Leona Lewis sings her way into the record books this week, crashing into the Album Chart at No1 with ‘Spirit’ – the fastest-selling debut album ever in Ireland, beating Arctic Monkeys’ 2006 debut ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ by a 6,000 sale margin. What’s more, the only other artists to sell as many albums in a 7-day period this decade are Westlife, U2, The Beatles, Robbie Williams and Eminem.
Garth Brooks is denied a seventh Irish No1 album as ‘The Ultimate Hits’ comes in at No2, 13 years after his previous ‘Hits’ compilation topped the Christmas Chart. Led Zeppelin have the third of six new entries in this week’s Top10 with their ‘Mothership’ compilation, ahead of Celine Dion’s tenth English language album ‘Taking Chances’, new at No6. David Gray and The Spice Girls complete the sextet of new entries at No7 and No9 respectively with their ‘Greatest Hits’. Leona Lewis takes the Singles and Albums Chart double crown, with ‘Bleeding Love’ holding for a fourth week at No1. In a Top 5 unchanged from last week, Westlife have a third week at No2 with ‘Home’, ahead of Timbaland, Take That and Britney. In the absence of any new entries in the Top 20, this week’s highest climbers are Alicia Keys ‘No One’, up from No18 to No10, Kylie Minogue ‘2 Hearts’, up from No29 to No12, and finally Rihanna ‘Hate That I Love You’, up from No25 to No13. All three benefit from CD release following initial download sales. If proof were needed that digital sales have transformed the Singles Chart, this week’s highest new entry confirms it: Led Zeppelin debut at No27 with downloads of their 1972 classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’. Their legendary ‘no singles’ policy means that they’ve never before appeared on this chart.