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Ed Sheeran makes it to eleven weeks at number one
Ed Sheeran's Bah Habits is the number one single for the eleventh week. Drake, with three new entries in the top five singles, has the number one album.

Ed Sheeran continues his run at the top of the singles chart. Drake wins a tight battle for number one in the albums chart.

Ed Sheeran’s Bad Habits gets an eleventh week at the top of the singles chart but, unless his streams have increased this week, this will be the song’s final week at the top. Bad Habits’ eleven-week run at number one matches that of Tones & I’s Dance Monkey in 2019. Coincidentally, the song Dance Monkey replaced at the summit was Take Me Back To London, Sheeran’s last number one as the lead artist before Bad Habits. Dance Monkey was immediately followed by two one-week Christmas-related chart toppers before normal service was resumed when Stormzy’s Own It (with help from Ed Sheeran) took over.

The main opposition to Ed Sheeran this week came in the form of a three-pronged attack from Drake. In the first update of the week, the Canadian occupied the top three positions with his latest rubbish. Thankfully, that momentum was not sustained and he has ended up occupying positions two (Girls Want Girls), three (Fair Trade with Travis Scott) and five (Champagne Poetry). Those three “songs” bring his tally of top ten hits up to 29.

Drake’s 29 top ten hits (and 66 top forty entries) dwarf Abba’s score of nineteen top ten (and 25 top forty) singles. However, it seems unlikely that any of Drake’s efforts will endure for as long as Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia or Knowing Me, Knowing You, to name but three. Similarly, it seems highly unlikely that a Drake comeback after an absence of forty years will be greeted with the same hype as that attached to last week’s release of two new songs from the Swedes. [In case you are reading this, Drake, please feel free to try proving me wrong by starting your forty-year break today].

The rumours of the existence of new songs have been going on for so long that it was tempting to conclude either that they didn’t exist at all or that they were thought to be too bad for public consumption Such is the nature of the press (in the UK, at least) that many journalists were probably hovering over their keyboards last week preparing to write scsthing reviews. With the exception of the Daily Telegraph’s correspondent (whose readers probably think that no decent music has been written since 1850), they will have been forced to rethink as both of the songs are very Abba and also genuinely good.

Both Abba songs were in the top ten in the week’s first update but it was by no means certain that they would still be there when the Official Charts Company stopped the count as Thursday turned to Friday. I Still Have Faith In You, a ballad bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Winner Takes It All, enters at number fourteen with Don’t Shut Me Down at number nine. The latter is their first top ten hit since One Of Uss became the last in a run of eighteen successive top ten hits (eight of them number ones) in 1981. They, therefore, now have twenty top ten and 27 top forty hits. A full album will be released later this year. Yes, Abba are still cheesy, but at least it’s quality cheese - more Roquefort than Dairylea.

Little Mix enter at number 33 with Love (Sweet Love). Their recent singles have been among the best of their career. This one is decidedly mediocre. Of the comeback single from their fellow X Factor alumni JLS, there is no sign.

After re-entering the chart last week, Glass Animals’ Heat Wave, which first entered the top 100 last October, climbs to a new peak of number ten. With the actual heat wave now seemingly over, will its belated progress go into reverse?

The contest at the top of the albums chart was between two acts with very different sales bases. Iron Maiden were always going to get the highest actual sales figures with streams of their new album generating very few additional sales. By contrast, Drake’s release would gain huge numbers of made-up sales from streams to add to around 23 actual sales. Actually, the real figure was around 1,800, not exactly an impressive figure. Whichever one prevailed, fans of the other would be left thinking the chart rules were biased against their favoured act. Just a small tweak to the way streams are converted to sales could have given a different outcome.

The first update of the week, on Monday, showed Iron Maiden with a clear lead. However, we know that a number of streaming companies provide their figures 24 hours late, meaning that the figures for Monday’s update missed a lot of weekend streams. We also know that most actual sales of an album are concentrated at the beginning of the sales week while streams are more evenly spread throughout the week. Those two factors combined to make Iron Maiden’s lead less secure than it first appeared.

