More Bieber Than Your Knickers Can Take
As anyone with even half an eye on the UK charts over the course of the past year will be aware, Justin Bieber has in the past 12 months managed an extraordinary tally of chart achievements. Landing all three of the Top 3 singles of the week for one, as well as becoming only the second living act in chart history to replace himself at Number One. He doesn't actually add to those this week, but for most of the past seven days we've been tracking the possibility of him doing precisely that and indeed the possibility still remains open that he will at some point become the first person ever to replace himself at the top of the Official UK Singles chart on two entirely separate occasions.
The fact that no chart hit worth its salt can these days appear without being credited to Artist X featuring Artist Y is a collision of two entirely separate pieces of history. The first is the so-called Martha Wash Rule which follows the legal principle established by the disco diva that all invited singers have the right to a full and prominent performers credit for their work on a record. The second is the idea that certain performers have their own brand value, the fact that their presence on a record gives it a filip, a boost, a promise of more airplay and exposure than might otherwise have been the case. Plus you are tapping into the fan base of that particular act to improve your own chances. Those with a proven track record of 'features' suddenly find themselves in great demand (for an appropriate fee naturally) to the extent where certain acts end up with a presence on multiple hits all at the same time.
Such is the position that Justin Bieber is in at the moment. And so hard on the heels of Major Lazer's Cold Water comes DJ Snake with his new track Let Me Love You with Bieber as the featured guest star on both. The DJ Snake track was instantly one of the most in demand singles of the week, charging to the top of lives sales charts and shuting Major Lazer unceremoniously out of the way. It ends up as the most purchased record of the week but its streams have lagged some way behind its already established rival. Cold Water lands a combined sale of 93,000 copies this week - some distance ahead of the 70,000 clocked up by Let Me Love You leaving the latter marooned for now at Number 2. Thus for the moment we are denied the extraordinary sight of one Justin Bieber sung club hit being replaced by another such record at the top of the charts, but the Canadian star can at least boast the Top 2 singles of the week once again following the seven weeks at the turn of the year when he first pulled off the trick. Even if he is only a guest on each this time around.
Someone asked me on Twitter on Friday evening if this made for Bieber's biggest selling week ever. Well, 73,000 and 90,000 is just short of 137,000 chart sales. Compare that with the w/e January 14th which was the week of his Top 3 dominance, the singles in question selling 78,658, 62,081 and 41,049 for a total of 181,788. So no, not quite his biggest. He needs a third hit from somewhere dammit.
Oh yes, and to complete the circle we should note that both DJ Snake and Major Lazer have a history together, the Frenchman having collaborated with Diplo on the track that eventually became Major Lazer's Lean On and was thus given a co-credit on that long running hit single.
Naturally simultaneous hits are all the rage at the moment, all the cool kids are getting one. Rihanna can now boast 13 consecutive weeks of simultaneous Top 10 hits as her collaborations with Drake on Too Good and Calvin Harris on This Is What You Came For languish at 8 and 10 respectively. This has rather conveniently diverted attention away from the fact that her own records have spent this time languishing in the chart basement with her two most recent singles to date Kiss It Better and Needed Me having been rather large flops by her standards. Only the chart-throttling success of Drake collaboration Work earlier this year prevents her from being labelled completely dumper-bound.
Also forging a path of simultaneous chart hits are Chainsmokers who this week have the still evergreen Don't Let Me Down sliding a place to Number 5 whilst coming up on the rails is new single Closer which is one of the fastest risers of the week, shifting 33-12.
A Squad Of Heathens
Suicide Squad the movie may be dividing critics and fans at present (what doesn't at the present time?) but its soundtrack is becoming a rich seam of hits to mine. Leading the charge are Twenty One Pilots who celebrate their biggest chart hit to date as Heathens climbs 11 places to sit comfortably at Number 9, the second of two new arrivals inside the Top 10 this week as it so happens. The single is joined by Sucker For Pain at Number 28. Lead artist on the track is ostensibly Lil' Wayne however he takes "inviting for a feature" to brand new levels on this piece of work, with credits also going to Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic, Ty Dolla Sign and X Ambassadors. You would be hard pressed to find that level of collaborative effort outside of a charity release, so fair play to all involved for the work it took to stitch the track together. Incredibly enough it works a treat as well.
Lil' Wayne incidentally maintains his impressive record as king of the collaborators. Sucker For Pain is no less than his 35th credited Top 75 single since his debut in 2005, of which just two credit him as solo and unaccompanied artist. Every single one has either been a duet (or more) or with him as featured artist on someone else's track.
Three other tracks from the movie soundtrack feature on the chart this week, the highest of them Skrillex and Rick Ross' Purple Lamborghini which sits at Number 61.
Bring On The Sunshine
One more track of note penetrates the Top 40 of the chart this week, Sunshine by Tieks featuring Dan Harkna which may be familiar to many following its use in the current series of TV commercials for Fiat. A new arrival at 68 last week, the track now vaults to Number 31.
Does Anyone Buy Albums Any More
Bright news for the British music industry can be found at the top of the album chart this week with no less than two UK based acts making waves with their latest releases. Number One goes to current indie darlings Blossoms, without a hit single to their name but with a huge amount of support from the likes of Radio One, sending their self-titled debut shooting straight to the top. Pushed into second place is British rapper Giggs. Landlord is no less than the fifth studio album of his career to date but far and away the highest charting, Number 2 beating his previous best When Will It Stop which made Number 21 back in 2013. The performer has yet to make any kind of impact on the singles market, his only entries of note being a brace of singles back in 2010, of which Look What The Cat Dragged In performed best, peaking at Number 53.