Australian Albums: Ed Sheeran Has Number One With '=' (Equals) -
Ed Sheeran photo by Ros O'Gorman

Ed Sheeran photo by Ros O'Gorman

Australian Albums: Ed Sheeran Has Number One With ‘=’ (Equals)

by Gavin Ryan on November 9, 2021

in News,Noise Pro

Ed Sheeran lands his fifth No.1 Album in Australia this week as his fourth studio album “= (Equals)” takes out the top spot on the ARIA Albums Chart.

“= (Equals)” (Atlantic) becomes the 930th No.1 Album in Australia (1965 to 2021), the 780th for ARIA (1983 to 2021), the 30th No.1 for 2021, the 25th for the Atlantic record label (since their first in 1970 with ‘Led Zeppelin II’), and as Atlantic is a part of the Warner Music group, this is the third No.1 in a row for that record after Rüfüs Du Sol (Rose Avenue/Reprise, Nov. 1st) and Coldplay (Oct. 25th, Parlophone), and this past week I had a look back at the label’s previous three-in-a-row feats, and they have achieved this chart anomaly once in each of the past six decades.

Oct 24th, 1977 to Feb 6th, 1978 it was “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac (Warner, 5 weeks), then “Footloose & Fancy Free” for Rod Stewart (Warner, from Nov 28th for 9 weeks), then “Rumours” reclaimed the top spot for two more weeks in late January of 1978. The same retake happened in 1984 from April 2nd when “The Swing” for INXS (WEA, 3 weeks), then “Twentieth Century” for Cold Chisel (WEA, 1 week on April 23rd, 1984), followed by INXS again for another two weeks from April 30th. The third time happened in 1996 when “Forgiven, Not Forgotten” by The Corrs (Atlantic, 1 week on Sept. 15th, 1996), followed by “New Adventure in Hi Fi” for R.E.M. (Warner, 1 week on Sept. 22nd, 1996) and then The Corrs again for another week on September 29th, 1996. The fourth re-take three-in-a-row was 2002 with “By the Way” for Red Hot Chili Peppers (Warner, 2 weeks from July 15th) then The Whitlams only No.1 set “Torch the Moon” (Black Yak/WEA, 1 week on July 29th), then the RHCP’s “By the Way” came back for two more weeks from August 5th, 2002. The second time during the 2000’s was again led by a RHCP’s album in “Stadium Arcadium” (Warner) for three weeks from May 22nd, 2006, followed on June 12th, 2006 by the Chris Isaak “Best of” (Reprise, 1 week), and then Eskimo Joe with “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” (Mushroom via Warner) for it’s initial first three weeks from June 19th, 2006.

The second and third different back-to-back-to-back Warner No.1’s occurred during the past decade, the 2010’s; in 2012 for “Birdy” by Birdy (14th Floor, 1 week on Sept. 3rd, 2012), “North” for Matchbox 20 (Atlantic, 1 week on Sept. 10th, 2012) and The Amity Affliction with “Chasing Ghosts” (Roadrunner, 1 week on Sept. 17th, 2012). And the last time it happened was in 2016 with the self-titled Lukas Graham album (Copenhagen Records/Warner, 1 week on April 11th, 2016), followed by “Gore” by The Deftones (Reprise, 1 week on April 18th, 2016) and then another Reprise act in Disturbed with “Immortalized” which returned for a second and final week on April 25th, 2016 (first hit #1 on August 31st, 2015).

