As befits its status as the much-maligned, never uncontroversial, fixed point in the calendar, prime-time television spectacle it has been for some time, the immediate aftermath of the 2014 Brit Awards ceremony has had a dramatic and significant impact on both the Official UK Singles and Album charts this week. Virtually every chart event of note has some kind of callback to the ceremony which was shown live across the nation last week and which clearly impacted people's choice of music purchase in the days following.
The owner of first brand new Number One single for well over a month actually probably would have topped the charts regardless of the events of last week, but it just so happens that Sam Smith was a Brit Award winner anyway, the already announced winner of the Critics Choice award designed to reflect an act of whom big things are expected during the next year. The 21-year-old soul singer from Bishops Stortford has actually already topped the charts once before, his presence on Naughty Boy's La La La having helped the track become one of the biggest selling singles of last year. His new single Money On My Mind, however, marks his official solo debut, his first hit under his own steam, the single with which he is finally launched as a star in waiting and one which finally brings to an end Clean Bandit's Number One reign in some considerable style.
Sam Smith has actually released a handful of singles before without any ever threatening to make the charts. His debut major label single was technically the track Lay Me Down which came out in February 2013, actually beating La La La into the shops. Little-noticed at the time, it has actually remained available all this time and arrives on the singles chart as a good old-fashioned halo hit at Number 46, giving him four singles in the Top 75 with both the Disclosure single Latch and La La La still doggedly hanging around.
Last week's Number One single Rather Be is actually bundled down to Number 3 this week, its sales tally for the week eclipsed at the death by - you guessed it - Happy by Pharrell Williams whose performance alongside Nile Rodgers closed the proceedings on the night. The track is still a few thousand sales short of one million but it is all but taken as read it will cross the threshold sometime in the next week, particularly as its now ten week continuous run in the Top 3 seems set to continue a little longer.
The second highest new entry of the week is one of only two significant new hits this week to have no Brit Awards link to it whatsoever. Instead, it is the long-awaited debut of Say Something, the first ever UK hit for A Great Big World who owe no small debt of thanks to Christina Aguilera who maintains her reputation of late as sales gold when she appears on guest vocals. The hit single has been a long time coming, the song first appearing on singer Ian Axel's solo album in 2011 before being re-recorded for the first A Great Big World album (a collaboration between Axel and fellow singer Chad Vaccarino) in 2013. After the duo performed the song on the "So You Think You Can Dance" final in September last year, Ms Aguilera apparently begged for a chance to sing with them, the result being a re-recording and now a transatlantic hit single as the track slams into the UK charts at Number 4.
The other non-British single? Everything Is Awesome which shoots 65-17 in the wake of the release of "The Lego Movie" from whose soundtrack it is taken and which gives Canadian synth and indie-pop twin duo Tegan and Sara their first ever UK hit single, 15 years after they released their first material back home. One can only marvel at the way they have done so with a comedy novelty single from a tongue in cheek animated film, although if this increases the prospects of their amazing 2012 track Closer becoming a UK hit at long last this will be no bad thing.
Turning now to the album chart, and the Brit Awards effect is immediately apparent with the entire Top 5 made up of acts who either won or performed on the night. The easy winners are Bastille whose Bad Blood album shoots 10-1 to return to the Number One position it first scaled exactly 50 weeks ago when it was first released. This is all in the wake of the group not only winning the Best British Breakthrough Act award but also featuring in one of the more notable live performances at the show - of which more shortly.
Behind them are double award-winners Arctic Monkeys who shoot 11-2 with British Album Of The Year AM, a gong to go with the Best British Group trophy they also collected. Disclosure didn't win on the night, but did perform White Noise (mashed up with Lorde's Royals) and see their album Settle rocket 32-3. Ellie Goulding (Best British Female) perversely drops 2-4 with Halcyon whilst Rudimental move 19-5 with Home, hard on the heels of Waiting All Night being given the coveted Single Of The Year award.
The Brit Awards effect on the singles chart is slightly less dramatic but no less notable for all that. After performing her hit live on the night (and following the long-awaited release of its Cleopatra-themed video), Katy Perry moves 10-6 with Dark Horse, the single a hit for the second time around remember after initially being the instant gratification track ahead of the release of her album Prism. Also performing at the O2 midweek was Beyonce but whilst her rendition of XO (technically still the official single) helps the track rebound 49-23 to land its highest chart placing to date, the song which was rejected by British radio stations for being a little too hip-hop for their tastes Drunk In Love continues to be the purchasers song of choice and rebounds 20-12 after two weeks on the slide.
Now, remember I made reference to notable live performances? After a break of a few years, the show organisers elected to return to the gimmick of celebrity mash-ups, increasing the number of acts able to perform on the night by inviting unexpected medleys of hitherto unconnected singles. As is also traditional, recordings of selected live performances were made available for download for a limited period, all proceeds going to music charities - and yes, they are all chart eligible. Now whilst live performances of existing hits count towards the chart totals of their studio versions, this cannot apply to the multi-artist medleys which are effectively brand new songs. Hence the presence at Number 20 of the act who were cheekily branded "Basti-Mental" on the night, Bastille and Rudimental with their Brit Awards medley of Pompeii/Waiting All Night. Bizarrely the medley was outsold -just - by Bastille's original version so the studio version of Pompeii returns to the Top 40 at Number 19 whilst the original version of Waiting All Night shoots back to Number 42.
The other Brits-exclusive medley performed at the show was the aforementioned Disclosure and Lorde collaboration of White Noise/Royals but this one did not quite capture the imagination and can only chart at Number 72, the studio version of White Noise sitting five places higher at Number 67 whilst Royals rises 43-36 at the expense of the track which Lorde herself would rather everyone started paying more attention to, her new single Team which dips 29-31.
Incidentally, the most famous Brit Awards live medley remains You Got The Dirtee Love which saw Dizzee Rascal and Florence and the Machine collide for a celebrated Number 2 hit in February 2010.
The last batch of Brit Awards chart winners include Ellie Goulding who can now boast three Top 40 hit singles, as she has How Long Will I Love You still evergreen at Number 25, current single Goodness Gracious at Number 26 and former Number One single Burn back in the Top 40 at Number 35. Bringing up the rear are Arctic Monkeys who opened the event and who sneak in at Number 39 with last year's hit single Do I Wanna Know.