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Charts analysis: Ariana Grande scores biggest single of 2018 so far

Ariana Grande’s two No.1 singles hitherto both reigned for a single week in 2014, but Thank U, Next not only spends a second week at the summit but also sees an increase in consumption week-on-week of 31.02% to 95,439 units ...

Charts analysis: Muse vs Murs in albums battle

Muse vs. Murs: Something had to give on this week’s chart, with Muse shooting for their sixth consecutive No.1 album with Simulation Theory and Olly Murs for his fifth in a row with You Know I Know. In practice, Theory won the race fairly easily. Muse’s eighth studio album cantered to victory on sales of 44,320 copies (including 4,057 from sales-equivalent streams), while You Know I Know sold 35,622 copies (including 2,043 from sales-equivalent streams) to debut at No.2 However, Simulation Theory had a lower first week sale than those of immediate predecessor Drones (72,863 sales, 2015); Muse’s sixth studio album, The 2nd Law (108,536 sales, 2012); the 148,161 copies that their fifth studio album The Resistance sold when opening at the summit in 2009; the 115,144 copies that their fourth album, Black Holes & Revelations, sold debuting at number one in 2006; and the 71,597 copies that their third album, Absolution, sold when providing their first No.1 in 2003.  It surpasses only the opening weeks of their first two albums. Their first, Showbiz, debuted at No.69 on sales of 2,901 copies in 1999, and eventually peaked at No.29. Second album, Origin Of Symmetry debuted and peaked at No.3 in 2001, with an opening tally of 45,652 sales.The band has also charted with compilation Hullabaloo, which debuted and peaked at No.10, with first week sales of 16,384 in 2002; live album, HAARP, which opened and peaked at number two, on sales of 45,276 copies in 2008; and Live At Rome Olympic Stadium, which attracted 10,509 sales to open at No.36 in 2013. Overall sales of Muse albums in the UK now stand at 5,275,193, with top tallies of 1,119,574 for Black Holes & Revelations, 948,685 for Absolution and 790,602 for The Resistance. The only acts to have had more than six number one studio albums in a row are  Eminem (nine), Abba and Led Zeppelin (eight) and The Beatles (seven), although both The Arctic Monkeys and The Prodigy have also extended their run of consecutive No.1 studio albums to six in 2018, the latter only a week ago. The only acts to have had more No.1 albums in the 21st century than Muse are Robbie Williams (11, including two compilations and Take That reunion album Progress), Eminem (10, including 2004 D12 album, D12 World), Coldplay and Westlife (seven apiece) Despite Murs’ failure in his valiant effort to become the first X Factor act to register five No.1 albums in a row, he does become the first to open his career with six straight Top 2 albums. You Know I Know’s opening tally is substantially below of all its predecessors. In order, they are the eponymous Olly Murs (2010, 108,212 sales), In Case You Didn’t Know (2011, 148,532 sales), Right Time, Right Place (2012, 126,949 sales), Never Been Better (2014, 92,597 sales) and 24 Hrs (2016, 57,981 sales). All were also November releases, and all reached No.1 except the first. You Know I Know’s first frame was undoubtedly impacted by the failure of first single Moves (feat. Snoop Dogg) to dent the Top 50 in a six-week chart run before the album came out, though it now reaches a new peak, climbing 68-46 (11,005 sales). The deluxe edition of You Know I Know is bundled with a 14 song Greatest Hits collection.       No.1 on debut in 1968, and last in the chart at the start of 2016, when the band’s catalogue was made available on streaming services for the first time, The Beatles’ eponymous ninth album, also known as The White Album, re-enters at No.4 (22,086 sales) after being released in greatly expanded 50th anniversary editions. Not this high in the chart since February 1969, it follows the 50th anniversary edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which returned to No.1 for The Beatles in June of last year, on sales of 36,559 copies.   Aled Jones scores his third Top 10 album, and Russell Watson his seventh, as their first collaboration, In Harmony, debuts at No.8 (15,549 sales). It brings 51-year-old Watson his 15th Top 75 album, and 47-year-old Jones his 19th. Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons reached the top three with each of their previous albums but their fourth release, Origins, opens at No.9 (12,278 sales) this week. There has been at least one Motion Picture Cast Recording in the top three for each of the last 44 weeks – and that run continues as The Greatest Showman soundtrack rebounds 5-3 (22,141 sales), while Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper’s soundtrack to A Star Is Born falls 2-6 (19,914 sales). Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack to the Freddie Mercury biopic of the same name ebbs 3-11 (11,345 sales) but they still have an album in the Top 10, with their 2000 compilation The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & III, advancing 7-5 (20,576 sales), to achieve its highest chart position since 2003.    Completing the Top 10: Si (4-7, 18,087 sales) by Andrea Bocelli and Always In Between (8-10, 11,988 sales) by Jess Glynne. No previous No.1 album by The Prodigy has fallen further than No.5 on its second frame but No Tourists slumps 1-24 (5,305 sales) this week. The Vamps 1-35 2017 dive with Night And Day remains the most spectacular retreat from No.1 in chart history. Also heading out of the Top 10: Sweetener (10-16, 8,032 sales) by Ariana Grande, Walls (6-17, 7,614 sales) by Barbra Streisand and More Blood, More Tracks: Bootleg Series 14 (9-58, 2,082 sales) by Bob Dylan. After finishing seventh in the final of Britain’s Got Talent in June, D-Day Darlings signed for Sony, and their debut album, I Remember You, suitably stuffed with wartime classics, makes its initial chart appearance at No.15 (9,931 sales). Blue is the debut album from DJ/producer Jonas Blue who has sold 5,529,877 singles and had three No.1’s, all of which are among the seven hits on the album which is also TV-advertised and nevertheless debuts at a lowly No.33 (3,481 sales).    Also new to the chart on another busy week: Holy Hell (No.18, 7,435 sales), the eight album and fifth chart entry for Brighton metalcore band Architects; Come Over When You’re Sober Part 2 (No.19, 6,316 sales), the posthumous second chart album from rapper Lil Peep; The Capital Studio Album (No.26, 4,580 sales), the debut album by Hollywood actor Jeff Goldblum, 66, and The Mildred Snetzer Orchestra; A Love Letter To You 3 (No.31, 3,811 sales), a mixtape by 19 year old Ohio rapper Trippie Redd, arriving just 13 weeks after his first regular album, Life’s A Tripp, debuted and peaked at No.19; HBK (No.36, 3,136 sales), a mixtape from London rapper Yxng Bane, arriving 16 weeks after his debut chart album, D-Block Europe collaboration Any Minute Now debuted and peaked at No.14; and Savage – Live At Brixton Academy (No.75, 1,660 sales), the 31st chart album for Gary Numan.   Kylie Minogue and 80% of the Spice Girls chatted to Jonathan Ross on his ITV show last week. Minogue, who also sang, sees latest album, Golden, respond with a 122-42 leap (2,642 sales, including 887 on cassette), while the Spice Girls’ Greatest Hits album – No.2 on release in 2007 and No.18 after their appearance on the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony – sprints 69-25 (4,812 sales) after they confirmed their tour. Dreamboats & Petticoats remains at No.1 on the compilation chart (13,630 sales).   Overall album sales are up 8.18% week-on-week at 1,959,596, 4.36% below same week 2017 sales of 2,049,031. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for a record 1,030,492 sales, 52.59% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 18.03% week-on-week at 929,104, 22.27% below same week 2017 sales of 1,195,243.

