It has been a long time since a debut album has done what Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour manages this week. 51 years to be exact.
Smith's album has been on the U.K.'s Albums chart for 52 weeks as of this week and, of those weeks, he has only been out of the top five for two.
Weeks at #1 - 8
Weeks at #2 - 11
Weeks at #3 - 14
Weeks at #4 - 13
Weeks at #5 - 4
Weeks at #6 - 1
Weeks at #8 - 1
According to the Official Charts Company, only one other debut album has had such a run, the Beatles' Please Please Me which registered 51 of its first 52 weeks in the top five including an amazing thirty straight weeks at number 1:
Weeks at #1 - 30
Weeks at #2 - 18
Weeks at #3 - 3
Weeks at #8 - 1
For the Beatles, they only had five more weeks in the top five at the beginning of their second year on the chart. It will be interesting to see how Smith's album does over the next couple of months. He currently sits at number 5.
Of course, Smith has a long way to go to beat the real record holder, Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water. While it was not their debut album, it had an amazing run in the top 5. Water never was out of the top five during their first year and, in fact, spent its first 84 weeks in that part of the chart.
Even after it dropped number 6 in its 85th week of release, the album returned on and off for another 21 weeks between 2 and 5.
Overall, Bridge Over Troubled Waters has spent 33 weeks at number 1, 135 weeks in the top ten, 279 weeks in the top forty and 328 weeks in the U.K. Top 100 Albums.