December 1979. That was the last time Rod Stewart had a Number One album on the Official UK Albums chart. Granted, that was a Greatest Hits collection so his last chart-topping album of brand new recordings dates even further back than that, to A Night On The Town in July 1976.
Good job he is a patient man then. After a wait of almost 33 and a half years (or 37 if you want to be picky) the legendary singer finally returns to the chart summit as his brand new album Time soars straight to the top of the charts. If those statistics seem familiar, you may remember that I trotted them out last December when Merry Christmas Baby charted at Number 2 and missed the top by a whisker. He has at the very least broken one chart record, for at the age of 68 he now officially becomes the oldest man ever to have a Number One album with newly recorded material. Now all he needs is a first singles chart Number One since 1983 and he is really back in business.
Rod's climb to the top saw him harried all the way by Gabrielle Aplin who ends up at Number 2 with her debut album English Rain. The album is home to her current hit single Panic Cord (which slips to Number 28 this week) as well as her previous hit Please Don't Say You Love Me which returns to the Top 40 this week at Number 38.
An all-new album chart Top 3 is rounded out by Vampire Weekend whose third album Modern Vampires Of The City matches the chart peak of its predecessor Contra which was released back in 2010.
In a week when the Eurovision Song Contest returned to Sweden, it seems only appropriate that the country's most famous Eurovision winners make no less than two bits of album chart history. First of all is Agnetha Faltskog who arrives at Number 6 with her brand new solo album A. It is the fifth album from the notoriously retiring former Abba singer and is at a stroke her highest charting ever, beating the Number 12 peak of her 2004 musical comeback My Colouring Book. At the same time, Abba's own 1992 Greatest Hits collection Gold was this week revealed as having eased past the 5.1 million copies mark to official exceed the guestimated sales of The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to become the second biggest selling album of all time the UK. Queen's own Greatest Hits is still some way out in front at the top of this particular chart with 5.9m copies sold to date, so you will note that 'Pepper' at least still holds the honour of being the biggest selling "regular" album in history.
Onto the singles chart now and I mentioned on last week's podcast that after the hype surrounding its release over a month ago there is a danger that the Daft Punk single Get Lucky is reduced to little more than background noise as it continues to be nailed to the top of the singles chart. In truth though this would be very wrong indeed as the single continues to make chart waves of the kind, we have not seen for some considerable time. This week it is Number One for the fourth week and glides into place as the second biggest seller of the year to date. This makes it the longest-running Number One hit since Call Me Maybe also spent a lunar month at the top in April last year. However, as you might expect Get Lucky takes things a stage further with a sale of 114,000 copies - the fourth week in a row its sales have exceeded six figures. The last single of any kind to manage this kind of sales momentum (the only other 21st century single in fact) and sell over 100,000 copies for four weeks running was the Band Aid 20 version of Do They Know It's Christmas back in 2004.
So maybe background noise status should go to the hits lining up behind Daft Punk? Perhaps not though, for Passenger's awesome Let Her Go rises to Number 2 this week whilst at Number 3 is the highest new entry of the week - Heart Attack by Demi Lovato. Having already caused a splash as the fastest selling single of the year to date Stateside it is possibly not a surprise to see the single open so well over here, but seen in the context of the Disney star's chart success in the UK to date it is more of a sensation. This is believed it or not the first ever sizeable smash hit for the 20-year-old actress and singer. Her previous chart best was the Number 32 peak for Skyscraper in March last year.
The second highest new entry of the week is Wretch 32's Blackout which arrives at Number 6. It is something of a return to chart form for the grime star after his last chart single Hush Little Baby made an indifferent Number 35 almost a year ago despite the presence of Ed Sheeran on lead vocals. Lest we forget however his last sizeable chart single was a Number One - Don't Go grabbing a week of glory in August 2011.
A trio of new Top 10 arrivals is rounded off by Endorphins at Number 10 for Sub Focus. The performing alias of dubstep producer Nick Douwma, this new single just squeaks in as his biggest chart success to date, edging out the Number 12 peak of his last hit Tidal Wave in November last year. Guest singer on Endorphins is Alex Clare who makes his second appearance on a club track in a matter of months following his guest turn on Rudimental's Not Giving In at the tail end of 2012.
Counting themselves unlucky then not to make the Top 10 are Stooshe whose fourth single Slip lands at Number 12. That's actually a little frustrating as the single marks a return to form with the girl group's own material after the slight misfire of their recent cover of Waterfalls which crashed out at Number 21 in November last year. Also new to the Top 20 this week is Olly Murs with Dear Darlin', the third single from his current album and one which is actually here a couple of weeks ahead of its planned promotion as a single track. Both the production and timing of the release will surprise a few people, the instrumentation heavy enough on the chimes to give the whole track a rather festive vibe which sits rather oddly with a late spring release.
There is plenty to look out for next week too. Daft Punk's reign of terror may be nearing an end with one big new release already outselling it as I speak - not to mention the burning question of just where Norway's Eurovision Song Contest winner will land on the chart.