To return to a previous theme, one of the inevitable consequences of the Christmas Number One on the Official UK Singles chart being elevated to something above being purely the record at the top of the charts for the holiday and instead taking on a life of its own is that we end up with records released and indeed purchased with the sole aim of being the festive chart-topper. That does not auger well for the sales prospects of such records once the holiday is over and indeed just before Christmas a piece of research was doing the rounds noting that the chart life of Christmas Number One singles in recent years is as low as it has ever been.
This week that trend reaches its nadir. Seven days on from the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir topping the charts with a single which was little more than a piece of virtue signalling, a charitable donation in aid of looking good masquerading as a pop single, the record Bridge Over You has gone from being one of the most bought of the week to one of the least. Such was its collapse in sales that the single this week slumps from Number One all the way to 29.
That is no typo. This 1-29 chart fall is far and away the most dramatic tumble from the top of the charts in history, eclipsing the previous record of 1-20 which was held by two singles - Baby's Coming Back/Transylvania by McFly in 2007 and the re-released One Night/I Got Stung by Elvis Presley in 2005. It is the most abject, embarrassing failure of a single to sustain its first week popularity in recent memory and it makes an utter mockery not only of the way the single was portrayed last week as a glorious success in becoming the Christmas Number One but of the whole accolade of topping the charts in the first place. Next week Bridge Over You will exit the Top 75 altogether to become the first Number One hit in history to spend as few as two weeks on the published singles chart. What an utter waste of everyone's time.
Happily this does mean that something approaching normality returns to the singles chart this week, not only at the top but also throughout the rest of the table as the Christmas classics also make similarly dramatic exits from the sales market. The result is an inevitable return to Number One for Justin Bieber with Love Yourself, its partner in crime also resuming its place at Number 2 to once more ensure he holds down the two biggest chart places of the week. I forgive anyone who has lost count: this is now the fourth week at Number One in total for Love Yourself, one short of the five clocked up by What Do You Mean back in the autumn. Whilst this chart is both published and dated for 2016, it covers sales for the final seven days of 2015 and so essentially counts as Week 52 of the old year. It means Bieber can claim to have spent a grand total of 11 weeks at Number One during the year - equalling the total last achieved by Robson Green and Jerome Flynn in 1995 and the highest since the 15 weeks clocked up by Wet Wet Wet in 1994 (all of those of course with the one single Love Is All Around).
Bieber's continuing chart hegemony appears to be bringing out of the woodwork the musical luddites who seem to view the inclusion of streaming data in compiling the singles charts as the root of all musical ills at present - this is to however ignore the fact that whilst Justin Bieber tracks are indeed the 1, 2 and 3 most streamed tracks of the moment, his two chart-dominating singles are also the first and second most purchased tracks this week too. He would be at Number One irrespective of the use of streaming points to bolster his totals. Whilst we await an influx of new hits the Canadian starlet remains the biggest selling singles artist of the moment whichever way you spin the numbers.
As you may have gathered there is very little in the way of other chart news to impart, we remain for now in the strange hinterland between the holiday and the return to work of the entire British music industry. There is room however to confirm what we all know, 25 by Adele is the biggest selling album of 2015 whilst the title of top single is taken by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk - for the second year running the year's best seller is a single which was first released in the previous calendar year.
2015 was another spectacular year for big selling singles. Taking combined sales totals into account (which I stress the 'official' all-time million sellers table does not for now) no less than seven different singles clocked up over a million chart sales. Hello by Adele joined the list in the final weeks of the year, slotting in behind Lean On by Major Lazer, See You Again by Wiz Khalifa, Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding, Take Me To Church by Hozier, Cheerleader by OMI and at the top of the pile the aforementioned Uptown Funk. That's quite the list of hits. So take heart Bieber haters, he won't be there forever. There's a whole 12 months of new musical work to come. And I look forward to telling you all about their chart exploits.
Happy new year.