An anticipated changing of the guard at the top of the Official UK Singles chart fails to materialise this week, the path instead clear for Jess Glynne to spend a second week at Number One with Hold My Hand.
The single that was expected to dethrone her with ease, particularly after the midweek update indicated it had a slender lead was Bloodstream by Ed Sheeran. Another track lifted from his huge-selling X album, the track had been loitering around the lower end of the Top 40 for the past few weeks but now accelerates with a 26-2 leap. As you may expect this hasn't come completely out of nowhere. The surge of interest in the single is all thanks to the release of a new single version of the track which sees Sheeran team up with Rudimental for a brand new remix. With most of the material on the album now sound to start tired this was perhaps a necessary refresh, the new drum n' bass beats taking the intensity of the track up a notch. As a result Bloodstream duly becomes the third Top 3 hit to be taken from X and the fourth such single of Sheeran's chart career.
The fourth series of The Voice UK reached its climax this weekend just gone, the consequences of which should be most visible on the singles chart next week. For now, it is a performance from the semi-final weekend which sends one particularly single soaring. Sia's appearance on the show last week sees Elastic Heart twang back into contention in spectacular fashion, leaping 23-10 to extraordinarily land its highest chart position to date, 13 weeks after it first charted and 10 weeks after the single first appeared to have peaked at Number 11. As impressive as this run is, it is naught compared to that of its predecessor Chandelier which rebounds in smaller fashion with a 33-29 rise. The single is 40 weeks old this week, every single one of which it has spent as a Top 40 hit single.
Sugar by Maroon 5 which has gained something of a second wind over the last month after appearing to reach its natural high point at the start of March. This week the single climbs for the third week in a row, climbing back to the Number 7 peak it first scaled on the chart of February 28.
Formerly one-third of N-Dubz, Dappy hasn't been seen on the UK Singles chart since 2012 when his last single Yin Yang limped to Number 73. Having put behind him a rather unfortunate series of legal issues in the intervening period he now resumes his solo career with Beautiful Me which enters at Number 19, something of a comedown from the Top 3 placings he has been used to in the past - admittedly with rather better singles than this one. Beautiful Me at least marks his fifth Top 20 appearance since the demise of his old group.
Also new to the Top 40 this week are Seasons, the latest single from Olly Murs at Number 34 and Cheerleader by OMI at Number 37, the latter the latest single to enter the Top 40 on streams alone with its full commercial release not due for another couple of weeks.
On the subject of former X Factor stars, Luke Friend becomes the latest member of the cast of the 2013 series to launch a recording career with the arrival of his debut single Hole In The Heart at Number 40. Little appears to have changed in the extended gap between the show and his re-emergence with a deal on RCA records, the singer still has his trademark dreadlocks and arrives on the chart with an intensely sung acoustic rock track and the kind of vocal performance which took him all the way to the final of the show and an eventual third place. Sadly it appears this extended delay in his development means there are precious few left who actually still care.
The biggest selling album of the week isn't by an artist, it is - naturally enough - the 90th volume in the Now That's What I Call Music series which duly sets a new benchmark as the fastest seller of the year so far, shifting over a quarter of a million copies in its first week. The biggest selling artist album is, however, more of a curiosity. The Day Is My Enemy from rave-era veterans The Prodigy storms to Number One on the album chart, giving the group their sixth chart-topping release, their only failure in the last 20(!) years being 2011 live release World's On Fire which could only reach Number 5. The group's last Top 40 hit single to date was Take Me To The Hospital which reached Number 38 in September 2009.