Ed Sheeran has his fourth No. 1 single in the U.K., as “Perfect” (Asylum/Warner) climbs 3-1, fueled by the new version featuring Beyoncé. Sam Smith‘s The Thrill Of It All (Capitol/Universal) returns to the top of the album chart, on which U2‘s Songs Of Experience (Universal Island) starts at No. 5, after leading the way in the Official Charts Company’s midweek sales data on Monday (4).
With two charts left before the announcement of the prestigious Christmas No. 1, Sheeran moves into pole position, following his previous bestsellers “Sing,” “Thinking Out Loud” and “Shape Of You.” In the process, he holds off the 2018 X Factor-winning quartet, Rak-Su, who debut at No. 2 with the self-penned “Dimelo” (Syco Music/Sony), featuring Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy.
Rita Ora‘s “Anywhere” (Atlantic/Warner Music) dips 2-3 and Camila Cabello‘s “Havana” (Epic/Syco/Sony), featuring Young Thug, falls to No. 4 after five weeks at the top. In their usual seasonal revivals, Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (Columbia/Sony) races 22-5 and Wham’s “Last Christmas” (RCA/Sony) leaps 29-6. Another festive perennial, “Fairytale Of New York” (Warner Brothers/Warner Music) by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, is up 55-10. The track had returned to the U.K. top 20 every year since 2005, but this is its first top ten appearance since 2007.
Also back among the Christmas honors are Band Aid’s original 1985 version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (Mercury/Universal), back up 85-16, Shakin’ Stevens’ “Merry Christmas Everyone” (RCA/Sony, 87-21) and Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” (98-24).
Behind Smith’s album, Sheeran’s ÷ improves 4-2 as Michael Ball and Alfie Boe’s Together Again (Decca/Universal) moves back 5-3. PInk’s Beautiful Trauma (RCA/Sony) climbs 10-4. The U2 set becomes their 17th U.K. top ten album.