The Greatest Showman soundtrack equals Adele's UK chart run

By Mark Savage
BBC Music reporter

image sourceNiko Tavernise
image captionThe Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, has been a hit in both the film and music charts

The Greatest Showman soundtrack is number one in the UK for the 11th week in a row - more than any other album in modern chart history except Adele's 21.

The soundtrack hasn't loosened its grip on the top spot since January, and has seen off competition from the likes of Craig David and Camila Cabello.

It has sold 465,000 copies - more than 40% of which have been on CD and vinyl, the Official Charts Company said.

The success comes despite lukewarm reviews for the movie itself.

The Telegraph declared it "completely and utterly bibbly bibbly quack-quack insane", while the Evening Standard called it "a load of big top baloney".

But the film, which stars Hugh Jackman as circus entrepreneur PT Barnum, defied the critics to become a major box office success. In the UK, it has sold £37.5m worth of tickets, second only to Black Panther in 2018.

Many fans are paying to see the film multiple times, with a knock-on effect on the success of the soundtrack, which has also spawned the top 40 hits This Is Me and Rewrite The Stars.

When it first reached number one, on its third week of release, songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul said they were "honoured and thrilled" by its reception in the UK.

"The universal themes of inclusion and acceptance are what inspired every song on the soundtrack, and we couldn't be more proud of everyone involved," they told the Official Charts Company.

The album, released by Atlantic Records, now has the the joint-longest consecutive run at the top spot in the past 30 years, along with Adele's 21 in 2011.

image sourceReuters
image captionAdele's album 21 was knocked off the top spot after 11 weeks

Other albums that have enjoyed long consecutive spells at the summit include Madonna's Immaculate Collection (nine weeks in 1990), the Eurythmics' Greatest Hits (nine weeks in 1991), The Beatles' greatest hits collection 1 (nine weeks in 2000), and Ed Sheeran's Divide (nine weeks in 2017).

The overall record for the longest ever spell at number one is held by the South Pacific soundtrack, which was number one for a mammoth 70 weeks in a row from 1958-1960.

Meanwhile, on this week's singles chart, Drake also sustains a long run at the summit - with God's Plan notching up its ninth week in pole position.

That means Rudimental's These Days has to settle for a seventh week at number two. It is now one of only three singles to spend so long in second place without reaching number one.

The others are I Swear by All-4-One in 1994, and Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera in 2011.

Elsewhere in this week's top five, George Ezra's Paradise climbs seven places to number five, earning his third top 10 hit.

The star's second album, Staying At Tamara's, will be The Greatest Showman's biggest competition in the albums chart next week.

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