analysis

Charts analysis: Harry Styles' No.1 smash As It Was goes gold

About damn time: while the top two singles on the chart extend their duopoly to five weeks there is, at last, change in the air with Lizzo’s appositely-titled About Damn Time making spectacular progress for the second week in a ...

Charts analysis: Arcade Fire land fourth No.1 album

Montreal indie rockers Arcade Fire blaze to their fourth (consecutive) No.1, with sixth studio album, We, opening at the summit. The 18th different leader of the album chart in as many weeks, We comprehensively eclipses its rivals in an all-new top four, with consumption of 18,821 units (6,319 CDs, 6,932 vinyl albums, 1,457 cassettes, 1,932 digital downloads and 2,181 sales-equivalent streams). On a less positive note, We’s first frame was the weakest for any Arcade Fire album since their debut album, Funeral, sold 4,782 copies on debut at No.71 in March 2005 on its way to a No.33 peak the following January. Their best first week came from 2007 follow-up Neon Bible, which debuted and peaked at No.2 on sales of 65,700, falling just 525 sales short of dethroning The Kaiser Chiefs' Yours Truly, Angry Mob. Arcade Fire's third album, The Suburbs, opened at No.1 on sales of 61,263 copies in 2010, fourth album Reflektor topped the list on sales of 45,252 copies in 2013, and fifth album Everything Now’s No.1 debut was accompanied by 36,306 sales in 2017. Despite its low start and peak, Funeral is Arcade Fire’s second biggest seller (394,330 sales), just ahead of Neon Bible (393,760 sales) and just behind The Suburbs (398,272). Although one of their five members is American – lead singer Win Butler, who also co-wrote every song on We with his wife and bandmate Regine Chassagne – Arcade Fire identify as Canadian, in which respect they are tied in third place for most UK No.1 albums alongside Drake and behind Celine Dion and Michael Bublé, who have five each. The only other Canadian band to have a No.1 album is Nickelback, who did so with Silver Side Up in 2001. A little over three years after her debut album Sucker Punch debuted at No.4 on sales of 18,318 copies, 25-year-old Norwegian singer/songwriter Sigrid’s follow-up How To Let Go achieves a higher place on lower consumption, opening at No.2 (11,623 sales). It may be pertinent that Sucker Punch – which has thus far sold 102,063 copies - had spawned two Top 20 hits by the time it debuted, while How To Let Go has yet to spawn even a Top 40 hit.       His introductory Top 75 single (SL collaboration Nice And Good) peaked at No.51 last month, so rapper Knucks – a 27-year-old from North London whose real name is Ashley Nwachukwu – makes an impressive stride forward with debut full-length album Alpha Place debuting at No.3 on consumption of 9,143 units. It is No.1 on the cassette chart, with 2,497 sales in that format. With First Class at No.2 on the singles chart for the fifth straight week, rapper Jack Harlow’s second full length album, Come Home The Kids Miss You makes a strong album chart debut, arriving at No.4 on consumption of 8,603 units. Deriving 97.90% of that total from sales-equivalent streams (it sold 181 downloads), it far exceeds his debut album, That’s What They All Say, which sold 2,169 copies debuting and peaking at No.73 in the penultimate week of 2020, and has since gone on to achieve consumption of 44,025 units.  