There are a record number of X Factor finalists’ albums in the UK charts this week, with eight.
The Top 75 plays host to two records from Olly Murs, the new release from Marcus Collins, and pre-existing efforts from Rebecca Ferguson, One Direction, Matt Cardle, JLS and the one THE ONLY Mary Byrne.
8. Marcus Collins – Marcus Collins (24,343 sales, new entry)
14. Olly Murs – In Case You Didn’t Know (13,507 sales, up from 20)
18. Rebecca Ferguson – Heaven (10,399 sales, up from 31)
28. Mary Byrne - …With Love (6,766 sales, up from 40)
34. One Direction – Up All Night (5,561 sales, down from 30)
46. Olly Murs – Olly Murs (3,842 sales, up from 67)
55. JLS – Jukebox (3,066 sales, down from 53)
57. Matt Cardle – Letters (2,961 sales, up from 75)
As Marcus Collins’ album looks set to become the lowest-charting debut LP by an X Factor runner-up so far, the time has come to look at how other silver medallists have done by comparison.
From G4 back in 2004 to Rebecca Ferguson in 2010, the runner-up has tended to be more successful than the winner in most cases. Some only last a while, and some go on to tirelessly churn out one every year (that’s you, JLS).
Let’s take a look at how the show’s back catalogue of almost-winners got their post-talent show careers off the ground.
Interesting how all but two of them named their first album after themselves…
2004: G4 – G4 First week chart position: #1 First week sales: 245,000 (rank: 1st) Compared to winner: Steve Brookstein’s Heart and Soul also got to No. 1, but sold only 50,989. And now: The pop-opera quartet G4 were eventually broken apart by in-fighting, but enjoyed an extremely lucrative mainstream career that lasted a hell of a lot longer than Steve Brookstein’s.
2005: Andy Abraham – The Impossible Dream First week chart position: #2 First week sales: 176,000 (rank: 3rd) Compared to winner: Shayne Ward’s self-titled effort sold 201,266 to debut at No. 1. And now: Andy represented the UK at Eurovision in 2008, around the same time he released a Best Of (!!!) and a third studio album within one month of each-other. He hasn’t released anything since.
2006: Ray Quinn – Ray Quinn First week chart position: #1 First week sales: 127,000 (rank: 5th) Compared to winner: Leona Lewis doesn’t need any introduction, does she? Her album Spirit shifted 375,872 in seven days, before selling gajillions around the globe. And now: Ray won Dancing On Ice in 2009 and appeared in the West End in Dirty Dancing last year.
2007: Rhydian – Rhydian First week chart position: #3 First week sales: 90,000 (rank: 7th) Compared to winner: Leon Jacson’s Right Now sold 37,197 in its first week – the lowest opening sale for a winner’s album. And now: Rhydian is still recording. He left Sony after his second album stalled at No. 25, but signed a new deal with Conehead and released a Top 40 album in 2011.
2008: JLS – JLS First week chart position: #1 First week sales: 200,000 (rank: 2nd) Compared to winner: She didn’t match JLS, but Alexandra Burke’s Overcome still shifted a strong 132,065 to land at No. 1 in its first week. And now: JLS are still on top of their game and are currently recording their fourth (yes FOURTH) studio album whilst preparing for their latest arena tour.
2009: Olly Murs – Olly Murs First week chart position: #2 First week sales: 108,000 (rank: 6th) Compared to winner: Joe McElderry’s Wide Awake charted at No. 3 with 39,405 sales in its first seven days. And now: Olly has started 2012 with his first arena tour, and returned to The X Factor last year to present The Xtra Factor with Caroline Flack. He’s released three No. 1 singles.
2010: Rebecca Ferguson – Heaven First week chart position: #3 First week sales: 128,000 (rank: 4th) Compared to winner: Matt Cardle’s Letters was released two months prior, shifting 70,896 to chart at No. 2. And now: Rebecca is almost at the end of her first headline tour (check out our live review from last night). Heaven went platinum within a fortnight and has sold around half a million copies. It’s due for release in the US in May.
2011: Marcus Collins – Marcus Collins First week chart position: #7 First week sales: 24,343 (rank: 8th) Compared to winner: Little Mix are still recording their debut opus. And now: Marcus’ album will receive its finalised chart placement this Sunday.
