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Ball & Boe Move Back to #3 in Britain; U2 Debut at 5; Van Morrison & Neil Young Have Big Disappointments

by VVN Music

Veteran artists continue to have huge representation on the British Albums chart as, for the fifth week in a row, they represent five out of the top ten.

The top seller goes to Michael Ball and Alfie Boe's Together Again which moves from 5 to 3 in its sixth week of release.  This is the album's fourth week at number 3 along with a week each at 1 and 5.

U2 debuts at number 5 with Songs of Experience. That's one spot higher than 2014's Songs of Innocence but, prior to that album, they had ten straight top two albums dating back to 1983's War, nine of which went to number 1.

Filling out the top ten for veterans are Roy Orbison and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's A Love So Beautiful (9 to 8 in fifth week), Elvis Presley and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Christmas With Elvis (6 to 9 in seventh week) and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' Who Built the Moon (1 to 10 in second week).

Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra debut at 17 with Ibiza Classics.  Their last album, Classic House, topped the British Albums chart.

The Rolling Stones come in at 27 with the archival release On Air while Ultravox frontman Midge Ure is in at 33 with Orchestrated making it the highest charting album for the singer since 1988's Answers to Nothing which went to 30.

Van Morrison may have suffered the curse of too much too soon with the release of Versatile just three months after Roll With the Punches. The new album premiers at 38, his lowest charting studio album since What's Wrong With This Picture? (2003 / #43) with the seven albums in between all making the top ten except for Born to Sing: No Plan B which went to 15. From another perspective, going back to 1973's Veedon Fleece, Morrison has released thirty studio albums.  Only Veedon Fleece (1974 / #41), Common One (1980 / #68), How Long Has This Been Going On (1995 / #76) and What's Wrong With This Picture? have charted lower.

Gwen Stefaini is in at 55 with You Make It Feel Like Christmas and Neil Young + Promise of the Real come in at 65 with The Visitor. For Young, that's his lowest charting studio album since 1981's Re-ac-tor which peaked at 69 and the second lowest charting in Britain of his solo career.

Sam Smith returns to number 1 with The Thrill of It All followed by Ed Sheeran's Divide, Ball and Boe, P!nk's Beautiful Trauma and U2.

On the Singles chart, Sheeran takes over number 1 with "Perfect" followed by Rak-Su Featuring Wyclef and Naughty Boy with "Dimelo", Rita Ora with "Anywhere", Camila Cabello Featuring Young Thug with Havana and Mariah Carey with "All I Want For Christmas is You".

Veteran artists' holiday songs are also scattered all around the rest of the top 100:
  • Last Christmas - Wham! (#6)
  • Fairytale of New York - Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl (#10)
  • Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid (#16)
  • Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin' Stevens (#21)
  • I Wish It Would Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard (#24)
  • Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee (#42)
  • It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Michael Buble (#45)
  • Merry Christmas Everybody - Slade (#62)
  • Step Into Christmas - Elton John (#63)
  • Driving Home For Christmas - Chris Rea (#68)
  • Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono & the Plastic Ono Band (#76)
  • Santa's Coming For Us - Sia (#78)
  • Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney (#79)
  • It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams (#80)
  • White Christmas - Bing Crosby (#84)
  • Holly Jolly Christmas - Michael Buble (#96)
  • Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord - Boney M (#97)
  • Santa Baby - Kylie Minogue (#98)