A hugely successful duo in the first half of the 1980s, when they racked up four Top 20 albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the million-selling chart-topping Tainted Love, Soft Cell split in 1984, with Marc Almond going on to become a major solo star while colleague David Ball also prospered as a member of dance act The Grid. They reunited in 2002 for Cruelty Without Beauty, but the public were seemingly not ready, and the album peaked at No.116. Twenty years on, Almond and Ball – now 64 and 63, respectively – are back again – and new album, Happiness Not Included, gets a much better reception, debuting at No.7 (5,291 sales), and becoming their sixth Top 10 album in all. Bit Of Previous (No.8, 5,204 sales) is the 11th studio set, 13th Top 75 entry and 5th Top 10 album for Scots veterans Belle & Sebastian. The seventh and final new arrival in the Top 10 in a very busy week is Back From The Dead (No.9, 5,108 sales), the fifth album from Pennsylvania hard rock quartet Halestorm, and their third straight Top 10 album following Into The Wild Life (No.10, 2015) and Vicious (No.8, 2018). Their biggest seller is still their second album, The Strange Case Of…, which reached only No.49 in 2012 but has sold 76,860 units. The only albums from last week’s Top 10 to remain in situ are = by Ed Sheeran (4-5, 8,332 sales), Between Us (6-6, 5,536 sales) by Little Mix and Sour (8-10, 4,827 sales) by Olivia Rodrigo. Ahead of Little Mix’s last pre-hiatus gigs this weekend, that makes it a full six months (26 weeks) in the Top 20 for Between Us, which has risen no higher than No.3 and fallen no lower than No.17. No.1 on debut last week, Blossoms’ Ribbon Around The Bomb dips to No.11 (4,636 sales).  Also exiting the Top 10 are: I Never Liked You (2-12, 4,313 sales) by Future, Fine Line (10-16, 3,906 sales) by Harry Styles, Zeit (3-45, 2,158 sales) by Rammstein, Dawn FM (9-54, 1,998 sales) by The Weeknd, Dopamine (5-195, 954 sales) by Thunder and Alpha Games, No.7 for Bloc Party last week but now outside the Top 200 (525 sales). Emeli Sandé’s first three albums made the Top 10, with 2012 debut Our Version Of Events spending 10 weeks at No.1 and selling 2,492,578 copies. Fourth album, Let’s Say For Instance, opens at No.27 (3,008 sales). Californian indie rock band Warpaint snare their fourth chart success with Radiate Like This (No.21, 3,334 sales) - their first album in six years – while there are also debuts for New Jersey singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten’s sixth album and third chart entry, We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong (No.28, 2,999 sales); Infinite Disco (No.40, 2,268 sales), the 31st chart album by Kylie Minogue, a live set that was released digitally five weeks ago which now charts after being released on clear vinyl; Old School (No.42, 2,214 sales), the second album by Boyzlife (former Boyzone member Keith Duffy and former Westlife member Brian McFadden), who reached No.12 with Strings Attached in 2020; Serotonin Dreams (No.43, 2,167 sales), the first chart album by publicity-shy BoyWithUke; and Un Verona Sin Ti (No.62, 1,825 sales), the all-Spanish first chart album for 28-year-old Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Bad Bunny.  Released in 1997, and last in the chart in 2013, Daft Punk’s groundbreaking debut album, Homework, has just been released in a new vinyl double pack, hence its return at No.65 (1,797 sales). The Encanto soundtrack is No.1 for the second week in a row and 16th time in all on the compilation chart (3,524 sales). Overall album sales are up 1.76% week-on-week at 2,070,082 – their highest level for 14 weeks, and 10.31% above same week 2021 sales of 1,876,606. Physical product accounts for 294,237 sales, 14.21% of the total.   Subscribers can access all the latest charts here.

