It has finally happened, Australia has landed its second ever Christmas album, as the John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John seasonal collaboration “Friends for Christmas” jumps up three places to land its first week at the top of the ARIA Albums Chart.
“Friends for Christmas” becomes the 792nd No.1 Album in Australia (1965 to 2016) and the 543rd for ARIA (1983 to 2016), plus the 43rd chart-topping LP for 2016, and the first to NOT debut at the top since the “Molly” TV Soundtrack climbed into the pole position back in mid-February. This now becomes the tenth No.1 album for John and the fifth for Olivia, plus they move to equal twelfth alongside Coldplay, Mumford & Sons and Beyonce for having two albums this decade and racking up four weeks at the top.
Moreso John Farnham has now racked up a total of 51 weeks at No.1 in Australia from his ten chart-toppers, and is only two weeks behind the 53 that Dire Straits have racked up here, he is on hold at No.3 on the list for ‘Accumulated Weeks at No.1: 1965-2016’, whilst on that same list Olivia moves from equal 46th to now equal 41st alongside the fourteen weeks from five No.1 albums also achieved by Crowded House (5) and Bee Gees (3) and Whitney Houston (2 No.1 albums). On the list for ‘Most No.1 Albums 1965-2016’, John was outright sixth, but is now equal fifth alongside Bon Jovi who notched up their tenth No.1 album just six weeks ago, with Olivia now moving from equal 23rd to now equal seventeenth for her five No.1 albums, and she also becomes the first local Aussie female artist to have scored five No.1 albums, breaking away from the four-way tie that she held with Kylie, Kasey and Delta who have all had four No.1’s.
This is the second album to go to No.1 that featured the word ‘Friends” in the title, the other was the soundtrack to the Julia Roberts film “My Best Friends Wedding” (4 wks from 2nd Nov, 1997), the eleventh with a ‘for’, and the second with ‘Christmas’, as previously the only seasonal album to hit the top was the Michael Buble set in 2011 (5 wks), 2012 (4 wks), 2013 (3 wks) and 2014 (1 wk), and with his Christmas special airing on TV this weekend (Sunday Night), he could take his set back to the top next week (the sales week of Xmas) for a fourteenth overall total, and fifth shot at the top.
Finally, the other chart feat that the new No.1 achieves is that the set is third No.1 duets album for John and Olivia, having spent three weeks at the top back in July 2015 with their live album “Two Strong Hearts”, and prior to that eighteen years ago this past week (14th Dec, 1998) the pair along with Anthony Warlow spent two weeks at the top with “The Main Event (Highlights)”. This new No.1 also becomes the 210th by an Australian Act (solo, duo or group) to hit the top and the 20th for 2016, plus the sixteenth for a duo, the ninth overall by an Australian duo. The album also racks up ▲Platinum in sales this week too.
Speaking of Michael Buble’s “Christmas” album, this week he is at No.2 for a second week with the seasonal set, and racking up his 52nd overall week within the Top 100, but more-so the album is newly certified 2x♦Diamond in sales, meaning that the album has now sold over 1 million copies in Australia. This is only the third time that an album has been certified Diamond in sales, the other two are “x” by Ed Sheeran (TW-55) and “1989” by Taylor Swift (TW-62), and the first time that any set has been double Diamond in sales too. As I mentioned above Michael could land a 14th week at No.1 next week if he climbs, helped this weekend by his Christmas Special being televised on Sunday.
Last weeks No.1 debut for The Rolling Stones in “Blue & Lonesome” is only down two places this week to No.3, whilst current tourist here Keith Urban is back up three places to No.4 with his former No.1 “Ripcord”, which was last this high up on the charts after his NRL Grand Final performance back in October. And someone who will be touring here next February in Adele and her third album “25” is stable at No.5 again this week.
The fourth studio album for US hip-hop artist J. Cole is the highest new entry here this week, coming in at No.6 is “4 Your Eyez Only”, which also becomes his first Top 10 album in Australia too. Previously he has peaked as high as No.14 with his second album “Born Sinner” (July 2013). Jessica Mauboy is the fourth and final Australian act within the Top 10 this week, and her TV Soundtrack “The Secret Daughter” is down one to No.7, whilst another act who is touring the country at the moment in Coldplay see their album “A Head Full of Dreams” jump back up six places this week to No.8, the first time since mid-March that the album has appeared in the Top 10, and now its tenth overall week within the Top 10. Metallica drops six places to No.9 with their former No.1 “Hardwired… to Self Destruct” and climbing two places to land a new peak of No.10 is the soundtrack to the animated film “Trolls”, scoring its first week within the Top 10 in the process.
* “24k Magic” for Bruno Mars is back up two places to No.11 after his ‘Carpool Karaoke’ stint this past week with James Corden.
* The recent DVD and Blu-ray release of ‘Suicide Squad’ sees its soundtrack rise back up five places this week to No.15.
* “The Singles” for Phil Collins is back up four places to No.20.
* The Coldplay collection “4CD Catalogue Set” originally peaked at No.31 back in May of 2013, now this week thanks to their tour here, it leaps up twenty-three places to land at a new peak of No.27, whilst the bands “Ghost Stories” album returns to the chart at No.81.
* Carrie Underwood and her last album “Storyteller” are enjoying the benefits of her tour with Keith Urban, as the album leaps up twenty-four spots to No.28.
* The Roy Orbison “Ultimate Collection” (HP-12) turns around and is back up fifteen spots to No.38 this week.
