This week's Official UK Singles Chart

This week's Official UK Albums Chart

 

Uptown Funk's fifth week on release sees the Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars single spend a third straight and fourth week in total at the very top of the Official UK Singles chart as once again the single dominates both the sales and streaming markets in a manner which is utterly untouchable.

For the first time in a fortnight, the single fails to break its own streaming record, but its 2.34 million streams still contribute a large part of its 130,000 sales total. Impressively that equates to a download sale of around 107,000 copies meaning that just like last year we have seen the Number One single in the traditionally quiet month of January sell well into six figures.

Indeed such is the becalmed nature of the singles market at the present moment, Ronson presides over an all-static Top 3 as last week's debuting single from Philip George locks firmly at Number 2 whilst Ed Sheeran patiently waits in the wings at Number 3. Olly Murs and Demi Lovato rebound 6-4 with Up to reclaim the chart peak the single last occupied three weeks ago whilst as anticipated Take Me To Church by Hozier reaches a brand new high with a 10-5 jump. The Hozier single is now 19 weeks old, by a strange coincidence the same age that Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud was when it reached its own chart-topping peak.

At the end of a week when events in Paris have dominated the news for all the wrong reasons, there is a kind of poignancy to note that the highest charting new single of the week is by a Parisian dance producer. The alias of Frenchman Martin Bresso, Tchami is a leading light in what is described as the Future House movement, his work first coming to light on a 2013 remix of the Janet Jackson single Go Deep. After further mixing and production work in 2014 finally lands a hit single of his own as Promesses, a track which appeared in an earlier form on SoundCloud almost two years ago, debuts neatly at Number 7.

Lower down the singles chart there are a couple of eyebrow-raising surprises. The prospect that Kanye West would help Paul McCartney to his first Top 10 single in 25 takes a knock as the pair's much-noticed duet Only One ran out of steam quickly during the week and can only rise seven places to Number 28 in its second week on sale. They do at the very least sell more copies than Tulisa whose new single Living Without You was hailed as her triumphant musical comeback after two years away dealing with legal issues. Despite a strong midweek placing inside the Top 20, the single fizzles out this week at Number 44 which is hard to spin as anything other than a disaster.

This week also saw the unveiling of the annual "Sound Of 20xx" poll by the BBC website, the result of a survey of music experts and tastemakers as to what they see as the hottest new acts of the year. The two stars with the most votes were actually names whose first hits came at the end of last year after the deadline for nominations and this aren't quite as "unknown" as previous winners. James Bay featured strongly, and this week was also handed the Critics' Choice BRIT Award for the best upcoming act, resulting in a surge in interest for his current single Hold Back The River which re-enters the singles chart at Number 36. The single initially peaked at Number 18 in early December.

Winners of the poll, however, were Years & Years, the result coming slightly too late to impact this week's chart, although their own pre-Christmas hit Desire does manage a 99-58 jump this week with better things set to come in seven days time. The track originally made Number 22 on the same chart that the James Bay hit made its own chart peak.

In the absence of any big new releases, the biggest albums of 2014 continue to trade places near the top end of the Official Album Chart. This week it is the turn of Sam Smith who rises to Number One with In The Lonely Hour. This is now the album's third run at the top of the charts, following on from the spells of a fortnight each it spent on top in June and September last year.

Hang on in there, it will get better, but for now, the long slow music industry midwinter continues.