Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You makes UK album chart history as it hits No 1

October 30, 2020

Bruce Springsteen has made UK chart history, becoming the first solo artist to have a number one album in five consecutive decades.

Letter To You, the singer's 12th chart-topper, outsold the rest of the top five combined to take this week's highest chart position, ahead of new releases from Gorillaz and Blossoms.

It makes Springsteen, 71, the first credited solo artist to have a number one album in every decade from the 1980s through to the 2020s.

His first was Born In The USA, his seventh album, in 1984, with famous earlier records such as Born To Run, released in 1975, and The River, in 1980, missing out on the top spot.

Known for his marathon live shows, the revered rock star, affectionately known as The Boss by fans, reunited with his career-long companions the E Street Band for the new record.

It is their first album together since 2014's High Hopes, returning to his trademark brand of rock 'n' roll following 2019's Western Stars.

Lyrically, the 12 songs address ageing and mortality as well as the state of global and US politics - a subject that, as a vocal critic of Donald Trump, the New Jersey-born star has spoken out about in the run-up to next week's presidential election.

While Paul McCartney, John Lennon, David Gilmour and Paul Weller have also achieved the five-decade feat, the accolade included their work in groups as well as solo material.

Letter To You is also the fastest selling album of 2020 so far, according to the Official Charts Company, with 95% of Springsteen's 51,800 chart sales made up of physical and download sales. However, Lady Gaga's Chromatica holds the title for the biggest opening week overall for an album this year, including streams as well as sales.

As his 12th number one, the album ties Springsteen with Madonna for the highest number of chart-toppers in the UK - only behind Robbie Williams and Elvis Presley.

Perhaps surprisingly, The Boss has never had a UK number one single.

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Earlier this week, the star urged Americans to vote Mr Trump out of the White House.

Reading a poem by Elayne Griffin Baker on his From My Home To Yours radio show on SiriusXM, he said: "We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation instead of dividing it, and a first lady who planted a garden instead of ripping one out.

"We are rudderless and joyless. We have lost the cultural aspects of society that make America great. We have lost our mojo, our fun, our happiness, our cheering on of others."

Springsteen is one of many celebrities backing former vice president Joe Biden ahead of the election, along with stars including Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Robert De Niro and Dave Grohl.

Mr Trump's celebrity fanbase includes musician Kid Rock and Cheers actress Kirstie Alley.

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