JLS’ third album Jukebox only came out two months ago, but their next one is already well into production.
When I met the boys ahead of the last album’s release, they said they would continue to churn out the music right up until they’d hit LP #12. And it looks like they weren’t kidding.
Marvin Humes told Digital Spy: “We’re halfway through it at the moment and we’ve already put a lot of material together. We’re off to Los Angeles tomorrow to work with Babyface, Sean Garrett – who’s one of America’s biggest songwriters – and Bangladesh.
“We’ll be there for two weeks to wrap it up and then we’re back in the UK for our tour. Then we’ll prepare to release our new single.”
Will this record be more stripped back? Aston Merrygold said: “Definitely. There’s already been a few moments like that on our previous albums, but we want to take some of it back to our roots from when we first began.
“We love the way that Ed [Sheeran] performs on stage – it’s incredible. We think we could do something amazing together in the studio. We believe it’s all in the pipeline.”
It’s yet another close week in both the singles and albums charts.
On the albums list, Susan Boyle’s record-breaking No.1 Someone To Watch Over Me is set to dive all the way down to No. 6, with Snow Patrol’s Fallen Empires, JLS’ Jukebox, Michael Buble’s Christmas, Florence + The Machine’s Ceremonials and Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto all due to complete the Top 5. The top two are the new ones, with Snow Patrol leading JLS by a 200-unit hairline.
Disappointingly for Pixie Lott, Young Foolish Happy is right the way down at No. 13, which surprises me. Turn It Up only peaked at No. 6 but it did go on to spend 96 weeks in the charts, racking up more than 1m sales. Is it just too busy a time of year for another record? What’s going wrong?
Drake and REM are also due to enter the Top 20 with their latest album releases, but unsurprisingly I can’t find word anywhere on how Parade are getting on with their little-promoted debut album.
Over on the singles charts, One Direction are leading Rihanna by a slim 400 copies with ‘Gotta Be You’, but I expect her to cause yet another midweek upset by replacing them by the end of the week. She’s No. 1 on iTunes and, as 1D sales will probably be front-loaded, they will drop off as the week goes on. RiRi’s already ended midweek reigns from The Wanted and JLS – why not go for the boyband hat-trick?!
The Saturdays are at No. 9 with ‘My Heart Takes Over’, though seeing as it’s not far lower on iTunes I think they’ll have to settle for only their second ever single to miss the Top 10. If you recall ‘Work’ only peaked at No. 22 back in 2009, but at least that could be attributed to fans already owning the song on its parent album. ‘MHTO’ however is a brand new track.
Westlife’s ‘Lighthouse’ is looking at a Top 20 debut, and apparently its B-Side ‘Poet’s Heart’ is also looking likely to chart.
Oh, and bloody Christina Perri is back AGAIN with ‘Jar of Hearts’, vaulting back to No. 5 for the billionth time thanks to a performance on Strictly Come Dancing at the weekend.
“They’re the most successful group to ever come out of The X Factor,” cooed Dermot O’Leary when JLS returned to the show last weekend. But, possibily to avoid mentioning the fact that it genuinely is not the winning but the taking part that counts, the autocue writers weren’t really doing them enough justice. Aside from the post-chav career of Cheryl Cole, JLS are the most successful anything to ever come out of The X Factor.
With on-trend fanbase winners like ‘She Makes Me Wanna’ rolling around on a quarterly basis, it’s hardly surprising. The quartet have a good ear for beats that prove irresistible for club and radio playlists alike, but stretch out the party fodder over an entire album and it actually wears quite thin.
’3D’ for example houses the boys’ worst lyrics since that priceless “Day 3 was the same as Day 2″ moment in last year’s ‘Love You More’ (“I wanna love in 3D, I’m gonna turn you on just like a TV”), ‘So Many Girls’ is a lifeless mess, and ‘Shy Of The Cool’ (no, that really is its title) ends the disc on a needlessly dull note.
