Roll up, roll up, for the greatest thing your eyes will ever devour. A chart where nothing falls and everyone makes a comeback.
It was God's Plan the year would begin with a 9 week Number One. Then Drake released even more singles and topped the charts each time. Calvin Harris enjoyed chart dominations of his own, video streams were added to the mix, and England's World Cup run propelled a 22-year-old oldie straight back to the top, revised chart rules be damned. The year belonged to movie soundtracks though, thanks to both bearded ladies and a revived Lady Gaga.
Look, I cannot sugar-coat this. The Number One single is what you expect it to be. The Number One album is the same as it has been since all this was fields. Everyone is teaming up with country stars and the second biggest hit of the week is from a guy called Dave. It is official, the charts are trolling us all.
Hey guys, Lil' Dicky here. I've swapped bodies with James Masterton and am enjoying the way he is suave, good-looking, a hero to Zayn Malik fans and surprisingly well-informed about all matters to do with the UK charts. I've promised that if he talks about me in this week's column I won't tell the world about his pe
I won't sugar-coat this. Nothing moves at the top end of the singles chart, although that does mean Calvin Harris gets to do something he's not managed in seven years. Post Malone released a new album this week and everyone with a Spotify login went utterly nuts for it. But your mum only cares about Paloma Faith.
OH GOD THIS IS BORING. Eight weeks now for One Kiss at the top of the charts, although the good news is that circumstances may be about to bring it to an end. Kanye West doesn't care what you think of his tweets and lands his biggest hit album in years, but even he cannot shift the almighty Greatest Showman soundtrack. This column also features jangly guitar-pop, for the first time in what feels like forever.
Praise be! A new Number One single. Jess Glynne breaks her own records and takes pride of place as the most successful female artist of the decade so far. But could it be she just did so on a technicality? Plus The Greatest Showman is Number One again. Doing something no soundtrack has done for 50 years in the process. Will it still be there at Christmas?
This week's Chart Watch column is not one that could be tossed off in a hurry. That most exquisitely crafted of British acts Clean Bandit top the charts for the fourth time in their career with another immaculately conceived pop record. Dragging Demi Lovato along for the ride, they enjoy their biggest hit ever. Plus, The Greatest Showman does something few other albums have ever achieved, and Nicki Minaj has the biggest hit under her own steam in almost four years.
For the second time this year, a long-running Number One single is followed by a string of short-lived successors. The occupant of the week at the top of the charts is George Ezra who tops the charts for the first time after a five year wait. Meanwhile, could Panic! At The Disco land a Number One album of their own for the first time? Until the end of the week, it actually looked as if they could.
For the first time in 13 years, we have a single recorded more than 20 years ago at the very top of the Official UK Singles charts. Football fever swept the nation this week and in the process swept the England football team's 1996 anthem all the way to the top of the charts. It overcame what were supposed to be insurmountable chart handicaps to do so as well. Poor George Ezra.
George Ezra remains at the summit, but there's a genuine feeling of a hit era coming to an end as a slew of superstars (and superstar pairings) invade the chart with exciting new entries. Calvin! Smith! Glynne! Bastille (no, really)! They are all there. Ariana tops the album chart. Well, how could she not really?
The closest Top 3 race in more than a decade comes to a climax with the Number One single enjoying the second-narrowest margin of victory in modern-day chart history. It's a triumph for Benny Blanco as after 12 Number One singles as co-writer or producer he can finally claim one as a performer. Plus we go Korean crazy with BTS landing their first ever Top 40 hit single. But be warned, Baby Shark is in there too.
Calvin Harris still has ten Number One singles - but perhaps even more, as the man himself begged to differ during the week. Inside I'll explain why. Plus Kanye West and Lil' Pump make the most deliciously rude two minutes you've heard all year. Except that it is a single which truly needs the video to be put into a proper context.
As you were at the top, but some amazing stories developing below. Machine Gun Kelly and Eminem are going to end up either fighting or copulating. That's generally how these playground fights play themselves out. Panic! At The Disco are Top 20 for the first time in 10 years, managing something precious few acts have ever done before.
Two men speak to us from beyond the grave, in a manner which is both poignant and surprisingly moving. Plus Jess Glynne moves within an ace of equalling an all-time record for Top 10 hits, but one of the existing holders seems about to put it just beyond her reach. See, there's more to life than an all-static Top 4.
The youthful, rebellious sound of rock and roll is embodied by two acts in their 70s at the top of the albums chart this week. Meanwhile, an emo band get their biggest hit ever and Lady Gaga goes all country rock on us. Thank goodness for Calvin and Sam sounding the same as ever to keep things grounded.
Gotta get down on Friday, as a great woman once said. The single which trailed the competition all week storms past them at the death to become one of the more surprising Number One hits of recent months. But it is very much a hit record of the new consumer age, the track at the top of the charts purchased by hardly anyone at all. Read all about the exploits of Dave and friends inside.
She's maintained a poker face throughout the whole of the decade so far. Absent from the top of the charts since 2010, Lady Gaga this week turns Hollywood acclaim back into singles chart success. Our Number One single is from the biggest movie of the moment, and it drags a professional actor along for the ride for the first time in almost 17 years. Nothing Shallow about this hit record. Plus, movie hits abound in the Top 10 and there are decidedly mixed fortunes for former X Factor winners of all vintages.
Britain remains in thrall to a singer and an actor performing together at the top of the singles pile. A deceased performer once more enjoys the biggest new hit of the week thanks to his celebrity mates. But the biggest splash is made by a veteran opera star, dragging classical music to the top of the albums chart for the first time in two decades.
It is one of those records. Ariana Grande's hit runs away with the chart race, eclipsing practically the whole of the rest of the market. That was possibly bad news if you were a former girl group star about to relaunch your career after four years away. Timing is everything in this business after all.
Nobody of any note released any singles this week, so the past seven days belonged to Take That. A "reimagined" Greatest Hits collection saw them clock up the biggest one-week sale of the year and prove to the world that age ain't nothing but a number. Especially when you are singing the songs your mum grew up loving.
Ariana Grande marches boldly on at the top of the charts, but she is now having to face down the challenge from Christmas songs, the biggest of which are sticking two fingers up at chart rules designed to hold them back and swamping everything else anyway. The newest X Factor champion becomes the latest not to get anywhere near the top of the charts, and these boys you see here and just pulled off a chart hat-trick last done by the Arctic Monkeys a decade ago. Find out what it is inside.
It's the annual "Christmas chart but not quite" chart as everything enters a holding pattern before the one sales countdown that everyone cares about. Ariana storms ahead at the top but it is only a rule change that prevents a festive classic from stealing the crown instead. Surely it can't be all still to play for?
Just where do you begin? The most absurd, pointless, meaningless singles chart of the year means a listing almost totally dominated by Christmas songs as your mum puts Spotify on a loop to baste the turkey to and all contemporary artists wilt in the face of a festive onslaught. Mariah Carey sets a new streaming record as a result, but here's the extraordinary bit. She still doesn't reach Number One.