Charts analysis: Taylor Swift steady at summit as Christmas songs return en masse

Its sales consistently down every week since its debut, Anti-Hero nevertheless racks up a comparatively easy sixth week at No.1 for Taylor Swift on consumption of 44,473 units (1,573 digital downloads, 42,900 sales-equivalent streams). That is the lowest tally for ...

Charts analysis: Stormzy scores third consecutive No.1 album

At the end of a titanic battle for chart honours, Stormzy emerges triumphant with third album This Is What I Mean taking pole position – and becoming Britain’s 1,300th No.1 album – ahead of Cliff Richard’s Christmas With Cliff. This Is What I Mean’s first week consumption stands at 27,874 units (13,977 CDs, 3,316 vinyl albums, 1,139 cassettes, 1,488 digital downloads and 7,954 sales-equivalent streams). Its introductory single, Hide & Seek, matches its No.7 peak this week, and is joined in the Top 20 by second single, Firebabe. Stormzy’s introductory album, Gang Signs & Prayer, sold 68,594 to debut atop the chart in 2017, while second album, Heavy Is The Head, sold 58,201 copies debuting at No.2 in 2019, reaching No.1 three weeks later. To-date consumption of Gang Signs & Prayer stands at 515,995 units, Heavy Is The Head at 432,585 units.  Although Stormzy was No.1 in all of the week’s sales flashes, Christmas With Cliff was in touch throughout the week, eventually debuting at No.2 on consumption of 24,358 units – 21,976 CDs, 1,142 vinyl albums, 1,090 digital downloads and 150 sales-equivalent streams. Consisting of 13 new recordings – 10 of familiar Christmas fare and three new songs – Christmas With Cliff is Sir Cliff’s highest-charting set since 1993, when The Album was his seventh No.1. Of course, Christmas Is Cliff may yet rise, just as his last new Christmas album, Cliff At Christmas did in 2003, when it opened at No.38 (17,454 sales), then moved to No.18 (40,051 sales) and No.10 (63,466 sales) before peaking at No.9 (82,175 sales). Cliff has now had 47 Top 10 albums, and 72 Top 75 albums over eight different decades, and was last on the chart in 2020 when Music…The Air That I Breathe, which included some new recordings and some that were previously released, debuted and peaked at No.3 on sales of 17,515 copies. The Cure are back in the Top 10 for the first time since 2004, with a newly remastered and significantly expanded 30th anniversary version of their ninth studio album and only No.1, Wish, helping the classic set to resume its chart career for the first time since 1992, re-entering at No.9 (6,541 sales).  While Christmas With Cliff is the seasonal spearhead, two other albums of Christmas fare are in the Top 10 – A Family Christmas bounces 11-4 (9,961 sales) to achieve a new peak for Andrea, Matteo & Virginia Bocelli, while Silver Bells dips 4-8 (7,063 sales) for Andre Rieu & The Johann Strauss Orchestra.  The rest of the Top 10: Midnights (2-3, 21,279 sales) by Taylor Swift, Only The Strong Survive (3-5, 7,430 sales) by Bruce Springsteen, = (9-6, 7,245 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Harry’s House (10-7, 7,200 sales) by Harry Styles and Diamonds (7-10, 6,515 sales) by Elton John. Exiting the Top 10 are: Her Loss (5-11, 6,501 sales) by Drake & 21 Savage, Sonder (1-17, 4,240 sales) by Dermot Kennedy, Get Rollin’ (8-61, 1,952 sales) by Nickelback and The Miracle (6-133, 1,240 sales) by Queen. The third and final Top 75 entry, cherry-picking performances from a 20-night residency at the iconic San Francisco venue, Live At The Fillmore 1997 (No.74, 1,760 sales) is the 22nd chart entry for the late Tom Petty – and the 17th to credit his band, The Heartbreakers – some five years after his death. No.8 on release back in March, Everything I Didn’t Say is a re-entry at No.52 (2,137 sales) for Ella Henderson. All but 72 of that total is due to streaming of the new ‘And More’ edition, which expands the set from 16 to 26 tracks.  There are also notable resurgences for Gold Rush Kid (32-18, 3,971 sales), back in the Top 20 after an absence of 16 weeks for George Ezra, powered by the increasing demand for its Christmas Edition; A Song For You (55-32, 2,871 sales), rising for Luke Evans, thanks to ongoing media appearances and its inclusion in iTunes’ Black Friday sale; and - for obvious seasonal reasons – Christmas With Aled & Russell, up 52-29 (2,934 sales) for Aled Jones & Russell Watson.   The death, at the age of 79, of Fleetwood Mac legend Christine McVie was announced on Wednesday (30 November). In apparent response, the band’s most celebrated album, Rumours, bounces 42-24, achieving a 31-week high on consumption of 3,585 units, while the most recent compilation of the band’s work, 50 Years: Don’t Stop holds at No.23 (3,667 sales). In reality, Rumours was already at No.28 on Wednesday’s sales flashes before McVie’s death, while 50 Years was at No.24. They therefore secured only minor improvements after her demise – partly because, as is most frequently the case, streaming data was not available from most major players for Thursday, with the week’s data to that point being upweighted to compensate.  However, sales of CD & vinyl editions of Rumours were up 56.36% week-on-week from 848 to 1,326, while digital downloads were up 2045.45% from just 22 to 472.  Now That’s What I Call Music! 113 remains atop the compilation chart on consumption of 8,458 units (7,742 CDs, 716 digital downloads).  Overall album sales are up 5.55% week-on-week at 2,228,280, 1.39% below same week 2021 sales of 2,259,645. Physical product accounts for 551,812 sales, 24.76% of the total.  

Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2022: Mary Anne Hobbs, broadcaster, DJ, curator, mentor, writer

During this year’s Women In Music Awards, we inducted a further 14 game-changing industry executives (including one posthumous award) into the Roll Of Honour, in association with TikTok. They join the pantheon of previous honourees, including some of the biggest names in the business, from Emma Banks and Sarah Stennett to Kanya King, Rebecca Allen and Stacey Tang, that have been selected since the awards began in 2014. The Roll Of Honour aims to highlight the breadth, depth and variety of individuals who are game-changers in the music industry, with their activities consistently benefiting women, or focusing on empowerment/gender disparity.  Following the Women In Music Awards ceremony, Music Week is running Q&A interviews with all of this year’s Roll Of Honour inductees. At 18, Mary Anne Hobbs ran away to London and lived with a band in a bus in a car park for a year. She never looked back.  Hobbs’ first love is radio, but she does a lot more. She has toured the world as a live DJ and curator for 17 years. In 2022, she played at Primavera in Barcelona and has supported Björk at Blue Dot festival at Jodrell Bank. She also brought her pioneering All Queens takeover to the BBC 6 Music Stage at All Points East in London for a second year running. Hobbs took All Queens to Fabric for International Women’s Day and instigated a takeover of all-female DJs and all-female staff for the very first time at the iconic London club. She curated Queens Of The Electronic Underground at Manchester’s Ritz, and assisted David Lynch with his live music showcase at Manchester International Festival in 2019, following on from her radical Dark Matter gig series at MIF 2017. Hobbs curates, creates sound design and DJs at major cultural events, such as Sónar Festival in Barcelona and Tate Modern in London. In 2015 she staged a BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in London with Nils Frahm and A Winged Victory For The Sullen with dancers from Wayne McGregor’s company.  Hobbs also worked on the soundtrack with Clint Mansell for Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar winning film Black Swan, which was nominated for a Grammy. Hobbs has developed mentoring projects for over 10 years. She is one of the founders and  ‘godmothers’ of the BBC’s Open Music Project, training and mentoring 30 young artists from communities across the UK, which led their own BBC Prom in 2022. She also created the ongoing mentoring project for refugees and vulnerable young people with Open Music Lab in Berlin. In addition to this, Hobbs founded a Lockdown Mentoring programme, which is ongoing. She spent one year at Sheffield University Student Union in 2011 reimagining their Media Hub. She is currently writing an experimental series of daily tweets, not-a-memoir, but an exercise in smashing her own algorithms, as well as those of social media. In addition to extensive radio broadcasting over 25 years for BBC 6 Music, Radio 1, Radio 3, Radio 4, X FM, Hobbs worked as a young music journalist for NME and Sounds music papers. She won DJ Magazine’s coveted Outstanding Contribution Award in December 2021. She can also ride any motorcycle you care to park in front of her. How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour?“My grandad flew in the RAF in the war. When I was a kid, he taught me how to tie my laces, how to peel an orange, how to climb a tree. When I’d done well, he’d sit me on his knee, his beautiful eyes dancing and he’d press 10p into my tiny palm. He died when I was about seven years old. Wherever his spirit abides now, I hope he can share this moment. Thank you so much Music Week.” How do you look back on your early years getting into the industry?