Charts analysis: LF System settle in at summit with consumption increase

Previously looking susceptible to a challenge, LF System’s Afraid To Feel achieves an unexpected 6.60% increase in consumption to 49,320 units (2,501 digital downloads, the rest from streams), after two weeks of decline, to secure a sixth straight week at ...

Charts analysis: Beyoncé's Renaissance is first album of 2022 to spend opening fortnight at No.1

Its consumption declining a hefty 62.59% week-on-week to 11,621 units – the lowest for a No.1 for 16 weeks - Renaissance is nevertheless the first album to spend its first two weeks at No.1 so far this year, and the first Beyoncé album to spend more than a week at No.1 since 4 in 2011. Beyoncé’s seventh solo studio album, Renaissance retained pole position this week primarily due to sales-equivalent streams which, at 10,147 units, accounted for 87.32% of its overall consumption, alongside sales of 984 CDs and 490 digital downloads. When his last studio album, Music To Be Murdered By, dropped unexpectedly in January 2020, it became Eminem’s 10th consecutive No.1 (nine studio sets, one compilation), furthering his lead over previous joint record-holders Led Zeppelin (1969-1979) and ABBA (1976-1982), who each achieved eight consecutive No.1s. Although his run of No.1 studio sets remains intact, his run of No.1 albums overall comes to an end, at least for the moment, as his second hits set, Curtain Call 2, debuts at No.3 (8,853 sales). His first, Curtain Call: The Hits, was the fourth album in his sequence of chart-toppers, debuting at the summit on pure sales of 112,915 copies in November 2005. It has never really gone away since, thus far spending 429 weeks in the Top 75 – the last 190 of them consecutively. It dips 10-13 this week on consumption of 3,854 units – which is enough for it to finally displace Eminem’s third solo album and first No.1, The Marshall Mathers LP, at the top of his personal best-sellers list. As of today (August 12), consumption of Curtain Call: The Hits stands at 2,693,371, and The Marshall Mathers LP at 2,691,859.  Of course, most of Curtain Call’s firepower these days comes from streaming, which provides 784,577 of its total sales alongside 1,672,160 physical sales and 236,634 digital downloads. The Marshall Mathers LP is far ahead on physical sales (2,373,921) but way behind on digital downloads (115,992) and streaming (201,946). More than five years after his last album, Funk Wav Bounces Volume 1, debuted at No.2 on sales of 19,913 copies on its way to to-date sales of 141,940, Calvin Harris’ follow-up, Funk Wav Bounces Volume 2 debuts at No.5 (6,023 sales). It is the sixth album by the 38-year-old Scot. All have made the Top 10, with his third album and second No.1, 2012’s 18 Months, selling almost as many copies as the rest combined – 1,140,656 copies. Harris has been spectacularly more successful as a singles artist, with no fewer than 13 of his tracks selling more than a million copies. Following her high-profile TV appearances on Love Island and the Women’s Euro finale, interest in Becky Hill continues to grow. Her latest album, Only Honest On The Weekend, is the main focal point, and surges 26-7 (4,773 sales) this week, to equal the position in which it debuted 49 weeks ago. Her 2019 debut album, Get To Know, is enjoying a revival too and moves 51-43 (1,970 sales) this week while her new Joel Corry collaboration History – on neither album – debuts at No.20 on the singles chart.    