THE Scots former leader singer with 80s rock band Marillion is celebrating a "phantom" number two best selling album of the week.

Fish claims his brand new, and final solo album Weltschmerz, which was released last Friday would have been number two in the album charts well ahead of the likes of Prince, if he had partnered with a record label.

Chart rules require distribution through official channels but he has entirely self-funded, marketed, created and distributed the album from his home in Scotland.

Last week the 62-year-old whose voice graces prog rock band Marillion hits such as Kayleigh and Lavender said he is retiring from the music business and insists he will not be doing the retro festival circuit.

He took the decision after a series of life-changing events including the death of his 87-year-old dad Robert four years ago from bladder cancer.

The East Lothian-based singer also underwent spinal and shoulder surgery and suffered two bouts of potentially deadly sepsis.

Fish's organisation says that sales of his final album have been "through the roof" and if eligible for the charts would currently be sitting at number two in the UK midweek charts behind the latest Idles album, and well ahead of the re-release of Prince's Sign O' the Times, Lewis Capaldi, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles.

Fish said: "I've been operating as an independent artist since the mid 90's and we have adjusted to living without the machinery of the major music business with our small cottage industry since then, constantly adjusting and refining how we sell and send albums out to fans.

"With a retail sector in tatters and particularly at this moment in history when there's little footfall in stores, having a mail order set up operating out of the studio where we live has been a life saver.

"It's a lot of work and a lot of organisation but the levels of satisfaction are immense. I'm proud that as an independent operation based in Scotland with a small dedicated and enthusiastic team and with tremendous support from my fans – who are incredibly engaged with me through social media – that we have managed to achieve the equivalent of a 'phantom' number 2 midweek position for the Weltschmerz album in the UK national charts.

"It's disappointing that it won't be officially recognised but we know ourselves what we have achieved and in amongst the 'forest' of cardboard packaging strewn throughout our house there are people with big smiles today."

The artist who walked away from his former band Marillion in 1988 after what some consider was their best album Clutching At Straws says his final opus has also garnered particularly significant sales in Benelux and Germany.

The 84 minute double LP includes the tracks Man With A Stick — written for his dad — and Garden Of Remembrance, about his mum's battle with dementia.

The success of Weltschmerz follows on from Fish’s decision to upload his entire career of 14 solo albums onto all digital platforms in June 2018, going from a standing start to over 10 million streams in just two years.

Fish, whose real name is Derek Dick, said: "We were nervous at the pre-ordering and servicing of my new and final studio album Weltschmerz due to the huge global interest and had taken on the services of leisure management system provider Fuse Metrix to create new software to deal with the ever more complicated postage and customs demands worldwide. All copies of the album are packed and mailed out by myself, my wife Simone and a small team of helpers.

"Perhaps some might find it highly unusual for an artist to be so hands on but the music industry has substantially changed since I signed to EMI back in 1982 and I realised a long time ago that I had to evolve and become a lot more self-sufficient if I was to continue my career.

"Being able to maximise my earnings and simultaneously keep the operating costs you'd normally associate with a big record company to a minimum has meant I don't have to rely on crowdfunding schemes and can have the resources to support the writing, recording and manufacture of albums with the quality of Weltschmerz, as well as pay for outside press and promotion agencies to let people know of its existence."