Tom Odell lives up to critics’ expectations

Tom OdellCHART ANALYSIS: Winning the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award has proved to be a great springboard for an impressive string of artists in recent years. Previous winners Adele, Emeli Sande, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and Florence + the Machine have all gone on to build notable chart careers.

This year saw the first male artist to be anointed in the shape of singer-songwriter Tom Odell, who is living up to expectations with debut album Long Way Down.  The 22-year-old kicked off July by storming straight in at number one on the Official UK Albums Chart as well as netting a first top ten single with Another Love.

Meanwhile, Black Sabbath have set a new UK record for the longest gap between number one albums. The Ozzy Osbourne fronted band’s latest offering 13  hit the top spot nearly 43 years after their previous chart-topper Paranoid back in October 1970.

This week the albums chart caught Glastonbury fever with a spike in sales for many of the acts that performed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is festival closers Mumford & Sons who have benefited the most with their second album Babel charging back to number one in its 41st week on the chart. The quartet’s debut set Sigh No More has also rocketed back up the rankings despite being on the chart for a whopping 196 weeks.

Over on the Official UK Singles Chart, electro-pop duo Icona Pop recently stormed to number one finally adding the UK to the list of territories where I Love It has been a resounding smash. Originally released in their native Sweden in May 2012, it has since been a massive top ten hit in the US, Australia and across Europe.

Pole position this week has been snatched by rising British star John Newman with Love Me Again. The Yorkshire singer’s voice will be familiar to many as he registered a number one last year as featured vocalist on Rudimental’s Feel the Love.

This month has also seen British boy band The Wanted notch up their eighth UK top five single with Walks Like Rihanna. The group have scored two number one hits to date – their 2010 debut All Time Low and 2011 global smash Glad You Came.

Finally, the Official Charts Company has revealed that 2013 is looking set to become the biggest year for singles sales in British history. It has taken just over ten weeks for the year’s biggest seller, Get Lucky by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, to sell over a million copies.

Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, also featuring Pharrell and currently atop the US Billboard Hot 100 for a fourth week, is the UK’s second biggest seller of the year to date.

Words: Russell Iliffe, PRS for Music