It’s not all bad. ‘Do You Feel What I Feel?’ is breezier than your average JLS floorfiller, ‘Teach Me How To Dance’ packs a cracking chorus and slushy winter warmer ‘Take A Chance On Me’ is helped no end by Aston’s pained Ballad Voice. It’s also worth noting that nothing on this album comes anywhere near as downright catastrophic as ‘The Club Is Alive’. But, despite their refined ability to jump on whatever bandwagon happens to be passing through, JLS just aren’t as phenomenal as their sales figures would have you believe. But with three albums in as many years, there’s certainly no faulting the work ethic.
My above review was first published to Entertainmentwise.
This week’s album chart No1 could go any of four ways, according to today’s midweek figures.
Florence & The Machine‘s Ceremonials (review) is currently holding on to the top spot by the skin of its teeth, less than 3000 units ahead of Susan Boyle‘s newly-released third album Someone To Watch Over Me (review), which follows her ITV1 special on Friday night.
But it’s not just a two-way battle this week, as The Wanted‘s Battleground (review) is a kitten’s whisker behind at No3 and Cher Lloyd‘s Sticks + Stones (review) is showing strong sales at No4. Coldplay round off the Top 5.
Birdy meanwhile is showing at No9 in today’s first midweek flash, with Andre Rieu at No7.
It’s also quite tight in terms of the singles. JLS are a thin 5,000 copies ahead of Rihanna and Calvin Harris‘ ‘We Found Love’ at No1, but with Rihanna currently top of the heap on iTunes it looks like she might do to the boys the same thing she did to The Wanted’s ‘Lightning’ just a few weeks ago.
In terms of other new releases, the epic chart battle isn’t quite as epic as we’d hoped. Pixie Lott’s ‘What Do You Take Me For?’ is currently sitting at No6, with Loick Essien at No13, Maverick Sabre at No14 and Bruno Mars at No15.
Florence meanwhile is enjoying the X Factor effect, with ‘Shake It Out’s sales enjoying a 267% boost to rise to No12.
It’s becoming increasingly hard to keep track of which big name albums are coming out when this winter, given that from late October onwards we’re facing major chart warfare week in, week out. Popstars will need to go hard or go home if they want their albums purchased.
Use the handy guide below to identify who’s going up against who, and feel free to leave a comment at the bottom if I’ve missed any out or you have any predictions…
This week (w/c 10th Oct)
Steps – The Ultimate Collection
Evanescence – Evanescence
Jason Derulo – Future History
Bjork – Biophillia Notes: Evanescence are leading the current race, with Steps a couple of thousand units behind. The other two will both make the Top 10 if they keep up their current sales.
Matt Cardle – Letters
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Notes: I don’t know if either can get No1, but Noel will probably beat Matt. Still, both should get good Top 5 rankings.
Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
Joe Jonas – Fast Life
Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
Ronan Parke – Ronan Parke Notes: Coldplay, Coldplay, Coldplay
Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
Professor Green – At Your Inconvenience
Rizzle Kicks – Stereo Typical
Manic Street Preachers – National Treasures: The Complete Singles Notes: Florence, Florence, Florence
Cher Lloyd – Sticks & Stones
Kelly Rowland – Here I Am
The Wanted – Battleground
Pixie Lott – Young Foolish Happy
Susan Boyle – Someone To Watch Over Me Notes: This is the most hotly-contested week. Pixie may not chart that highly but her sales will have staying power over a longer period of time. The Wanted should go Top 5, but don’t rule out another SuBo victory.
JLS – Jukebox
Gym Class Heroes – The Papercut Chronicles II
Katie Melua – Secret Symphony Notes: JLS should walk this unless an album from the previous week continues strong sales.
Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
Westlife – Greatest Hits
One Direction – TBC
The Saturdays – On Your Radar
Rihanna – Talk That Talk Notes: Ahh, more clever scheduling from The Sats. Or not. One Direction should storm this, but if their fans are waiting on Father Christmas to deliver it then its first week sales may be lower than expected. Keep an eye on Rihanna.
Olly Murs – In Case You Didn’t Know
Joe McElderry – Classic Christmas Notes: Former X Factor competitors do war again. Joe’s not to be underestimated after the pleasantly surprising performance of Classic, but first-week sales of Olly Murs’ new LP will probably win out.
