Clock Ticks

Another seven days fly by. And another seven days in which consumption of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill exceeds that of any other contemporary singles. The vintage track continues to compel and so spends a third week at the top of The Official UK Singles chart. But, and you knew there would be a but. The numbers for the single are down once again, this time to 65,013. That means three weeks after its celebrated reset to full chart status the vintage single is destined to slip back to permanent ACR once again. And so a changing of the guard at No.1 is very much on the cards next week.

And happily there is a new pretender to the throne, for the first time since release As It Was by Harry Styles is not one of the Top 2 singles of the week. Instead its place in the runners-up slot is taken by Afraid To Feel by LF System, its spectacular chart run now reading 69-13-4-3-2. As is now well documented the track is based in its entirely on a vocal sample from an old Philadelphia International single called I Can't Stop (Turning You On) as performed by Silk in 1979 - although the short-lived collective have no connection with any subsequent act of this name. There were a few grumbles earlier in the song's release cycle that its composer credits appeared to only reference LF System's Sean Finnigan and Conor Larkman although the credits on Spotify now solely list Jefferson, Roebuck and Simmonds, matching those of the original issue of I Can't Stop.

With a full week of sales behind it Beyonce's Break My Soul surges up to the No.4 we calculated it would notionally have reached last week. But as you might expect this is her biggest hit single in some considerable time. Beyonce's first Top 10 single since she featured on Eminem's Walk On Water (No.7 in November 2017), her first Top 5 hit since her turn on Naughty Boy's Runnin' (Lose It All) (No.4 in October 2015) and her biggest solo hit single since Best Thing I Never Had (No.3 in July 2011). Beyonce has always been a superstar, but she's been bereft of hit singles for some considerable time. And that's what makes this one so very special.

I Won't Lie, I Was Watching The Pet Shop Boys

It has been three long years since we've been able to talk about this, but the return of the Glastonbury Festival last weekend means a return of the fascinating way it has an impact on the chart fortunes of the biggest headliners. Far and away the biggest winner of the week is Billie Eilish. She made history as the youngest-ever headliner of the Pyramid Stage on the Friday night, a performance which has had a startling effect on all of her catalogue. Her last major hit single Happier Than Ever (a No.4 hit last summer) rebounds in style to No.31, but it is on the albums chart that the full impact of her live set is felt. The Happier Than Ever album rockets 28-10, her debut When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go shoots 61-25 while even her 2017 Don't Smile At Me extended play also makes a chart comeback, surging 81-39.

There's surprisingly little impact on the chart fortunes of the weekend's other two headliners although Paul McCartney's Saturday night set was maybe a little too wide-ranging across his entire career for there to be a particular collection for people to focus in on. Kendrick Lamar on Sunday night had the critics cooing but while his Mr Morale & The Hot Steppers album is up on the week, its 24-20 move is statistically insignificant.

Instead, we should focus on the supporting acts and those whose mainstream exposure clearly helped them no end. Sam Fender is the other big winner, his Seventeen Going Under album rockets 63-19 with its long-running title track also benefitting greatly with a 60-20 jump on the singles chart. Also clearly winning new fans were Wet Leg whose self-titled album makes a chart comeback with a 77-29 climb.

The New Boys

Otherwise that is genuinely all the chart news of note. The highest "new" entry this week is Sticky from Drake which materialises at No.30 after not qualifying for the chart last week when it would otherwise have been just outside the Top 40. The biggest actual new release is Left And Right by Charlie Puth which appeared on course for a Top 30 arrival in the early midweeks but now flickers into life at No.41. The track is notable for a guest role for BTS singer Jung Kook who has clearly decided that his usual 'Jungkook' mononym isn't suitable for whatever solo career he might have designs on developing.