Gareth Malone’s Military Wives Choir has become the first ever group of mums to top the Official Album Charts on Mother's Day. They were the surprise No.1 at Christmas and today added a No.1 album to their incredible list of accomplishments after their debut album ‘In My Dreams’ overtook legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen to take the top spot.
The Official Album Chart No.1 adds to the choir’s stellar achievements on a day which has a particularly special meaning to many of them – Mother’s Day. Most of the 247 choir members from five different Military Wives Choirs across the country have children of their own. The choirs boast over 400 children between them and several more pregnancies in progress.
'In My Dreams', recorded early this year following their whirlwind Christmas success, includes the choir’s inimitable versions of classics such as Bob Dylan’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’, Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ and U2’s ‘With or Without You’ and is produced by Jon Cohen. It also includes Paul Mealor’s Christmas No.1 hit ‘Wherever You Are’ and the new title song that Mealor wrote especially for this album. ‘In My Dreams’ is sung by the choir with soloist and X Factor finalist Jonjo Kerr who is currently serving in Afghanistan as a Private in 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.
The Christmas No.1 choirs of RMB Chivenor and Plymouth are joined on the album by choirs from Catterick, Lympstone and Portsmouth, just a few of the 30+ choirs now in existence and at various stages of development, with more emerging every week. The album has helped to establish further choirs across the country, providing support to those families left at home. A donation of £1 per album sold at full price in the UK will be paid to a charitable foundation for Military Wives Choirs, to be administered by SSAFA Forces Help.
The Military Wives Choir with Gareth Malone broke records when they became the surprise No.1 at Christmas with their single written by Paul Mealor, Wherever You Are'. The single has now sold almost 700,000 copies and raised well in excess of half a million pounds for the two military charities, The Royal British Legion and SSAFA Forces Help. The Official Charts Company confirmed that it was the fastest-selling UK charity single of the 21st Century and also the fastest-selling since Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’ 15 years ago in 1997. The choir’s rise to the top has seen the choirs perform to royalty, dignitaries and celebrities, at No.10 Downing Street, the Sun Military Awards, HMV Oxford Street and the National Television Awards. They also received a BRIT Award nomination.
Gareth Malone: “Once was like a dream, but now I'm starting to wonder whether this is really happening. These women's singing has lifted the spirits of the nation. I'm proud to have been able to introduce the power of music to the women on this album who, in turn, are reaching out to military communities across the UK through song.”
Paul Mealor, composer: “It’s unbelievably magical to have achieved this – again! The legacy of this is the creation of Military Wives Choirs all over the country. It was brilliant to work again with the Military Wives Choir on ‘In My Dreams’, and how poignant to bring a serving soldier into the music with Jonjo Kerr. I feel proud and humble to be a part of this.”
Dickon Stainer, President of Decca Records: “This is the birth of Mum Power. It’s an incredible achievement.”
Martin Talbot, Managing Director of the Official Charts Company: “It has been an amazing few months for the Military Wives. Beating X Factor to the title of Official Christmas Number 1 is one thing – but to now topple Bruce Springsteen from the top of the Official Albums Chart and thus score the album of choice in Mothers’ Day week (traditionally one of the biggest sales weeks of the year) is some achievement.”
Nicky Clarke, Co-Founder of The Military Wives Choirs Foundation: “It is music which gives us strength, hope, courage, support, laughter and friendship, often when it is most needed.”Read More