Arctic Monkeys have achieved the fastest-selling debut album in British chart history, opening at No. 1 yesterday (Jan. 29) thanks to sales of 360,000 copies of “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” (Domino). That comfortably exceeded the 306,000 sales achieved by pop act Hear’Say with its 2001 debut album, “Popstars.”
But the Monkeys were unable to secure simultaneous album and single chart-toppers, as their second No. 1 single, “When The Sun Goes Down,” fell from the top to No. 2. Instead, Notorious B.I.G. scored a posthumous No. 1 with “Nasty Girl” (Bad Boy), featuring P. Diddy, Nelly, Jagged Edge and Avery Storm.
It’s rare for a single to rise to the No. 1 position on the British chart, and the fact that the rapper’s first U.K. No. 1 arrives nine years after his death makes the event all the more remarkable.
There were two more climbers in the top ten of the singles chart. Hi-Tack’s Michael Jackson-sampling “Say Say Say (Waiting 4 U)” (Gusto) improved 8-4 and Ordinary Boys’ “Boys Will Be Boys” (B Unique) jumped 30-9 in its fourth week. That sales hike coincides with the final of ITV’s “Celebrity Big Brother” over the weekend, on which the band’s Preston finished fourth, one place behind Maggot of Welsh rappers Goldie Lookin’ Chain.
The singles chart also contained a British comeback for Norwegian pop-rock trio A-ha, whose “Analogue (All I Want)” (Polydor) opened at No. 10, while the album of the same name came in at No. 24. It’s A-ha’s first top 10 hit in Britain since 1988’s “Stay on These Roads.”
On the album chart, Richard Ashcroft’s third solo set, “Keys to the World” (Parlophone) enjoyed a No. 2 debut, one position higher than its 2002 predecessor, “Human Conditions.” His first solo release, “Alone With Everybody,” was a U.K. No. 1 in 2000. “Keys to the World” sold 75,000 in its first week, a respectable showing but little more than one-fifth of Arctic Monkeys’ total.
Last week’s No. 1 album, Hard-Fi’s “Stars of CCTV” (Necessary/Atlantic), fell to No.3, while Irish crooner Daniel O’Donnell scored his latest top 10 entry with “From Daniel With Love” (DMG TV) at No. 5.
Rock quartet the Kooks followed their recent No. 12 single “You Don’t Love Me” (Virgin) with a No. 9 debut for their first album, “Inside In/Inside Out.” There was also a No. 18 entry for veteran vocalist Johnny Mathis with “The Very Best Of” (Columbia), which remarkably extends his run of U.K. chart albums to more than 47 years, since “Smile” charted in November 1958.
James Blunt’s “Back to Bedlam” (Atlantic) is in its second consecutive/third aggregate week at No. 1 on the European Top 100 Albums chart, while Madonna’s “Hung Up” tops the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles tally for an 11th straight week, a run stretching back to mid-November.