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Olivia Rodrigo gets a third number one
Olivia Rodrigo wina a close race at the top of the singles chart to get a third number one. Burns Boy gets his first number one album.

Another tight race at the top of the singles chart. Burna Boy gets his first number one album.

Once again, there was a close race at the top of the singles chart. However, this time, thanks to the intricacies of chart rules, Dua Lipa’s Dance The Night - last week’s number one - was not one of them. Following the release of a physical product, Olivia Rodrigo’s Vampire was in with a decent chance of finally getting to the top with Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For (which has already had a week at number one) and Doja Cat’s Paint The Town Red also in contention.

Paint The Town Red starts off very well, with a clip of Dionne Warwick’s wonderful version of Walk On By. Then Doja Cat opens her gob and it all goes horribly wrong. The one consolation of this rubbish getting to the summit would be that the late, great Burt Bacharach and his long-time songwriting partner Hal David would get an eighth number one credit.

While What Was I Made For has grown on me a little, I still find it somewhat on the dull side. Vampire is comfortably my favourite of the two Olivia Rodrigo songs in the upper reaches of the chart at the moment and the one I would prefer to win this week’s race.

What, then, was the result? Olivia Rodrigo deservedly gets her third number one following Drivers License and Good 4 U. Doja Cat is at number two but remains well placed to top the chart next week. Billie Eilish falls one place to number three.

Taylor Swift is at number four with Cruel Summer. Peggy Gou’s (It Goes Like) Nanana bounces back up to number five.

When the Official Charts Company (OCC) announced a number of major changes in the chart rules a few years ago, it was clear that some songs would have very odd chart runs. The limit of three songs per artist meant that a song could reach a high position before dropping straight out of the chart because another song by the same artist outperformed it. However, the most likely reason for an odd chart run was always likely to be the Advanced Chart Ratio (ACR) rule.

Under the ACR rule, a song that had been in the chart for at least ten weeks and whose streaming figures had declined for the last three weeks would have the value of its streams halved. That meant that a song that had had a prolonged run at number one could suffer a sharp fall down the chart. Dave and Central Cee’s diabolical Sprinter was a recent casualty of the rule.

Dua Lipa’s Dance The Night has a different type of odd chart run. It spent 13 weeks in the chart before finally claiming the top spot last week. However, its streams had been declining which means that it has now moved on to ACR. As a result, it crashes to number fifteen this week.

There is undoubtedly a problem with compiling a chart when streaming is the predominant way of consuming music. A sales-based chart was compiled on the assumption that most people would only buy a single once, although the release of successive remixes of the same song and copies with different b-sides were a clear attempt to bend the rules.

Streaming, though, changed the game. Once somebody had bought a single, that counted as one sale, however many times they played it over the following weeks or months. However, barring limits on the number of weekly streams that are counted, to exclude people streaming a song on a continuous loop, an individual’s streams can continue to contribute to the chart for months. The ACR rule was meant to avoid the same songs hanging around near the top of the chart for month after month after month. While it may have achieved that at the very top, it leads to some hefty falls down the chart and still leaves us with a fairly static chart overall.Chase & Status and their cast of thousands climb into the top ten at number nine with Baddadan. They therefore have two current top ten hits fourteen years after they first reached the upper tier of the singles chart.

At the ripe old age of 30, Miley Cyrus declares on her new single that she Used To Be Young. Well, I suppose all these things are relative. To a ten-year-old, 30 is pretty ancient. To a 62-year-old, it is obscenely young. Then again, she was just fifteen when she haad her first top forty hit in the UK. This week she gets her 24th with a new entry at number twelve.

Selena Gomez seeks to confuse us all with the title of her new release Single Soon. Surely it is a single now. Or maybe that’s not what she means. Whatever her intention, the song is at number 21, giving Gomez a twentieth top forty hit since she appeared on (and with) the scene in 2010.

The number one spot in the albums chart is claimed by Nigerian Damioni Ogulu, better known as Burna Boy, with his seventh studio album I Told Them It has been a ten-year wait for him to get his first chart-topping album after his first three releases failed to enter the chart at all and successive albums after that each reaching a higher position than its predecessor. A significant proportion of the album’s sales have been actual physical or download sales which has limited its impact on the singles chart. City Boys is at number 31, Cheat On Me - which features dreary Dave - is at nineteen.

Claire Richards, known for many years as Claire from Steps, has released her second solo album, four-and-a-half years after her debut set reached number nine. It includes covers of songs such as the title track (a 2012-Eurovision winner for Loreen who also triumphed this year), Goodbye To Love (The Carpenters) and Xanadu (Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John). It outperforms her debut by entering at number two.

The Weeknd’s Highlights compilation is at number three with Taylor Swift’s Midnights at four and Travis Scott’s Utopia at five.

Ashnikko is an American singer who cites as influences country music and Slipknot, Hm, I can’t say that makes me want to rush and listen to it. She enters at number seven with her debut album Weedkiller.

I don’t need to know Digga D’s influences to determine whether I want to listen to a whole album of his. I’ve heard enough of his output to decide that I have better things to do with my time such as rearranging the fruit bowl (even though there isn’t any fruit in it at the moment). Other people disagree and he is at number six with Back To Square One.

For many years, the phrase back to square one was said to have referred to early radio football commentaries. It was said that a grid showing the pitch divided into squares was printed in Radio Times so that commentators could say what square the ball was in. When it went into square one, the commentator would say “Back to square one”. Allegedly. There are two significant problems with this. The main one leading etymologists to dismiss the claim is that the first written use of the phrase (referring to Snakes And Ladders) dates from long after the radio commentary system was abandoned. Second, and the reason why I was always sceptical, square one was by a corner flag, not the most common part of the pitch for the ball to be passed to unless a team is protecting a one-goal lead in the last few minutes of a match.

Just as English schools start to go back after a well-earned summer break, we have a new album from Alice Cooper, the man whose best-known hit is arguably School’s Out. Road is Cooper’s 29th studio album (including those from when Alice Cooper was technically the name of a band) and it enters at number eight.

Country singer Zach Bryan enters at number 22 with an eponymous album. Manchester band Hot Milk are at 40 with A Call To A Void.

After headlining at the Reading and Leeds festival last weekend, The Killers return to the top forty at number 35 with their Direct Hits collection. Without the ACR rule, Nr Brightside may well have been in the top forty this week.
Published on: 2023-09-01 by Suedehead2 || 754 Views
Comments (2)
2 Sep 2023 - 9:21
BuzzJack Legend
Group: Moderator
Posts: 22,172
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Joined: 18 Jul 2012 - 10:05
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Yay Vampire! Totally deserved.

I also have a long list of acts that make me choose to rearrange my empty fruit bowl instead. Though I do have an apple in mine, so that leaves me with seemingly infinite possibilities if we go down to the sub-atomic level and develop apples as quantum theory into a scientific paper. Who knew Digga D could generate physics and art discussion both!
2 Sep 2023 - 22:30
BuzzJack Legend
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Joined: 13 Apr 2007 - 19:10
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Possibly his greatest ever achievement.
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