Somewhat surprisingly, Iron Maiden’s lead had increased by Tuesday with suggestions that some actual sales were missing from Monday’s update. The lead had fallen again by Wednesday with the trend suggesting that the final figures would be very close.

After all the optimism that Drake would be denied a fourth number one album, the week ended badly with his Certified Lover Boy at the top of the pile. Iron Maiden, who had the first of their five number one albums in 1982, are at number two with Senjutsu, just 1,200 “sales” behind Drake. On pure sales, Iron Maiden are easily at number one with Drake at number seven.

Kanye West’s Donda falls to number three after its week at the top. Abba Gold rebounds to number five following the release of the two new singles.

It has been said many times that artists who fail to succeed with their first album will struggle to get as far as releasing a second. Just occasionally, a band such as Elbow, Pulp or James will continue to get the support they need and will eventually be able to repay that support with a period of major success. All too often, though, one unsuccessful album will mean being dropped by the record label with little prospect of getting a new deal.

The predominance of digital forms of consuming music does, at least, mena that the costs of releasing an album have been reduced significantly. That can mean that an artist does get a second chance - maybe, even, a third or fourth. London-born rapper Little Simz failed to reach the top 100 with her first two albums. The third, despite being nominated for the Mercury Prize, fared little better. It spent a week at number 87 although it did top the R&B chart. This week, her record label finally gets to see the reward for the faith they had in her. Her fourth album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, is at number four, number two on sales alone.

American rock(-ish) band Imagine Dragons are at number seven. with Mercury: Act 1, their fifth top ten album from five releases. English rock is represented by The Wildhearts at number nine with 21st Century Love Songs. After three top five albums (two of them getting to number one), Rudimental can only reach number sixteen with their fourth set, Ground Control.

While the main flag-carriers for Welsh music in the 1990s were the Manic Street Preachers (whose new album is out today, Friday) and Stereophonics, there were plenty of other bands from the principality to listen to. Among them were Super Furry Animals whose singer, Gruffudd Maredudd Bowen Rhys, delights in one of the most Welsh names in music history. That Welshness is further emphasised by Rhys’s decision not to disguise his accent when singing and the release of an album, Mwng, sung entirely in Welsh.

Between 1997 and 2003, Super Furry Animals reached the top eleven with a run of five successive albums - Mwng was the one that prevented them, getting five straight top ten albums. The highest placed of those five was Rings Around The World, released in 2001, which reached number three. Sadly, the 20th anniversary reissue has missed the top forty, finishing at number 46.

The release of a remix version of Lady Gaga’s 2020 album Chromatica has, slightly bizarrely, done more for the original version than the revamped one. The original re-enters at number 34 while Dawn Of Chromatica limpsa in at number 56.
Published on: 2021-09-10 by Suedehead2 || 2438 Views
Comments (2)
10 Sep 2021 - 19:18
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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So Abba, a group with an average age over 70, can still get a top ten hit record with new material without having to resort to features with young artists, and despite not existing for nearly 40 years.

Their top 10 chart-span of 46 years with new material beats Bowie, Macca, Elton & every other significant music star I think (ignoring Collabs, remixes, archive, samples & charity assists for other acts). I stand to be corrected, though.

Obv in terms of singles chart The Rolling Stones have a clear 57 years, so Abba are not likely to beat that, but Elton might fancy a go in 2028 smile.gif

Drake. Thank heavens for Ed Sheeran eh? Will he replace himself on top and have the rest of the year on top to boot with the album due. I'm sure future generations will be singing along to Drake tunes in 40 years time. All the ones he's nicked from far more more talented acts, cough Timmy Thomas, cough. (psst don't mention R.Kelly who gets credit for apparently "not" appearing on the new album as a background voice from not even an actual song. So just because he felt like giving him a credit then...)
Music Critic
11 Sep 2021 - 20:28
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Cannot wait!
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