James Arthur pips The Reytons to the post with Number 1 album Bitter Sweet Love

After a neck-and-neck race to the finish, James Arthur takes the trophy
James Arthur

After a week-long race for the top spot, James Arthur pips The Reytons to the post to secure his second Official Number 1 album with Bitter Sweet Love.

The Middlesbrough-born singer-songwriter reaches the summit with his fifth studio LP, edging ahead of his closest competition in the final hours to claim his second chart-topping album. Bitter Sweet Love is the biggest album on digital downloads this week, and 74% of its total is made up of physical copies.

James now boasts five Top 3 albums, including 2013 debut James Arthur (2), 2016’s Back from the Edge (1), 2019 release You (2) and 2021’s It’ll All Make Sense in the End (3).

Bitter Sweet Love also earns Top 10 debuts on this week’s Official Record Store Chart (6) and Official Vinyl Albums Chart (7).

James Arthur

Image: James Kellegher

MORE: See where every James Arthur song and album has charted in the UK

Speaking exclusively to Official Charts, James Arthur says:

“I’m really emotional about this one, I’ve been locked in a cubicle crying for the last hour!

“Bitter Sweet Love is the Official Number 1 album in the UK this week, the best-selling record of the week, which means so much to me.

“It’s been eight years since I last had a Number 1 album, and I’ve been in the game over 10 years. I feel like this is symbolic of all the highs and lows; everything we’ve been through.

“There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’. My management, my label, my friends and family, but most importantly my fans. You made this happen for me. I can’t thank you enough for constantly campaigning and supporting; showing up for me.

“My heart is full, thank you very much!” 

As a result, The Reytons claim their second Top 5 LP with Ballad of a Bystander (2). The Rotherham indie rockers, comprising Jonny Yerrell, Joe O’Brien, Lee Holland and Jamie Todd, previously enjoyed Official Albums Chart success with 2021’s May Seriously Harm You and Others Around You (27) and Kids off the Estate (11), plus 2023 chart-topper What’s Rock and Roll?

Ballad of a Bystander tops this week’s Official Record Store Chart, the most-purchased album of the past seven days in the UK’s independent record shops, and scores a Top 5 debut on the Official Vinyl Albums Chart (2).

English rock outfit The Smile celebrate a career-best with their second studio record Wall of Eyes, landing at Number 3. The group, made up of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood alongside drummer Tom Skinner, previously reached Number 5 with 2023 debut A Light for Attracting Attention.

Wall of Eyes shifted more copies on wax than any other album this week, topping the Official Vinyl Albums Chart, while also earning a place in the Official Record Store Chart Top 5 (5).

Meanwhile, Tom Odell clinches his sixth Top 10 album with latest release Black Friday (5). The Chichester-born singer-songwriter already had five Top 10s under his belt: 2013’s Long Way Down (1), 2016 LP Wrong Crowd (2), 2018’s Jubilee Road (5), 2021 collection Monsters (4) and 2022’s Best Day of My Life (7). Black Friday also secures Top 5 debuts on the Official Record Store Chart (2) and Official Vinyl Albums Chart (4).

North Carolina-formed synth-pop four-piece Future Islands reach new highs with their first-ever UK Top 10 LP People Who Aren’t There Anymore this week (7). The group – Gerrit Welmers, William Cashion, Samuel T. Herring and Michael Lowry – made their Official Albums Chart debut with 2014’s Singles (34), adding further Top 40s to their tally with The Far Field (18) and As Long As You Are (22). 

WATCH James Arthur accept his Official Number 1 Album Award for Bitter Sweet Love:

MORE: New album releases coming in 2024

Hertfordshire punk rock duo Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes bag their fourth Top 10 album with Dark Rainbow (10). The group, comprising frontman Frank Carter and drummer Dean Richardson, previously saw success with 2015’s Blossom (18), 2017 record Modern Ruin (7), 2019’s End of Suffering (4) and 2021 LP Sticky (8).

Catch up on the latest episode of The Record Club with Bowers and Wilkins to hear Frank and Dean discuss the making of the album with host Jess Izsatt here.

Welsh multihyphenate Gruff Rhys earns his fourth Top 40 album with Sadness Sets Me Free this week (22), with the record enjoying Top 5 success on the Official Record Store Chart (4) and Official Vinyl Albums Chart (5). Meanwhile, Yorkshire rockers New Model Army claim their eighth Top 40 record with Unbroken (31).

And, finally, ahead of the release of his Bob Marley: One Love biopic on February 16, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ hits compilation Legend rebounds back into the Top 40 this week (35). Originally released in 1984, the chart mainstay has spent 12 non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 to date.

See the full Official Albums Chart Top 100 in full here from 5.45pm.

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