Pop icon Sir Elton John marked his eighth number one album in the UK with his Covid-enforced surprise album, The Lockdown Sessions.
Recorded when his farewell tour was postponed by the pandemic, the record features collaborations with Dua Lipa, Stevie Nicks, Gorillaz and Lil Nas X.
Many duets took place on Zoom, while others took place in the studio under strict safety regulations.
Sir Elton said he ended up singing with artists “separated by glass screens”.
The album cover even sees the star wearing a jeweled Elton John face mask.
Sir Elton, 74, said he enjoyed the experience of being forced “out of his comfort zone” and working with unexpected collaborators.
“I realized there was something strangely familiar about working this way,” he said in a statement announcing the album.
“Early in my career, in the late 1960s, I worked as a session player. Working with different artists during the lockdown reminded me of that.
“I’m back to square one: I was a session player again. And it was a blast anyway.”
The album was preceded by the track of Dua Lipa Cold Heart (Pnau Remix), a mash-up of Sir Elton’s hits Rocket Man, Sacrifice, Kiss the Bride and the track from the 1976 album Where’s the Shoorah?
The single peaked at # 1 two weeks ago, making Sir Elton the first artist to top the UK singles chart in six separate decades.
He also led the album to success, breaking new records from Lana Del Rey, Duran Duran and Biffy Clyro to claim the top spot with 31,000 sales.
Sir Elton’s number one albums
- Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Just the Pianist (1973)
- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
- Caribou (1974)
- Elton John’s best hits (1974)
- Sleeping with the past (1989)
- The Best of Elton John (1990)
- Good morning to the night (2012)
- The block sessions (2021)
Del Rey took second place with Blue Banisters, his second album of the year. With better reviews than its companion track Chemtrails Over the Country Club, the record was the best-selling record of the week on vinyl.
Duran Duran’s Future Past entered the charts in third place, becoming the band’s highest-rated album since 2004’s Astronaut, while Biffy Clyro’s The Myth of Happily Ever After debuted at four.
Last week’s number one, Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres, dropped to number five.
On the singles chart, Adele reigned supreme for a second week with her post-divorce anthem Easy On Me which racked up 103,000 sales.
It’s about halfway through its first week on the count, when the song broke streaming records having played 24 million times in just seven days.
Elton John and Dua Lipa were at number two with Cold Heart, followed by Ed Sheeran’s Shivers at three and the success of Nigerian artist Ckay’s TikTok Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah) at four.
Glass Animals’ hit Heat Waves returned to fifth position, equaling its previous highest position on the charts exactly one year after its release.
Next week’s chart is likely to see another jolt, as Ed Sheeran’s fourth album = points to the top. Album streams are likely to push old singles and new favorites into the Top 40 next Friday.
The singer has his sights set on another Christmas number one, with a festive duet with Sir Elton John.
Sheeran gave a preview of the song to BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball on Friday morning, without the sleigh bells who insisted they would be part of the final mix.
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- Elton John
- Ed Sheeran
- Official UK Music Charts
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