Well hello again. Seems like barely a week since we last spoke. Which indeed it is, five days to be precise. As of today, the British charts move to a Friday publication, coinciding with the release of Global Music Day. The one consequence of this changeover, however, is that for this week only we have a truncated sales week, a five day period logging sales and streams between Sunday 5th and Thursday 9th July. It renders any statistics on sales size utterly meaningless, yet as far as the history books are concerned this is a chart countdown just like any other.
Taking pride of place at the top of this historic Official UK Singles chart is the track which was the 'midweek' leader. House Every Weekend is the debut chart single from Chatham DJ David Zowie, an intense and rather insistent club track born from an instrumental vocal track which the producer stumbled across on a record label sampler. Whilst it is not the most obviously commercial club track of the year, it has been in circulation for long enough and has enough adherents to send it skyrocketing to the top of the British charts. House Every Weekend is already well established in the streaming market and indeed had reached Number 52 based on online plays last week. This 51 place jump to Number One is the joint second-highest in chart history, matching the 52-1 leap made by Am I Wrong by Nico and Vinz last year and eclipsed only by the 73-1 rocket of Pixie Lott's Girls And Boys in 2009.
Yet it could all have been so different. As far as the live sales charts were concerned, throughout this five day week, there was surely only ever going to be one winner. Having topped the charts with ease with their last single King, it seemed only logical that synthpop outfit Years & Years were destined to repeat the trick with their new single Shine. Despite outpacing David Zowie with streams they were always a pace or two behind when it came to sales and in the end the single debuts at Number 2 - at least for now. If King seduced you then Shine will make you smitten, the latest statement from a group who seem set to be one of the big success stories of 2015, combining gorgeous melodies with radio-friendly hooks and yet in a manner which makes their tracks perfect club fodder. Watch out for their debut album out this week.
You always feel for the third highest new entry of the week when the battle between the top two has consumed all attention. Having made Number 51 last week on streams alone (a place higher than David Zowie!) former X Factor USA discoveries Fifth Harmony land what is far and away from their biggest hit single to date as Worth It charges up the charts to hit Number 3 with ease. Their only previous chart entry was Bo$$ which crept to Number 21 just prior to Christmas last year.
Also flying up the charts in a quite literal sense is Wings by Birdy. Her 2013 hit single reappeared at Number 31 last week, prompted by its use in an inspirational TV commercial for Lloyds Bank. This week the singer-songwriter released officially the new acoustic recording of the song as heard in the advert and this results in a flying leap for the single as it charges to Number 8. Wings was already her highest charting single ever thanks to its Number 16 peak in September 2013 but it now duly becomes her first ever Top 10 hit single, almost four and a half years after she first made her chart debut as a 15-year-old.
Also brand new on the singles chart, Kiss Me Quick by Nathan Sykes, better known in his former life as the most prominent member of The Wanted. 18 months after their final chart single he now launches his solo career although you suspect interest will be limited to the dying embers of the fans of his boy band days. A more intriguing prospect is the British chart debut of French jazz-pop sensation Petite Meller who lands at Number 30 with Baby Love. There is very little I can say about the single which will do it true justice, just check it out at the earliest opportunity.
On the eve of his big Wembley Stadium concert, Ed Sheeran celebrates a return to the top of the Official Album chart with X. The huge selling record has now topped the charts four times for a total of 13 weeks. That's unlucky for Krept & Konan whose album The Long Way Home is thus relegated to Number 2, its release coming hard on the heels of their breakthrough hit Freak Of The Week which remains static at Number 9.
Finally a curiosity. This chart just also happens to be the first full chart to also include streaming data from the new Apple Music service [as we subsequently found out, it was also a chart published with no data from Spotify at all, either a massive cock-up relating to the change in reporting date or a deliberate move designed to flush out how much of a market share Apple were about to grab. Conspiracy theorists on forums had a field day]. The recently launched platform just so happens to be the only one to host Taylor Swift's 1989 album after she withdrawn from all other streaming services at the end of last year. It is therefore probably no coincidence that every single one of its single releases climbs the chart this week: Bad Blood 23-19, Shake It Off 77-44, Blank Space 98-55 and Style 101-56. Almost as if they have, you know, benefit from people being able to play them.