Ed Sheeran has now amassed 42 weeks at No.1 in Australia from his five No.1 Albums, with his first set “+ (Positive)” spending one week at the top on August 13th, 2012, followed by his second set “x (Multiply)” which had six separate runs at the top, starting on June 30th, 2014, logging eight overall weeks at the top. His third set “÷ (Divide)” had nine different No.1 berths, starting on March 13th, 2017 with an initial run of eight weeks and an overall tally of 27 weeks at the top, while his last album of duets called “No.6 Collaborations Project” had two runs at No.1, first four weeks from July 22nd, 2019 and then one more week on August 26th, 2019, five weeks in total. Ed’s tally of 42 weeks leaves him a non-mover on the list for ‘Accumulated Weeks at No.1: Albums (1965 to 2021)’ at No.6, but he is now one-week shy of the 43 overall weeks for Pink, while his nearest competition in Adele is sitting at No.7 with 40 weeks (which will rise in the next few weeks possibly). Further Ed’s new set has also debuted at No.1 in his native England and across the ditch in New Zealand.

Ed Sheeran also now joins Delta Goodrem as the second act this decade to grab their fifth No.1 Album, and Ed is now one of fourteen acts to have had five No.1 Album in Australia (pre and post ARIA era’s), while for album titles, this is the first time that the symbol or even the word = / equals has appeared in a No.1 Album title (the only other ‘equal’ titled album to chart was Catatonia’s set “Equally Cursed and Blessed”, HP-48, May 1999). The new No.1 Album for Ed also becomes the 165th by an English act to hit No.1 here (the fifth for 2021), and the 266th by a Solo Male Artist (local or overseas) and the tenth for 2021. For English Solo Male Artists Ed Sheeran is still in the lead for ‘Most Accumulated Weeks at No.1″ at 42 overall weeks, ahead of Rod Stewart’s tally of 38 weeks, while Elton John is in third place with 30 weeks at No.1, but Ed is tied in second place for ‘Most #1 Albums by a Solo English Male Artist’ with Robbie Williams at five apiece, while tied in first place are Rod Stewart and Elton John with seven each.

Doja Cat is back up three spots to a new peak of No.2 this week with her album “Planet Her”, with the set having previously spent eight broken weeks at it’s former peak of No.3, followed by further three place rebounds for “SOUR” by Olivia Rodrigo to No.3 and “Certified Lover Boy” by Drake to No.4, with that set holding for an eighth straight week in his homeland of Canada and returning to No.1 in America for a fifth overall week.

Last week’s No.1 entry for Rüfüs Du Sol and “Surrender” is this week down four places to land at No.5, followed by three rising albums in “Justice” for Justin Bieber (12 to No.6; 23rd T10 week), “Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa (10 to No.7, 53rd T10 week) and “Happier Than Ever” for Billie Eilish (13 to No.8, 13th overall T10 week). Down one place to No.9 is the recent No.1 set for Coldplay and “Music of the Spheres”, and back up one spot to No.10 is the Lil’ Nas X debut album “Montero”, logging a fifth overall week within the Top 10.

TOP 20: “The Highlights” for The Weeknd moves back up two places to No.13, with the only other rising album within the T20 is the third Ed Sheeran set “÷ (Divide)”, back up one place to No.19.
TOP 30: There is only one upward movement within this chart region, a one place rise to No.28 for the Taylor Swift set “folklore”, which swaps places with her “1989” album which is down one to No.29.
TOP 40: Three of the four risers here are Taylor Swift sets, with “Lover” back up two to No.34, the “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” redo jumps back up eleven to No.38 and her “evermore” set is back up two spots to No.39. There is also a return at No.31 for “Spice25”, an expanded 25th Anniversary edition of the debut Spice Girls album “Spice” (HP-3×6, peaked May & June of 1997), which has a gatefold multi-disc CD and vinyl version, with the album hitting No.2 on the ARIA Vinyl Albums Sales chart this week.
TOP 50: Jumping back up six spots to No.41 is the Pitbull “Greatest Hits” (HP-40) set, landing one place lower than it’s former peak, with a final Taylor rising album being “Reputation”, back up fourteen places to land at No.44. Older Ed Sheeran albums rebounding thanks to his new No.1 album are “x (Multiply)” up four to No.47 and his last set “No.6 Collaborations Project”, rising eight to No.48, followed by two best of sets for local acts moving back into the Top 50 for Cold Chisel (54 to No.49) and INXS (53 to No.50).

