The U.K. charts have the "X Factor" again this week, with former finalist Olly Murs debuting atop the album chart with "In Case You Didn't Know" (Epic/Sony Music Entertainment) and the charity release by the show's 2011 finalists, a cover of the Rose Royce soul standard "Wishing On A Star" (Syco Music/Sony Music Entertainment), the new No. 1 single.
27-year-old Murs, runner-up in the 2009 series of "The X Factor," thus goes one better than the No. 2 start he made with his self-titled debut album, released in the same week last year. He also improved his opening-week sales from 108,000 last time around to 148,00. Current single "Dance With Me Tonight" is at No. 2 for a second week in the new Official Charts Company data.
Michael Bublé's "Christmas" (Reprise/Warner Music), which topped the chart two weeks ago, moved back 3-2 on sales of 143,000, as Rihanna's "Talk That Talk" album (Def Jam/Universal) was restricted to one week at the summit. It fell to No. 3 with 104,000 sales, for a two-week tally of 267,000. Another Syco Music act, One Direction, saw their "Up All Night" set fall 2-4. Adele's "21" (XL Recordings) moved up 9-5, in the week that it overtook Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black" (Universal Island) to become the U.K.'s biggest-selling album of the 21st century, with 3.4 million sales.
Yet another Syco property, classical crossover band Il Divo, debuted at No. 6 with "Wicked Game," as Ed Sheeran's "+" (Asylum/Warner Music) moved 8-7, trading places with Coldplay's "Mylo Xyloto" (Parlophone/EMI). Westlife's "Greatest Hits" (RCA/Sony Music Entertainment) fell 4-9 but Bruno Mars rebounded 13-10 with "Doo-Wops & Hooligans" (Elektra/Warner Music). Current single "It Will Rain" improved 15-14.
There were also top 20 album chart entries for Take That's "Progress Live" (Polydor/Universal) at No. 12 and "Classic Christmas" (UCJ/Universal) by the artist who beat Olly Murs to the 2009 "X Factor" crown before moving from Syco Music, Joe McElderry. "Now! That's What I Call Music 80" (EMI TV/Universal Music TV) consolidated last week's No. 1 debut on the compilations chart, selling another 210,000 units.
Singles-wise, the chart-topping start for the 2011 X-Factor Finalists' version of "Wishing On A Star" sold just under 99,000 units last week. It features former series graduates One Direction and JLS and is raising funds for Together For Short Lives, the only U.K. charity to support the estimated 23,500 children and young people who are not expected to reach adulthood. It's the fourth year in a row that a cover by the series finalists has debuted at No. 1, a sequence started by a version of Mariah Carey's "Hero" in 2008, after which came Michael Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" and David Bowie's "Heroes."
"Wishing On A Star," written by the late Billie Ray Calvin of Motown's the Undisputed Truth, reached No. 3 in the U.K. in March 1978 in its classic chart incarnation by Rose Royce. The version was produced by the Undisputed Truth's former producer Norman Whitfield. The song was not a U.S. pop hit until the Cover Girls took it to No. 9 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1992. Back in Britain, it's also been a top 40 success for Fresh 4 featuring Lizz E (No. 10 in 1989), the Cover Girls' version (No. 38 in 1992), 88.3 featuring Lisa May (No. 16 in 1995), Jay-Z featuring Rose Royce's Gwen Dickey (No. 13 in 1998) and Paul Weller (No. 11 in 2004).
Rihanna's "We Found Love" (Def Jam/Universal), featuring Calvin Harris, fell to No. 3 after six non-consecutive weeks at No. 1. The only new title in the top ten was Jessie J's "Who You Are" (Lava/Universal Island), which first charted in March and now moves 37-8. Jason Derulo's "Fight For You" (Warner Bros./Warner Music) jumped 43-15.
The expected resurgence of the U.K.'s favorite Christmas hits is duly rolling out. "Fairytale of New York" (Warner Bros./Warner Music) by the Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl climbed 47-23 and Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment) 64-27, while staples by Wham!, Wizzard, Band Aid, Slade and Shakin' Stevens all re-entered the top 75.