Happy 70th birthday Official Charts. Fun fact: this is the first ten-year anniversary of the charts which doesn't have Robbie Williams involved in some way since the 30th one in 1982. But that's just by the by.
And Now The Current Stuff
Just like that Taylor Swift has, in pure chart terms, the biggest hit single of her career. Anti-Hero remains firmly locked in place at the top of the Official UK Singles chart, its three-week run beating the fortnight that Look What You Made Me Do landed for itself five years ago. And with a slew of new remixes dropping this week you would be hard-pressed not to expect it to add a fourth. Commiserations therefore once again go to Unholy, the Sam Smith and Kim Petras track holding steady at No.2 following its deposing by the Taylor Swift single all those weeks ago.
Swift was by all accounts all set to land a third consecutive chart double for herself, but at the death Midnights was overtaken in the albums chart race by another heavily-streamed new album. Her Loss is another of those curiously fashionable creations, a collaborative album. Two acts who normally perform separately combining forces for an entire album of material. The creators on this occasion are Drake and 21 Savage, and naturally, anything with Aubrey Graham's name attached to it is always going to be a big deal. At least for a week or so anyway, and then it drifts away. But we are all used to that by now.
Her Loss is Drake's fifth No.1 album, and a record that restores him to the top of the charts after his last solo record Honestly Nevermind fell foul of the Harry Styles juggernaut and could only peak at No.2 earlier this summer. This does however mean he has managed a chart-topping album in each of the last three years, hard on the heels of Dark Lane Demo Tapes in 2020 and Certified Lover Boy in 2021. It is however the first ever No.1 record of any kind for his British-born (but American-based) companion. 21 Savage has charted with five albums to date, although only two of them (Issa Album and I Am I Was) have been solo releases. His previous chart best was the No.10 scaled by 2020's Savage Mode II on which his frequent collaborator Metro Boomin' received a co-credit.
Tracks from Her Loss were naturally among the most streamed tracks from the week and its three permitted chart hits all land smartly inside the Top 10. Rich Flex leads the way at No.3, Major Distribution a short way behind at No.5, Circo Loco bringing up the rear at No.7. But I can't see any of them hanging around for long. Prove me wrong Britain.
Made Her Comeback
The three new entries all contribute to a busier than usual Top 10. Also newly installed in the upper reaches is Meghan Trainor's Made You Look which continues its rocket-like ascent to now sit at No.8. Part of me is tempted to view her return to do-wop throwbacks as a cynical attempt to revive her career, but bloody hell you cannot argue with results. It is now her biggest chart hit single since Charlie Puth duet Marvin Gaye made No.1 way back in August 2015.
The glass ceiling has been shattered by Messy In Heaven by venbee x Goddard, the mesmerising drum n' bass single moving up two places to No.9 after a seven-week climb. With a new ArrDee remix having hit the virtual "streets" this week there could well be a further climb on the cards.
This all means there is no room in the Top 10 for no less than five of last week's incumbents - perhaps surprisingly among them is Rihanna who crashes 3-12 with Lift Me Up, perhaps another example of superstar releases popping a large number in their first week before settling back to a more realistic level. But I can't believe there isn't more life in this one yet.
Back With A Mix
It first peaked at No.34 four weeks ago but Warm from K-Trap comes alive once more and rockets back into the Top 40 at a rather more respectable No.18. Needless to say this hasn't happened in isolation, the release of a new remix with added vocals from Skepta prompting the resurgence.
It has only been just over a year since Fredo's last album but he has been prompted to announce his presence amongst us once more with a new single called I'm Back which charts at No.33. Do I have anything further constructive to say about this one? No reader, I do not. But your kids are going to love it.
Another of this week's album releases prompts a surprise smattering of new chart singles. Joji's album Smithereens only charts at No.13 on the albums chart but for all that its tracks received some strong streaming support giving him a brace of Top 40 arrivals. Somewhat frustratingly underperforming previous hit Glimpse Of Us re-enters at No.34 having previously reached No.12 back in July, and it is joined by Die For You at No.39.
It is just outside the Top 40 for now, but there's a fascinating reappearance of Eminem's 2005 hit Mockingbird which has been enjoying some Tik Tok virality. Granted an ACR reset, it re-emerges this week at No.48, 17 years after it first peaked at No.4.
What The Hell Is Wrong With You People
But now for the bad news. I'm writing this on the day the chart was published, November 11th 2022. Armistice Day. Still technically early November. The clocks only went back a couple of weeks ago. I can still taste the toffee apples from Bonfire Night. But among us, out there, in the morass of the British public are people blessed with such sociopathy, such deviance, such contempt for the usual social conventions that they are listening to bloody Christmas songs already.
So just as we celebrate seven decades of our favourite countdown of the biggest hits, just as people celebrate the cultural contribution they have made to our lives, the singles chart is about to begin its annual slide into irrelevance and toss, preventing me from popping up each week to write about the best and the brightest of exciting new pop music, reduced instead to listing a parade of superannuated old hits lining up in the same order as last time.
All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey is new this week at No.56.
Last Christmas by Wham! Is new this week at No.71.
Interestingly Mariah Carey's track now becomes one of only a tiny handful of tracks to spend 100 weeks on the Top 75. Up to last year it had spent 79 weeks in the Top 40 - just two short of the all-time record of 81 currently held by Fairytale Of New York. Which of course is going to add more, but hopefully not for another couple of weeks.
Hey, there are new things to write about Christmas songs after all. Who knew?