Van Morrison Debuts at Number 4 in the U.K.; Pixies Continue String of Top Tens; Opeth Hits New Peak

by VVN Music

Van Morrison has the highest charting album in the U.K. by a veteran artist with Keep Me Singing.

The start at number 4 is one spot higher than his last release, Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue (2015 / #6) and his highest charting album in the U.K. in eleven years going back to Magic Time (2005 / #3).

Morrison has had fourteen top ten albums in the U.K. during his career but only four have reached these heights:
  • Still On Top: The Greatest Hits (2007 / #2)
  • Magic Time (2005 / #3)
  • The Best of Van Morrison (1990 / #4)
  • Too Long in Exile (1993 / #4)
  • Keep Me Singing (2016 / #4)
  • Enlightenment (1990 / #5)
  • Hymns to the Silence (1991 / #5)
  • Days Like This (1995 / #5)
  • Duets: Reworking the Catalog (2015 / #5)
  • Down the Road (2002 / #6)
  • A Night in San Francisco (1994 / #8)
  • Pay the Devil (2006 / #8)
  • The Healing Game (1997 / #10)
  • Keep It Simple (2008 / #10)
Amazingly, what are considered Morrison's greatest albums did not do that well on the charts. Astral Weeks peaked at 55, Moondance at 32 and His Band and Street Choir at 18. Tupelo Honey and Saint Dominic's Preview did not chart.

Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool made a huge resurgence, going from 85 to 5. The album hit number 1 during two separate chart runs, when it was originally released just via digital download sites and again when it was put out on CD. It is currently at the top of the Vinyl Albums chart.

The Pixies start at number 7 with Head Carrier. That continues their string of top ten albums in the U.K. that dates back to 1989. Only their debut, Surfer Rosa, did not chart. Since then they've had Doolittle (1989 / #8), Bossanova (1990 / #70), Trompe le Monde (1997 / #7) and Indie Cindy (2014 / #6).

Bruce Springsteen rounds out the veteran artists in the top ten with Chapter and Verse which drops from 2 to 9.

Swedish rockers Opeth opens at 11 with Sorceress, their highest charting album ever in Britain. It just beats 2014's Pale Communion which went to 14. The band has released twelve studio albums, six of which have charted in the U.K.

The album is also at the top of the Rock & Metal Albums chart.

Scottish band Deacon Blue score their highest charting album since 1994 and best studio album since 1993 with Believers which starts at 13. They have been rebuilding their career for a number of years with their last three studio albums making the top 20 after almost twenty years away.

At 29 are the Drive-By Truckers with American Band. As with Opeth, this is the highest they've ever been on the British charts although they have been beating their old peak with each of their last four albums. 2014's English Oceans peaked at 34.

Veteran Gothic rockers Mission debut at 38 with Another Fall From Grace, their best showing since 1992. In that year, Masque reached number 23 and was followed by three albums through 1996 that fared worse than Grace.

The English Beat and General Public singer Ranking Roger starts at 49 in support of Beat on the album Bounce and Eric Clapton only makes it to 60 with his live album with JJ Cale, Live in San Diego.

Rounding out a very big week for veteran artists in Britain are debuts from Jimi Hendrix (Machine Gun: The Fillmore East Show / #80), Toy by Yello (#84), Do Not Disturb by Van Der Graff Generator (#88) and Double Take by Frankie Miller (#100).

Craig David debuts at number 1 on the Albums chart with Following My Intuition followed by Bon Iver with 22 a Million, the Shires with My Universe, Morrison and Radiohead.

James Arthur tops the Singles chart for the second week with Say You Won't Let Go followed by Starboy by The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk, Closer by Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey, My Way by Calvin Harris and Side to Side by Ariana Grande Featuring Nicki Minaj.

The Weeknd/Daft Punk single is at number 1 on the MTV Urban Chart.

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