Paul McCartney has achieved his first solo UK No.1 album for more than 30 years with McCartney III. The achievement, confirmed on Christmas Day afternoon, follows the widespread critical praise lavished on his 18th solo studio release, which he recorded entirely on his own during lockdown.
The new set got off to an impressive start last Friday and over the weekend, selling 25,000 combined units, according to the Official Charts Company. Commented McCartney: “I just want to say Happy Christmas, Happy New Year, and a big thank you to everyone who helped get my record to No.1 in the album charts.”
The album is the notional follow-up to the former Beatle’s previous two self-made albums, his first solo set McCartney, from 1970, and 1980’s McCartney II. The first LP spent its first three weeks on the UK chart at No.2, but was held off the top by Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. The second album debuted at No.1, unseating The Magic of Boney M, and had a two-week run.
McCartney III is Paul’s first solo No.1 album in his home country since Flowers In The Dirt climbed to the top in its second chart week in June 1989. He last had a Christmas No.1 album in 2000, when The Beatles’ blockbuster compilation 1 held sway. The Beatles had the festive bestseller on the British LP rankings six times in the 1960s.
McCartney’s first solo UK No.1 album was Ram, credited to Paul and his wife Linda. It spent its first two weeks at the top in June 1971. Band On The Run, with Wings, repeated the feat, seven months after its debut, with a seven-week reign in the summer of 1974. McCartney II had its first two weeks at No.1 in 1980, as did Tug Of War in 1982. Give My Regards To Broad Street had a week there in 1984, before Flowers In The Dirt’s one week in 1989.
The new release thus toppled Taylor Swift’s evermore, which fell to No.2, in a Top 5 also featuring strong sales for Michael Ball and Alfie Boe’s Together at Christmas, Classic Diamonds by Neil Diamond and the London Symphony Orchestra and Gary Barlow’s Music Played By Humans.
McCartney III is out now and can be bought here.