Sailing to an easy 10th week at No.1, Tones And I’s Dance Monkey has now spent more consecutive weeks at No.1 than any record since Ed Sheeran’s 13 week reign with Shape Of You in 2017; equalled the 10 straight ...
Robbie Williams scores his 13th No.1 solo album in total, and his 11th of the 21st Century with The Christmas Present. Although its sales are down 21.75% on what it sold while debuting at No.2 last week, it enjoyed consumption of 52,909 units in its latest frame (including 2,243 from sales-equivalent streams) to capture the title.
Williams thus joins the late Elvis Presley as the solo artist with most No.1 albums (13). If we add his albums with Take That, The Christmas Present is Williams’ 17th No.1 album in all. Ahead of him now in the all-time list of most No.1s are The Beatles, who has 15. Paul McCartney’s total is plumped to 21 by post-Beatles recordings, John Lennon’s to 18 and George Harrison’s to 18 (including Traveling Wilburys), while Ringo Starr’s remains unchanged at 15.
The Christmas Present is Williams’ 12th studio album. All of the others reached No.1 apart from the eighth, Video Killed The Reality Star, which debuted and peaked No.2 in 2009, behind JLS’ eponymous first album. Yes, there really was a time when pure sales of 238,126 wouldn’t guarantee you a No.1 in mid-November.
Michael Buble’s Christmas (14-7, 16,132 sales) enters the Top 10 for the eighth year in nine. Released in 2012, it fell short of the top tier only in 2015, when it reached No.12.
Everyday Life became Coldplay’s eighth No.1 album last week but now slips to No.3 (32,253 sales).
After debuting a t No.3 last week, Rod Stewart’s You’re In My Heart collaboration with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra climbs to No.2 (35,096 sales).
The rest of the Top 10: Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (4-4, 24,989 sales) by Lewis Capaldi, Back Together (5-5, 23,243 sales) by Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, Happy Days (6-6, 16,665 sales) by Andre Rieu & The Johann Strauss Orchestra, No.6 Collaborations Project (10-8, 14,966 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Bing At Christmas (9-9, 14,355 sales) by Bing Crosby & The London Symphony Orchestra and Spectrum (8-10, 13,005 sales) by Westlife.
Departing the Top 10 is Thanks For The Dance (7-27, 5,858 sales) by Leonard Cohen.
Another of the chart’s all-time high-achievers with seven No.1s, Cliff Richard debuts at No.11 (12,656 sales) with The Best Of The Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneers, a new compilation that brings together 60 tracks he recorded with The Shadows between 1958 and 1966, including 7 No.1s and a further 16 Top 10 hits. It is Cliff’s 70th Top 75 album and The Shadows’ 35th, although only the sixth to credit them both.
Consisting of lushly-orchestrated classical/dance makeovers of club hits, Classic House topped the chart in 2017 for Radio One's legendary DJ Pete Tong with The Heritage Orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley, and a similarly-themed follow-up, Ibiza Classics, reached No.11 in 2018 – but the former took nine weeks to peak, and the latter 13, so it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that their third collaboration, Chilled Classics, which includes guest vocals from Boy George, Robert Owen, Zara Larsson and MNEK, among others, won’t climb higher than the No.20 (6,746 sales) position in which it debuts this week. Classic House has consumption to-date of 227,533 units, and Ibiza Classics, 126,385.
Their role on Rod Stewart’s current album airbrushed out of OCC credits, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are not to be denied, and their new Christmas With The Stars set, consisting of their after-the-fact seasonal collaborations with 10 artists, opens its account at No.21 (6,612 sales). Although the Elvis Presley & Roy Orbison tracks on the album were previously released, those with Johnny Mathis, Eartha Kitt, Andy Williams, Doris Day, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Harry Belafonte and Dean Martin are getting their first exposure.
Actor John Barrowman scores his fifth chart album with A Fabulous Christmas (No.23, 6,232 sales).
Also new to the chart: Grime MC (No.26, 5,883 sales, all from physical sales), the third chart album from JME; and The Later Years 1987-2019 (No.32 4,919 sales) a massive box set which includes much previously unreleased material by Pink Floyd, for whom it is the 27th Top 75 album, and a partner for The Early Years 1965-1972, which reached No.19 in 2016.
A new super deluxe edition of Prince’s classic 1984 album 1999 brings it back to the chart at No.46 (3,713 Sales).
On the compilation chart, sales-equivalent streams are now added for albums with original content. Now That’s What I Call Music! 104 is not one of these but remains No.1 compilation for the fourth straight week (25,634 sales). Frozen 2 is the only album in the Top 10 to benefit, but remains at No.2 (12,945 sales).
Overall album sales are up 7.91% week-on-week at 2,506,139, their highest level thus far in 2019 but 10.45% below same week 2018 sales of 2,798,585. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for 1,257,751 sales, 50.19% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 17.84% week-on-week at 1,248,388, 26.51% below same week 2018 sales of 1,698,833.
The 2010s has been a game of two halves in the music industry – the continuation of sales decline, followed by a streaming boom that’s returned the biz to global growth since 2015. Music Week had already covered the launch of Spotify in 2008; today streaming services are as much of a music retail fixture as the record store in previous decades. But while digital technology was helping to save, rather than destroy, the industry in the ’10s, British artists were also doing their bit with phenomenal global sales for Ed Sheeran, Adele and Sam Smith. By the end of the decade, superstars such as Taylor Swift, Robbie Williams and Sheeran were gracing our cover, as the music industry’s bible was relaunched with a fresh look to bring us bang up to date. Bring on the ’20s…
NEW GENERATION 13-03-17 – ED SHEERAN’S ÷ CONQUERS THE CHARTS
Back in 2011, we reported on the signing of a hotly-tipped young artist called Ed Sheeran. The story was brief, but it was the start of Music Week’s chronicling of what would become a phenomenon.
