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Stormzy and Ed Sheeran have a new number one
Stormzy and Ed Sheeran get the first number one of 2020. Lewis Capaldi returns to the top of the albums chart.

Stormzy and Ed Sheeran each get another one single. Lewis Capaldi returns to the top of the albums chart.

Happy New Year to all readers and welcome to the first commentary of 2020. It also, according to the Official Charts Company (OCC) refers to the first chart of 2020 even though most of the week covered was at the end of 2019. That simple fact would previously have made this the last chart of 2019 but the OCC seem to have changed their rules at some point. That means that the first chart of 2021, announced on 1 January, will cover the last seven days of 2020 and none of 2021 itself. Hey ho.

Who, then, would bag themselves the first number one of the 2020s? The answer, almost inevitably, is that it goes to two of the most successful artists of the 2010s - Stormzy and Ed Sheeran. Just three months after Take Me Back To London (with Sheeran as the lead) was displaced at the top by Dance Monkey, they are at the top of the chart once again, this time with Stormzy getting the lead credit on Own It. Lest we forget, they are also joined by Burna Boy who tops the chart for the first time.

Own It is Stormzy’s third number one and Ed Sheeran’s ninth. The OCC’s decision to redefine the chart year deprives Sheeran of the chance to claim a fourth number one of 2019.

Lewis Capaldi, the big breakthrough artist of 2019, is back up ten places at number two with Before You Go. Dual Lipa’s Don’t Start Now rebounds eleven places to number three and Arizona Zervas climbs twelve places back up to number four. Tones & I’s Dance Monkey is back up to number five after tumbling to number twenty last week.

Ellie Goulding pulled off something of a surprise last week by climbing to number one with River despite not being available on either Spotify or Apple platforms. This week she crashes to number 28. The song is the only Christmas song to survive this week’s mass cull. The Christmas number one, LadBaby’s I Love Sausage Rolls, managed a second week in the top 100 last week, falling to number 57. His two number one hits have spent a combined total of five weeks in the top 100, giving him an unusual record. With Goulding’s large drop this week, it is the first time successive number ones have dropped straight out of the top twenty.

Every year brings its share of new artists breaking through, ranging in quality from brilliant to diabolical. One of those nearer (actually, a lot nearer) the latter end of the scale were D-Block Europe. They had their first top forty hit at the end of 2018 but really started to make an impact with their rubbish in 2019. They start the new year with another hit as No Cellular Site enters at number 29.

Camila Cabello came reasonably close to entering the top forty in the last couple weeks with a non-festive song. However, the best she could manage was number 49 last week with My Oh My. This week, as all the festive stuff is cleared out (including Slade, a previous act to have a hit called My Oh My), she enters at number thirteen. The song features DaBaby who is not Lad’s brother.

After making his top forty debut in 2017 as the featured artist on Stormzy’s Bad Boys, J Hus has steadily accumulated a total of eight top forty hits with three of them reaching the top ten. He gets his ninth top forty hit this week with No Denying at number 33. He also re-enters at number 37 with Must Be, his biggest hit to date which reached number five last year.

Texan hip hop artist Caleb Tolliver has decided to forgo his biblical forename in favour of the rather more mundane Don. His single No Idea entered the chart last month but its rise was halted by - well, I think you can guess. Now that those obstacles have been cleared away for another year, he makes his top forty debut at number 39.

Rodrick Moore Jr., aka Roddy Ricch, gets his second top forty hit with The Box at number 40. It;s chances of being the best ever charting song called The Box are scuppered by the fact that the song of that name by The Orbital is fantastic. That and the fact that this song is awful.

Most of the rest of the chart comprises re-entries of songs that dropped out with the flood of festive songs over the last few weeks of the year. Many of them will be on the Accelerated Chart Ratio (ACR) meaning that their streams are only worth half as much as those of newer songs. However, many of those songs will revert to the standard ratio for next week as their streams will have increased significantly this week. If the reset had been applied this week, Tones & I may well have recaptured the number one spot.

Among the more notable re-entries is the best-selling song of 2019, Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved, at number fifteen. That brings it up to 50 weeks in the top forty. If it hadn’t been pushed out of last week’s chart by all the festive songs, it would have completed a full year in the top forty next week.

The number two song of 2019 also returns. Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road is at number 38. Billie Eilish’s wonderful Bad Guy is back at number 26 having dropped out of the top forty back in September. She also jumps back up to number six with Everything I Wanted.

Two of the returning songs jump into the top ten. Jax Jones and Ella Henderson’s This Is Real is at number nine, one place ahead of Selena Gomez’s Lose You To Love Me.

The start of a new year is always a quiet time a quiet time for album releases meaning that there is a good chance that one of the biggest albums of the previous year will return to the top of the chart. That is indeed what has happened this year as Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent climbs twp places to get a seventh week at number one. The album was the best seller of 2019, giving Capaldi an impressive double. As an indication of how physical albums are becoming a thing of the past, it has sold only around 250,000 physical copies.

Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head is back up three places to number two. Rod Stewart’s You’re In My Heart is down to number three after three week at the top. Ed Sheeran’s No 6 Collaborations Project (number two in the year-end chart) is back up five places to number four. Harry Styles climbs back up to number five with Fine Line.

The only new entry is Street Trauma, the debut album from D-Block Europe at number nine. Maybe the release date was chosen to force people to admit that it is the best new album in the chart this week. Their mixtape PTSD, which counts as an album for chart purposes, re-enters at number 36.

As with the singles chart there are several re-entries, although not quite so many in this case. Fleetwood Mac benefit from an evening of programmes dedicated to them on BBC4, Their Don’t Stop compilation re-enters at number 22 while Rumours climbs eighteen places to number seventeen.

Lana Del Rey’s Norman Rockwell returned to the chart at number 32 last week after doing well in the critics’ lists of best albums of 2019. With so much movement all around it, it is a rare oasis of calm this week as it stays at number 32.

This week The Greatest Showman soundtrack (the third best-selling artist album of 2019) drops out of the top forty after a phenomenal 105 weeks, just over two years. It had to happen eventually but its disappearance seems rather odd considering that it was at number 20 last week and, apart from its very first week in the chart, it has never fallen below number 25. A closer examination reveals that it is nowhere to be seen in the top 100 and that the A Star Is Born soundtrack has also vanished. It looks like the OCC have changed the qualification rules to exclude soundtracks without making any public announcement.

This apparent change of rule could have a knock-on effect on the singles chart if there is another soundtrack album as popular as The Greatest Showman. Because “Greatest Showman Cast” was treated as an artist, no more than three songs from the album were allowed in the singles chart at any one time. If subsequent albums are to be treated in the same way as compilation albums, there would be no limit on the number of songs from the album that could coexist in the singles chart. There’s something to look forward to.

Finally, a word about last week’s chart. As happened at the end of 2018, there was a lot of hype surrounding the possibility that Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You would top the post-Christmas chart. After Carey was deprived of the number one spot in 2018 by just a handful of copies, many people were quick to cry foul and even claim that the OCC had something against her. It is true that she is a leading victim of the decision to place all songs over three years old on ACR permanently. However, it is ludicrous to claim that they were specifically trying to deny her a number one. The decision does at least mean that there is a chance for something new to top the post-Christmas chart each year. Do we really want the same song returning to number one every year?
Published on: 2020-01-03 by Suedehead2 || 20036 Views
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9 Jan 2020 - 6:53
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Happy New Year. You're writing a great article.
4 Way Tech
17 Feb 2020 - 6:45
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