Greatest expectations: How The Greatest Showman became 2018's biggest-selling album

Flash back to a bright, yet freezing sunny day back in early March 2017: your correspondent is in search of The Greatest Showman set in New York at Brooklyn’s Steiner Studios. The cast are on a break, but waiting inside ...

International Charts Analysis: J Cole and Cardi B make worldwide impact

Its existence revealed only two days before its release on Friday, rapper J. Cole’s fifth album, KOD, is nevertheless an instant success, topping the chart in 40 countries on iTunes within hours of release. Whether or not it stays the course in most countries to become an official No.1, there seems little doubt that it will do so in the 33-year-old’s native US, where all of his previous albums have done so. Staying with rap, Cardi B’s first album Invasion Of Privacy’s debut in nine countries was fully documented hereabouts last week. Building on that start, the album now debuts at No.1 in Canada and The USA, at No.6 in Australia, No.7 in Denmark, No.10 in Finland, No.20 in Switzerland, No.35 in France and No.41 in Slovakia. It is rare for any album to secure widespread improvements in global chart positions on its second week, and almost unheard of for a rap album, but Invasion Of Privacy does just that in Ireland (3-2), New Zealand (3-2), Norway (6-3), The UK (6-5), Sweden (8-7), Flanders (15-10) and Wallonia (53-43). It completes its portfolio by falling in The Netherlands (7-10), Italy (37-47) and Germany (39-53). After opening at No.1 in The UK., No.2 in Ireland, No.3 in Germany, No.4 in Flanders, No.12 in Wallonia, No.14 in Italy, No.16 in New Zealand, No.18 in The Netherlands, No.38 in Sweden and No.64 in Japan last week, Kylie Minogue’s Golden is in decline in all of them. But it now debuts at No.1 in Australia – becoming her fifth chart-topper in her country of birth – while opening at No.4 in Switzerland, No.5 in Austria, No.6 in The Czech Republic, No.8 in Spain, No.10 in Hungary, No.23 in Poland, No.33 in Canada and France, No.47 in Finland and No.64 in the US. Manic Street Preachers came close to securing their second No.1 in the UK this week, but the Welsh band eventually had to settle for a No.2 debut for their 13th studio album, Resistance Is Futile. The album also opens at No.5 in Ireland, No.20 in Germany, No.45 in Flanders, No.73 in The Netherlands and No.107 in Wallonia. Its German debut is the most impressive, bearing in mind they have had only one Top 20 album there before, reaching No.13 in 2001 with Know Your Enemy. On a similar note, The Damned – who secure their first ever UK Top 10 album after a gestation of 41 years with Evil Spirits opening at No.7 this week – almost made the German album chart for the first time with the set. It was at No.84 in the official midweek chart but sadly fell short of the published Top 100 in the end. For the record, Evil Spirits also debuts at No.88 in Ireland. Finally, Ed Sheeran’s Divide is No.1 in New Zealand for the 36th time but slips 1-2 in The Czech Republic, where it has spent 21 weeks at No.1 and 1-3 in Australia, where it has spent 27 weeks at No.1. It is also in the Top 10 in Greece (3-2), Ireland (5-3), Denmark (3-3), Flanders (7-4), Canada (4-5), South Africa (7-6), The UK (7-6), Norway (5-6), Slovakia (3-7), Germany (14-9), The Netherlands (10-9) and Italy (10-10).   

Charts analysis: Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa are new rulers on singles chart

