First of all, kudos to Official Charts for getting on board with the whole “tweetable graphic” of their Top 10s, just like Billboard and other charts compilers do. Making for some fantastically useful illustrations.
No shock at all really, the ABBA album Voyage smashed its way with some considerable force to the top of the charts. I speculated at the end of last week’s edition whether its initial midweek number of just over 100,000 was front-loaded and doubted by how much more it was actually going to increase. Foolish man that I am. In fact, a batch of vinyl copies had been delayed by a production glitch meaning there was another mass shipment to be added.
For those who aren’t aware, the rule is that direct to fan (D2F) sales are only registered with chart compilers Kantar Millward Brown the day they are physically dispatched to purchasers, so if your shipment is late you don’t show up in the midweek data until later in the week.
It meant that ABBA’s midweek total effectively doubled overnight, and so Voyage debuts at No.1 with a sale of 203,909. That makes them one of only four acts in the last ten years to sell over 200,000 albums in a week. The others are Ed Sheeran, Adele and - perhaps surprisingly - One Direction.
Those sales broke down to 148,471 CDs, 29,891 vinyl and 4,205 cassettes just for the nostalgia buzz. And because there are a subset of people who purchase albums just to own and look at rather than actually play. Something which still amuses me.
ABBA top the albums chart for the tenth time - a useful reminder that in their heyday they were as big a deal as an album act as they were a dominant force on the singles chart. It is just that we are so used to viewing their career through the prism of the hit singles it is all too easy to overlook their other work.
I listened to Voyage the day it came out but have had little inclination to do so again, although there are doubtless devotees who disagree.