Late 1990s/early 2000s British hit-making pop quintet Steps burst back on the U.K. album chart at No. 1 Sunday (16) with the new Sony Music compilation “The Ultimate Collection.” Rihanna’s “We Found Love” (Def Jam/Universal), featuring Calvin Harris, started a second week atop the singles survey, on which Maroon 5’s Adam Levine now appears on simultaneous top three hits.
Steps were first together between 1997 and 2001, during which time their U.K. chart tally was 14 consecutive top five singles (two of them No. 1s) and two chart-topping albums. They reformed this year around a TV series for the Sky Living channel, “Steps: The Reunion.” The new compilation was released Oct. 10 to follow the series debut on air on Sept. 28, and sold 34,000 units last week, according to the Official Chart Company. A new Steps tour is planned for 2012. The group’s only appearance on Billboard’s main U.S. charts was with their 1998 debut set “Step One,” which two years later reached No. 79 in a 10-week run on The Billboard 200.
In another excellent week for 20-year-old English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, his former No. 1 debut album “+” (Asylum/Warner Music) climbed back 5-2, as its breakthrough hit “The A Team” rebounded 13-9 and new breakout track “Lego House” raced 71-30. The top ten hit in between, “You Need Me I Don’t Need You,” dipped 32-39.
Adele’s “21” (XL Recordings) fell 2-3 as Evanescence returned to the album countdown at No. 4 with their new self-titled release for Wind-Up/Virgin, EMI, which had topped the countdown in midweek sales flashes. The bestselling artist album of the last two weeks, James Morrison’s “The Awakening” (Universal Island), fell to No. 5.
There were no fewer than four other new entries to the album top ten. Classical crossover vocalist Katherine Jenkins, whose former label Decca/Universal released the “One Fine Day” compilation one week ahead of her new Warner Music album “Daydream,” saw the latter debut at No. 6 as the retrospective fell 17-31. Jason Derulo’s “Future History” (Warner Bros./Warner Music) opened at No. 7 and Ryan Adams’ first album for Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment at No. 9, his highest-ever U.K. ranking.
The most successful British chart act of all time, Cliff Richard, whose album chart career began with “Cliff” in April 1959, extended that run to 52-and-a-half years with a No. 10 debut for “Soulicious” (EMI). The album features Richard duetting on both new and cover material with vintage soul artists such as Freda Payne, Brenda Holloway, Candi Staton, Valerie Simpson, Billy Paul and Deniece Williams.
Another chart long-runner, Johnny Mathis, followed his recent U.K. tour dates with a No. 17 for Sony Music’s new “The Ultimate Collection.” Bjork’s “Biophilia” (One Little Indian) debuted at No. 21 and Peter Gabriel’s “New Blood” (Real World Productions/EMI) at No. 22. “Now! That’s What I Call Music 79” (EMI/Virgin/UMTV), which led the compilation chart for ten weeks until earlier this month, returned to the summit, replacing “Now That’s What I Call R&B” (EMI TV/Rhino/UMTV).
Rihanna’s collaboration with Calvin Harris sold 106,000 copies last week, a 22% increase on its 87,000-unit debut, to prolong the agony for “Moves Like Jagger” (Octone/A&M/Universal), by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, which started a seventh week at No. 2, before which it had two at No. 3. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine had the consolation of a No. 3 debut for “Stereo Hearts” (Decaydance/Fuelled By Ramen), the Gym Class Heroes single on which he guests.
Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts” (Atlantic/Warner Music), which reached No. 4 in the U.K. in August, bounced back 12-4 after the song was peformed by contestant Craig Colton on “The X Factor” Oct. 8. LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” (Interscope/Universal) rose 7-5.
Matt Cardle, who won the 2010 U.K. series of “The X Factor,” debuted at No. 6 with “Run For Your Life” (Syco Music/Columbia/Sony Music Entertainment). London-based artist Charlene Soraia, whose cover of The Calling’s 2002 hit “Wherever Will You Go” for the Peacefrog label broke after being featured in a Twinings TV commercial, rose 20-7, while the original version on RCA/Sony Music Entertainment) climbed 57-25.