Michael Jackson’s “Xscape” (MJJ/Epic/Sony Music) debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. album chart yesterday (May 18), as Rita Ora’s “I Will Never Let You Down” (Roc Nation/Universal) opened at the singles summit.
Sony’s previous posthumous Jackson collection, “Michael,” peaked at No. 4 in a ten-week run on the U.K. chart in 2004. “Xscape” is his tenth chart-topping solo album in the territory, and its current single “Love Never Felt So Good,” featuring Justin Timberlake, jumped 24-8 on the new chart.
The Black Keys’ “Turn Blue” (Nonesuch/Warner Music) became their highest-charting U.K. album by debuting at No. 2. The duo made the top ten for the first time with their last album, 2011’s “El Camino,” which hit No. 6, and is showing well again on the current survey, moving 44-11. Paloma Faith’s “A Perfect Contradiction” (RCA/Sony) rose 4-3 in the new data, trading places with Paolo Nutini’s “Caustic Love” (Atlantic/Warner Music).
“Glorious” (Sign Of The Times/Sony), the debut album by Grammy-winning English singer-songwriter Foxes, a.k.a. Louisa Rose Allen, opened at No. 5, as Lily Allen’s “Sheezus” (Parlophone/Warner Music) fell 1-6 and Gary Barlow’s “Since I Saw You Last” (Polydor/Universal) 2-7.
John Legend’s “Love In The Future” album (Columbia/Sony) dipped 7-8, but its single “All Of Me” climbed 4-3. “Going Back Home” (UMC/Universal) by Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey continued its strong run by returning to the top ten, 11-9, and British singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey’s debut set “First Mind” (Fiction/Polydor) started at No. 10. The compilation chart’s No. 1 for a sixth week is “Now That’s What I Call Music! 87” (Sony Music CG/Virgin EMI/Universal).
Rita Ora first topped the U.K. singles chart in 2012 as featured artist on DJ Fresh’s “Hot Right Now” smash, soon hitting the top again with her own “R.I.P.” (featuring Tinie Tempah) and “How We Do (Party).” Mr. Probz’s “Waves” (Left Lane Recordings), No. 1 for two of the last three weeks, fell back to No. 2.
As last weekend’s Eurovision Song Contest made more of an impression on the U.K. singles chart than in any recent year, Dutch runners-up Common Linnets soared 95-9 with “Calm After The Storm” (Polydor/Universal) and Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag queen who won the event, debuted at No. 17 with “Rise Like A Phoenix” (ORF-Enterprise). The British entry, Molly’s “Children of the Universe” (East West/Warner Music), climbed 33-23. That’s the best showing for the U.K. representative since Blue reached No. 16 with “I Can” three years ago, despite “Universe” only ranking 17th out of this year’s 26 finalists.