TOP 20: The first of three Top 10 dropouts sees the last Adele album “25” (HP-1×8, WI10-73a) back down two spots to No.11, followed by a twelve place dive to No.14 for the latest Elton John album “The Lockdown Sessions” (HP-2, WI10-1), while Elton’s “Diamonds” collection dips one spot to No.20.
TOP 30: Last week’s No.3 entry for Lana Del Rey and “Blue Banisters” (HP-3, WI10-1) plummets twenty-one spots this week to land at No.24, followed by another Adele dropping set in “21”, down seven to No.25.
TOP 40: The biggest drop here is a two place dip to No.36 for the Pop Smoke debut set “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon”…
TOP 50: … and the only album to move down within this chart region is a one place step to No.45 for the 2010 Katy Perry album “Teenage Dream”. Big dropouts from the chart this week occur for The Screaming Jets (#4, fourth and final Top 10 dropout for this week), Duran Duran (#16), Every Time I Die (#23), Hayley Jensen (#25), Parquet Courts (#26), Nick Cave with The Bad Seeds (#38), The Rolling Stones (#39), Dream Theater (#42) and Lady A (#38), which all debuted or returned to the chart last week, and leave the Top 100 this week.

* #12 (LP#6) – My Reality by Dami Im (ABC Music) is the sixth studio and fifth charted album for the X-Factor Season 5 winner, and her first NOT to land within the Top 10 first week, while it’s also her first on her new label ABC Music (which is now distributed by her old label Sony). The album has had six singles issued from it since September of 2019, with her latest being called “Pray”, none of which have hit the Top 100.

* #16 (LP#8) – Hushed and Grim by Mastodon (Reprise) is the eighth album for the American heavy metal act, and their first in over four-and-a-half years, as their last set “Emperor of Sand” was their highest charted here at No.3 in early April of 2017, while this new entry also becomes their sixth Top 50/100 entry locally.

* #18 (LP#8) – Reverse Light Years by Even (El Rino Music) is the Melbourne, Australia trio’s eighth album and by landing within the Top 20 it now becomes their highest charting ever. The band has only had three previous chart entries with their first three albums, “Less is More” (LP#1, HP-85, June 1996), “Come Again” (LP#2, HP-57, October 1998) and “A Different High” (LP#3, HP-48, May 2001).

* #21 (LP#5) – I Don’t Live Here Anymore by The War on Drugs (Atlantic) comes four years after the U.S. rock band’s last set “A Deeper Understanding” (LP#4, HP-5, Sept., 2017) became their highest charted entry in Australia, while they first saw chart action here with “Lost in the Dream” (LP#3, HP-28, March 2014), making their new entry the band’s third ARIA Albums Chart entry.

* #35 (LP#6) – Still Sucks by Limp Bizkit (Suretone) comes almost ten and-a-half years after the U.S. nu-metal acts’ last released album “Gold Cobra” (LP#5, HP-12, July 2011), having placed nine albums on our charts since their 1997 debut set “Three Dollar Bill, Y’all” (HP-32, peaked July 1999), made up one six studio albums (all landing within the Top 40), one EP (2005), one compilation (GH 2005) and one remix album (2001). This new album also features the band’s cover of the 1982 INXS single “Don’t Change”, the only cover song on the album.

* #46 (LP#16) – Ocean to Ocean by Tori Amos (Decca) is the 16th studio album for songstress, which she recorded while in lockdown in Cornwall, England; becoming her seventeenth chart entry in Australia (14 studios, 2 compilations and 1 live album) since her breakout debut set “Little Earthquakes” (HP-14, peaked June 1992), while her last album “Native Invader” failed to crack the Top 100 in Sept., of 2017, she last charted with her 14th set “Unrepentant Geraldines” (HP-58, May 2014).

*ARIA Chart info is based on sales for the week from the 29th of October to the 4th of November, 2021.

Written, Compiled and Researched by Gavin Ryan.

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