Sam Bailey Tops U.K. Albums Chart With Year-Best Sales

Sam Bailey, the U.K. winner of the 2013 season of “The X Factor,” sold close to 73,000 units last week to debut atop the British album chart yesterday (March 30) with her first set “The Power Of Love” (Syco Music/Sony). Australian teenage pop quartet 5 Seconds Of Summer went straight in at No. 1 with their single “She Looks So Perfect” (Capitol/Universal). 

Bailey’s album, which includes duets with Nicole Scherzinger and Michael Bolton, follows her Christmas U.K. No. 1 with a cover of Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” Her opening sales week is the best for any artist album so far in 2014, beating Pharrell Williams’ 69,000 for “G I R L” (Columbia/Sony). 

George Michael’s live album “Symphonica” (Virgin EMI/Universal) fell 1-2 on the new chart, with former Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, 66, and 70-year-old Who frontman Roger Daltrey’s rhythm and blues-themed collaboration “Going Back Home” (Chess/Universal) entering at No. 3. It’s the highest-ranking work for either artist outside their two “band” incarnations, and comes after Johnson was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in January 2013 and told by doctors he had some 9-10 months to live. 

Williams’ album fell 3-4 as John Legend improved 7-5 with “Love In The Future,” from which the single “All Of Me” dipped 3-5. Dr. Hook’s “Timeless” compilation, one of many releases receiving intense promotion around Mother’s Day, which fell yesterday (Mar. 31). Gary Barlow’s “Since I Saw You Last” (Polydor/Universal) rebounded 32-10, fuelled by TV promotion and the release of its title track as a single.

The 40th anniversary reissue of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (Mercury/Universal) took the classic album back onto the chart at No. 12, with Shakira’s self-titled RCA/Sony album opening at No. 14 and My Chemical Romance’s “May Death Never Stop You” (Reprise/Warner Music) at No. 15. Another Mother’s Day favorite, Michael Bublé’s “To Be Loved,” also on Reprise, had a 41-17 bounce, while “Your Songs 2014” (Universal Music TV/Warner Music TV) moved 6-1 on the compilation chart. 

It’s only two years since Gotye became the last Australian act to top the U.K. singles chart, with “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra, but 5 Seconds Of Summer have become only the fourth group to achieve the feat and the first since Madison Avenue did it with “Don’t Call Me Baby” in 2000. “She Looks So Perfect” removed London DJ-producer Duke Dumont from the singles summit, after his “I Got U” (Blasé Boys Club), featuring Jax Jones, debuted at No. 1 last week. 

“Changes” (Relentless/Sony) by French duo Faul & Wad Ad vs. Pnau followed its success across Europe with a No. 3 U.K. debut, while teenage Dutch DJ Martin Garrix followed last year’s British bestseller “Animals” with a No. 7 debut for “Wizard” (Positiva/Virgin/Universal), with countryman Jay Hardman.