James Arthur’s With No. 1 U.K. Album

Courtesy Photo
Cover art for James Arthur’s «Back From the Edge.»

In a U.K. chart week dominated by former X Factor winners on Syco Music/Sony, Little Mix tops the singles list for a third week with “Shout Out To My Ex,” while James Arthur completes a remarkable comeback with a No. 1 album debut for sophomore LP Back From The Edge.

Arthur spent three weeks atop the singles chart in September and October with “Say You Won’t Let Go,” and now follows it with opening sales of 41,000 combined units for his second studio album. It thus outdoes the No. 2 peak of his self-titled 2013 debut, which followed his win on the talent show the year before.

Arthur subsequently suffered a significant career dip amid various controversies, but recovered to sign a new deal with Columbia and then make a return to Syco. Significantly, he thus becomes only the second former X Factor winner to top the U.K. chart with their second album, after Leona Lewis’ Echo album did the trick in 2009.

Elvis Presley’s second posthumous “collaboration” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Wonder Of You (Legacy/RCA/Sony), falls to No. 2 in the new Official Charts Company list. Michael Bublé dips 2-3 with Nobody But Me (Reprise/Warner), after which come two more new entries: English rock quartet the Courteeners at No. 4 with Mapping The Rendezvous (Ignition) and longtime post-punk favorites Madness at No. 5 with Can’t Touch Us Now (UMC).

BMG-signed singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti follows the sleeper success of his 2015 album Written In Scars, which reached its No. 7 peak 11 months after its initial, top 20 debut, with a career-best No. 6 entry for Sleep No More. There’s also a No. 8 entry for TV presenter Alexander Armstrong’s Upon A Different Shore (East West/Warner), while Robbie Williams’ Greatest Hits (Universal Island) makes its first top ten showing since early 2006 with a re-entry at No. 9.

Little Mix notch third-week combined units of 79,000 to keep “Shout Out To My Ex” ahead of all singles competition, equaling “Black Magic” for the longest reign of their four No. 1 U.K. singles in the process. Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” hangs tough at No. 2.

Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye” (Atlantic/Warner), featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie, makes a second-week 7-3 climb, with The Weeknd’s “Starboy” (Republic/XO/Universal), featuring Daft Punk, at No. 4 and Hailee Steinfeld and Grey’s “Starving” (Republic/Universal), featuring Zedd, at No. 5. Bruno Mars climbs 11-6 with “24K Magic” (Atlantic/Warner), beating its No. 9 debut of three weeks ago.