Were we expecting this to happen? Well, it did anyway. Ellie Goulding out of nowhere this week adds herself to the elite list of people who have done the Official Chart double, topping both singles and albums chart at the same time. She does this thanks to the release of her fifth studio album Higher Than Heaven, a collection of songs which flies straight to the top of the Official UK Albums chart, duplicating the success of three of its four predecessors. Her only career failure being 2015's Delerium which could only peak at No.3, although ironically this was the record which enjoyed higher first week sales than any of her other releases - including this one. The album thus joins the Calvin Harris track i on which she supplies guest vocals which duly spends a second week at the top of the singles chart in its own right.
But this is where it gets interesting because Miracle isn't actually one of the cuts on the Higher Than Heaven album. It isn't her song after all, she's merely an invited participant on someone else's. To do a chart double with an entirely separate album and single is unusual but not completely unknown. This odd situation last occurred in September 1977 when Elvis Presley's posthumous No.1 single Way Down was joined at the top of the charts by a 1974 compilation Elvis' 40 Greatest, a collection which predated the recording of the single and so on which it did not feature. The trick was also pulled off by The Stylistics in 1975 when Can't Give You Anything (But My Love) was at the top of the singles charts concurrently with a hits compilation which did not feature the single. To find the last time anyone did what Ellie Goulding has done this week you have to go back to Christmas 1968 when The Beatles were at No.1 on the singles chart with Hello Goodbye, a song which did not appear on the No.1 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Miracle had a comfortable lead at the top of the sales race, its 46,000 chart sales some distance ahead of this week's No.2 single People by Libianca. People has moved into second place thanks to the decline of Miley's Flowers to ACR, although that still only drags the long-running hit down to No.7. Libianca's track remains on the standard chart ratio thanks to continuous and steady upward momentum, the single reaching a brand new peak after fully 15 weeks on the chart - two more than the Cyrus single it effectively replaces.
Drake may not be quite the chart powerhouse he used to be, but a brand-new single from him can still make an impact. He shakes things up a little by charging straight in to No.5 with Search & Rescue. The track's selling point is that it features the voices of both Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner, although it otherwise is everything you would expect from the still astonishingly ubiquitous Canadian. His trademark droning vocals over a trap beat, making it his 38th Top 10 single.
Can't Bloody Forget Him
The other two new Top 10 arrivals this week are what you might call returning favourites. In the wake of his Netflix documentary How I'm Feeling Now there has been a rush of renewed interest in the work of Lewis Capaldi. The result is a return to the Top 10 of his debut album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent and a sudden surge in streams of his current crop of hit singles. The most startling move of all is the 45-8 jump of former No.1 single Forget Me, which did not feature at all on the midweek sales flashes. Almost needless to say this climb back up the charts isn't as organic as it might appear, the track having been RUTHed back to standard chart ratio to give it the visibility it deserved. Other Lewis Capaldi hits doing well are Pointless which re-enters at No.17 having previously been starred-out, and How I'm Feeling Now which eases up to No.24. Missing from the tables is older classic Someone You Loved which had returned for a chart wander of its own following the initial release of the How I'm Feeling Now documentary but which now falls victim to the 3-tracks rule and is itself starred-out. It is No.24 on the streaming charts, so you can probably work out for yourself where it might have landed had it too benefitted from an ACR reset.
Speaking of reset tracks, George Ezra's Green Green Grass finally makes the Top 10 in its sped-up version, edging 11-9 to become a Top 10 single for the first time since September last year.
Climbing into the Top 20 and so in theory freeing itself from that strange hinterland of hit-single-but-not-actually is Bakar's Hell N Back. Almost needless to say there are sped-up versions of that track in circulation as well, none of them official as far as I can tell.
What Is 1993?
David Guetta returns with his first hit of 2023, effectively the follow-up to No.1 smash I'm Good (Blue) with Baby Don't Hurt Me which lands at No.26. Featuring the guest vocals of Anne-Marie and Players singer Coi Leray, the track is (fairly obviously) based around an interpolation of 1993 Eurodisco hit What Is Love which Haddaway turned into a global smash hit, reaching the Top 3 on these shores.
Proof of the wild diversity of the British singles charts comes at the very bottom of the Top 40. Entering at No.34 is Cupid, the debut hit single from latest viral K-Pop sensation girl group Fifty Fifty. A bright and breezy pop record which actually deserves to cross over even further than it has already.
We already have one former Voice USA contestant on the chart in the shape of Libianca and she is joined at No.35 by the notorious Morgan Wallen who finally has a British chart hit with his recent American No.1 hit Last Night. He is famous as the uncancellable performer, the man whose label and indeed the entire industry braintrust attempted to ditch after he was caught on a secret recording doing a racist only to end up so wildly popular people had no choice but to start making money out of him again. To see him in the British charts though is something I genuinely never expected to see.