“When I was 18, I ran away to London and lived on a bus in a carpark with a rock band for a year. There was no sanitation on the bus. It was a 20 minute walk to the rank public toilet on the main road. You could use the facilities as long as you didn’t breathe or actually touch any surface. I am very pleased to have running water on hand in 2022.” Did you have a mentor at that stage? “No. I grew up in a tiny village in the North West in the 1970s. I saw a step and I took it. There was no other step. There never would be.”   Mentoring is such a powerful and effective way to help the next generation of young creatives Mary Anne Hobbs   What’s your biggest achievement so far? You famously marked David Bowie’s 50th birthday on air at Radio 1 in 1997. Is that still a career highlight – what are your memories of that occasion? “When I met David Bowie for the first time, I played him recordings of 50th birthday messages from many artists who admired him. Scott Walker had sent me a cassette tape in the post, with his recording for David. When Bowie heard the voice of Scott Walker thanking him for freeing so many artists, he fell silent, and tears began to pool in his eyes. Bowie shifted quietly in his chair for several minutes. Finally he said, ‘I think I see God in the window’. I smiled when I made No.2 in the Guardian’s 100 greatest BBC Music Performances in 100 years, just behind David’s performance of Starman on Top Of The Pops.” 6 Music has become even more open to different genres and experimental artists – how does it feel to be a key tastemaker at the heart of the station?“I am re-imagining daytime radio at BBC 6 Music. The challenge for me, coming into this space, was to destroy all boundaries. I like to approach my practice as a broadcaster in the same way that David Attenborough might explore a rainforest.” How important is the station in terms of supporting independent music, artists and live performance? How involved do you get in curating 6 Music Festival and the All Points East stage?“My All Queens project, elevating and celebrating female, non-binary and trans artists, is really moving. I curated the second All Queens takeover for the BBC 6 Music stage at All Points East in 2022. We also took All Queens to Fabric in London for International Women’s Day, and in collaboration with Judy Griffith at Fabric, put together a line-up of all-female DJs and all-female staff at the iconic London club for the very first time. Fabric are now actively seeking and training female sound engineers.” What advice would you offer young women about enjoying a successful career in music?“Trust your instincts. Fight for what you believe in. Retain your autonomy.”   I am re-imagining daytime radio at BBC 6 Music Mary Anne Hobbs   Looking back, what’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?“The Japanese icon Ryuichi Sakamoto said to me, ‘Every mistake is a gift’. I have carried his words in my back pocket every day since.” Finally, what’s your biggest lesson from 2022 so far? “Mentoring is such a powerful and effective way to help the next generation of young creatives. I have several projects I’m involved with: a project for refugees and under-privileged young people in Berlin and a personal one-on-one project established at the beginning of Lockdown. I’m a founding member and ‘Godmother’ of the BBC Open Music project, and our group of 30 trainees from communities across the UK presented their own Dream Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in September.”

Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2022: Jennifer Ivory, Warner Records UK

Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2022: Sarah Slater, Ticketmaster

BRIT Trust Diaries: Sybil Bell looks ahead to Independent Venue Week's 10th anniversary edition


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