Alt-J

Alt-J

Gabriel Green

British band Alt-J converted their status as critical indie favorites into mainstream crossover by debuting at No. 1 Sunday (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).

Ed Sheeran’s X (Asylum/Warner Music) dipped 5-6, and the Script’s No Sound Without Silence (Columbia/Sony), last week’s new entry at No. 1, fell to No. 7. Electronic pacesetter the Aphex Twin landed a top ten album for the first time as Syro (Warp) started at No. 8, and blues hero Joe Bonamassa came in at No. 9 with Different Shades of Blue (Provogue). 

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga’s new collaboration Cheek To Cheek (Interscope/Universal) debuted at No. 10, as Keep Calm and Chillout (Sony Music CG) started a second week atop the compilation chart.

The Jessie J single, her third U.K. No. 1, sold nearly 92,000 downloads last week, with over 800,000 streams on audio services giving it a combined chart sale of nearly 100,000, according to the OCC. In another significant week in terms of music consumption in the market, the chart included the first top 40 hit to be achieved entirely by streams, as Meghan Trainor’s U.S. chart-topper “All About That Bass” (Epic/Sony) amassed streams of 1.17 million to climb 53-33, just ahead of its full commercial U.K. release. A cover of the track by Power Music Workout, on the Power Music label, also climbed 52-13.

Sigma’s “Changing” (3 Beat/All Around The World), featuring Paloma Faith, fell to No. 2 after its chart-topping debut last week, as Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” (EMI/Universal) climbed 5-3 in its sixth chart week. Calvin Harris’ former No. 1  “Blame” (Columbia/Sony), featuring John Newman, fell 2-4, and another former bestseller, Lilly Wood and Robin Schulz’s “Prayer In C” (Atlantic/Warner Music), 3-5.