Airplay analysis: Little Mix on top as new album drops

Little Mix’s Woman Like Me (feat. Nicki Minaj) makes it three straight weeks at No.1 on the radio airplay chart, with an 8.41% increase in plays from 4,425 to 4,797 driving a 0.65% increase in audience from 68.12m to 68.56m. Meanwhile, Clean Bandit have their eighth Top 10 entry and are in hot pursuit of their fifth No.1 with new single Baby (feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi) scorching 37-4, with a 33.15% increase in plays from 1,457 to 1,940 and a massive 184.54% surge in audience from 18.11m to 51.53m. It had a top tally of 69 plays at eight Capital Network stations but the biggest contribution to its growth came from Radio 2, where it roared to a No.1 debut with 19 plays, which provided more than half (54.40%) of its audience. Zara Larsson also benefitted from the sudden patronage of Radio 2, which didn’t air her Ruin My Life at all in the previous frame but played it 15 times last week, helping it to advance 8-5. Close To Me becomes Ellie Goulding’s 11th Top 10 entry, as it improves 13-9, with a 20.04% uptick in plays from 2,270 to 2,725, and a 10.99% hike in listeners, from 36.69m to 40.72m. The main driver for this is Radio 1, where exposure of the track – which also features Diplo & Swae Lee - leapt 75% from 16 to 28. The latter rapper, incidentally, also tops Radio 1’s most-played chart with his Post Malone collaboration Sunflower racking up 33 plays, helping the track to a 21-16 climb on the radio airplay chart. George Ezra scores his third straight Top 10 hit from current album, Staying At Tamara’s, as Hold My Girl closes 18-10, with a 53.12% increase in plays from 947 to 1,450 and a 26.35% increase in audience from 31.04m to 39.22m. The album has already spawned Paradise and Shotgun, which had respective peaks of No.7 and No.4. No.1 on the TV airplay chart for the third week in a row and fifth time in all, Calvin Harris & Sam Smith’s Promises is leading a charmed life. For the second week in a row, it is just one play ahead of its runner-up – which was Silk City’s Electricity last week but is now DJ Snake’s Taki Taki. Promises’ winning tally of 485 plays included top contributions of 96 plays from Starz TV, 87 plays from The Box and 48 plays from Club MTV.  

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