Leadership of the singles chart changes hands for the fourth week in a row, with Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa’s One Kiss advancing from its debut position of No.3 to take the title. Harris’ ninth No.1 – a total equaled or surpassed by only 10 other acts in chart history - and Dua Lipa’s second, One Kiss leads a reshuffled top three in which all enjoy double digit sales growth.  The second Harris single in a row to climb 3-1 – his first seven No.1s all debuted there – One Kiss saw growth of 42.80% last week to 70,106 sales, including 47,679 from sales-equivalent streams. It had paid-for sales of 22,427 – which, like its overall tally, is the highest of 2018. Only two of his No.1s have credited him solo, and he has worked with different collaborators on each of the rest. It is interesting that he chose Dua Lipa for the latest – her only previous No.1, New Rules, dethroned his last No.1, Feels (feat. Pharrell, Katy Perry & Big Sean) last August. All of Harris' No.1s have come in a less than 10 years, and the only acts with more No.1s to their credit in the 21st century are Westlife (10). Rihanna and Eminem also have nine. Seven of Harris’ No.1s have come in the 2010s, putting him top of that list alongside Tinie Tempah.  Harris’ 2014 chart-topper Summer became his fourth million-seller last week in a list topped (naturally) by 2011 Rihanna collaboration, We Found Love, which has sold 1,780,814 copies. Cumulative UK consumption of Harris tracks, including sales-equivalent streams stand at 17.581,366.   His last No.1 (God’s Plan) reigned for nine weeks until ACR kicked in but Drake’s follow-up, Nice For What, is dethroned after just a week, falling to No.2 with sales up 22.24% at 62,570, including the week’s best of 52,799 from sales-equivalent streams. Lil Dicky’s debut hit, Freaky Friday (feat. Chris Brown) has fallen 1-2-3 in the last fortnight but its slow downward drift comes despite its continuing increase in sales, which are up 10.08% week-on-week at 55,195.  After three weeks at No.9, Sigala & Paloma Faith’s Lullaby reaches a new peak, climbing to No.7 (28,654 sales). The rest of the Top 10: Paradise (5-4, 35,044 sales) by George Ezra, Friends (6-6, 30,064 sales) by Marshmello & Anne-Marie, Feel It Still (8-8, 27,117 sales) by Portugal The Man, Psycho (10-9, 25,042 sales) by Post Malone feat. Ty Dolla $ign and This Is Me (7-10, 24,521 sales) by Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble. Sia collaboration Dusk Till Dawn gave Zayn Malik his longest-running Top 10 hit ever last Autumn, spending its first 11 weeks in the top tier to surpass even his work with One Direction. Solo follow-up Let Me is the highest new entry to the Top 75 this week but falls far short of its predecessor’s No.5 opening, arriving at No.20 (15,762 sales). Two new tracks from Nicki Minaj – Chun-Li and Barbie Tingz – dropped simultaneously on Thursday (April 12), but neither track accumulated enough sales by midnight that day to qualify for last week’s chart. They do so now, with Chub-Li opening at No.26 (12,721 sales) and Barbie Tingz at No.31 (11,021 sales). Minaj’s first hits of 2018, they maintain her record of charting every year since her 2010 debut, and bring her cumulative tally of Top 75 entries to 43. That’s impressive but only half of the 86 tracks she has placed on the US Hot 100 in the same time, a tally which gives her more hits there than any other woman in chart history. On its 19th week on release, First Time finally breaks into the Top 75 for M-22 feat. Medina. Moving 80-62 (6,435 sales), it is the first hit for Anglo/German production team M-22, and the second hit for Danish singer Medina, who reached No.39 with You And I in 2009. Also new to the chart are Nevermind (No.65, 6,213 sales), the first hit for 23-year-old Israeli Nir Tibor under the name Dennis Lloyd; and Youngblood (No.71, 5,721 sales), the 11th hit for Australian band 5 Seconds Of Summer, who topped the chart with introductory hit She Looks So Perfect four years ago.    It is a great week for French superstar DJ David Guetta who simultaneously registers his 36th and 37th Top 40 hits with Flames (feat. Sia) climbing 56-37 (9,307 sales) and Martin Garrix & Brooks collaboration Like I Do jumping 65-40 (8,813 sales). Mad Love – his collaboration with Sean Paul & Becky G – made its Top 40 debut a week ago, and now leaps 39-25 (13,132 sales).  There are also new peaks within the Top 75 for: Love Lies (18-16, 20,223 sales) by Khalid & Normani, Answerphone (25-18, 18,288 sales) by Banx & Ranx and Ella Eyre feat Yxng Bane, Bad Vibe (23-22, 14,445 sales) by M.O. x Lotto Boyzz x Mr. Eazi, I Like It (40-23, 13,990 sales) by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J. Balvin, Be Careful (27-24, 13,916 sales) by Cardi B, German (55-30, 11,189 sales) by EO, Vroom (36-32, 10,488 sales) by Yxng Bane, Delicate (50-45, 8,038 sales) by Taylor Swift, Make Your Own Kind Of Music (59-47, 7,726 sales) by Paloma Faith, Man Down (73-61, 6,488 sales) by Shakka feat. AlunaGeorge and Sit Back Down (71-66, 6,175 sales) by Not3s feat. Maleek Berry,  Overall singles sales are up 3.28% week-on-week at a record 16,634,984, 33.84% above same week 2017 sales of 12,428,793. Streams accounted for 15,689,251 sales, 94.31% of the total – both records. Paid-for sales are down 7.18% week-on-week at 945,733 – their lowest level for more than 12 years - and are 29.22% below same week 2017 sales of 1,336,218. They are below same-week, previous-year sales for the 246th week in a row. The last time paid-for sales were lower was in chart week 47, 2005 (sales week ending 26th November), when 912,538 singles were sold, and Madonna was No.1 with Hung Up (40,254 sales).

Charts analysis: Manics' resistance to The Greatest Showman proves futile

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Airplay analysis: Portugal The Man return to radio summit

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International Charts Analysis: Cardi B and Kylie Minogue secure impressive debuts

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