Eight years is a long time to wait between albums, but I guess when you have other projects on the go these side projects can slip a bit. Top of the Official UK Albums chart this week is Everything You've Come To Expect, the second album from Last Shadow Puppets. The modern day supergroup consisting primarily of Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane from The Rascals released their first set of recordings way back in 2008. Back then The Age Of The Understatement also topped the charts with ease, ensuring that the (very) occasional collaborators can boast a 100% chart record. Even if it has taken the best part of a decade to arrive there.
The group head up a refreshingly all-new albums Top 3 with Lukas Graham's self-titled debut album sliding neatly into second place whilst in third spot are veteran synth wizards Pet Shop Boys with their latest collection Super. Arriving on the charts precisely 30 years and 1 week since their debut Please, this new album is the duo's thirteenth studio album proper in all, their sixteenth album to reach the Top 10 and the twelfth to make the Top 5. Now freed from the confines of a major label contract, the veteran performers are now little more than legacy act propped up by a still vocal and dedicated fanbase. Fanbase or not, that still gives them the leverage to pop a chart position with every new record they release and Number 3 is enough to match the peak of their last release Electric in 2013 and jointly rank as their highest charting album of new material since Very hit the very top back in 1993.
The busy Top 3 means that 25 slips down to Number 4, equalling the Adele album's lowest chart placing since it was first released.
There are several other rather extraordinary tales to tell about the UK album market this week as well. First finding fame as a child soprano choirboy back in the mid-1980s, Aled Jones survived to adulthood to become a well-respected radio and television presenter whilst still occasionally dabbling with musical projects. His new album "One Voice" charts at Number 5 this week, his first chart album since 2011 and his first Top 10 record since his debut All Through The Night which reached Number 2 in the summer of 1985 when he was a mere lad of 14. It is all rather appropriate given that the title One Voice is a clever play on words, many of its tracks feature the adult Jones being accompanied by older recordings of himself when he was still just a teenager.
The number of Japanese acts to have reached the higher end of the UK charts can be counted on the fingers of one hand but history of a kind is made this week at Number 15 as in the wake of their historic headlining performance at Wembley Arena Metal Resistance by teenage all-girl rock group Babymetal becomes the highest charting record by an all-Japanese act ever, beating out electronic producer Tomita whose Snowflakes Are Dancing album reached Number 17 in 1975.
Last week I boldly predicted Cheap Thrills by Sia was the best bet to become the next Number One single on the Official UK Singles chart. Well it had a go, but somehow didn't quite have enough steam to overcome Mike Posner's I Took A Pill In Ibiza which remains locked in place for a fourth straight week. Indeed the most interesting stat about Posner this week is that its overall chart sales are actually down on last week, making this the first time in 15 weeks that the single has not increased its combined sales and streams total over the previous week.
Cheap Thrills meanwhile now consolidates its position as far and away one of Sia's biggest hit singles ever, its chart run only eclipsed by the chart-topping success of her vocal performance as part of David Guetta's Titanium in 2012.
Having lucked out at Number 11 last week Faded by Alan Walker finally fulfils its destiny as a Top 10 single with a four place jump to Number 7 whilst three places below Light It Up by Major Lazer achieves the unusual feat of becoming a Top 10 single on three different occasions during the course of the same chart run. Its first visit was for two weeks at the end of January during the course of which it peaked at Number 9. After diving as low as Number 14 the single rebounded in mid-March for another two week stay during the course of which it improved its personal best to Number 7. Last week the single was Number 13, this week it is Number 10 and we await with slightly caught breath to see if this is now the end of the story or yet another beginning.
Just for a change we have an actual new release new entry inside the Top 40, and in this case a single with a rather fascinating tale to tell. "Global" release day notwithstanding Canadian rapper Drake decided Wednesday was a very good day to surprise the world with a double single release, with One Dance and Pop Style both appearing online to the joy of many - or at least those with Apple accounts given that for now the two tracks are exclusive to that platform. It is the former which made the biggest splash, barging its way to the top of the live sales tables and restricted availability notwithstanding manages to command enough sales and streams to debut at Number 21.
One Dance is a clever reworking of a rather fondly remembered house hit from a number of years back, the track incorporating so much of Do You Mind by Kyla that the singer merits a co-starring credit on the Drake track. The 'original' version as it were was never all that big a hit, peaking at Number 48 in February 2009. Meanwhile despite being pushed as an equal, the track's twin Pop Style found less favour with buyers and streamers and crashes in at Number 55. Not even the presence of Jay-Z and Kanye West (credited as The Throne) as guest stars could help this one.
Also new this week at Number 30 is I Found A Girl from the intriguing combination of The Vamps and last summer's chart hero OMI. Originally to be found on their second album Wake Up, the track was one of a number of instant grat tracks released ahead of release although it never quite found its way onto the singles chart. The single version keeps people waiting for its guest star but OMI eventually pops up two minutes in to perform the third verse. Is this a good moment to confess that it wasn't really worth the wait?
The last Galantis hit Peanut Butter Jelly was for me one of the most thrilling dance tracks of last year, so it is good to see the Swedish pair return to the chart with new single No Money. A brand new track, not featured on their last album Pharmacy, the single is another pleasing new entry this week at Number 36.
Just for a change there are actually plenty of brand new tracks on the Official UK Singles chart this week although the overwhelming majority of them belong to the same man. After several months as an exclusive to streaming service Tidal, Kanye West last week released a slightly tweaked version of his The Life Of Pablo album to some of the other more mainstream streaming sites. The result is a mini-invasion of the vast bulk of the album's tracks with most heavily promoted track "Famous" sitting pretty at Number 33. Elsewhere you can find Kanye West tracks at 54, 63, 70, 77, 78, 84, 88 and 92 in the biggest chart sweep since Justin Bieber's own multi-track invasion in November last year. And that's not to mention the Drake track.