sing Spirits In The Material World to the chorus of this track are just mischief making on my part.
Also new to the Top 10 is Pia Mia's Do It Again which comes with both Chris Brown and Tyga in tow. The track has so far traced a rather stuttering arc up the singles chart, holding in place at Number 20 for a fortnight and then Number 16 before finally making this week an 11-9 climb to land its highest chart placing to date.
Based on its strong opening few days at the start of the week, it was generally expected that Naughty Boy's long-awaited new single Runnin' (Lose It All) would have entered the Top 10 too, but instead a slow start at streaming has damaged the single's chart prospects for now and it enters instead at Number 11. The track from the British producer has received a large share of attention thanks to the superstar presence of Beyonce on guest vocals. Strange to relate though that this was never intended to the be case, Naughty Boy having recorded the single with his friend Arrow Benjamin and with no intention of featuring anyone but him on vocals. Having heard the rather hauntingly beautiful track Beyonce begged to be able to record it, refusing to take no for an answer. It is the kind of gift few would pass up lightly and so the single has been released with both Benjamin and Beyonce sharing vocal duties. It should have been a smash out of the gate, but by the looks of things, the expected Top 5 success will have to wait until next week at least.
Downtown by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis continues to make solid progress up the British charts, its 21-15 rise this week means it is nicely poised for an assault on the Top 10 next week. The single is notable for the presence on guest vocals of some veteran stars of the very early years of hip-hop, their number including Grandmaster Caz, Kool Moe Dee and perhaps most notably of all Melle Mel, Downtown his biggest chart single since 1984 and one which is possibly set to eclipse even the Number 7 peak of the legendary single White Lines (Don't Do It) to become his biggest chart hit single ever after a 31 year wait.
Also making a strong move, Hotline Bling from Drake which soars 36-17, the single based heavily around the melody from soul classic Why Can't We Live Together by Timmy Thomas. Although it does not feature therein, the single's chart leap also coincides with the release of the rapper's collaboration with Future on the mixtape What A Time To Be Alive which makes a Number 6 debut on the album chart this week.
It seems almost inevitable that the most in-demand album of the Christmas period will be the final (for now they claim) One Direction album Made In the A.M., due for release on November 13th. The album went on pre-sale during the week, bringing with it the brand new track Infinity which was delivered to online purchasers as an instant grat. Standalone sales and streams of the track are enough to propel it to Number 36 on the singles chart to make it one of the smallest 1D singles for some, even if that is down to circumstances rather than a true measure of its popularity.
Keep an eye out on the progress next week of Sam Smith's Writing's On The Wall, the theme to the new James Bond film Spectre which received its radio premiere on Friday and went on sale immediately afterwards. As I write it is locked in place at the top of the live sales charts and seems odds-on to become the first ever Bond theme to top the British charts, something even Adele could not manage in 2012 when Skyfall was released midweek and cost itself a week at the top of the charts.