No, you won't generally see in the press just why there is a brand new Number One single on the Official UK Singles chart. Because to talk about it would be just a little bit too awkward, too technical for most people to care. In truth, it may also only enable the voices of those who still complain bitterly that a singles chart subject to apparently arcane calculations, quotas and ratios is rather less organic these days than history and popular belief would still have it. The process is inelegant, but it is, for now, the best we have, so why bang on about it after all?
However, these pages are if nothing else the true journal of record, so let's not hide from it. The six-place collapse of One Kiss by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa, after eight straight weeks at Number One, is not down to a sudden reversal in its online popularity or a sudden tiring by the public of the track. Instead the single is subject to the Accelerated Chart Ratio rules, its streams now halved in value relative to paid sales. As predicted on these pages last week it is top of the charts no more, the second single this year to suffer a similar "surprise" Number One reverse, following in the footsteps of Drake's God's Plan back in the spring. Let the record show that had the rule not been in place, One Kiss would still be Number One for a ninth week.
As expected, this sudden vacuum at the top of the market did indeed spark an intriguing chart race with no less than three different singles all in theoretical contention to replace One Kiss at the top of the charts. In the end, just 898 chart sales separated the Top 2 this week. But as ever it is where you finish that truly counts. I'll Be There by Jess Glynne is rewarded for its patience and climbs a notch to take a deserved place at Number One. And in the process elevates the singer to brand new heights of achievement.
It is the second Number One single this year for Jess Glynne, following hard on the heels of her guest role on Rudimental's These Days which - by a staggering coincidence - was the very single to benefit from the enforced relegation of God's Plan back in April. This is now the seventh time Jess has enjoyed a Number One single, further extending her own record as the most successful solo British female star ever. By solo, of course, we mean "not a member of group" for yes, it must be noted once more that I'll Be There is actually only the third time Jess Glynne has topped the charts as either a solo or even lead artist. The other four have been as a guest star on what are technically other people's singles.
Still, one achievement of hers that doesn't require footnotes is to join Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris as the acts with more Number One hits than anyone else this decade, the two men also having landed seven chart-topping hits since 2010. The singer on one of Tinie Tempah's? Jess Glynne of course (Not Letting Go). Strange to note though that it I'll Be There is possibly the flukiest Number One single Jess Glynne will ever enjoy. Her combined sales total of 37,959 is the lowest for a Number One single since All Summer Long by Kid Rock topped the charts in August 2008 with a sale of 37,111 copies.
We Are Each Other
In a world where everyone seems to guest on everyone else's records, it is inevitable that from time to time we end up with a chart countdown that's the equivalent of a messy Love Island partner-swapping party. To elaborate: this week we have Jess Glynne at Number One. Who has had two hit singles as a singer with Clean Bandit. Who are themselves at Number 2 this week with Solo. And who once had a Number One hit with a guest vocal from Anne-Marie. Who sits at Number 3 with 2002.
Incidentally, the rise of the Clean Bandit single to Number 2 ensures Solo is now guest singer Demi Lovato's biggest ever chart hit in this country, surpassing the Number 3 she scaled with Heart Attack back in 2013.
New to the Top 10 this week is Tom Walker with Leave A Light On, and whilst it is only right to continue to credit the Sony Bravia TV adverts for bringing the track to public attention, it would be unfair not to note that the single is turning into a huge hit by being so moving and rather fabulous. A full eight months after it was first released the single vaults this week to Number 8. Leave A Light On is the most-purchased track of the week - which ironically means I'll Be There failed to top the charts during the time it was top of the sales table, but has climbed to the Number One at the precise moment it isn't. No wonder it is easier not to draw attention to the minutiae of chart compilation.
The other new arrival in the Top 10 is I Like It from Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin. The single finally gives the white-hot female rapper a Top 10 hit single on her own terms, her only previous foray into the upper reaches had come thanks to her guest role on Bruno Mars' Finesse. All things being equal she should end up featuring on two side by side Top 10 singles in short order, Maroon 5's Girls Like You, into which she has been spliced, rises 12 places to Number 16. Mind you the same can be said for I Like It collaborator J Balvin who is also at Number 14 alongside Liam Payne on Familiar.
Two new arrivals in the Top 10 naturally means two exits and indeed both are dramatic enough to be notable. With the first week fuss out of the way, Kanye West's Yikes tumbles 10-33 in its second week on the chart but there's an equally sudden tumble for Drake's Nice For What which reverses 4-20. That one is again due to a move to ACR with the single now also in its 10th week on the chart.
There's a curious rebound this week for A$AP Rocky's Praise The Lord (Da Shine) which entered at Number 29 a fortnight ago to coincide with the release of his album Testing. The track dipped to 39 last week which was entirely in line with expectations. yet this week the single bounces back and climbs to a new peak of Number 21. Already his first ever Top 40 hit single, the track is within an ace of taking him to the Top 20 for the first time ever.