The rest of the Top 10: Harry’s House (2-2, 9,546 sales) by Harry Styles, = (3-4, 7,169 sales) by Ed Sheeran, The Highlights (4-6, 5,017 sales) by The Weeknd, Greatest Hits (7-8, 4,276 sales) by Queen, Sour (5-9, 4,209 sales) by Olivia Rodrigo and Gold: Greatest Hits (9-10, 4,196 sales) by ABBA. After eight weeks in the Top 10, Gold Rush Kid falls 8-15 (3,619 sales) for George Ezra, while Maggie Rogers’ Surrender, which debuted at No.6 last week, departs the Top 200 on consumption of 712 units. Four weeks after reaching No.23 with Toast, a belatedly-released 2001 recording, Neil Young returns to the chart with Noise & Flowers (No.44, 1,942 sales), a live recording from his 2019 European tour, on which he is backed by Californian band Promise Of The Real. It is the 76-year-old Canadian singer/songwriters’ 67th Top 75 album in all, and his 29th of the 2000s.    Also new to the Top 75: London-based jazz/Afrobeats octet Kokoroko’s first album, Could We Be More (No.30, 2,450 sales); Westgate Under Fire (No.49, 1,914 sales), the third full length album by Welsh ‘ragga-metal’ quartet Dub War, whose previous highest chart placing came in 1996 when Wrong Side Of Beautiful reached No.96; What I Breathe (No.51, 1,910 sales), the first album by UK-based Australian electronic/house DJ/producer Jordon Alexander as Mall Grab; Colour My Life (No.58, 1,780 sales), Heather Small’s third solo album – arriving 16 years after the second, Close To A Miracle, peaked at No.57, and containing remakes of both solo and M People material accompanied by the London Metropolitan Choir; In The Wild (No.59, 1,731 sales), the fourth album by Californian ska/punk quartet The Interrupters whose last album and only prior Top 200 entry, Fight The Good Fight, reached No.111 in 2018. Two years to the week since it debuted and peaked at No.2, Glass Animals’ third album, Dreamland, returns to the chart at No.20 (3,112 sales), after being released in an expanded ‘real life’ edition. The album dipped to No.64 on its second week, and never returned to the chart until now, despite spawning one of the 2020s greatest and most-enduring hits, Heat Waves, which has spent 90 weeks in the Top 75 in all, the last 84 consecutively, achieving consumption of 1,875,190 units. Its latest boost means Dreamland has sold 67,231 units. Days after their sell-out gig at Wembley Stadium as part of the Wild Dreams tour, reconvened veteran boy band Westlife’s 2011 Greatest Hits album is back in the Top 75 for the first time in more than a decade – but only just, jumping 140-75 (1,532 sales). Now That’s What I Call Music! 112 is No.1 compilation for the second time, on sales of 6,201 copies (5,119 CDs, 1,082 digital downloads). The extensive media coverage of the death of Olivia Newton-John, at the age of 73, propels the 1978 film soundtrack Grease 25-2 (2,376 sales).  Overall album sales are up 0.56% week-on-week at 1,970,156, 13.94% above same week 2021 sales of 1,729,065. Physical product accounts for 258,121 sales, 13.10% of the total.   

