Lily Allen Asserts Control Over U.K. Charts
The album has thus outdone Allen's debut set, "Alright, Still," which arrived at No. 2 on the U.K. chart in late July 2006 and then dropped to No. 3. The new set replaced Bruce Springsteen's "Working on a Dream" (Columbia/Sony BMG), which fell to No. 7 after two weeks at the peak.
Kings Of Leon, who'll be in London on Wednesday to perform at the 2009 BRIT Awards, held at No. 2 with "Only by the Night" (Hand Me Down/Sony BMG). There was a notable 19-3 climb for veteran pop-reggae act UB40's "Love Songs" collection (Virgin/EMI), TV-advertised to coincide with Valentine's Day. That's the group's highest-ranking set since "Promises and Lies" hit No. 1 in 1993, and extends an album chart career that began in 1980 with "Signing Off."
Also prominent in Valentine-related sales was Luther Vandross' similarly titled "Lovesongs" (Sony Music), which raced 27-4. James Morrison's "Songs for You, Truths For Me" (Polydor/Universal) improved 7-5 as the single "Broken Strings" featuring Nelly Furtado climbed back 7-6. Bette Midler's "The Best Bette" (Rhino) raced back 32-6 and the Fray's self-titled second album for Epic/Sony BMG debuted at No. 8.
Allen's "The Fear" single snagged a third week at No. 1 ahead of Lady GaGa's former chart-topper "Just Dance" (Interscope/Universal), which stayed at No. 2. In an all-female top three, Alesha Dixon's "Breathe Slow" (Asylum/Warner Music) climbed 5-3. Further enhancing the female representation in the top 10, Beyonce moved 9-8 with "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (Columbia/Sony BMG) and Bajan R&B artist Shontelle improved 13-10 with "T-Shirt" (Universal).
The only top 10 debut marked the return to chart prominence of the Prodigy, who came in at No. 8 with "The Omen" (takemetothehospital) for its highest U.K. chart position since "Baby's Got a Temper" hit No. 5 in 2002. Now a three-piece, the group will release its fifth full-length studio album, "Invaders Must Die" in the U.K. on Feb. 23.
The Springsteen title is in a second week atop Billboard's European Top 100 Albums chart, while the Morrison/Furtado collaboration moves to the top of Eurochart Hot 100 Singles.