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The "Other" UB40 Debut at 2 in the U.K.; Embrace and the Breeders Open in Top Ten

by VVN Music

This week's British charts report needs a little explanation up front.

There are two UB40's, the original band with Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Jimmy Brown, Robin Campbell, Brian Travers and Duncan Campbell, and the more recently formed version with former lead singer Ali Campbell, Mickey Virtue, Astro, Yomi Babayemi and Jimmy Lynn.

The latter version of the band is the one that debuts this week at number 2 on the British Albums chart with A Real Labour of Love. This is the third album released by the current lineup, although Silhouette (2014 / #18) was put out before they started using the UB40 name. Their first under the UB40 name, 2016's Unplugged, peaked at number 17.

So, this is, by far, the highest that the Ali Campbell lead UB40 has been on the charts but how does it lineup with UB40 albums across both groups?  This is the highest charting UB40 album since 1993's Promises and Lies went to number 1 and sits among the top 5 charting albums of either group's careers.

Alternative band Embrace premiers at 5 with Love is a Basic Need, giving them their seventh straight top ten album going all the way back to their 1998 debut.

  • The Good Will Out (1998 / #1)
  • Drawn From Memory (2000 / #8)
  • If You've Never Been (2001 / #9)
  • Out of Nothing (2004 / #1)
  • This New Day (2006 / #1)
  • Embrace (2014 / #5)
  • Love is a Basic Need (2018 / #5)
An EP, 1997's All You Good Good People, also hit the top ten at number 8. 

At number 9 is All Nerve, the fifth studio album for the Breeders in their 28 year recording career. That gives them the second highest charting album with just Last Splash (1993 / #5) going higher. 

Former Everything But the Girl singer Tracey Thorn comes in at number 15 with Record, her fifth solo album and the highest charting ever.  Previously, 2007's Out of the Woods was her best at 38.  Thorn also had eight top twenty albums, including a hits collection and and EP, as part of her former band. 

Moby debuts at 30 with Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt, his highest charting in the U.K. in a decade. He had two number 1's, Play (1988) and 18 (2002), and a number 8 with Hotel (2005) before his recording career hit a bit of the skids.  The followup to those three, Last Night, only went to 28 with nothing charting even close until the new set. 

At 44 is the premier of the deluxe edition of Jethro Tull's Heavy Horses, an album that went to number 20 when it was originally released 1978. 

Joan Baez is at her best spot on the British Albums chart in 43 years as Whistle Down the Wind starts at 47.  Her last trip that high came in 1975 when Diamonds and Rust went to 28.  Three of Baez' first four albums went top ten in England between 1960 and 1965. 

Three more Deluxe Editions, Actually: Further Listening 1987-1988, Please: Further Listening 1984-1986 and Introspective: Further Listening 1988-1989 by the Pet Shop Boys enter the chart at 59, 65 and 73 respectively. 

Jonathan Wilson opens at 79 with Rare Birds, his sixth solo album and only his second to chart in the U.K. after Fanfare (2013 / #50). 

Michael Schenker debuts at 86 with Resurrection, his first album to chart in the U.K. since 1984. Between 1980 and 1984, his Michael Schenker Group took six straight albums to the top thirty. 

The Greatest Showman soundtrack hits its ninth straight week at number 1 followed by UB40, Ed Sheeran's Divide, Dua Lipa's debut and Embrace. 

Drake is in its seventh week at the top of the Singles chart with "God's Plan" followed by Rudimental, Jess Glynne and Macklemore with "These Days", Dual Lipa with "IDGAF", Portugal the Man with "Feel It Still" and Marshmello & Anne-Marie with "Friends".

Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton move from 10 to 9 with "Say Something" while DJ Khaled, Jay Z, Future and Beyonce debut at 41 with "Top Off".