analysis

Charts analysis: It's a Funky Friday for Dave & Fredo

Winning a closely contested battle for chart supremacy, Funky Friday opens atop the chart for Dave & Fredo. Becoming the first single to debut at No.1 since Drake’s Nice For What in April, and the first by a British act ...

Charts analysis: A Star Is Born races to No.1

In a year when two Motion Picture Cast recordings - The Greatest Showman and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again - have dominated, spending 26 weeks at No.1 between them, a third debuts atop the chart this week, with a last gasp victory putting paid to the chart-topping aspirations of Twenty One Pilots.  The Ohio duo were on automatic pilot and set to land atop the album chart for the first time but crash land at No.2 on consumption of 29,835 copies of their fifth studio set Trench (including 6,178 from sales-equivalent streams). They led the chart flashes all week but were overhauled at the last by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper’s Motion Picture Cast Recording of A Star Is Born, which opens at No.1 on consumption of 31,816 units, including 4,651 from sales-equivalent streams. It is the first time 45-year-old Cooper, better known as an actor, has had a chart album, and marks a return to prominence (and fourth No.1) for Gaga, whose last album, Joanne, debuted and peaked at No.3 on sales of 26,694 copies almost exactly two years ago, and has gone on to sell 143,315 copies, less than a 20th of the 2,995,891 copies that her 2008 debut The Fame has sold across all editions. This is the second time that an A Star Is Born soundtrack has topped the chart – Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson’s 1977 take on the tale had a soundtrack which took 13 weeks to reach the summit.  Despite their late defeat, Trench is easily Twenty One Pilots’ highest charting album. Their first two albums – Twenty One Pilots (2009) and Regional At Best (2011) – didn’t get proper UK releases at the time, and failed to chart at all. Third album Vessel originally peaked at No.92 in 2013 and reached at No.39 in 2016 after appearances at the Reading and Leeds festivals were screened by the BBC. Last album, Blurryface, sold 6,793 copies while debuting at No.14 in 2015, and also received a 2016 festival fillip, which saw it peak 67 weeks later at No.5. It has been a Top 200 fixture ever since its release 178 weeks ago, and rallies 117-84, this week, with consumption of 1,287 units raising its career sales tally to 394,727 copies. Although missing out on the main prize, incidentally, Trench debuts at No.1 on the physical sales, vinyl and cassette album charts. Surrey rockers You Me At Six score their fifth straight Top 10 album with sixth studio set VI debuting at No.6 (8,760 sales). The band’s fourth album, Cavalier Youth sold 32,426 copies while debuting at No.1 in 2014, but its cumulative sales of 101,202 leave it trailing their debut, Take Off Your Colours, which sold 7,184 copies debuting and peaking at No.25 exactly 10 years ago, and has since gone on to sell 145,177 copies.  After debuting at No.1 last week, Rod Stewart’s Blood Red Roses dips to No.3 (17,118 sales).  Despite a 7.33% increase in consumption week-on-week, The Greatest Showman soundtrack’s 39-week run in the top three is over, as it falls 3-4 (16,819 sales). The rest of the Top 10: Kamikaze (4-5, 11,369 sales) by Eminem, Staying At Tamara’s (6-7, 8,316 sales) by George Ezra, Dancing Queen (2-8, 8,088 sales) by Cher, the Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again soundtrack (7-9, 7,283 sales) and Sweetener (9-10, 6,115 sales) by Ariana Grande. Exiting the Top 10 are: Gold (8-17, 4,268 sales) by Chas & Dave, Tha Carter V (5-18, 4,206 sales) by Lil Wayne and It’s About Time (10-124, 994 sales) by Nile Rodgers & Chic. Now comprising only lead singer Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant both of whom were founder members of the Liverpool group 40 years ago, Echo & The Bunnymen have their highest-charting album in 21 years, with 13th studio album, The Stars, The Oceans & The Moon opening at No.11 on sales of 5,883 copies. It is the post-punk act’s 15th charted album (including four compilations) and marks a big improvement over the No.37 debut/peak of last album, Meteorites, in 2014 on sales of 2,551 copies. Rapper Lil Baby’s debut solo album, Harder Than Ever, reached only No.117 in May while Gunna’s Drip Season 3 fell short of the Top 200 in February. The rappers, both from the US state of Georgia, are clearly stronger together, and their collaboration Drip Harder debuts at No.12 (5,740 sales). Three songs from the album are also in the Top 75, including the title track, which powers 60-28. 5,567 of Drip Harder’s sales (96.99%) are from sales-equivalent streams - and just 173 from paid-for downloads. KT Tunstall’s sixth album, Wax, charts lower than her first five but maintains her unbroken string of Top 20 albums, debuting at No.15 (4,434 sales). There are also debuts for: Wanderer (No.29, 2,871 sales), the 10th album and fourth chart entry for 46-year-old singer/songwriter Cat Power from Georgia; Dark All Day (No.34, 2,645 sales), the second album by synthwave band Gunship whose eponymous 2015 debut failed to chart but sold 8,756 copies; The Unheavenly Creatures (No.36, 2,509 sales), the ninth album and sixth chart entry for New York prog-rock band Coheed And Cambria; Television Themes (No.38, 2,416 sales), the first chart album for 44-year-old actor/musician Matt Berry and home to his versions of such legendary TV themes as Rainbow, Blankety Blank and The Liver Birds; Traces (No.40, 2,409 sales), the third solo album by former Journey lead singer Steve Perry, 24 years after second solo album For The Love Of Strange Medicine reached No.64 and 34 years after debut solo album Street Talk reached No.59; I Love You At Your Darkest (No.42, 2,268 sales), the second chart album for Polish death metal band Behemoth; Ultimate Collection (No.45, 2,230 sales), a new compilation from singer/songwriter Katie Melua, whose seven studio albums have all made the Top 10; Better Late Than Never (No.58, 1,758 sales), the debut mixtape from East London rapper/MC Asco; Monster (No.62, 1,678 sales), the first charted solo album for 69 year old former Stranglers’ vocalist Hugh Cornwell; and Ivy To Roses (No.70, 1,532 sales), the first album by Mabel. No.1 in 1971, John Lennon’s classic second solo album Imagine (No.19, 4,193 sales) returns to the chart for the first time since 2000, and achieves its highest position since 1981 when, shortly after his death, it reached No.5. Its latest surge is due primarily to the release of an Ultimate Collection variant, which expands the original’s 10 tracks to 140.  Now That’s What I Call Music! 100 spends its fifth week in a row and 11th week in total atop the compilation chart (7,186 sales).  Overall album sales are up 0.19% week-on-week at 1,674,873, 1.49% below same week 2017 sales of 1,700,286. Streaming accounted for 986,332 sales – a 22 week high, and 58.89% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are down 3.23% week-on-week at 688,541, 21.61% below same week 2017 sales of 878,358.  

