An intriguing three-way dance was the story of the Official UK Singles chart this week. Twin challenges in the shape of the already charting Calvin Harris/Rihanna single This Is What You Came For and Justin Timberlake's brand new Can't Stop The Feeling theoretically stood in the way of Drake's chances of a fifth week at the top of the British charts.
It was a challenge he was more than up to. Another strong streaming week of 8 million plus was enough to ensure that One Dance remained supreme at the top. And be under no illusion it was the streams that counted. Calvin Harris actually outsold the Canadian by some considerable margin - 57,000 copies to 40,000 copies - but with This Is What You Came For being streamed "only" 5 million times it has ended up relegated to Number 2 on the full chart.
Commiserations then to Justin Timberlake who in any ordinary circumstances might have flown straight to Number One with his brand new single, his first new material in almost three years. Be under no illusion though that his time will surely come. Can't Stop The Feeling is easily the single of the moment, its feelgood summer groove may well be derivative of about ten other singles but as a by the numbers exercise in constructing a classic it works a treat. The track charts this week at Number 3, JT's highest charting single since Mirrors topped the charts in early 2013 and the 18th Top 10 single of his post-boyband career.
There's just one other new arrival to the singles chart Top 10 this week, Middle by DJ Snake featuring Bipolar Sunshine makes good on its early promise and rises 12-10. It actually heads up a trio of upwardly mobile singles with Little Mix's Hair knocking on the door at Number 11 and Panda from Desiigner at Number 12.
The rather strange chart life of Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman comes a full circle this week. Debuting nine weeks ago at Number 17, the single took an immediate dive only to spend the next five weeks hurtling between chart positions 24 and 25. After dipping to a career low of 28 a fortnight ago the single has rallied and this week climbs back into the Top 20 to reclaim the Number 17 spot it first mounted upon release. Theoretically this should set things up nicely for the chart bow of her third album of which it is the title track, the collection due to hit stores in one week's time. In the meantime it spawns a second chart hit in the shape of instant grat offering Into You which lands at Number 44.
With the flood of Beyonce and Drake album tracks now reduced to a trickle, it appears to now fall to Rihanna to take the crown as one of the most charted artists of the moment. In fact her list of hit singles makes for some confusing reading. She is at Number 2 on Calvin Harris' single, at Number 18 with Drake in tow on Work, at Number 23 with the billings reversed as the guest on Drake's Too Good and is knocking on the door of the Top 40 in a solo performance with Kiss It Better rising 60-46. Her one single which oddly enough is not gaining traction is the track which is technically her latest single. Despite its eye-popping video Needed Me has failed to impress so far and settles 48-49 this week.
As time marches on and the streaming market becomes ever more the dominant means by which people consume popular music, the rump of the paid for market produces some ever more curious anomalies. None more so perhaps than the fate of Disturbed's memorable cover of The Sound Of Silence. It is an incredibly popular single at retail and indeed last week was the 8th biggest seller (it dips to 11 on the sales chart this week). Yet on streams the single has been by and large ignored, to the detriment of its combined chart placing. This week the single drops to Number 34 after apparently peaking at Number 29 seven days ago. It is not that you cannot stream it - just that no fans of the group seem particularly inclined to.
The big single story of next week should be the imminent chart arrival of the first new Stone Roses single in 20 years with All For One already making a strong play for the very top. Theoretically it should have registered a presence on the UK singles chart this week as it was made available at 8pm on Thursday and topped the iTunes chart almost instantly. The problem is that both Apple and Spotify were late reporting and the charts were compiled with data from the rest of the week upweighted to compensate for the lack of hard sales information for the final day of the survey. All the Stone Roses sales for those final four hours are frustratingly lost to history.
Over on the Official UK Albums chart there was really only one act in contention. Radiohead sweep all before them and storm to Number One with A Moon Shaped Pool, this despite the album not appearing until a decidedly old school Sunday and thus costing itself two days of potential sales to contribute to the chart. It is the sixth Number One album of their long and storied career, the first to hit the top since 2008 release In Rainbows, that album famously only getting a belated physical release after being made available for exclusive download by the group on an honour system, whereby you could pay whatever you felt it was worth to receive a digital copy.
Honourable mention should also go to Skepta who until now has never come close to landing a Top 10 album. This week he narrowly misses out on the chance of a Number One, his new release Konnichiwa slotting in at Number 2 behind Radiohead. For the albums market this is actually a particularly significant week, the first since the end of last year that 25 by Adele is not one of the Top 10 albums of the week.
Time stands still for no artist you see, and that indeed goes for writers too. After four and a half years this is the last appearance of this UK chart column here on about.com as it is time for me to hit the road once more. Catch you all around in another place.