Ed Sheeran’s sophomore set “X” (Asylum/Warner Music) has become the U.K.’s fastest-selling album of 2014 to date. It sold 182,000 units to Saturday at midnight to debut atop the Official Charts Company’s new survey, 14,000 more than Coldplay’s previous best with “Ghost Stories” (Parlophone/Warner Music).
The singles chart welcomed a new entry at No. 1 for the pop-dance hit “Gecko (Overdrive)” (ffrr/Musical Freedom/Universal) by Dutch producer Oliver Heldens, featuring English singer Becky Hill.
Sheeran’s first album “+” opened at No. 1 in September 2011 with sales of 102,000. His preeminence in the U.K. market is further underlined by the fact that no fewer than four tracks from the album are in the top 40 of the singles chart (lead track and former No. 1 “Sing” held at No. 3, and “Don’t” entered at No. 19), and 11 in the top 100.
Sam Smith’s former album bestseller “In The Lonely Hour” (Capitol/Universal) held at No. 2, with last week’s new entry at the summit, Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” (Polydor/Universal) down to No. 3. U.S. hard rock outfit Mastodon’s “Once More ‘Round The Sun” (Reprise/Warner Music) debuted at a U.K. career-best No. 10, beating the No. 19 peak of 2011’s “The Hunter.”
Stevie Wonder, who headlined the last night of the Calling Festival in Clapham, south London last night during his current European tour, re-entered at No. 14 with 1976’s “Songs in the Key of Life” (Motown/Universal). Its track “Another Star” is currently receiving repeated exposure as the theme of the BBC’s World Cup TV coverage. On the compilation chart, “Now That’s What I Call Summer” (Sony Music CG/Virgin EMI/Universal) debuted at No. 1, as the Walt Disney/Universal soundtrack of “Frozen” fell back into runner-up spot.
The Oliver Heldens/Becky Hill track has the distinction of being the last in the 51-and-a-half-year history of the U.K. singles chart to be based solely on direct sales. From Sunday, streaming data is being factored into the survey, with the first chart including that information to be unveiled next Sunday (6).
It’s the first U.K. top 40 singles appearance for Heldens, 19, but 20-year-old Hill sang on Wilkinson’s No. 8 hit of last year, “Afterglow.” She also appears on Rudimental’s chart-topping “Home” album. Ella Henderson’s “Ghost” (Syco Music/Sony), the No. 1 single in the territory for the previous two weeks, fell to No. 2.
British singer-rapper Example’s latest hit “One More Day (Stay With Me)” (Epic/Sony Music) arrived at No. 4, and Usher’s “Good Kisser” (RCA/Sony Music) at No. 10.