Blunt Holds Off Mariah, Michael On U.K. Chart
Singer/songwriter James Blunt holds sway on both main U.K. charts for a second week, increasing his sales again with the single "You're Beautiful" and holding steady with his debut album "Back to BedlSinger/songwriter James Blunt holds sway on both main U.K. charts for a second week, increasing his sales again with the single "You're Beautiful" and holding steady with his debut album "Back to Bedlam," both on Atlantic. The biggest challenger to the album's sales crown was a new compilation by Michael Jackson, whose commercial appeal in Britain would appear to have outpaced his recent trials and tribulations.
"You're Beautiful" sold more than twice as many copies as its nearest singles rival, Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" (Def Jam), which rebounded 3-2 in its third week. Lee Ryan, formerly of the recently disbanded pop act Blue, debuted at No. 3 with his first solo single "Army of Lovers" (Brightside), and Daddy Yankee scored what is widely recognized to be the first reggaeton hit in the U.K. with "Gasolina" (Machete) at No. 5.
"From the Floorboards Up" (V2), the lead track from Paul Weller's upcoming studio album "As Is Now," brought an impressive revival of his singles chart fortunes by debuting at No. 6. Weller has only once peaked higher since he started making records under his own name in 1991, with the No. 5 hit "Peacock Suit" in 1996. It's his fifth top 10 during that era but, including hits with the Jam and the Style Council, his 21st since 1979, when the Jam's "Eton Rifles" became the first.
Speaking of chart veterans, "The Essential Michael Jackson" (Epic) gave the troubled entertainer not only his best news in a long time but yet another successful U.K. compilation. The two-disc set is being marketed as a definitive career retrospective, starting with his Jackson 5 catalog and ending with recent solo material.
It has been only 18 months since Jackson's "Number Ones" collection topped the British chart. Previously, a Polygram-released "Best of Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five -- The Motown Years" reached No. 5 in 1997. Among numerous other Jackson compilations, 1983's "18 Greatest Hits" was also a No. 1 success.
Kelly Clarkson's somewhat patchy U.K. chart career has taken a turn for the better in recent weeks, with the No. 5 success of the single "Breakaway" now followed by a No. 10 debut for the RCA album of the same name.
Coldplay's "X&Y" (Parlophone) is in its sixth week at No. 1 on the European Top 100 Albums chart, while Crazy Frog's "Axel F" (Mach1) tops the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles tally for a fifth week. U.K. sales alone of the novelty hit are now close to 500,000 units.