Tsk, there is the downside of flagging up a potential chart benchmark. When it does happen all the sensation has gone away. Well never mind, let us note it anyway. Eight weeks after it was first released to a near-rapturous reception, Ed Sheeran's second album X remains unassailable at the top of the Official UK Albums chart. Its tally of 8 successive weeks at the top of the charts now equal to that of the last male singer to last that long - James Blunt with his Back To Bedlam album in the summer of 2005. Blunt's album had been available for some weeks before its chart-topping run whereas Ed Sheeran has spent its entire shelf life so far as the biggest seller, and that is enough to beat the 21st century record for an introductory chart run, sailing past the seven-week total of Robbie Williams' Swing When You're Winning back in 2001. 8 weeks now equals the opening gambit of both George Michael's Ladies And Gentlemen - The Best Of and Phil Collins' …But Seriously in 1998 and 1989 respectively. No album by a male soloist has ever spent its first nine weeks on sale at the top in UK chart history, so if Ed Sheeran manages it next week - you can curse me again for flagging the achievement up in advance.
Meanwhile, Sheeran continues to compete against himself on the Official UK Singles chart too and can now boast no less than three hits in the Top 20. Leading the way (finally!) is the track which is now officially his latest single, Don't which climbs 23-11 to beat the Number 17 it reached in its second week of chart eligibility although it almost certainly will have ranked higher during the weeks when it was a non-qualifying instant grat track. Album cut Thinking Out Loud continues to find favour, and now reaches a new peak of Number 16 whilst former Number One Sing conversely dips to its lowest placing yet at Number 19.
It may pale into insignificance next to the rather frozen nature of the top of the album chart but in the context of this year, it is no less an achievement for Nico & Vinz to hold steady at the top of the singles chart, landing a second week at Number One with Am I Wrong. Of the 25 different singles to reach the top of the charts since the start of the year, the song by the Norwegian pair is only the fifth to last longer than a week and only the fourth to spend at least two consecutive weeks at Number One. Shame really that they are unlikely to see a third.
One of those former single week Number One stars is Canadian diva Kiesza and she duly pitches up at Number 4 this week as the highest new entry with her second hit single Giant In My Heart. Possibly suffering from the lack of sensation that greeted her debut hit Hideaway, the new offering treads a similar path to the first which may possibly have limited its sales prospects although her astonishingly powerful voice remains as compelling as ever. That said, her first hit single has demonstrated some rather impressive staying power and 18 weeks into its chart run is still a Top 40 hit, rallying slightly this week in sympathy to Number 34. Hideaway has sold over half a million copies to date, one of 17 different singles to have done so this year.
Also brand new are Rizzle Kicks, the British rap duo landing their first chart hit since the end of last year with Tell Her which charts at Number 14. A brand new track which did not feature on their last album Roaring 20s, the song (on which the pair sing rather than rap for a change) premiered almost two months ago as the soundtrack to a promotional video for Evian mineral water, circulated to tie in with the Wimbledon Championships and featuring Maria Sharapova as the star. The version that is finally released for sale is a slightly meatier mix which places more emphasis on the funk guitar than the commercial version and comes with a brand new video rather than simply recycling the water advert.
Two tracks from currently available albums are making strong plays for future chart glory: Iggy Azalea's Black Widow with Rita Ora in tow jumps to Number 32 whilst eight places below Sam Smith arrives on the Top 40 with I'm Not The Only One, his self-titled debut album this week spending a second week locked behind Ed Sheeran in second place on the album chart. Of the newer album releases this week, one of the more notable is possibly Finest Selection - The Greatest Hits from The Saturdays. This gives the girl group a Number 10 album but sadly it seems to have killed off the prospects of its token new track What Are You Waiting For which makes a limp debut at Number 38 on the singles chart, their smallest hit single ever if it fails to progress further.