Go Ahead And One Dance With Yourself
Bloody typical. You go away on holiday for a week and the biggest chart story since the spring blows up in your absence. Because for the first time since mid-April - back when Spurs were contenders to win the league, Britain was odds-on to vote to stay in the EU and David Cameron was still Prime Minister - One Dance by Drake and friends is not the Number One single on the Official UK Singles Chart.
We've been saying for weeks it was going to take something dynamite to bring his 15 week run to an end. And this week dynamite is what we got. Major Lazer, the production collective of Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire, has already demonstrated a knack for creating some of the most enduring club and pop radio hits of the moment. After all their collaboration with DJ Snake on Lean On was the defining sound of last summer, a Number 2 hit here to boot and the trio have already had one smash hit this year in the shape of Light It Up which reached Number 7 back in March. So they are a big deal already. Put them together with the vocal talents of Justin Bieber, a man whose recent chart achievements surely do not need recapping here coughthreehitsinthetopthreecough and inevitably you have what we were all waiting for - the proverbial chart dynamite.
And yet there is icing on the cake too, for the single in question Cold Water boasts a songwriting credit for none other than Britain's own Ed Sheeran, the second time in recent months he has penned a thing of beauty for Bieber - hard on the heels of his lyrical work on global smash Love Yourself at the end of last year. Of course it is an instantaneous Number One single. How on earth could it not be?
And so it comes to pass that Cold Water duly becomes only the second single this year to debut at the very top of the British charts, topping both streams and sales tables and landing a combined sale of well into six figures, beyond anything else that the dogpile of existing hits could come close to managing. And so in the process it feels as if both a seismic shift has taken place in music and something of a millstone has been removed from round our necks. Bryan Adam's 25 year old record is intact and all is well with the world again. It just remains for the Official Charts Company to remember what they did with the key to the cupboard full of "Number One" trophies. It has been some time after all.
Honourable mention also has to go to MØ who is the second voice heard on Cold Water, this her second Major Lazer collaboration after Lean On introduced her to British audiences a year ago. I saw cyncial talk that the song may have been hers to begin with, but she insists she was merely asked to contribute additional backing after Bieber's main vocal line had been laid down, and who are we to doubt her. The single for the moment eclipses slightly her own Final Song which lifts two places this week to Number 17.
Dance Is Over, Go Home
History will now record that not only did One Dance fail to match the record for the longest consecutive run at Number One in British chart history, like Love Is All Around before it falling at the final hurdle, but it expires with nary a whimper, falling from the very top of the charts to Number 5. This fall is actually slightly deceptive as its combined sales remain all but static from last week. Regular readers will know that I've been noting for weeks that the single remained at the top by and large due to circumstance and a dose of good fortune, always just one step ahead of the competition despite being otherwise easy pickings. This week it misses a beat and falls a step behind Jonas Blue, Callum Scott and the Chainsmokers to be in the unusual position of a singles chart also-ran.
Good Grief Is That It?
Still, if you are looking for major chart action other than the changing of the guard at the top then you are out of luck, Cold Water the only show in town this week and the only brand new chart arrival of note. Major upward momentum is confined to singles such as Bastille's Good Grief which shifts 24-15 to occupy a brand new chart peak for the second week running.
Further down girl group M.O. make good progress with Who Do You Think You Are breaking the Top 30 at Number 25 but the ranks of interesting new British talent are swelled this week with the long overdue Top 40 debut for former stage star Anne-Marie whose single Alarm finally makes good on its early promise by climbing to Number 32. She's not a totally unfamiliar name, having been the featured guest singer on Rudimental's minor chart entry from last summer Rumour Mill. Her previous single Do It Right had a modicum of success on the Australian charts earlier this year and now after what has been a protracted promotional push she can boast a hit single of her own in her home country. Alarm actually first appeared in the stores back in June, hitting Number 76 in its first chart run. After making its Top 100 return four weeks ago it has been on the move ever since. Keep your fingers crossed for more.
Does Anyone Buy Albums Any More?
The digital era, both sales and streaming, theoretically put paid to the old fashioned concept of the Greatest Hits collection. After all, given that anyone at any time can fashion their own career retrospective of their favourite act, irrespective of label changes and licensing issues, who needs a record label to put in the legwork to create them for you. The spate of musical deaths of late has in one sense revived that tradition and in the past 12 months it has led to old collections by the likes of Cilla Black and David Bowie making posthumous journeys to the top of the album countdown. The man whose hits collection sits at the top this week is however very much alive, and indeed active on the live circuit. It is Jeff Lynne's tour of the summer festivals with the latest incarnation of his 45 year old ELO project which has led to their All Over The World compilation reaching the dizzy heights of Number One this week, the album making the summit a full 11 years since it was first released. Hitting Number 6 during its first chart run in the summer of 2005, the album has been a hardy chart perennial ever since, returning to the Top 10 five years ago when repackaged and re-issued. This latest chart run began back in June when Lynne and friends performed at Glastonbury. This week it completes an epic journey to the top of the charts, and becomes only the third Number One album for the group. The previous two came 35 and 37 years ago respectively, Time in 1981 and Discovery in 1979. Mind you, this reign at the top may be short lived thanks to the imminent arrival of yet another act who seem set to reach the albums summit posthumously. And this time it will be something of a first.