This weekend Rhythmix, 2 Shoes, Nu Vibe and The Risk will be taking to the stage as The X Factor finals kick off. No group has ever won the series before, but there certainly have been a fair few memorable troupes that have passed through over the past eight years. Take a look below at the most memorable ten groups ever seen on the show, and don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Ultimate Girls if you haven’t done so already.
10. The Conway Sisters (Season 2)
Obviously, this doomed quartet aren’t in the Top 10 on popularity, more on notoriety. To be fair, they weren’t that bad, they just became the victims of vicious hate campaigns when Louis Walsh opted to keep them in over the exceptional Maria Lawson. The Conways ended up in the Bottom 2 week after week, but somehow managed to scrape through. But, when they finally did bow out, even mentor Simon Cowell voted for them to leave.
9. Hope (Season 4)
Hope and boyband equivalent Futureproof were the first of many X Factor groups to be formed of unsuccessful soloists. Since they were knocked out of the show towards the end, they stuck it out for a bit before lead singer Phoebe joined Girls Can’t Catch (R.I.P.) and Emily joined new-but-struggling band Parade.
8. Voices With Soul (Season 1)
In the first live show of season 1, the introduction of the final showdown was a massive twist. Voices With Soul were the first act to spared the axe by the judges, but made their exit a brief fortnight later. But they were a very good trio – unlikely to appeal to their contemporary pop scene, but then it’s not like Steve Brookstein went down a treat, is it?!
7. Eton Road (Season 3)
Boyband Eton Road built up a sizeable fanbase on the show, and managed to maintain it for quite some time after it ended. They bowed out when pitted against long-haired “serious musician” Ben Mills in the seventh live show, coming in a respectable 5th place – somehow, one place behind the godawful MacDonald brothers. They released a song independently in 2008 but split later the same year. One member is now dating TOWIE’s Harry Derbidge and is rumoured to be appearing on Geordie Shore’s Liverpool spinoff, Mersey Shore.
6. Journey South (Season 2)
The highest-finishing group in the show’s second year was this duo, who released two album once they finished in third place but were later resigned to gigs on cruise ships. Their first LP Journey South hit No1, but follow-up Home could only make it as far as No43 one year later.
5. Same Difference (Season 4)
This super-super-cheesey brother/sister duo were considered likely evictees week after week after week, and yet they miraculously made it right the way through to the grand final. They remain in business to this day, performing small gigs up and down the country, and – to be fair to them – they were unfairly dumped by their record label when their debut LP “only” achieved Gold status. Earlier this year they independently released follow-up, The Rest Is History. Its lead single ‘Shine On Forever (Photo Frame)’ peaked at No100.
4. John and Edward (Season 5)
Officially competing as John and Edward, the now notorious Jedward were the novelty act to end all novelty acts, and remain one of the most mysteriously lucrative artists the show has ever produced. Their music has hardly set charts on fire, but through successful TV appearances and an entry on this year’s Eurovision – not to mention Celebrity Big Brother – they are still raking in the cash. Fair play to them.
3. G4 (Season 1)
The group who Simon Cowell bitterly referred to as “the real winners” of the show’s first series actually came in second, behind the one and only Steve Brookstein. G4 enjoyed a fair amount of success once the show ended, scoring three platinum selling albums between 2005 and 2006. Alas, in-fighting led to their eventual split not long afterwards.
2. One Direction (Season 7)
The fact that a band can release only one single and have one of the biggest followings in X Factor history is really something. One Direction were formed of five lads who got their marching orders at Boot Camp, and yet managed to progress further than all (bar one, obviously) who got Yes’s. Their performances on the live shows were occasionally very good, occasionally wobbly; but a fiercely dedicated fanbase saw them through to 3rd place. They now have the fastest-selling single of 2011 to their name.
1. JLS (Season 5)
It feels unfair to say JLS have done better than Alexandra Burke, because, in fairness to Alexandra, she hasn’t finished her second album yet whereas JLS have rapidly thrown out records on an annual basis for three years in a row. Still, you can’t argue with the facts: the boys are award-winning, multi-platinum selling phenomenons with a stonking five No1 singles to their name – that’s more than any other X Factor alumni. You have to hand it to them…