Fifty Shades Of Grey fever mean that Ellie Goulding is still tied up at the top of the Official UK Singles Chart this week, Love Me Like You Do proving unmovable even in the teeth of what at first appeared to be some stiff competition from some high profile new releases. For the second week running the single exceeds six figures with a combined chart tally of 118,000. No competition in short. Meanwhile Earned It from The Weeknd climbs to Number 10 and the full soundtrack album from the movie is comfortably the biggest selling multi-artists compilation of the week.
In the event the big new hits proved to not quite have the legs to even break into the Top 3 and with newly certified million seller Uptown Funk finally running out of steam the way is clear for Hozier to climb back to Number 2 with Take Me To Church, the single further stretching its extraordinary chart run by being at its peak (for now) on its 24th week as a Top 75 hit single.
That leaves the Number 4 slot free for the highest new entry of the week, Gravity the latest offering from drum n' bass producer DJ Fresh. Another release from his long overdue new album, the single is Daniel Stein's seventh Top 10 hit single and his highest charting hit since Dibby Dibby Sound also reached Number 4 exactly 53 weeks ago. The last DJ Fresh single was a rather unusual flop, Flashlight creeping to a mere Number 47 in October last year, its commercial prospects dimmed slightly by the fact that it had already appeared on the Halcyon Nights album by its guest singer, one Ellie Goulding. Guest star singer on Gravity is Ella Eyre who thus lands her first Top 10 single since she debuted at Number One on Rudimental's Waiting All Night in April 2014. Gravity is actually the second biggest selling track of the week but its lack of immediate traction online hurt its chart prospects, the single only the 70th most streamed track of the last seven days.
New at Number 6 are Chris Brown and Tyga with Ayo, the first single from upcoming album Fan Of A Fan, a joint project between singer and rapper. It is by no means the first time the two men have appeared alongside each other on record with Tyga making guest appearances on Chris Brown's 2010 single Deuces (a Number 68 flop) and the rather more successful Loyal which was a Number 10 hit in April last year. The single is Brown's 13th Top 10 hit single in Britain but far and away the highest charting record of Tyga's career to date. A second promotional track from the album Bitches n Marijuana also charts this week at Number 60.
Next up is a collaboration between two British female stars as Charli XCX returns to the singles chart in tandem with no less a figure than Rita Ora. Doing It is the track in question, a new entry this week at Number 8. The single is a welcome return to form for Charli XCX after her last single Break The Rules could only limp to Number 35 in October last year as the follow-up to the rather more successful Boom Clap. Ora's vocals are a new addition for this single release, the version of the track found on Charli's Sucker album featuring Ms Aitchison solo, and marks her first chart appearance since the Number One single I Will Never Let You Down which charted in April last year. A new Rita Ora album is long overdue, its current non-appearance apparently due to the souring of the relationship between the singer and producer Calvin Harris. Meanwhile, she is maintaining a public profile as a judge on the current series of The Voice UK which is airing to the usual level of indifference on BBC Television.
Other new chart singles this week: Coming With You from Ne-Yo at Number 14, his biggest hit single as lead or solo artist since 2012 Number One Let Me Love You, Teach Me from Bakermat at Number 22 (the follow-up to Top 20 hit One Day (Vandaag) which charted in August last year) and the eagerly anticipated but rather less well purchased new Imagine Dragons single I Bet My Life which lands at Number 27.
The one other notable new release of the week was Florence & The Machine's What Kind Of Man which dropped on Thursday and so was unable to make enough of an impact to chart higher than Number 57. I fear for its chances of making the Top 40 at all if its sales continue to drop off in the manner they have been doing.
We are heading towards the end of an era with the Official UK Album chart thanks to the announcement this week that as of the start of March streaming data will be integrated with the countdown to match that of the singles chart. In an attempt to sidestep the problems that have dogged the Billboard 200 since January a rather complicated formula will be added, with the streams from the two most popular tracks on an album down-weighted in line with the average of the others and with 1000 total streams of any of its tracks equating to one physical or digital purchase. In the wake of his four-way sweep at the Grammy's last week, it is Sam Smith's turn for a return to Number One on the old style chart with In The Lonely Hour. This is now the album's sixth week at Number One on its fourth visit to the top of the charts. Released 38 weeks ago, it has yet to dip lower than Number 6.
Just to prove though that not all end of week surprise releases are a bad thing, the highest new entry of the week on the album chart is Drake's If You're Reading This You're Too Late which charts at Number 3 based on just two days of sales. Which should nicely illustrate just why the album chart needs the reform it is getting.