Tired Of Holding Him
That strange moment when you are out for a drink with colleagues and it turns out a startlingly large number of them hang on every word that is written here. You know who you are. Not in the slightest bit intimidating.
Has it really been three and a half years since we were first invited into the world of Lewis Capaldi? In an era when nobody was really sure where the next superstar was coming from the genial Scotsman captured the hearts and minds of a startlingly large number of people with his debut single Someone You Loved. The chart run of the single was utterly extraordinary, climbing to No.1 in March 2019, sinking to ACR, spending the autumn sculling around the lower end of the Top 40 before returning back to full status and another Top 10 run in early 2020. In all it would spent 31 weeks as a Top 10 single, and to date 120 in the Top 75 itself, a run second only to Ed Sheeran's Perfect as the longest of all time. And lest we forget, after a handful of similarly successful but lesser-starred follow-ups he topped the charts again in February 2020 just before the world went to shit with Before You Go. And all of this is before we contemplate his debut album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent which spent ten weeks at No.1 on seven different occasions and if one counts this week (because it is back once again) notched up 86 weeks in the Top 10.
So yeah, Lewis Capaldi out of nowhere was a very big deal indeed, and it is perhaps small wonder that he elected to "do an Ed Sheeran" and go away for a bit so we could get him out of our systems and be ready for him to do something new.
Well, that time has arrived. Capaldi-mania is with us once again as his new single Forget Me dropped last Friday. To say it is a grower is by no means a criticism, many of his songs actually took their time to wind their way into your heart and lodge in your brain, so who is to say this one will not do so either. In any event his rich, soulful and eerily throaty voice sounds as good as ever and perhaps most importantly this is still the Lewis Capaldi we all know and love. And almost needless to say it flies straight to No.1 - his first single ever to do so.
Not that this was an effortless stroll, by no means. As of the final midweek update on Wednesday there were just 700 copies separating the singles at 1-3 in the market. But that was to reckon without a final surge from some physical product, meaning Forget Me becomes the third single this year to debut at No.1 with a grand total of almost 57,000 chart sales - in the event almost 9,000 more than the David Guetta single at No.2.
Mention must also be made of the track's video which as most people immediately spotted is a shot for shot, nay frame for frame remake of Wham!'s iconic Club Tropicana clip from 1983, albeit with the chiseled and tanned bodies of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley replaced by Capaldi's sagging rolls of pasty-white flesh. But part of the reason everyone loves him is his dogged refusal to take himself at all seriously. And all of this means his brand new album is set to be one of the biggest deals of the final quarter of the year.
I Will Talk And Hollywood Will Listen
Lewis Capaldi is however just one of two big stories this week. Debuting atop the albums chart, as he has done so many times before, is Robbie Williams. XXV as the title suggests celebrates 25 years of his solo career (which actually began 26 years ago but let's not split hairs), a Greatest Hits collection with a twist as it features orchestral re-recordings with the Dutch-based Metropole Orkest of some (18 on the standard edition) of his past tracks. The build-up to its release failed to spawn any hit singles of note (a release of Angels (XXV)) staggered to No.74 in June) but the album itself is a very big deal indeed, smashing its way to No.1 with just shy of 38,000 sales.
It is Robbie's 14th No.1 album, more than any other solo artist in chart history and putting him second on the all-time list. One more will draw him level with The Beatles. And this is before you take into account his recordings as a member of Take That. He was a member of the group for their No.1 albums in 1993, 1995 and 2010 and if you add in their two Greatest Hits collections on which he participated in some (but not all) of the tracks then he has actually featured on 19 No.1 albums - and on that basis only Paul McCartney with 23 can claim more.
It has also gone almost unnoticed that Robbie has now also enjoyed No.1 albums in four consecutive decades - 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s.
So yeah, hit singles be damned (he's way beyond needing them after all), Robbie Williams remains a very big deal indeed.
Robbie Williams celebrates with his Official Number 1 Award from the Official Charts Company as he tops the Official Albums Chart with XXV (credit: OfficialCharts.com)
The Things That Don't Grab Headlines
Back down to earth and back on the singles chart, although that is otherwise rather calm. The only other move in the Top 10 aside from the changing of the guard at the top is the 14-9 advance of Chris Brown's Under The Influence, giving him his 19th Top 10 hit single and his first since Go Crazy back in 2020.
Amongst those hits still bubbling away at the lower end, the most notable move is the 32-24 jump made by Ku Lo Sa - A Colours Show by Oxlade, a fortnight after it first made the Top 40.
Brand new to the Top 40 this week and surely a smash in waiting is Calm Down which merges the talents of Nigerian afrobeats star Rema and the apparent collaborator of choice at the moment Selena Gomez. The track is gorgeous, drifting gently and hypnotically in a manner which is beyond diverting. Easily my favourite cut of the moment, it surges to No.35 on its third week on the chart and is one we will be paying very close attention to over the next few weeks.
It has taken its damn time (it was first released back in June) but Words by Alesso and Zara Larsson is finally a Top 40 hit single at the 13th time of asking as it creeps to No.37. It has been a long time away for both participants, this the biggest chart hit for Alesso since Let Me Go crept to No.30 in early 2018 while Zara Larsson hasn't been seen in the Top 40 since Don't Worry Bout Me limped to No.34 in the spring of 2019.
Finally the ability of Tik Tok to surface the most unlikely of hits strikes once again. It is already responsible for the current Top 40 run of Mary On A Cross by Ghost (lingering at No.29 this week) and now pushes the 2015 track Atlantis from British duo Seafret into view as it arrives at No.40 - the track having first featured on their debut album Tell Me It's Real which reached No.59 when it came out the following year. All good things come to those who wait.