Five years ago the Official Charts Company in the UK introduced the brand new innovation of the midweek update, the announcement each Wednesday of the week's "story so far" being the first formal acknowledgement of once top-secret sales updates which were by that time circulating freely amongst chart fans online. At the time there were small mutterings that this was acting as a kind of spoiler of the weekend chart - the week's Number One effectively being flagged up four days in advance of what was once an eagerly-anticipated reveal.
Yet in recent months that scenario has ceased to play out. A combination of increasingly close-run sales races and the added randomness of the still burgeoning streaming market has led to an ever-growing number of midweek leaders - most of them brand new releases - falling short at the final hurdle and making a mockery of predictions based on early sales flashes.
One such situation unfolded this week on the UK charts. All signs initially pointed to the long-awaited release of Natalie La Rose's global smash Somebody propelling it to the top of the charts at the expense of Number One incumbent Jason Derulo. Yet come the weekend and the positions are reversed - Derulo grabs a second week at the top of the Official UK Singles chart, leaving the Dutch singer and her rapping co-star Jeremih languishing in second place.
Still, as one of the more eagerly anticipated releases of the summer and a single which has already established itself as a hit in many territories across the globe, Somebody was never going to be a flop. A subtle and quite seductive club track, the single also cheerfully acknowledges its debt of inspiration to two very different tracks, both Whitney Houston's 1987 classic I Wanna Dance With Somebody (whose chorus lyrics it borrows) and LMFAO's Shots. Debuting at Number 63 via its streaming points last week, the single shoots to Number 2 to hand La Rose a smash hit with her UK chart debut and Jeremih his highest charting British hit so far, eclipsing the Number 5 peak he scaled with his own Don't Tell 'Em in October last year.
Jason Derulo incidentally remains at Number One despite competition from the release of his Everything Is 4 album which charts this week at Number 16. Want To Want Me remains at Number One with a combined sale of just 75,000 copies. Apparently, the Natalie La Rose single wasn't in as huge a demand as we thought.
A singles chart fixture since its release at the end of March, Major Lazer and DJ Snake's Lean On has led a charmed chart life thus far. After a fortnight locked at Number 7 and two further weeks at Number 5 before that the single suddenly rebounds to Number 4, matching the peak position it first scaled five weeks ago. This is now its seventh straight week as a Top 10 hit single.
It has been some time since we saw British pop-rock foursome Lawson in the charts, the production of their forthcoming second album clearly has taken far longer than any of them could have anticipated. Theoretically the group return on a high, their 2012 debut Chapman Square having landed them four Top 10 hits, three in its original form and with one further hit Brokenhearted charting in 2013 after being reworked for its special edition. Yet it seems the time away has hurt them a little. New single Roads has been greeted with joy by their own following but ignored by everyone else, this despite bearing more than a passing resemblance to Maroon 5 crossed with Train. The single charts this week at Number 11, only their second single ever to miss the Top 10. It should be noted that Lawson pre-date the streaming era - Roads is actually the week's fifth biggest seller.
A word here for Fetty Wap's Trap Queen which has shown itself to be another slow burner, edging its way up the charts inch by inch. Its Top 75 chart run so far has gone 75-72-60-38-29-21-20 culminating now in a further climb to Number 15 to drag the American rap star to his highest chart placing yet.
The third new entry of the week is Take Me Away which charts at Number 19 for DJ S.K.T. featuring Rae. It is the first mainstream hit for the up and coming deep house and garage producer, his name having been attached to well-received remixes of several recent hits, and indeed his 2014 remix of Push The Feeling On by The Nightcrawlers was a factor in lifting the 1994 single back into the club charts in June 2014. Take Me Away is actually a cover of a much older club track, having its roots in a cut of the same name by True Faith with Final Cut that reached Number 51 in March 1991. The chorus of the True Faith track was also sampled by The Prodigy for their track Warriors Dance which reached Number 9 in April 2009.
A busy week for new album releases makes for a rather frantic Official UK Albums chart with no less than six new entries inside the Top 20 and an all-new Top 4. Leading the way, however, are Florence & The Machine who storm to Number One with How Big How Blue How Beautiful. It gives the red-haired star a perfect 3 out of 3 as far as studio releases are concerned, 2009 debut Lungs and 2011's Ceremonials also having topped the charts although Lungs actually opened its chart account with five straight weeks at Number 2 and did not ascend to the top of the charts until January 2010 a full six months after its first release. Home to Number 37 hit What Kind Of Man [whose lack of chart form was something of a shame, it being the first intalment of the "Odyssey" mini movie of which many of the tracks on the album were the soundtrack. A quite amazing concept], the release of How Big… has had a beneficial effect on the charts fortunes of its second single Ship To Wreck which vaults 54-27 this week, Florence's highest chart hit since the remixed "Spectrum" was a three week Number One hit in the summer of 2012. [And so here's episode 4, making zero sense without the other three].