Charts analysis: LF System hold on at singles summit with Afraid To Feel

The longest-running No.1 by an act from my former home city of Edinburgh since The Bay City Rollers spent six weeks at the top of the chart with Bye Bye Baby in 1975, Afraid To Feel secures its fifth straight week at the apex for LF System, albeit with its own lowest sale for seven weeks, and the lowest for a No.1 for 22 weeks. Its consumption down 5.45% week-on-week to 46,265 units, Afraid To Feel could fall into ACR after next week but did very well to deny Beyoncé the opportunity of her second chart ‘double’. Her first came in 2003, when her first solo album, Dangerously In Love and single Crazy In Love (feat. Jay-Z) were No.1 simultaneously, hanging on three weeks before Daniel Bedingfield toppled the latter. She came close to her second this week, with Renaissance debuting atop the album chart while its first single, Break My Soul, ends two weeks of decline by surging 6-2 – a new peak - with consumption up 42.30% week-on-week at 42,927 units. It thus becomes Beyoncé’s highest-charting single since Lady Gaga collaboration Telephone reached No.1 in 2009, and her highest as a primary artist since 2008 No.1 If I Were A Boy. Renaissance also yields the week’s two highest debuting singles in the form of Cuff It (No.14, 20,011 sales) and Alien Superstar (No.16, 18,467 sales), raising Beyonce’s career tally of Top 75 singles to 76, and her Top 40 tally to 54 (both include 15 hits with Destiny’s Child). When Beyonce’s last album, Lemonade, was released, 11 of its tracks simultaneously invaded the Top 75 singles chart. With the primary artist rule, that is a feat denied to Renaissance. However, on the Top 200 Tracks chart – whose parameters mirror those in existence when Lemonade was released – 12 tracks from Renaissance are in the Top 75 this week.     The only new arrival in the Top 10 this week is I Ain’t Worried, OneRepublic’s contribution to the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack. Climbing 12-10 (21,918 sales), it is their sixth Top 10 hit, and first for exactly eight years.  The rest of the Top 10: As It Was (3-3, 37,336 sales) by Harry Styles, Doja (2-4, 34,463 sales) by Central Cee, Green Green Grass (4-5, 34,315 sales) by George Ezra, Last Last (5-6, 31,833 sales) by Burna Boy, Crazy What Love Will Do (7-7, 27,865 sales) by David Guetta, Becky Hill & Ella Henderson, About Damn Time (8-8, 23,151 sales) by Lizzo and Running Up That Hill (9-9, 22,123 sales) by Kate Bush. All suffer reduced sales, with Styles and Lizzo set to fall into ACR next week. If Running Up That Hill wasn’t already on ACR, it would be No.3 this week, with unadjusted consumption of 42,346 units. Today (August 5) is the 37th anniversary of its release. It debuted the following week at its current chart position – No.9 – in a regal singles chart that included hits by King, Prince and Princess but not, alas, Queen.   IFTK exits the Top 10 for the second time, falling 10-12 (20,731 sales) for Tion Wayne & La Roux. London producer/artist Jae5 has his third and highest charting hit with Propeller, which debuts at No.38 (10,686 sales). It also features London rapper Dave and Nigerian singer BNXN, providing Dave’s 30th hit and BNXN’s second.  Its consumption increasing steeply for the seventh week in a row, BOTA. (Baddest Of Them All) is into the Top 75 for the first time for London DJ and singer Eliza Rose, who also wrote the song, and Manchester DJ Interplanetary Criminal, jumping 93-45 (9,289 sales). It is the first hit for both. Also new to the Top 75: Turn On The Lights Again (No.48, 9,509 sales), the fourth hit for British singer Fred Again, the eighth for Scandinavian DJ superstar trio Swedish House Mafia, and the second for American rapper Future; and Narcissist (No.54, 8,217 sales), the third hit for UK-born Canadian singer/songwriter Lauren Spencer-Smith. Bad Habit climbs 18-17 (18,080 sales) to achieve a new peak for Steve Lacy. There are also new peaks for: Ferrari (36-25, 14,461 sales) by James Hype & Miggy DeLa Rosa, Big City Life (37-28, 12,973 sales) by Luude & Mattafix, Under The Influence (63-46, 9,821 sales) by Chris Brown and Words (62-58, 7,636 sales) by Alesso & Zara Larsson.      Nigerian Afropop singer Fireboy DML scores his first million seller this week with Peru. Selling more than 20 times as many copies as his previous biggest song, it drifts 51-56 in the current week with ACR-adjusted DUS of 8,006 but unadjusted sales of 15,863 copies. Released exactly a year ago, it ends the week with overall consumption of 1,009,453 units. It sold 66,971 as a solo vehicle for Fireboy DML, before turning into a collaboration with Ed Sheeran, whose patronage helped it to spend 22 consecutive weeks in the Top 10. As all the sales are combined together, records already show it as the 24th million-seller – the most by any act – of Sheeran’s career, although purists would deny it that accolade for a few more weeks. Sheeran, incidentally, has a ‘primary artists’ era record seven songs in the Top 75 for the second week in a row, though all are in decline. His 25th million-seller will likely be the third of his 66 hits, Drunk. Taking 24 weeks to reach its peak position of No.9, the 2011 track’s to-date consumption of 994,020 units increased by 1,170 this week, and it is on course for its millionth sale in September.  Singles consumption is down 1.02% week-on-week at 23,393,810 units, 7.53% above same week 2021 consumption of 21,755,570 units. Paid-for sales are down 1.67% week-on-week at 325,042 – 14.71% below same week 2021 sales of 381,116.  

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