James Masterton's Chart Watch UK

You are reading the fascinating weekly guide to the stories behind the hits populating the Official UK Charts. Read this week's column along with the complete 25-year archive, a resource of over 1300 articles covering a quarter of a century of popular music history.

The Greatest Showman passes a milestone, its singles collide dramatically with chart rules, and the first new trend of 2018 is clear. If you want a hit, just borrow a star from Nashville. Yee-haw.

Look, I cannot sugar-coat this. The Number One single is what you expect it to be. The Number One album is the same as it has been since all this was fields. Everyone is teaming up with country stars and the second biggest hit of the week is from a guy called Dave. It is official, the charts are trolling us all.

Ice and snow covers the UK and the top end of the charts are appropriately frozen. That does give Ed Sheeran room to set a fascinating new record. Meanwhile, the man who stole Drake's act arrives with a brand new single to challenge him at last.

The Brits effect: noticeable on albums, negligible on singles. Plus, the "does YouTube cannibalise streams?" question is sort of answered.