Airplay analysis: Calvin Harris & Sam Smith maintain grip on radio No.1

Calvin Harris & Sam Smith spend their seventh straight week atop the radio airplay chart with Promises, which turned in extremely modest increases in plays (up 1.15% from 7,262 plays to 7,343) and audience (up 0.72% from 70.62m to 71.13m).  It narrowly avoided being dethroned by Silk City & Dua Lipa’s Electricity which actually had a small lead for much of the week but ends up climbing 4-2, with plays up 10.44% from 4,483 to 4,951, while its audience powers forward 21.05% from 57.68m to 69.82m. Electricity racked up a top tally of 134 plays from Signal, Pulse and Scottish Sun TV. It was aired 19 times on Radio 2, where it shares most-played honours with Rita Ora’s new single, Let You Love Me, and was third most-played on Radio One, where it received 31 spins. Meanwhile, Olly Murs’ new single Moves jumps 8-4 despite falling 53-74 on the OCC chart, while the only new entry to the Top 10 is Breathin, the latest single from Ariana Grande. Surging 21-8 to become her sixth Top 10 radio airplay hit, Breathin spent its only week in the Top 10 of the OCC chart – also at No.8 - seven weeks ago but should eventually reap rewards after a banner week at radio, which saw its plays increase 20.44% from 2,412 to 2,905, and its audience by 55.40% from 27.33m to 42.47m. 23.10% of that audience came from the track’s first eight plays on Radio 2, and a further 17.71% from 14 plays on  Radio 1. It was played 65 times by top supporters Capital London and Capital Brighton, and 64 times by Capital North Wales & Wirral and Capital North East. While its radio airplay chart reign goes on, Calvin Harris & Sam Smith’s Promises is knocked off the top of the TV airplay chart after just one week, with Marshmello x Bastille’s Happier – which was 81 plays in arrears last week but now leads by 13 plays – upping its support from 702 plays to 735. Happier had top tallies of 102 plays on Capital TV, 86 on Summer Hits and 82 from Box Upfront.      

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