In the last sales charts before the the U.K.'s prestigious Christmas No. 1s are unveiled next Sunday (Dec.23), 2012 "X Factor" winner James Arthur smashed to the top of the singles survey with "Impossible" (Syco Music/Sony Music Entertainment). The track became easily the fastest-selling single of the year with massive first-week sales of 490,000, according to the Official Charts Company. Bruno Mars seized a record of his own, as "Unorthodox Jukebox" (Atlantic/Warner Music) became the fastest-selling solo artist album of 2012 with 136,000 sales.
"Impossible" was first recorded by Bajan singer Shontelle, and reached No. 9 in the U.K. in 2010. That version re-entered the new chart at No. 22. 24-year-old Yorkshireman Arthur's version sold more than three times as many copies in the week to Saturday night as Cheryl Cole's "Call My Name" (Polydor/Universal), which previously had the best first week of the year, at 152,000.
"Impossible" has also out-performed the opening sales of every other Syco-signed "X Factor" winner since 2007, beating 2011 victor Little Mix's "Cannonball" by more than two to one. That topped the chart last December with sales of 210,000. The one exception was Leona Lewis' "Hallelujah," which debuted at the top in 2008 with sales of 576,000 units to become the fastest-selling single by a female solo artist in British chart history.
Mars' album triumph follows the massive, chart-topping success of his "Doo Wops & Hooligans," which debuted in January last year and is now certified quadruple platinum in the territory for shipments of 1.2 million units and was the third biggest-selling artist album of 2011.
Olly Murs' "Right Place Right Time" (Epic/Sony Music Entertainment) fell a place to No. 2 on the new listings, with Michael Bublé's "Christmas" (Reprise/Warner Music) down 2-3 and Emeli Sandé's former No. 1 "Our Version Of Events" (Virgin/EMI) up 7-4. On the compilation chart, "Now! That's What I Call Music 83" (EMI TV/Universal Music TV) started a fourth week at the top.
Back on the singles chart, will.i.am scored a No. 2 debut with "Scream & Shout" (Interscope/Universal), with Mars' "Locked Out Of Heaven" down 2-3. Last week's bestselller, Gabrielle Aplin's cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "The Power of Love" (Parlophone/EMI), fell to No. 4. Rihanna's second single from the "Unapologetic" album (Def Jam/Universal), "Stay" featuring Mikky Ekko, arrived at No. 6, and One Direction's "Kiss You" (Syco/Sony) jumped 43-12.