George Ezra, Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars Grab U.K.'s First No. 1s for 2015
New weekly sales of 72,000 helped British singer-songwriter George Ezra's debut album Wanted On Voyage (Columbia/Sony) return to No. 1 on yesterday's (Jan. 4) new U.K. charts. "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, also on Columbia, began a second consecutive week atop the singles chart, and third in total, breaking its own streaming record in the process.
Ezra's album debuted at No. 4 last June and had its first two weeks at No. 1 in October. It returned to the summit yesterday to unseat Ed Sheeran's X (Asylum/Warner Music), which fell to No. 2 after 12 non-consecutive weeks at the top. Sam Smith fell 2-3 with In The Lonely Hour (Capitol/Universal) and Taylor Swift's 1989 (EMI/Universal) moved back 7-4.
Each of those artists continues to have multiple tracks in the singles top 40. Ezra's first hit "Budapest" and its successor "Blame It On Me" respectively climbed back 21-17 and 24-20 on the new singles chart. Sheeran has "Thinking Out Loud" steady at No. 3, "Don't" holding at No. 18 and "Sing" at No. 27. Smith fell 12-16 with "Like I Can," 22-23 with "Stay With Me" and 25-26 with "I'm Not The Only One." Swift dropped 4-5 with "Blank Space" and stayed at No. 15 with "Shake It Off."
Back in the album chart, Calvin Harris posted a 17-8 rise with Motion, while his Columbia labelmates The Script rose 16-10 with No Sound Without Silence. Hozier's self-titled Island album improved 37-17 as its signature hit "Take Me To Church" climbed from No. 23 to a new peak of No. 10, in its 23rd chart week. On the compilation chart, "Now That's What I Call Music! 89" (Sony Music CG/Virgin EMI/ Universal) has moved into a sixth week at No. 1.
"Uptown Funk" had a combined sales figure of 156,000 for the week ending on Saturday night, helped by total streams of 2.56 million. That outdoes the track's own record streams of 2.49 million from the week before.
The big new hit of the week was "Wish You Were Mine" (3 Beat/All Around The World/Universal) by Nottingham-based DJ newcomer Philip George. The 21-year-old, who was working two part-time jobs until only three weeks ago, debuted at No. 2 with the house track, which is based around a sample of Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour."
In a singles chart dominated by existing hits, the one other new title in the top 40 was Kanye West's "Only One" (Def Jam/Universal), featuring Paul McCartney. The first of what is billed as a number of collaborations between the pair was released exclusively by iTunes for one week on New Year's Day. It entered the U.K. chart at No. 24, on only three days of download sales. It's McCartney's first top 40 singles appearance since "Dance Tonight" in 2007 and highest since "Jenny Wren" in 2005.
Another veteran act celebrating a new achievement are British rock veterans Status Quo. Their current Aquostic – Stripped Bare album (Fourth Chord), featuring unplugged versions from a hit catalog that goes back to 1968, fell 30-34, but that represents Quo's 500th week in the U.K. album chart. They become only the 50th act to cross that threshold, in a list headed by Queen with 1,457 weeks. The Beatles follow on 1,406, with Elvis Presley on 1,364.