Let's be honest, there is really no music news right now that can overshadow the continuing fallout from the shock death on Thursday morning of Prince, his music and his influence spanning over thirty decades and inspiring countless others who came in his wake.
News of his passing broke mid-afternoon UK time, approximately nine hours before the end of the survey period for this week's Official UK Singles and Albums charts. Not enough time for any of his records to make a posthumous impact? Think again. Admittedly this is down to the rather parlous state of the album market as a whole, but nine hours of intensive sales were enough to propel 2006 hits collection Ultimate to Number 10, its highest chart placing since it peaked at Number 6 when re-promoted in the summer of 2007. A little further down the 2001 compilation The Very Best Of lands at Number 18, again the highest it has been since its chart run upon first issue when it peaked at Number 2. His only studio album to gain enough traction in the limited time available was naturally Purple Rain and that reappears at Number 55.
His impact on the singles chart is for now rather more limited, although there were still enough sales to fire the single edit of Purple Rain to Number 65 at the start of what seems set to be its most extended chart run since its original 1984 release. His posthumous chart prospects are going to be limited slightly due to his catalogue's lack of widespread availability on streaming services, the music exclusive to Tidal since he pulled it from all others just over a year ago. His tracks have been selling strongly ever since his death, but then again so did David Bowie's back in January. The surge only lasted a matter of 48 hours before normality began to be restored. It will be fascinating to see just how many Prince classics invade the singles chart this time next week, but don't be surprised if their impact is more muted than might initially appear to be the case.
If nothing else this is a distraction from little else going on. As you may have gathered this is one of those weeks where the upper end of the market remains firmly entrenched with little or no traction being gained by newer releases for now. It means a second week at Number One for Drake et al with One Dance, the track shifting over 115,000 in combined sales of which an incredible 70,000 derive from streams. That equates to 7 million plays of the track online last week, coming perilously close to the all-time record of 7.32m clocked up by Hello last year. So much for my assertion that no single was going to come close to it any time soon. It took just five and a half months in the end.
The Canadian star presides over an all-static singles chart Top 4 and a Top 10 (indeed a Top 15) in which no singles enter either from outside or from below. This is primarily to the detriment of Meghan Trainor whose No goes briefly into reverse, dipping 11-12 and for now failing to fulfil its destiny of becoming her next Top 10 hit single.
It means the highest Top 40 new entry is way down at Number 27 as Panda by American rapper Desiigner enjoys a 20 place rise. It is notoriously the track interpolated on Kanye West's "Pt. 2" which itself is a chart hit at present, languishing at Number 98. Those with long memories will note this is reminiscent of the occasion back in 2008 when Swagga Like Us from TI and Jay-Z helped to drag its parent sample Paper Planes by M.I.A. into the charts in its wake.
There are new pop hits on the way however. Leading the charge are Little Mix who last week released a brand new version of their album cut Hair, this featuring a guest appearance from none other than Sean Paul. The single charts this week at Number 31 but entertainingly Paul is denied a guest credit by the chart compilers, in much the same way that his prominent presence on Sia's Cheap Thrills hit has also gone un-noted. This is no oversight, the problem being that Hair has already charted once before in its original album form, hitting Number 35 in September last year when released as an instant grat album cut. Different though this new version may be, it simply inherits the chart history of the original - along with its billing. Paul does at least get a credit for his guest role on Jay Sean's Make My Love Go but that track is struggling to break into the Top 40 for now, rebounding four places this week to Number 54.
Also new is Just Like Fire from Pink which sold well during the week but which is still waiting to find its way onto streaming playlists. The movie soundtrack single (taken from "Alice Through The Looking Glass" returns her to the singles chart for the first time in almost three years, her last appearance coming in July 2013 when her duet with Lily Allen True Love reached Number 16.
The most intriguing new singles chart arrival is one that probably isn't going to be more than a one week wonder. Just in time for the 2016 series to start, one of the star acts of the 2015 airing of Britain's Got Talent makes his chart bow. Hull-based singer Calum Scott received a standing ovation and a Golden Buzzer at his audition for a moving rendition of the Robyn hit Dancing On My Own. Although he made it all the way to the final he ultimately finished sixth but now has something of the last laugh, gathering enough resources to record and release his own version of the song that helped his name up in lights. The single makes Number 40 which is respectable enough, but this is as good as it will get.
Mind you, talent shows will always be something of a poisoned chalice. Especially The Voice UK. This year's winner Kevin Simm has this week performed what should henceforth be known as a "Stevie McCrorie" as his winning song dives 24-131 in the greatest one week wonder performance of the year so far.