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A chart double for Stormzy
Stormzy has the number one single and album leaving Lewis Capaldi at number two in both charts.

Stormzy scores a chart double, topping both the singles and albums chart. Lewis Capaldi also does the double, finishing at number two in each chart.

Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and the oft-forgotten Burna Boy spend a second week at number one with Own It. It is the second successive number one song to have just five letters in its title. Own It and River are the shortest number one song titles since Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato’s Solo in June 2018.

The remainder of the top four also remains unchanged. Lewis Capaldi remains at number two with Before You Go. The Scottish singer is also at number seven with Someone You Loved and number twelve with Bruises.

Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now is still at number three, ahead of Arizona Zervas at number four with Roxanne.

Tones & I falls one place to number six with Dance Monkey. Before Christmas I suggested that the song might return to number one early in the new year. Two things made me reassess that forecast last week. First, contrary to expectations, Dance Monkey narrowly failed to achieve a large enough increase in streams to be restored to the Standard Chart Ratio (SCR). Therefore, its streams continue to be worth only half as much as those of the four songs above it. If the stream ratio had been reset, Dance Monkey would indeed have returned to number one this week, easily beating a record for the lowest position achieved by a song between spells at number one in the same chart run.

The second event to cast doubt on my prediction for Dance Monkey was the release of a new song by Justin Bieber. There are now very few artists who stand much chance of going straight to number one in a normal chart week but Bieber is surely one of them. Not this time though. His new song, Yummy, can only make it to number five. It is only the second song with the word Yummy in its title to reach the UK charts. Ohio Express got to number five with the unforgettable Yummy Yummy Yummy in 1968 with its marvellously sophisticated lyric “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy”.

Justin Bieber also has a re-entry at number 27 alongside Ed Sheeran on I Don’t Care. Sheeran has a second re-entry at number 28 with Beautiful People.

This commentary has frequently contained references (some of which might be described as snide) to the number of chart acts to have spent (or are spending) some time in prison. It is, therefore, worth noting that some former inmates seem to have succeeded in putting their criminal past behind them. Birmingham-born Rhys Sylvester spent some time in jail for drug and driving offences before being released in 2015. He turned his attention to music, adopting the moniker Mist, and has enjoyed steady success since then. This week he gets his fourth top forty hit with Savage at number 35. It’s just a pity that the song is so awful.

The charts immediately after Christmas have always been a bit weird. It has always been a quiet period for new releases meaning a dearth of new entries, a phenomenon famously exploited by Iron Maiden in 1991 when they released Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter in this quiet period and were rewarded with a number one single eleven years after their first hit. In the days when all singles were only available as a piece of plastic it was common for Christmas songs to remain in the chart until mid-January or beyond. After all, there was no telling whether the song would ever be available to buy again so people made sure of getting their copy before stocks ran out. This meant that the top forty comprised mostly the same songs as the previous week but in a slightly different order.

The download era changed that in two ways. First, the constant availability of songs meant that sales of Chrristmas songs ground to a near halt after December 25th. Second, all the old festive favourites were available again and many of them returned to the chart each year. That left the way open for more change in the post-Christmas top forty. While some of the songs returning to the chart were the ones that had been pushed out in December, many of the biggest songs of the year also benefited from renewed airplay in end of year retrospectives.

Streaming changed things again with a further increase in the number of old festive songs making the chart each year, making up the large majority of the top forty in the first chart after Christmas. Consequently, the next chart is almost entirely made up of re-entries. This year there has been a further complication. When the Accelerated Chart Ratio (ACR) was first introduced, it took an increase of 50 percentage points above the market change for a song to be reset.

Last year the rules changed so that the increase applied to streams only and the threshold was reduced to 25 percentage points. For most of the year this makes sense. Some songs are around for some time before they finally take off. It would surely be unfair to punish a song that spends three months in the lower reaches of the chart, getting moved to ACR in the process, before potentially getting increases of streams of “only” 35-40% each week for two weeks or more.

However, things are a little different in late December and early January. As streamers switch from festive songs to “normal” songs, many of those releases will qualify for a reset to ACR. Several songs benefited from that last week and more do so this week. They include the two older Lewis Capaldi songs referenced above and several others that manage significant climbs within the top forty. On top of that, we also have another batch of re-entries. We will have to wait and see whether the Official Charts Company change the rules yet again or just accept that, for a few weeks of the year, the rules will work in unanticipated ways.

There is one major climb for a new song as Roddy Ricch climbs 24 places to number sixteen with The Box. After being at number forty in both charts last week, he almost pulls off a similar feat this week. His album, Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial climbs to number seventeen.

The albums chart in early January also suffers from a lack of new releases. New recordings of Beethoven string quartets and Brahms piano pieces have failed to make the chart. This leaves older albums the chance to compete for the top spot. That battle has been won this week by Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head. The album was released just before Christmas when it was expected to be competing with Harry Styles’ new album for the number one spot. In the event they were both beaten by Rod Stewart who turns 75 today (Friday). Heavy Is The Head now belatedly becomes Stormzy’s second number one album following Gang Signs And Prayer in 2017.

The Harry Styles album, Fine Line, climbs back up one place to number four while Rod Stewart’s You’re In My Heart slips to number six.

Filling in the gap, Lewis Capaldi falls back to number two after spending the last week at the top with Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent. Ed Sheeran’s No 6 Collaborations Project is back up one place to number four. Billie Eilish climbs back up to number five with When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go.

The only new entry is the latest in the series of Gold releases, this time from Gene Pitney. Pitney had a number of hits in the 1960s including Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa and Something’s Gotten Hold Of Your Heart. His career was revived in 1989 when he teamed up with Marc Almond to record a new version of the latter song which finally gave him a number one single in the UK. He also wrote songs for other artists including Rubber Ball (Bobby Vee) and Hello Mary-Lou (Ricky Nelson, later covered by Australian vocal group The Seekers). The Gold collection includes all four of those songs and fifty others. It enters at number 31.
Published on: 2020-01-10 by Suedehead2 || 21588 Views
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