Time To Spread The Love

I'm afraid to feel for Harry Styles fans as they witness their idol play second fiddle on the charts once again. Another strong sale of well over 61,000 (their best so far) proves that LF System's win last week was no fluke and the reworked Afraid To Feel is duly top of the charts for the second week running. And long may it continue say I.

That means As It Was is stuck in second gear yet again, although this is naturally hardly a burden and merely another chapter in what is now turning into a quite epic spell near the summit. Bearing in mind that it has repeatedly had to sidestep ACR relegation, the Harry Styles track is presently enjoying its 15th week as a Top 2 single. This is one of those weeks when everything near the top of the charts has surged forward in consumption, and most significantly resetting the ACR clocks for all those tracks edging towards it - As It Was included. This hit is going nowhere for at least another three weeks.

The Top 3 is rounded off by George Ezra's Green Green Grass which edges two places upwards (overtaking none other than Beyonce in the process) to become his fourth such chart single. After watching Anyone For You bang on the Top 10 glass ceiling earlier in the spring it remains a joy to see it here. After all, who doesn't love a bit of George?

Fresh blood in the Top 10 is thanks to some longer-standing hits which finally make the grade. Most fascinating of all is Burna Boy's Last Last, the kind of Afrobeats cut which you might expect to pop a number first week out but struggle to grow in appeal. Yet this is precisely what has happened and the admittedly quite intriguing cut charges to a new peak of No.7, prompted by the release of his new album from which it is taken. But more on that shortly.

After two weeks of threatening it Ella Henderson finally has two side-by-side Top 10 hits to her name. The David Guetta/Becky Hill/Henderson collaboration Crazy What Love Can Do finally advances to No.8 and meanwhile her turn on Nathan Dawe's 21 Reasons remains locked in place at No.10. The great thing is they are both utterly awesome pop records. Why sugar-coat it. The British Top 10 is several levels of awesome right now.

Calm Down Now

Down in the Top 20 there are other hits advancing with something resembling approaching menace. It has almost snuck up on us, but the big OneRepublic comeback with I Ain't Worried is now on the verge of being a proper smash, up at No.14. Meanwhile the Sigala and Talia Mar collab Stay The Night surges forward to No.17. Small commiserations then to Bru-C's No Excuses which narrowly misses out but still reaches a new peak of its own at No.21.

I mentioned it in dispatches last week but we can now properly acknowledge the Stranger Things-inspired success of Metallica's 1986 track Master Of Puppets which is now a Top 40 hit for the very first time, surging to No.22 (admittedly after an ACR reset rather than any notable increase in consumption over last week). To see it here at all is quite the sight. It is regarded as the high point of Metallica's early (pre-commercial) career, the track which would have stood proud as their masterpiece had they not gone on to create all their other masterpieces. Even at the time it was as far removed from a commercial prospect as you could think, making its presence in the Top 30 today, regardless of circumstances, quite mind-blowing.

Properly New

So what is actually new inside this week's Top 40? Well, as last week we have to delve right down to the bottom to actually find them. After debuting at No.42 last week Tiesto and Charli XCX jump to No.29 with Hot In It, this the first chart hit for the legendary producer since The Motto reached No.12 at the start of the year. I guess it wins points for not featuring Ella Henderson on vocals, just to change things up.

As noted above the biggest new album of the week is Burna Boy's Love Damini which takes advantage of a very quiet week for new releases to debut at No.2. Huge in streaming, it ends up being responsible for the two highest new entries of the week on the singles chart overall, although the only one to reach the Top 40 is For My Hand which lands at No.30. This the track which renews his bromance with Ed Sheeran who needless to say is all over this one.

But with Burna Boy not making the top of the albums chart the path is clear for Harry Styles to climb back there once again with Harry's House, perhaps more by default than anything else but still a testament to the huge numbers of streams it is commanding (its three biggest tracks are at 2, 13, and 19 on the singles chart after all. This is now the album's fifth week at the top - matching the chart runs of Olivia Rodrigo's Sour and Adele's 30. No album so far in the 2020s has spent six weeks at the summit.