It has been 22 years since Elton John last had a UK Number One album. He did so twice in 1990, first with his then current studio album Sleeping With The Past and then at Christmas with a Very Best Of Greatest Hits collection. As befits a man who notoriously re-fashions his old material (and indeed who has topped the singles charts many times in the past 20 years with re-worked versions of older recordings) his return to the summit of the Official Charts Company's albums chart comes thanks to a collaboration with Australian electronic group Pnau who have taken many of his early 70s recordings (several quite obscure) and with Elton's blessing have transformed them into bold new pieces of music, all of which feature on the album Good Morning To The Night.
A more unusual chart-topping album it would be hard to find but where many acts would be precious about their early works, Elton embraced the four year project enthusiastically and his reward is a return to chart dominance - effectively his seventh Number One album in a 42 year chart career. It is however worth noting that the same circumstances which led to a triumverate of lesser known acts making their presence felt at the top of the rankings last week have played into the hands of the Pnau collaboration this week too - overall sales are frankly in the toilet. Good Morning To The Night sold a mere 14,342 copies last week, over 2,000 less than the Newton Faulkner album which was at Number One last week. Oddly very few of the individual tracks from the album have made much of a chart impact, with "Sad" landing at Number 48.
Still, at least there is activity on the album chart. The UK Singles Chart continues with one of its traditionally calm periods as for the second time in three weeks not one new track reaches the Top 10. Six of the Top 10 singles are non-movers, including Number One single "Spectrum" which ensures Florence and The Machine are the first act in many a long month to spend consecutive weeks at Number One.
The highest new entry of the week is from yet another X Factor alumnus. Eliminated at the semi final stage in last year's competition, soul singer Misha B was nonetheless one of the more outstanding contenders on the show and more or less a lock to land a solo deal of her own. Her debut single "Home Run" is a brave fusion track which meshes styles with more than half a nod to the past works of Missy Elliott. Whilst it hasn't set the world on fire, it still makes a more than respectable Number 11 ensuring she follows Marcus Collins into the chart as the second of 2011s runners up to land a hit outside of the show. Watch out for "Wings" the first single 'proper' from Little Mix which is set to be an unusual out-of-season release next month.
In terms of already available current singles, there is strong upward movement from "Both Of Us" from B.o.B. and Taylor Swift which moves 46-22 and "Turn Up The Love" from Far East Movement and Cover Drive which rises 69-28, both surely future Top 10 singles. Also just to prove that all good things continue to come to those who wait, Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" rises to Number 15 to reach a brand new chart peak for the second week running- two years since it was first a hit on these shores.
I'm back from my holiday, but it seems most of the record industry are still on theirs. Madness.