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Drake tops the singles and albums charts
Drake's new mixtape goes straight to the top of the albums chart while the single Toosie Slide climbs to number one in the singles chart.

Drake scores a chart double, topping both the singles and albums charts.

There is a significant shake-up at the top of the chart this week for a number of reasons. The first reason is technical, relating to the way the chart is compiled. Yes, it’s our old friend the Accelerated Chart Ratio (ACR). Any song that has been in the chart for at least ten weeks and whose streams have fallen for the last three weeks is put onto ACR which means the value of its streams is halved. In most weeks that might affect one or two songs in the top ten. This week, it affects rather more.

The most significant impact occurs at the very top of the chart. One of the songs to have been put onto ACR is The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights. The song has already gone on to ACR once but was able to return to the Standard Chart Ratio (SCR) after its streams increased by the required 25% on one week. The return to ACR deprives Blinding Lights of making chart history by going back to number one. Had it done so, it would have become the first song in UK chart history to go to the top of the chart on four occasions in the same chart run. As it is, it falls to number five after spending the last two weeks at number two behind two different charity songs.

The other songs from last week’s top ten that have been put on to ACR have held up rather less well. Dua Lipa has had two songs in the top ten for the last few weeks. Both of them have taken a tumble. Physical is now at number 26 and Don’t Stop Now is at 29. Saint Jhn’s Roses slumps from last week’s number three to number fourteen this week.

The biggest beneficiary of Blinding Lights’ demotion is another Canadian, Drake, who gets his sixth number one single as Toosie Slide climbs three places into the top spot. Earlier this year, Skepta, Chip and Young Adz had a top forty album with Insomnia. Last Friday saw the release of another potential weapon in the battle against insomnia in the form of a mixtape from Drake. Two of the dreary dirges from that mixtape join Toosie Slide in the chart. Chicago Freestyle (featuring Giveon) enters at number ten and the appropriately named Pain 1993 (featuring Playboi Carti) is at number seventeen. Both featured artists make their UK chart debut. Surely any future releases from them have to be an improvement.

The ejection from the top ten of songs moving on to ACR often simply leads to a number of other songs moving up a couple places. This week, however, two songs have soared into the top five after the release of remixed versions. Doja Cat (or her management team) decided to ruin a perfectly reasonable song by getting Nicki Minaj to make a contribution. In commercial terms it has worked as Say So jumps eight places to number two. Ed Sheeran managed to prolong his run at number one with Perfect by enlisting the services of Beyonce. While Meghan Thee Stallion hasn’t achieved that level of success, enlisting Ms Knowles’ services has lifted Savage nineteen places to number three.

DaBaby and Roddy Ricch also have a big climb into the top ten. Rockstar climbs 21 places to number six. Powfu’s Beabadoodee-assisted Death Bed (Coffee For Your Head) continues its slow climb, advancing one place to number four.

The Live Lounge All Stars have held up rather better than many recent charity releases. The general trend tends to be a rush of sales immediately after the song is released with the potential for a further rush at the end of the chart week if there is a last-minute push to get it as high in the chart as possible. In the second week, sales often plummet. That, combined with the fact that charity songs generally pick up relatively few sales from streams, means they crash down the chart in week two. In order to avoid that fate a song generally needs to have at least some artistic merit. The Live Lounge version of Times Like These is indeed somewhat better than many charity releases and it has been at or near the top of the iTunes chart for the last week. That has helped it limit its fall to eight places to number nine.

One of the risks of charity releases at a time like this is that there is a danger of the market being saturated. A combination of that and the simple fact of the song not being very good can result in an apparent under-performance. That brings us on to Amanda Holden, now best known as a long-term judge on Britain’s Got Talent and for services to the cosmetic surgery industry.

With the rainbow being widely used as a symbol of hope and for paying tribute to staff working in essential services, Holden has chosen to record a version of Over The Rainbow. The song was originally performed by Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz. That film was released in the USA just over a week before the outbreak of World War II, a conflict that continued for six long years. On the day that we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the European part of the war, Holden’s version of the song falls short of the top forty. Chart show presenters everywhere remain relieved that the version by Israel Kawakawiwo’ole has never quite made it into the top forty although it has come close a few times.

