The Boss is back: Bruce Springsteen celebrates chart success

Letter to You sees Springsteen reunite with his long-standing backing group, the E Street Band.
Bruce Springsteen (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Bruce Springsteen (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Bruce Springsteen has scored his 12th UK number one album with his latest record Letter To You.

The veteran rocker, 71, outsold the rest of the top five combined to become the fastest-selling album of 2020 so far.

Some 95% of his 51,800 chart sales were made up of physical and download sales, according to the Official Charts Company.

Bruce Springsteen on stage with the E Street Band (Ian West/PA)

Bruce Springsteen on stage with the E Street Band (Ian West/PA)

Letter to You sees Springsteen, known for his marathon live shows, reunite with his career-long companions the E Street Band for the first time since 2014’s High Hopes and return to his trademark brand of rock’n’roll.

Lyrically, the 12 songs address ageing and mortality as well as the state of global and US politics.

Springsteen’s success makes him the first credited solo artist to have a number one album in five consecutive decades, topping the charts in the 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s.

Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon, David Gilmour and Paul Weller have also achieved the feat, but only when including their work in groups alongside their solo material.

Bruce Springsteen (Philip Toscano/PA)

Bruce Springsteen (Philip Toscano/PA)

The milestone also ties Springsteen, affectionately referred to by fans as “The Boss”, with Madonna with 12 chart-topping albums.

Robbie Williams and Elvis Presley are the only solo artists to have had more number one albums in the UK.

Virtual band Gorillaz are at number two with Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, their seventh studio album released as part of a collaborative web series.

Southend rockers Nothing But Thieves are at number three with their third studio album Moral Panic while Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon by late US rapper Pop Smoke is at four.

Stockport band Blossoms claim their second top five album this year with their collection of lockdown covers, In Isolation, at number five.

On the singles chart, Ariana Grande debuts at number one with Positions – her seventh UK number one and second in 2020.

Positions, the lead single from her sixth album of the same name, earned 61,000 chart sales, including 7.6 million streams.

With seven number one singles, Grande joins the likes of Sir Elton John, George Michael, Jess Glynne, Justin Bieber, Kylie Minogue and U2 among others.

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