Gary Barlow's fourth solo album, Since I Saw You Last debuts at number 2 with sales of 116,000. His first album, Open Road (1997), and third, Sing (2012), both topped the Album chart when released. His second, Twelve Months, Eleven Days was a disappointment, topping out at 35.
A quartet of albums by veteran artists hold in the top ten with Barlow's bandmate, Robbie Williams, drops 1 to 3 with Swings Both Ways while The Nation's Favourite Elvis Songs moves 5 to 7, Celine Dion's Loved Me Back to Life goes 4 to 8 and Andre Rieu & the Johann Strauss Orchestra's Music of the Night drops 7 to 10.
Mary J. Blige's A Merry Christmas debuts at 28, her best since 2007's Growing Pains.
Premiering at 53 is Step by Step: The Greatest Hits by Wet Wet Wet, another of the big British artists that were never able to break through in the U.S. Wet Wet Wet had 13 top ten hits in the U.K. between 1987 and 2010, including three number 1's (With a Little Help From My Friends, Goodnight Girl, Love is All Around). That last song was a worldwide number 1 or number 2 record that only made it to 41 in the U.S.
The collaboration of Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong with Norah Jones, Foreverly, starts at 63 while Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze, Mike + the Mechanics) debuts at 80 with Rain or Shine. The Eagles box set Selected Works 1972 to 1999 finally makes the British charts at 82 and Irish singers Foster and Alan are in at 90 with Foster and Allen's Christmas Gift.
The Album chart is topped One Direction's Midnight Memories followed by Barlow, Williams, Right Place Right Time by Olly Murs which jumps 96 to 4 in its 53rd week of release and Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
On the Singles chart, Calvin Harris and Alesso Featuring Hurts debuts at number 1 with Under Control followed by Gary Barlow's Let Me Go and One Direction's Story of My Life.