Longest 5 Seconds Of The Season
Just outside the Top 20 is another single whose continuing rise is defying all logical expectations and for which I have to confess your humble writer cannot offer a coherent explanation. Despite opening their chart account in 2014 with a Number One single She Looks So Perfect, Australian pop rockers 5 Seconds Of Summer (5SOS) rapidly retreated to the status of a hardcore fandom cult. It means their music would play almost exclusively to a dedicated band of online followers but wind up practically ignored by the mainstream. With the streaming era now rewarding long-term growth rather than intense bursts of interest this has of late had a deleterious effect on the chart positions achieved by bands such as 5SOS. Indeed, they spent most of 2015 releasing singles which failed to even break the Top 40, no matter how many arenas and stadiums they managed to fill when appearing live. Whilst their first single of 2018 Want You Back at least restored them to the Top 40 for the first time in three years when it made Number 22 first week out back in March, a rapid plunge out of contention followed. All seemed normal.
Then along came Youngblood, the title track of their forthcoming third album. Its initial chart run came at the end of April when it was released as an instant grat for those pre-ordering the collection. It charted at Number 71 and promptly vanished again. Then four weeks ago the single reappeared and began to climb the charts. Last week it reached the Top 40 for the very first time, and now makes a huge 15 place leap to match the Number 22 peak scaled by its predecessor. Simply put this is a 5SOS single like no other before it. Because people other than their fans are buying it and streaming it. Is there a particular reason why? Or is it simply just a cut above their usual output. Decide for yourself below.
New to the Top 40 this week is Jonas Blue, the Englishman absent from the Top 40 for over a year with no hit singles since Mama reached Number 4 in summer 2017. His new single Rise does just as the title suggested and after three weeks on the chart climbs to Number 31 on its way to becoming what you would like to think is his fifth Top 20 hit single. Collaborators on this track are American pop-rap duo Jack and Jack who have been active in their native country since 2014 but who hit the mainstream here for the very first time.
Nothing To See Here
On the Official UK Albums chart, there is once more pretty much no contest in terms of the Number One album. Once more with a sale almost twice that of its nearest rival The Greatest Showman soundtrack tops the charts. This is now its 19th week in total at Number One, surpassing that of Saturday Night Fever to become the most successful movie soundtrack album of the last 50 years.
As we've noted many times since the start of the year, The Greatest Showman album has only achieved what it has thanks to chart rules which allow it to be considered an ensemble performance rather than a multi-artist collection and so chart on the main albums chart rather than the compilations chart. This is actually a rather more recent innovation than you might realise, and it seems in the last few weeks the rules have been updated to specifically allow cast recordings to be considered "artist" rather than "compilation" albums. This switch in focus has recently led to a rather unique first. Ever since its release in July 2008 the original motion picture cast recording of Mamma Mia has been regarded as a compilation. It topped that particular chart upon release and spent a total of 11 weeks at Number One. Its last appearance on the compilations chart came just over a month ago when it charted at Number 99.
Last week it charted again - this time on the main artist albums chart for the very first time. Mamma Mia this week moves 95-86, a minor change in the grand scheme of things but by my reckoning, the first album to appear on both artist and compilations chart since the wholesale switch which resulted from the introduction of the compilations listing in January 1989.
Back at the top end and it is new albums which also hand the singles chart their highest actual new entries of the week. Rising (and still resolutely independent) singer Jorja Smith has her first ever mainstream success with her album Lost & Found becoming the highest charting new release of the week at Number 3. She also manages the unique double of the highest singles chart new entry too with the track Blue Lights landing at Number 38, her second Top 40 hit of the year following Let Me Down which reached Number 34.
Def Jam-signed rap stars Kids See Ghosts make their album chart debut at Number 7 with their self-titled debut and in the process score the maximum permitted three singles chart entries. Uniquely all three line up at consecutive chart places, 4th Dimension at 46, Feel The Love at 47 and Reborn at 48. Kids See Ghosts is a supergroup comprised of Kid Cudi and Kanye West - and yes, by featuring as part of both a group and a solo star Kanye manages to bend the chart rules and feature on six simultaneous Top 100 hit singles.
Oh yes, and seeing as such a fuss was made of the release and its sales prospects on Twitter, we should note the debut at Number 8 of Lily Allen with her fourth album No Shame. It sold 8,754 copies to do so. Whilst noting that time and circumstances have whittled the market for albums down to historically low levels, we can further note for the record that her second album It's Not Me, It's You debuted at the top of the charts upon release in 2009 selling 112,000 copies in its first week alone.
Not So Golden Balls
One final note to end this week, and it actually seems odd to flag up something that is not in the charts rather than the things that are, but have you noticed something is missing? This week the 2018 FIFA World Cup has kicked off, but not that you'd realise looking at the charts. For the past 20 years or so football tournament season has been more or less defined by a slew of football-related hits, be they official tournament anthems, cash-in novelty hits or even just songs that appear to capture the mood of the moment. This year we are bereft. To match the more circumspect way in which expectations for an inexperienced England side have been dialled down, no official team anthem has been produced this time around and the lack of football fever in general has meant no cash in attempts by radio stations or comedians have been produced. Or at least not in any way which has seen them get anywhere near the charts. The slow currents of streaming trends perhaps mean it is harder than ever to land a hit single with pinpoint precision at the exact moment its topic becomes relevant, but even so it almost feels like an era has ended. All trends die out eventually. Maybe the craze for football songs just took longer than others to finally burn itself out.