Rapper Kendrick Lamar has scored his first U.K. No. 1 album, after To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath/Interscope/Universal) finished the week just ahead of Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour (Capitol/Universal). Lay Me Down (Capitol/Universal/ Columbia/Sony), Smith’s collaboration with John Legend for the Comic Relief charity, started a second week atop the singles chart.
Lamar’s album sold just 572 more copies than Smith’s, according to Official Charts Company data, nudging the British artist down into runner-up spot. The rap star’s previous release Good Kid M.A.A.D. City reached No. 16 in a 15-week U.K. chart run towards the end of 2012. To Pimp A Butterfly has also topped the albums chart in Australia.
Mark Knopfler’s eighth studio album Tracker (Virgin/EMI/Universal) became the highest-charting of his solo career in the U.K., opening at No. 3. That outdoes the No. 4 start achieved by Sailing To Philadelphia in 2000; all but one of those eight albums have made the top ten, the exception being 2004’s No. 11 entryShangri-La.
With Ed Sheeran’s X (Asylum/Warner Music) down 3-4, there was also an appearance for Knopfler as a featured artist on Van Morrison’s new albumDuets – Reworking The Catalogue (RCA/Sony), which arrived at No. 5. Morrison’s 13th U.K. top ten album, it also includes collaborations with Michael Bublé, Steve Winwood, Bobby Womack, George Benson and many others.
Marina and the Diamonds, the recording name of Welsh singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis, entered at No. 10 with FROOOT (Atlantic/Warner Music). Her last album, Electra Heart, debuted at No. 1 in May, 2012. On the compilation chart, there’s still no shaking the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack (Republic/Universal), which started a sixth week at No. 1.
The Smith/Legend collaboration finished 9,000 combined chart sales ahead of this week’s No. 2 single, the former chart-topper “King” (Polydor/Universal) byYears & Years. Kanye West’s collaboration with Rihanna and Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds” (Roc Nation/Universal), climbed back 5-3 for its eighth consecutive week in the top five.
Critics’ Choice BRIT Award-winner James Bay jumped 10-4 with “Hold Back The River” (Virgin/EMI/Universal). The highest new entry of the singles week was “So Freakin’ Tight” (Universal Island) by production duo Tough Love at No. 11.