British band Alt-J converted their status as critical indie favorites into mainstream crossover by debuting at No. 1 yesterday (Sept. 28) with their This Is All Yours album (Infectious Music). Meanwhile, Jessie J’s collaboration with Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, “Bang Bang” (Lava/Republic/Universal), went straight to the top of the singles chart.
Alt-J’s widely-praised debut album, 2012’s An Awesome Wave, won the Barclaycard Mercury Prize that year and peaked at No. 13 in the U.K., going on to win the Ivor Novello Award for Best Album. The Official Charts Company reports that the follow-up finished last week 5,000 sales ahead of Barbra Streisand’s duets album Partners (Columbia/Sony), which debuted at No. 2 seven days previously and held that position. Sam Smith stayed at No. 3 with the former chart-topper In The Lonely Hour (Capitol/Universal).
Breakthrough British singer-songwriter George Ezra’s Wanted On Voyage (Columbia/Sony) moved back up 6-4 as its latest single “Blame It On Me” improved 10-7. Also on Columbia, there was a No. 5 debut for Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems. The veteran singer-songwriter, who turned 80 Sept. 21, debuted at No. 2 with his last set, 2012’s Old Ideas, having had his two previous U.K. top five albums as long ago as 1969 (Songs From A Room, No. 2) and 1971 (Songs of Love and Hate, No. 4).