This week's Official UK Singles Chart

This week's Official UK Albums Chart

 

In as close to a foregone conclusion as it was possible to anticipate, the position at the top of the Official UK Singles chart remains unchanged this week, Wiz Khalifa's See You Again spends a second week at Number One, OMI's Cheerleader is locked at Number 2 and Jess Glynne's former chart-topper Hold My Hand grips firmly to Number 3.

Indeed the only newsworthy thing at all about the top of the charts this week is that both leading singles once again push the market for streaming to what was even a year ago unanticipated new heights. See You Again shatters its own streaming record, having been listened to 3.72 million times last week, representing a contribution of 37,000 to its combined sales total of 142,000. Just behind Cheerleader is equally as impressive, its play total this week of 3.33 million also way in excess of the previous record total. Still convinced they have no business being counted as part of the singles chart analysis?

The highest new entry of the week lands at Number 4 and in a sense finally breaks something of a hoodoo for the act in question. Clean Bandit's 2014 breakthrough was undoubtedly the big story of the year, but as the months wore on it became increasingly apparent that their ability to land major long-term hit singles hinged entirely on the presence of the aforementioned Jess Glynne on lead vocals - the flame-haired singer front and centre on the smash hits Rather Be and Real Love. Happily that changes this week as Stronger becomes their fourth Top 5 hit single and only the second without her co-starring presence.

Stronger originally appeared on the special edition of the group's album New Eyes with Years & Years singer Olly Alexander on vocals. This new single version is a complete re-recording and now features vocal takes from both Glee star Alex Newall and Sean Bass, the brother of Sharna Bass who sang lead vocals on their older single Extraordinary - by a strange coincidence the only other Clean Bandit single to reach the Top 10.

Stronger is closely tied to the group's much-derided corporate link up with Microsoft which has seen them appear in TV commercials for Lumia mobile phones and the Cortana voice assistant software and with the song's video apparently partially shot using the telephone hardware. Musically it suffers from the same Jack Patterson bleep-bloop production which makes many of their tracks merge into one after a while, but on top of it is yet another soaring, inspiring and quite captivating dance vocal. Hit and miss their work may be at times, but when they hit they always do so in some considerable style. And also the video features Grace Chatto in a leotard, so there is much to love here. [Going ga-ga over Grace seems to be a recurring theme of every Clean Bandit commentary here. I regret nothing].

Also new to the Top 10 this week is Lean On by Major Lazer featuring MO & DJ Snake, a single which has bucked all manner of recent trends with a slow and steady climb from the chart depths to what is now a brand new peak of Number 6, a seven place climb from last week. Whilst the track's five-week climb to this point is commendable, it pales in comparison with the 14 weeks and counting rise of Kygo and Conrad Sewell's chill-out track Firestone which climbs two places to Number 8, its chart run having begun at the end of January at the lowly position of Number 69.

Clubland also gives us another new hit at Number 17 in the form of Michael Calfan's soul house hit Treasured Soul. It is the Frenchman's first ever direct chart credit although he naturally enough has appeared as a "name" remixer of a number of recent hit singles.

Now marking 44 weeks on the singles chart, Ed Sheeran's former Number One single Thinking Out Loud sits at Number 26 in the week that it was confirmed as his second million-selling track, joining his 2011 hit "The A-Team" in the all-time bestsellers list. Other million sellers announced this week were Swedish House Mafia's Don't You Worry Child and curiously enough Enrique Iglesias' 2002 Number One hit Hero.

On the Official UK Album chart, Paul Simon is replaced at Number One by veteran MOR performer Josh Groban. His album of stage show covers Stages gives him his first ever chart-topping album at the ninth attempt with his debut having come way back in 2003. His previous chart best was 2013 album All That Echoes which reached Number 9. Naturally enough he has never come close to having a significant chart single, his best performance to date being 2008 release To Where You Are which reached Number 53.

Finally, a further illustration of just how crucial streaming success is becoming in turning a big selling hit into a big chart record, consider the present fate of Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson's irritatingly catchy Trouble. It is the seventh most purchased single of the week but only the 41st most streamed - these numbers translating into a Number 13 official chart placing, more dramatically at odds than most with its apparent popularity on retailers live charts.