Congratulations to Gary Barlow, who debuts at Number 1 on this week’s Official Albums Chart with his fifth solo record, Music Played By Humans.
It comes after a hotly contested battle with fellow ‘90s pop stars Steps, who settle for Number 2 with What The Future Holds, their seventh Top 5 album. Barlow scored 46,500 chart sales to take the top spot.
Music Played By Humans becomes Barlow’s third Number 1 album, and his first since Sing in 2012 with The Commonwealth Band. As a member of Take That, he also has a further eight chart-topping records.
Celebrating the news, Barlow told OfficialCharts.com: “Well, today is Christmas Day! Thank you so much everybody; Thatters, GB Army and anyone else, thank you so much. What an honour, what a privilege, I can’t believe it. This could, possibly, mean the most to me than any other before. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Elsewhere in the Top 10, pop provocateur Miley Cyrus gains her highest-charting album in seven years as Plastic Hearts enters at Number 4. Buoyed by the success of single Midnight Sky, it becomes her highest placement on the chart since Bangerz took the top spot in 2013.
Shakin’ Stevens lands his first Top 10 album in 15 years, debuting at Number 10 with his definitive singles collection Singled Out, and Dua Lipa’s former chart-topper Future Nostalgia rises 15 places to Number 14 following her Studio 2054 livestream gig last week. Close behind, Spandau Ballet gain their tenth Top 20 as 40 Years - The Greatest Bits lands at Number 15.
As Christmas nears, we see a number of festive LPs climbing further up the Official Albums Chart this week. Michael Bublé’s Christmas re-enters the Top 10 for the ninth year since its 2011 release, up 13 spots to Number 9; Dolly Parton’s Holly Dolly Christmas also reaches a new peak at 16; and Jamie Cullum’s The Pianoman at Christmas reaches a new high at 21.
Further down, British DJ duo Camelphat rebound 97 places with their new album Dark Matter, reaching a new peak of 40 after a physical release.