James Arthur Secures U.K. Chart Crown With ‘Bitter Sweet Love’

James Arthur completes a come-from-behind victory in the U.K. chart race, as Bitter Sweet Love (via Columbia) bows at No. 1, his second leader.

The British singer and songwriter’s fifth studio album was languishing in third place during the first half of the chart week, before Bitter Sweet Love grew wings and edged into the lead.

According to the Official Charts Company, Arthur’s LP pulled ahead in the “final hours” of the cycle, consigning The Reytons’ Ballad of a Bystander to a No. 2 debut.

Bitter Sweet Love leads the nation in downloads, and physical copies account for 74% of its total, the OCC reports.

A former X Factor U.K. champion, Arthur boasts five top 3 albums in the U.K., including his 2013 self-titled debut (No. 2), 2016’s Back from the Edge (No. 1), 2019’s Release You (No. 2) and 2021’s It’ll All Make Sense in the End (No. 3).

The Reytons, meanwhile, narrowly miss out on a second consecutive No. 1, with Ballad of a Bystander finishing the chart week as runner-up. It’s the followup to the indie rockers’ 2023 chart leader What’s Rock and Roll? (The Reytons).

Completing an all-new top three is the Smile‘s Wall of Eyes (XL Recordings). That’s a career best for the Radiohead side-project, eclipsing the No. 5 peak for their 2023 debut A Light for Attracting Attention. The indie trio, featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood alongside Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, had briefly led the chart race.

Wall of Eyes was the week’s best seller on vinyl, the OCC reports.

Also new to the Official U.K. Albums Chart, published Friday, Jan. 2, is Tom Odell’s Black Friday (Urok), new at No. 5. That’s the English artist’s sixth U.K. top 10 album, a list that includes a No. 1 with 2013’s Long Way Down.

Further down the tally, U.S. synth-pop act Future Islands land their first U.K. top 10 with People Who Aren’t There Anymore (4AD). It’s new at No. 7, for their fourth U.K. top 40 appearance. Also, British punk rock outfit Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes bite down on a fourth top 10 album with Dark Rainbow (International Death Cult), new at No. 10,

Finally, Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys grabs a fourth top 40 title with Sadness Sets Me Free (Rough Trade), new at No. 22, and northern England rockers New Model Army snag an eighth top U.K. 40 with Unbroken (Ear Music), new at No. 31.

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