This week's Official UK Singles Chart

This week's Official UK Albums Chart

Seventh Heaven

So are you feeling lucky? Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa presumably are, as One Kiss extends its run at the top of the charts to seven straight weeks. That's now enough to make this Calvin Harris' biggest chart hit of his now decade-long career.

For those keeping count, this is the second Number One hit this year to reach a seventh week at the top, and the fifth this decade. Although it should be noted that all these have come in the last two and a half years since streaming took a true stranglehold on the singles market. Streams are the main (although not the sole) reason One Kiss remains locked in place at the top of the charts. The track is immovable at the top of the streaming tables and indeed on Spotify alone still achieving 100,000 plays a day more than most of the rest of the market.

People will also lazily blame platform curated playlists for this situation, the fact that the biggest hits end up as self-fulfilling prophecies as they remain first in the queue on the most popular default choices. Yet by and large, this isn't the case. Yes, One Kiss is indeed still one of the top tracks on Spotify's celebrated Hot Hits UK playlist (2 million subscribers) but at the time of writing it is actually only the third in the list, and a passive listener will sit through both 2002 by Anne-Marie (this week's Number 3 single) and new release Give Yourself A Try from The 1975 - which I can guarantee will have a limited chart impact next week. Furthermore, the other track of the moment matching One Kiss almost step for step in terms of streams - Nice For What by Drake - is the 17th track on Hot Hits UK. Yet its reported plays are more than double any of the other songs around it. Then again Drake is a true freak of nature right now.

No, being on a playlist is a big deal for a single, as big a deal as being spun by Radio One used to be. But the truly massive hits become that way because of repeated self-selection. People play them because they love them. The only problem for those wanting a dynamic and fast-moving chart like in the old days is that it takes the ordinary pop fan a long time to tire of the smashes. Which is all good news for Calvin and Dua.

The one glimmer of light on the horizon is the ever-declining weekly chart sale of the single. One Kiss dipped again this week, ending up with a total of 53,000 chart sales compared to 54,000 last week which in turn were down from 62,000 the previous one. Why is this significant? Because next week is the track's ninth week on the singles chart. If its chart sale is once again lower next week then the week after that it will satisfy all the criteria - at least ten weeks old and with sales declining for three weeks in a row - to be hoiked onto the Accelerated Chart Ratio. For the second time this year we could be about to see rules rather than burnout bringing a Number One single to an end.

It's About Wanking

Questions can then start to be asked about what single will eventually take over at the top of the charts. Many of the existing Top 10 residents are starting to get a bit long in the tooth themselves, so you would like to think it will be one of the more upwardly mobile singles of the moment which assert themselves with perfect timing. Jess Glynne could be one, I'll Be There reaching a brand new peak of Number 5 as it becomes only the second single in the last seven weeks to achieve more paid-for sales than One Kiss. Its streaming numbers still hold it back, although they continue to grow and the track is one of the Top 10 most-heard tracks this week for the first time.

Also on the way up are Jess' former collaborators Clean Bandit. Growing more compelling with every listen, Solo rises 12-10 to become the ninth Top 10 hit single for Grace and co, and perhaps more impressively their seventh in a row. Guest singer Demi Lovato is back in the upper reaches for the first time in almost a year and this is the sixth Top 10 single of her career. Helping matters enormously is the fact Solo now has a video, one which both skirts around a true interpretation of its rather naughty lyric (in favour of a surreal tale of turning an abusive boyfriend into a dog) and which also reveals that the vocal noises in the chorus are actually a form of self-censorship for radio play. Demi herself mouths "I wanna fu…" even if she doesn't actually sing it. This also now means that fully 33% of this week's Top 10 singles are by acts who are either past or current Clean Bandit collaborators. Sadly Sean Paul can only chart at Number 84.

Sounds Familiar

The entire Top 40 has a quagmire-like look to it, with the overwhelming majority of singles making moves up or down of merely a handful of places. All the more reason then to note the singles which buck that trend. Rebounding 21-15 to make the Top 20 for the second time is the annoyingly catchy Familiar from Liam Payne and J Balvin, the single handing the sometime One Direction member the third Top 20 hit of his solo career to date. Balvin meanwhile occupies two consecutive chart places, the Cardi B single I Like It on which he also features accelerating this week to Number 16, its highest chart position since it first appeared to peak at Number 15 four weeks ago.

20 With A Bullet

The festival season enjoyed its traditional throat-clearer over the bank holiday weekend with the latest staging of the Radio One Big Weekend event, this time in Swansea. Curiously the most positive reception of the event appeared to be saved for George Ezra who this week finds himself also in possession of two simultaneous Top 20 hits. Existing hit Paradise continues to defy the ACR axe and rises two places to Number 6 despite being now 19 weeks old. It is joined by his brand new single Shotgun, hailed by some as a potential summer anthem and which rockets 41-20, surpassing the Number 35 it scaled as an album cut nine weeks ago. His unerring talent for writing insanely catchy singalong tunes despite being what should be an utterly untrendy bloke with a deep voice and a guitar rears its head once more. Shotgun buries itself into your brain in a manner that even Paradise didn't quite manage. Plus it comes complete with a respectful but perfectly pitched KVR dance remix which will surely only expand its appeal further.

Yes, It Is Still You. We Get It.

A slew of interesting new releases raised the prospect this week of an interesting new Number One at the top of the Official UK Albums chart. But alas it was not to be. The stage continues to belong to the Greatest Showman soundtrack which is now lodged at the top of the charts for a 17th non-consecutive week. We've discussed several times over the winter(!) months just what the enduring appeal of the musical collection is, surviving long enough for the movie itself to exit the cinemas and be readied for Blu-Ray release. I'm tempted to wonder if it has now become the first ever smart speaker smash hit. As brilliantly made as the songs are, they are still at the end of the day the kind of music your mum likes. But is it possible that its astonishingly high number of streams are a result of people simply going "Alexa, play The Greatest Showman" whilst preparing stuff in the kitchen?

You can always tell which new albums have enjoyed large numbers of streams, simply by noting which ones see their creators impact the singles chart as well. Take Shawn Mendes for example, his self-titled third album entering at Number 3 this week. That's almost certainly why its hit single In My Blood makes an 18-12 leap on the singles chart, existing teaser single Youth reaches a new peak of Number 41, and why he enters at Number 54 with new track Nervous.

Similarly, A$AP Rocky who has the Number 11 album this week with new release Testing. Hip-hop albums always stream well, enough indeed for Praise The Lord (Da Shine) to end up as the singles chart's highest new entry at Number 29, one of - you guessed it - three new entries he enjoys this week on the Top 100. It is only A$AP Rocky's second ever Top 40 hit single, his first since he featured on Selena Gomez' Good For You which reached Number 23 in 2015.

Indeed the only high-level new entry this week not connected to a new album is a track which on the face of things you might have expected to make a bigger splash. But clearly, there are instant Drake smashes and ones that we can take or leave. Seen largely as a promotional single for his still yet to be fully confirmed Scorpion album, I'm Upset hands the Canadian mumbler his third chart hit of the year as it debuts at Number 37. Just don't listen to it if you already hate him, it isn't going to make you change your mind.

Oh yes, and whilst the five-place climb to Number 39 for Oh My by Dappy featuring Ay Em may not look all that significant, it is the first Top 40 hit single for the former N-Dubz frontman for over three years. Back in 2011 and 2012, he was enjoying Number One hits without even blinking.

 


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