Some people will tell you that competition is always a good thing. Others are less convinced and would suggest that competing to release the most boring songs is not a good thing. Nevertheless, AJ Tracey continues with his attempt to release songs that make Drake’s efforts sound positively exciting. His latest effort, Dinner Guest (older readers may remember a time when they were a thing), is at number eight. It features MoStack who also featured alongside AJ Tracey on Steel Banglez’ Fashion Week last year.

Travis Scott’s Sicko Mode re-enters at number 36. It was a top ten hit in the late summer of 2018 before slipping back into the top forty at the beginning of the following year. Now it returns to the chart once again. There is also a re-entry for Don’t Rush by Young T & Bugsey featuring Headie One at number 35.

While Drake’s latest number one single can be said to have happened almost by default with so many other contenders hampered by the ACR rule, the same cannot be said for his new album which tops the chart without having to rely on such technicalities. Even if it is there as a result of heavy streaming rather than real sales, its sales have been calculated using the same streams to sales ratio as everything else in the chart. Described as a mixtape, Dark Lane Demo Tapes is the third Drake release to top the albums chart following Views (2016) and Scorpion (2018).

Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia slips to number two after its third, non-consecutive, week at the top. Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent is at number three.

Two recently released albums return to the top forty following the belated release of a version on vinyl. The decision to release a vinyl version of The Strokes’ The New Abnormal three weeks after the original release seems odd given that vinyl sales were always likely to be good for such a band. Indeed, the failure to manage a simultaneous release may well have cost the band a second number one. The album reached number two last month and dropped out of the top forty last week. This week it jumps back in at number four. Billie Eilish is at number five with When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go.

The other vinyl-inspired re-entry is Niall Horan’s Heartbreak Weather at number ??? The album topped the chart when it was released a couple months ago. While Horan gets bragging rights over Harry Styles for that, Styles album Fine Lines has been the much stronger performance overall. It remains in the top ten for a 21st week this week.

From Fine Lies to Tide Lines who are a pop-rock band. The fact that three of the four members are called Fergus, Ross and Alasdair provide a pretty heavy clue that they are from Scotland. They make their UK chart debut this week with their second album, Eye Of The Storm, at number twelve.

The prize for the week’s worst topical pun has to go to Yxng Bane who has called his new album Quarantime - The Lost Files. Some people may feel that the person who found them should be named and shamed but others clearly disagree as it is a new entry at number eleven. It is his first success in the albums chart since he had two charting albums (one alongside the inexplicably successful D-Block Europe) in 2018.

The last week or so has seen a grim list of deaths in the music industry. They included Millie Small whose biggest hit (as Millie) was My Boy Lollipop in 1964. That song was initially dismissed by many as a bit of a novelty record (as, for that matter, was Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights fourteen years later) but it is now seen as an early example of ska music reaching the UK charts.

It was also announced this week that Florian Schneider, a founding member of Kraftwerk, had died. Journalists tend to be very quick to describe bands or singers as “hugely influential” which serves to make the term somewhat devalued. However, in the case of Kraftwerk it is truly deserved. A look at the top forty in the week in 1975 that their debut hit Autobahn reached its peak helps to illustrate how. That chart included some of the biggest names of the first half of the 1970s such as Slade, Mud and Showaddywaddy as well as Barry White, The Carpenters and The Wombles.

Within a few years (indeed, in the time it took for Kraftwerk to have another major hit) the charts included acts such as Human League, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark and Depeche Mode, all of whom owed a lot to Kraftwerk. They can, therefore, be said to have helped to create the electropop sound of the 1980s at least five years before the 1980s began.
Published on: 2020-05-08 by Suedehead2 || 1823 Views
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Live iTunes Top 10
1 Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande
Rain On Me
2 Calum Scott
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4 Topic & A7S
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