The results for the first quarter of 2022 are in - and the results may be surprising.
Despite a strong continued performance by 2021 stars Adele and Ed Sheeran, it was the Disney animated film Encanto that ruled in terms of both singles and albums.
Read on for our Q1 2022 analysis…
According to Official Charts Company data, the Encanto soundtrack (Walt Disney/UMC) emerged as the big winner in Q1.
It produced both the biggest single with the ensemble No.1 We Don’t Talk About Bruno (581,150) and six other entries in the quarter’s Top 75, including Surface Pressure by Jessica Darrow at No.7 (358,771) and The Family Madrigal at No.15 (256,617). Encanto became the first animated film to chart three songs in the weekly Top 10 simultaneously.
The Encanto cast recording was the quarter’s biggest album with sales of 152,767 (and 159,007 in total with late 2021 sales). The success is largely down to streaming (132,215 sales) along with a contribution from physical sales (18,415) and downloads (8,377).
But there has been no repeat of the 2018 industry problem when The Greatest Showman crowded out artists from No.1. Encanto is listed in the compilations chart following a rule change two years ago that moved soundtracks from the main albums chart.
While Encanto has held sway at No.1 on the compilations chart this year, it has not been on quite the soundtrack scale of The Greatest Showman (which is, incidentally, No.2 on the Q1 compilations chart). The soundtrack to the film starring Hugh Jackman moved 495,526 units in its first full quarter following release (Q1 in 2018). Its sales to date stand at a staggering 2,529,006.
Ed Sheeran’s streaming prowess has been on full display in Q1.
While Encanto may have edged it in terms of the biggest sales for an individual single and album, Sheeran’s impact is still extraordinary. The Atlantic-signed singer-songwriter’s biggest Q1 single was Fireboy DML collaboration Peru at No.2 (459,548 sales in the quarter), followed by Shivers at No.3 (408,218) and Bad Habits at No.4 (404,597). Bad Habits is the biggest overall of the three on total sales of 2,127,335. It was, of course, the biggest single of 2021.
Ed Sheeran has a total of seven entries in the singles Top 75 for Q1. Meanwhile, his = album finished the quarter at No.1 for artist albums on 133,470, with only Encanto moving more units over the 13-week period. Sheeran’s = now has sales to date of 565,964. Three of his other albums made the quarter’s Top 75, including ÷ at No.9 (51,960). The 2017 album’s total sales are now at 3,875,402.
Easy does it
Adele had the biggest album of 2021 with 30 (Columbia), and it continued to perform strongly in Q1 of 2022. During the quarter in which Adele triumphed at the BRITs, 30 added a further 94,296 sales and its total to date now stands at 694,352.
Lead single Easy On Me finished the quarter at No.8 on 352,339 sales (total chart sales are 1,239,688). Adele also finished Q1 at No.23 with Oh My God (204,253 sales in the quarter), I Drink Wine at No.59 (131,668) and the 2011 hit Someone Like You at No.100 (95,669).
In the quarterly artist albums rundown, in addition to 30 at No.2, Adele placed at No.33 with 25 (31,838) and No.62 with 21 (22,369 sales). Their respective total sales to date are huge: 3,802,507 and 5,357,507.
Although it was only released in the final third of the quarter, Dave’s No.1 Starlight (Dave Neighbourhood) made an impressive Q1 showing at No.18 (238,260 sales). Dave also registers Top 75 Q1 entries with Stormzy collaboration Clash (No.48 - 150,415 sales) and 2019’s Location (with Burna Boy) at No.75 (110,882).
Dave’s second album, We’re All Alone In This Together, continued to stream well as the UK rap star embarked on his arena tour. It finished at No.12 for the quarter (46,261 sales), while debut Psychodrama made No.28 (33,287).
The quarter’s biggest UK rap release was Central’s Cee’s mixtape 23, which ended up at No.11 overall following a No.1 debut. It has 48,338 sales so far. Meanwhile, Central Cee played a part in the biggest UK rap single of the quarter: D-Block Europe’s Overseas finished at No.13 with 300,778 sales in Q1 (and 455,074 to date).
The scale of catalogue streaming is evident in the OCC’s Q1 figures for 2022.
All the albums placed between No.5 and No.10 are catalogue releases, led by Little Mix collection Between Us (No.5 - 58,174 sales in the first quarter). The album is now on total sales of 143,650.
The Weeknd has two Top 10 entries with both his studio album Dawn FM (No.3 - 75,590) and greatest hits set The Collection (No.6 - 53,526).
As well as Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (at No.9), the Top 10 for Q1 also includes Fleetwood Mac’s 50 Years - Don’t Stop at No.7 (53,059), Curtain Call - The Hits by Eminem (No.8 - 52,673) and Elton John’s Diamonds (No.10 - 48,563).
Congratulations to Island-signed Yard Act, who achieved a Q1 breakthrough with The Overload. The band made No.2 on the weekly chart with their debut, which racked up 24,104 sales during the quarter. It finished at No.54 overall in Q1.
Another Island act, Arrdee, finishes the quarter at No.131 with debut mixtape Pier Pressure (15,525 sales), alongside hit single Flowers (Say My Name) at No.21 for the quarter (220,712 sales).
Subscribers can read our 2021 analysis here.