Inside The Pocket Of His Ripped Jeans
Week 2 of the big Ed Sheeran takeover and it very much remains the case that it is his world and we are merely living in it. No surprises to report, Shape Of You retains its commanding lead atop the Official UK Singles chart with Castle On The Hill sitting just behind. As you would expect the sales and streams of both are down slightly from their spectacular debuts of seven days ago, but they are still sufficient for the Number One to clock up over 10 million streams once more - far in excess of the total managed by any other track in the admittedly short history of the medium.
Castle On The Hill takes what might be seen as a sharper dip, its streams falling to "just" 7.8m in total. As my guests and I noted on the podcast posted during the week, Sheeran singles tend to fall into two categories - the 'harder' sounding R&B flavoured tracks which make the most immediate impact followed by the more slow-burning and anthemic ballads which often prove to be the more enduring. We wait to see which of the pair sustains its sales and streams for the most extended period.
Now I hesitate to make too many comparisons with the past given that the extensive methodology changes of the past few years mean it is impossible to properly compare like with like, but it is worth noting that both Sheeran singles maintain six figure chart sales for the second week in a row - that's the first time the Number 2 single has sold over 100,000 copies two weeks running since Calvin Harris and Rihanna's This Is What You Came For spent a fortnight stranded behind One Dance despite sales of 107,000 and 109,000 back in May last year.
Sheeran's market domination naturally leaves everyone below playing second fiddle somewhat, Human sitting comfortably at Number 3 once more, Jax Jones' You Don't Know Me rising to Number 4 and Clean Bandit's Rockabye settling into what now seems to be a gentle decline, dipping to Number 5 in its 13th week as a Top 10 single.
We'll Always Have Selfies
We do have the novelty this week of a brand new entry in the Top 10 this week. Sneaking in on the bottom rung (Sales: 9, Streams: 10) is Paris, the latest release from Chainsmokers. After topping the charts, both here and in America, with Closer last summer the duo have struggled a little since. All We Know topped out at Number 24 in October, not even receiving a boost from the release of their second album Collage from which both it and Closer were taken. Paris benefits from being a brand new and previously unavailable track, and is perhaps most notable for being their first chart hit since their debut to appear without a credit for a guest singer. That's not to say it doesn't have one though, Drew Taggart accompanied on the track by American singer Emily Warren whose association with the pair extends back to her co-authorship of their previous Number 2 hit Don't Let Me Down. Thus far the track is their third Top 10 hit single.
Page The Sage
American rapper Sage The Gemini made his chart debut back in March 2015 thanks to his guest turn on Flo Rida's Number 3 hit G.F.D.R. but until now has not enjoyed a solo British hit. All that changes this week as Now And Later lifts 11 places to sit at Number 32 (Sales: 29, Streams: 33), seven weeks after it first made an appearance down in the basement depths of the Top 200. It has the strange distinction of becoming one of the first tracks to become a hit following promotional exposure from an unusual source - the label paying for it to feature as the soundtrack to a Snapchat filter which was first made available back in November. I'm more of a bunny ears chap myself.
Shout Out To My XX
Fans of good old fashioned boys with guitars rock music often bemoan (with some justification) the way current musical trends and indeed the consumer move away from both physical product and product of any kind puts their tastes at a particular disadvantage. It therefore seems only appropriate to note the success this week of The XX who achieve the impossible and dethrone Little Mix at the top of the Official UK Album chart with their third studio release I See You. The success of the album rebounds on its well-received lead single On Hold which returns to the Top 40 at Number 34 (Sales: 27, Streams: 43), beating by four places the peak it first scaled at the end of November last year.
I See You also benefits from some extensive cherrypicking by fans, resulting in no less than five of its tracks occupying places lower down the Top 100, led by Say Something Loving which makes its bow at Number 60 (Sales: uncharted, Streams: 52).
There is a fascinating move on the album chart resulting from the surge in interest for the cast recording of La La Land which rockets to Number 3 in the wake of the acclaimed musical comedy's cinematic release over the last week. This also means a singles chart debut for its centrepiece song City Of Stars which takes actors Ryan Gosling and Emma stone to Number 72 (Sales: 37, Streams: uncharted).
Rain Drop, Drop Top
Ed Sheeran's British success rebounded across the Atlantic last week and he debuted at the top of the Hot 100 at the expense of the incumbent Number One single Bad And Boujee by hip-hop group Migos. Whilst I've no clue if it has a similar chart destiny ahead of it, the track makes its British Top 40 bow this week at Number 37 (Sales: 55, Streams: 32) in its third week on release. One to keep an eye on for sure.