Charts analysis: Harry Styles leads sluggish singles Top 10

Groundhog Day: The Top 10 continues its unprecedented sluggish spring slumber. With no-one else able to take on the mantle, Harry Styles’ As It Was racks up its fifth straight week at No.1 but suffers a dip in consumption for the fourth straight week, subsiding a further 4.06% to 61,277 units. Only the fifth song to make the Top 10 for the first time in the last seven weeks, and the only new arrival therein this frame, Wait For U (feat. Drake & Tems) opens at No.8 (27,661 sales) for Atlanta rapper Future. Only his second Top 10 entry – after 2020 No.3 hit Life Is Good (feat. Drake) – it is the first of three tracks from his new No.2 album, I Never Liked You, to debut this week. Further down the list are I’m On One (feat. Drake, No.50, 8,898 sales) and Puffin On Zootiez (No.53, 8,811 sales), while five more tracks from the album are ‘starred-out’ of the Top 75. Future has now had 21 Top 75 entries (seven Top 40 hits), while Nigerian singer Tems’ tally rises to two, and Drake’s to a whopping 120. Ahead of Drake lie only Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley. Cliff has had 134 hits, while Elvis has had at least 122 – deciding definitively how many Elvis has had is impossible, with variables such as co-credited flips, slightly different mixes, EPs with the same titles as singles, tracks charting multiple times with different bracketed double A-sides which themselves have been hits in their own right, etc.   The only existing Top 10 hit to scale a new peak – and the only one to increase consumption - is Bam Bam, which ascends 8-7 (28,521 sales) for Camilla Cabello feat. Ed Sheeran.  Jack Harlow spends his fourth straight week at No.2 with First Class (42,438 sales). The rest of the Top 10: Go (3-3, 42,090 sales) by Cat Burns, Starlight (5-4, 34,077 sales) by Dave, Baby (4-5, 32,217 sales) by Aitch & Ashanti, Peru (6-6, 29,431 sales) by Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran, Make Me Feel Good (10-9, 25,502 sales) by Belters Only feat. Jazzy and Where Did You Go (9-10, 23,427 sales) by Jax Jones feat. MNEK. Peru has now been No.6 for four weeks in a row - equalling the record for most consecutive weeks in that position - and six weeks in total.  BMW reverses out of the Top 10 for the second time for Bad Boy Chiller Crew, falling 7-11 (22,164 sales). No.46 last year with debut single Ghost Town, 19-year-old American singer/songwriter Benson Boone lands higher with second hit In The Stars debuting at No.21 (16,216 sales). Also new to the Top 75: Just Coz (No.42, 9,546 sales), the 22nd hit for Mancunian rapper Aitch, and the 13th for London rapper Giggs; Love Me More (No.52, 8,834 sales), the 25th hit for Sam Smith; Honest (No.54, 8,600 sales), the 75th hit for Justin Bieber, and the seventh for rapper Don Toliver; Take That (No.61, 7,247 sales), the first hit in nine years and third hit in all for Gangnam Style hitmaker Psy and his South Korean compatriot Suga, making his first chart excursion outside of BTS; and 21 Reasons (No.65, 6,635 sales), the fifth hit for DJ/producer Nathan Dawe and the 12th for featured vocalist Ella Henderson. 2Step reaches a new peak for Ed Sheeran, climbing 13-12 (21,408 sales) thanks to the release on Monday (2 May) of a new mix of the track featuring Ukrainian band Antytila. About Damn Time – the first single from her fourth album Special – surges 67-15 (18,658 Sales) for Lizzo, helped by her appearance on The One Show (May 4), on which it was revealed that she recorded 175 songs (!) for consideration for the album. About Damn Time – on which she also plays flute – is Lizzo’s fifth Top 40 entry and her second highest charting hit to date behind Good As Hell (No.7 in 2019).  There are also new peaks for: Crazy What Love Can Do (18-17, 18,236 sales) by David Guetta, Becky Hill & Ella Henderson; Big Energy (33-28, 13,290 sales) by Latto & Mariah Carey feat DJ Khaled; Don’t Forget My Love (41-39, 10,118 sales) by Diplo & Miguel; Green Green Grass (46-43, 9,473 sales) by George Ezra; Je M’Appelle (59-48, 9,185 sales) by Benzz; and Low Down (71-66, 6,577 sales) by Venbee & Dan Fable. Lady Gaga’s new single, Hold My Hand – from the soundtrack to the new Top Gun: Maverick movie – dropped on Tuesday (May 3), and sold enough digital downloads (1,205) to debut at No.9 on the download singles chart, but with overall consumption of 2,970 units, falls well short of becoming her 30th chart single, though it inevitably will be in due course.  Singles consumption is up 1.51% week-on-week at 24,321,991 units – 7.34% above same week 2021 consumption of 22,658,936 units. Paid-for sales are down 2.45% week-on-week at 335,971 – 15.07% below same week 2021 sales of 395,588. Subscribers can access all the latest charts here.

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