Hitmakers: Stuart Price on the songwriting secrets behind Madonna's Hung Up

In 2005, Hung Up not only took Madonna back to the top of the world’s charts, but it made her a fixture on global dancefloors. Co-writer Stuart Price reveals how a night on the M1, a chance Radio 2 play, ...

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 row. The introductory single from her fourth album Special, About Damn Time exploded 67-15 last week, making the biggest climb within the Top 75 to the latter position since 2006, when Scots band The View’s debut hit, Wasted Little DJ’s, surged 73-15. It never went any higher, but Lizzo does with About Damn Time securing growth of 116.72% week-on-week to 40,424 units as it jumps to No.4. In so doing, it becomes her second Top 10 hit, and highest-charting single superseding 2019 No.7 hit, Good As Hell.  About Damn Time sold 42,619 fewer copies than the No.1 last week but is now just 18,857 in arrears – that’s because, on its sixth straight week at No.1, Harry Styles’ As It Was suffers a further 3.26% diminution in its consumption to 59,281 units. With consumption of 414,347 units to date, As It Was becomes Styles’ ninth solo track to go gold (400,000 units), adding to the 14 he achieved with One Direction. Styles’ runner-up for the last five weeks, First Class by Jack Harlow, had also been on a downwards sales trajectory but the release of parent album Come Home The Kids Miss You boosts its consumption by 7.10% to 45,452. The all-time record for consecutive weeks in a row at No.2, incidentally, is eight, set by Johnnie Ray’s Such A Night in 1954.  The last time we had the same runner-up to the same champion for five weeks in a row was in 2019, when Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello’s Senorita took pole ahead of Ed Sheeran’s Beautiful People (feat. Khalid).  Having last week equalled the all-time record of four consecutive weeks at No.6 - set by Nashville Teens’ Tobacco Road in 1964 and matched by Joel Corry’s Sorry in 2019 – Peru is in the Top 10 for the 21st week in a row for Fireboy DML and Ed Sheeran, slipping a notch to No.7, albeit with sales up slightly at 29,676. About Damn Time is only the sixth new arrival in the Top 10 in eight weeks – the rest of this week’s barely shuffled pack are: Go (3-3, 43,169 sales) by Cat Burns, Starlight (4-5, 31,206 sales) by Dave, Baby (5-6, 30,105 sales) by Aitch & Ashanti, Wait For U (8-8, 29,264 sales) by Future feat. Drake & Tems, Bam Bam (7-9, 28,595 sales) by Camila Cabello feat. Ed Sheeran, and Where Did You Go? (10-10, 25,505 sales) by Jax Jones feat. MNEK. All increase consumption apart from the Dave and Aitch titles. Belters Only’s 14 week run in the Top 10 with debut hit, Make Me Feel Good (feat. Jazzy) comes to an end, as the track drifts 9-11 (24,772 sales). While First Class continues in second position, Jack Harlow’s new album, Come Home The Kids Miss You, spawns two new hits. Churchill Downs, feat. Drake, is the highest of 13 Friday 13th new entries to the Top 75, debuting at No.19 (17,528 sales), while his Dua Lipa tribute opens at No.33 (11,747 sales). Harlow has now had six hits, while Drake – who upped his tally by two last week in features on Future hits – has now had 121. In America, where Churchill Downs won’t chart until next week, Drake has had more Hot 100 hits than any other artist – 262. Debuting at No.24 (14,519 sales), less than four days after its release on Monday (May 9), The Heart (Part 5) is the 34th Top 75 and 17th Top 40 hit for Kendrick Lamar. It is taken from his new album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, which was released today (13th). Taylor Swift snags her 55th hit with This Love (No.42, 10,391 sales), a re-recorded version of a song that was originally included on her 2014 album 1989. It is the second track from that album to be released in ‘Taylor’s Version’, a parenthetical addition to its title that indicates it is part of her project to re-record everything she originally released via the Big Machine label. It sparks a revival of interest in the first, Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version), which got to No.25 last October, and now resurfaces at No.87 (5,709 Sales). There’s still no word on when Taylor’s Version of 1989 will be released, however. The original version of This Love, incidentally, was not a single, has never charted and is Swift’s 77th most popular track with consumption to date of 117,691 units. Also new to the chart: Something To Someone (No.44, 10,283 sales), the sixth hit for Irish singer/songwriter Dermot Kennedy; Hold My Hand (No.51, 9,277 sales), the 30th hit for Lady Gaga; Locked Out (No.53, 8,960 sales), a rap collaboration between S-X and KSI, bringing the former’s second hit, the latter’s 21st; Daily Duppy (78-55, 8,26 sales), the 12th hit for Bugzy Malone; Die Hard (No.61, 7,368 sales), a cut from Knucks’ No.3 album Alpha Place, furnishing his second hit and the 37th for co-billed Stormzy; Cate’s Brother (No.62, 7,338 sales), the second hit for Maisie Peters; Mean! (No.66, 7,222 sales), the first hit for 20-year-old Texan singer/songwriter Madeline Holste aka Madeline The Person; Came In The Scene (No.67, 7,152 sales), the 21st hit for rapper Headie One; and No Excuses (84-69, 7,047 sales), the first hit for Derbyshire rapper Bru-C, whose biggest single hitherto, although uncharted, is Simula collaboration You & I, which has achieved consumption of 432,649 units since its 2019 release. There are new peaks for: Crazy What Love Can Do (17-15, 20,726 sales) by David Guetta, Becky Hill & Ella Henderson, Big Energy (28-21, 15,844 sales) by Latto x Mariah Carey feat. DJ Khaled, Green Green Grass (43-31, 12,609 sales) by George Ezra, Je M’Appelle (48-34, 11,625 sales) by Benzz, Freaky Deaky (37-36, 11,195 sales) by Tyga & Doja Cat, Remind Me (47-43, 10,314 sales) by Tom Grennan, All For You (55-49, 9,486 sales) by Cian Ducrot, 21 Reasons (65-56, 8,013 sales) by Nathan Dawe feat. Ella Henderson and Low Down (66-59, 7,493 sales) by Venbee & Dan Fable. Singles consumption is up 2.93% week-on-week at 25,035,774 units – 9.78% above same week 2021 consumption of 22,806,191 units. It is the first time it has exceeded 25m, a mere 22 weeks after it first exceeded 24m. Paid-for sales are down 3.81% week-on-week at 323,173 – 21.51% below same week 2021 sales of 411,741. Subscribers can access all the latest charts here.  

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.

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