* The twenty one pilots double album of “Vessel” and “Blurryface” is up two places to a new peak of No.39 after debuting last week at No.41.
* The Lady Gaga singles surge for “Million Reasons” also helps her “Joanne” album back up eleven places to No.40 after a single week out of the Top 50 at No.51 last week.
* Andre Rieu is back within the Top 50 with his latest album “Falling in Love”, up eight to No.48.
* Barbra Streisand’s “Encore” album is back up nineteen spots to land at No.50 this week.
* The current promotion for the Bruce Springsteen collection “Chapter & Verse” helps the album to climb back up sixteen this week to No.58.
* With a new track debuting at No.3 for Taylor Swift over on the singles chart, her “1989” album reacts by climbing back up sixteen spots to No.62 this week (even though it’s not on the album!)
* After his many Grammy Award nominations recently, “Views” by Drake is back up eighteen to No.65, whilst the same occurs for “Lemonade” by Beyonce, back up seven to No.75.
* Further returning albums this week are from Emeil Sande and “Long Live the Angels” (#84 after her Graham Norton appearance last Friday night here), Passenger (#85), “All Time Greatest Hits” for Neil Diamond at No.89, which is now Gold (●) in sales, “Frozen” soundtrack is back at No.90 for its 150th week within the Top 100, “Drinking… Walking… Restrung” for The Hilltop Hoods (#93) and Norah Jones’ most recent set “Day Breaks” (#94).
* The first of three albums leaving the Top 10 this week is the Elvis Presley and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra collaboration “The Wonder of You” (HP-3, WI10-5), down three to No.13.
* Second is “Starboy” for The Weeknd (HP-1×1, WI10-2), which drops six to No.14.
* And plummeting from its Top 10 debut last week is Childish Gambino with “Awaken, My Love!” (HP-9, WI10-1), down twenty-five spots to No.34.
* Robbie Williams is down four to No.22 with “The Heavy Entertainment Show” which is newly certified Gold (●) in sales.
* Last week Cold Chisel debuted at No.11 with “The Live Tapes Vol.3” which this week drops fifteen spots to No.26.
* Susan Boyle is down again this week, dropping eight places to No.30.
* Garth Brooks debuted the same week as Susan, and his “Gunslinger” is down seven to No.35.
* After two weeks at No.40, Barry Gibb is down nine this week to No.49 with “In the Now”.
* John Legend debuted at No.37 last week with his fifth album “Darkness and Light”, which this week plummets thirty places to No.67.
* A.B. Original see their debut set “Reclaim Australia” drop seventeen spots this week to No.72.
* After returning to the Top 100 at No.46 last week, the Sticky Fingers set “Westway” is back down thirty places to No.76 this week.
* Also the Tribe Called Quest set “We Got it from Here…” rebounded last week too, up to No.44, whilst this week is tumbles back down forty-eight places to No.92.
* The final big drop within the Top 100 this week is The Hamilton Mixtape, which falls seventy one places to No.97, whilst two entries from last week’s Top 50 leave the hundred all together this week, Guy Sebastian’s “Part 1 EP” (#31) and “The Best of Kate Miller-Heidke: Act One” (#35).
* With a week more of Christmas sales before next Sunday’s big event, we now have a first in the top two albums both being seasonal sets, and the second ever Christmas album to hit the top here in Australia.
* Further down there is Pentatonix with two albums, firstly holding at No.23 is “A Pentatonix Christmas” and then “That’s Christmas to Me” is up one to No.31.
* Mariah Carey is up one spot too to No.45 with her “Merry Christmas” set.
* The Ten Tenors jump up nine to No.33 with “Our Christmas Wish”.
* The repacked “Kylie Christmas” is up two to No.46 for Kylie Minogue (Warner you need to screen the Xmas Specials she’s been doing in the UK for the past two years here, soon!).
* Neil Diamond leaps up twenty-three places to land at a new peak of No.57 with his “Acoustic Christmas” set.
* Rod Stewart returns to the Top 100 at No.59 with his seasonal collection “Merry Christmas, Baby” (HP-3).
* Andre Rieu is back up eight spots to No.78 with “Best of Christmas” (HP-46).
* #12 – The self-titled debut album for X-Factor 2016 winner Isaiah (Firebrace) comes in at No.12 this week, featuring his first single “It’s Gotta Be You”, plus his covers of songs by Adele, Alicia Keys, Rudimental, The Beatles, Pharrell Williams, Bob Marley and Beyonce amongst its ten tracks.
* #52 – Neil Young sees his thirty-seventh studio album “Peace Trail” enter at No.52 this week, and the ten track mostly acoustic album was meant to be accompanied by a national tour, but it was postponed last week.
* #68 – Sarah McLachlan sees her ninth studio album “Wonderland” come in at No.68 becoming her sixth overall ARIA Albums Chart entry (five studio, one best of), and this is her second Xmas album, her first “Wintersong” was in 2006 (but that failed to chart here).
* #77 – The first of two new soundtracks for animated films to enter this week is “Sing”, about a singing contest in a world of cartoon animals, and featuring the cast of voice-over acts doing popular and classic tunes, such as Seth McFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Taron Egerton and Jennifer Hudson, plus a brand new song by Stevie Wonder entitled “Faith” which features Ariana Grande as guest vocalist.
* #100 – That second animated soundtrack is for the new Disney film “Moana”, which has been No.1 in the US box-office for the past three weeks, and the traditional island music also features songs by the cast including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Alessia Cara, Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Concords) and Jordan Fisher.
Compiled by Gavin Ryan for Australian-Charts.com