Six years later, Sheeran was stunning the industry – and Music Week sub-editors, apparently – with stellar sales for his third album, ÷ (Asylum/Atlantic).
As well as scoring the third fastest-selling album of all time in March 2017, the campaign shook up the industry with its double single release (Shape Of You/Castle On The Hill) and obliterated the first week streaming ‘sales’ record with a massive 78,944 units (a streaming week one result that’s still not been beaten).
“It shows music’s not dead,” said manager Stuart Camp.
“Ed is one of the most gifted artists I’ve ever met,” added then Warner Music UK chairman and CEO Max Lousada.
Retailers were in agreement: ÷ was going to keep selling for the rest of the year (in fact, it was still in the Top 40 last week).
Only Adele could top Sheeran’s performance. Her 25 album was an even bigger blockbuster in 2015. Indeed, the 2010s was a decade during which UK artists made an impact at home and globally.
Our cover story also mentioned huge 2017 debuts from Stormzy – then one of the new leaders of the UK’s growing grime scene – and Rag‘N’Bone Man to underline the fact that the good times were back for the biz.
Stormzy would go on to duet with Sheeran at the BRITs, sign to Atlantic and collaborate on their No.1 Take Me Back To London.
But there was a strange coda to this success story. Last month Atlantic president Ben Cook (pictured alongside Sheeran on the cover) stepped down in bizarre circumstances. The exec who steered the Shape Of You songwriter to success apologised for what he admitted was an offensive appearance at a party he had attended dressed as a member of Run DMC seven years earlier.
THERE IS NO REASON WHY... 18.11.11 – UNIVERSAL BUYS EMI
In 2019, three majors are the norm. Eight years ago, though, the big story was the acquisition of troubled EMI’s recorded music division by Universal Music Group. Music Week’s number-crunching revealed that this deal would give UMG up to 50% of the UK artist albums market. While that dominance is less evident in 2019 as a result of divestments, the move by Sir Lucian Grainge still looks like a very smart buy today.
SOMEONE LIKES YOU 24.02.12 – BRITS SALUTE ADELE
Adele’s huge global success with second album 21 was celebrated with two awards at the BRITs. She thanked her then label XL Recordings for allowing her to be “the artist I want to be”. But the singer flipped the bird when her speech was cut short by producers who went to an advertising break – a gesture captured on the front page of The Sun.
TECH THAT 12.06.15 – APPLE EMBRACES STREAMING
It may have arrived several years after Spotify, but Apple Music’s launch was one of the biggest industry stories of the year. Top execs including Sony/ATV CEO and chairman Martin Bandier, WMG CEO Steve Cooper and BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch lined up to welcome the new entrant to the growing streaming market. While Apple Music and Spotify may be rivals, both platforms have since enjoyed strong growth. So the tech giant’s arrival as a competitor was ultimately good news for the music business.
STORMING SHOW 05.03.18 – UK RAP GOES OVERGROUND
Performing under an artificial rain storm at the BRITs, Stormzy’s double win at the ceremony signified the rise of British rap and its increasing mainstream appeal. Music Week spoke to some of the key players in a scene that has now been embraced by major labels, as well as indies and artist services companies. Stormzy has just announced his second album, Heavy Is The Crown (Merky/Atlantic), as a late Q4 release following on from chart-topping lead single Vossi Bop.
SPOT PRICE 02.04.18 – SPOTIFY MAKES IPO
The biggest business story of last year was Spotify’s IPO in New York, a move which signalled the power of the world’s No.1 streaming service. Since then, the Swedish company’s share price has shifted up and down and a long list of executives have left. But despite all the turbulence and scrutiny, CEO Daniel Ek has stayed true to his vision of growth. The DSP recently hit 113 million premium subscribers.
THE BIZ'S FAVOURITE 25.09.17 – 50 YEARS OF BBC RADIO
BBC Radio 1 and 2 were the first cover stars following our 2017 revamp. Presenters Clara Amfo and Jo Whiley joined station bosses Lewis Carnie and Ben Cooper – the latter now set to leave Radio 1 next year. With recent appearances from Foo Fighters, Atlantic’s Damian Christian and Taylor Swift (insert), the Music Week cover remains a coveted accolade for the best in the biz.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON 23.11.15 – TERROR ATTACKS TARGET MUSIC FANS AT SHOWS
The impact of 9/11 on touring plans had been reported by Music Week in the previous decade. But in the 2010s, terrorism became a real and direct threat to the live sector, which stepped up security in the wake of the attack at Le Bataclan in Paris. Gunmen stormed the 1,200-capacity concert hall during a show by Eagles Of Death Metal and killed 89 people.
The tragedy in the French capital was followed by the horrific suicide bombing of Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert in May 2017. Twenty-two people, including seven children, were killed in the attack. Grande returned to the city two weeks later for the One Love Manchester benefit concert at Old Trafford Cricket Ground.
In the US the following year, 58 people were killed in a mass shooting at Live Nation’s Route 91 Harvest country music festival.