Before He Goes And Does It Again
This was turning out to be a nice peaceful week, with everything all in its appointed order. Miracle was cruising comfortably for a third week at No.1, with two big new tracks set to debut just below it. One of those was Wish You The Best from Lewis Capaldi which on the Sunday first look and both Monday and Wednesday midweeks was tracking for a new entry in third place. All pretty respectable.
But eagle-eyed fans noticed a fly in the ointment. A late announced sale of a batch of signed CD singles - the same tactic used by the Scotsman back in January to boost sales of the otherwise underperforming Pointless. The only question was, just when were they going to be posted (both physically and to the chart database).
The answer it turned out was late on Wednesday, for the Thursday sales flashes suddenly showed an additional 15,000 sales credited to the Capaldi single, all of them relating to the aforementioned CD single. In the end fully 16,759 one-track CD singles were sold, accounting for a large proportion of the track's 49,587 chart sales this week.
And that's why what you see on the chart linked to above bears no relation to what was being reported on midweek sales flashes. No.1 on the Official UK Singles chart this week is Wish You The Best, handing Lewis Capaldi his fifth No.1 single - his third in four releases and taking his career tally to level with artists of the calibre of David Bowie and The Bee Gees.
Peel back the layers though and the artificiality of this is laid bare. On the streaming chart the single is a more realistic No.9 with Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris' Miracle still by some distance the most played song of the moment. As I'm so fond of telling people who ask, a sale is a sale and a paid purchase still counts for the same on the charts as it always did historically. But that means by making the physical product a commodity once again, a collectable, an essential part of your fandom, you can manipulate its release to create chart-bending spikes in consumption. We've recently seen this happen on the US charts where mass fan purchases handed Jimin an instant No.1 and instant chart exit with Like Crazy, and the recent Capaldi exploits tell a similar story.
There's still a chance Wish You The Best will grow from its No.1 exposure this week and continue to loiter at the top of the charts. But it is equally possible that when this one-off burst dies out as stocks of the CD are exhausted it will join Capaldi's other hits loitering in mid-table.
Oh yes, Capaldi's other hits? They are Forget Me at No.7 and Pointless at No.16, former No.1 singles both. The arrival of the new hit has alas relegated How I'm Feeling Now to starred-out purgatory. At least for the moment.
Take Him To Church
We last saw David Kushner in January last year, his crowdfunded track Miserable Man creeping into the Top 40 on the back of a series of fan-made videos. But now he's back with a new viral track Daylight that blows that hit out of the water, the intense and quite breathtakingly good ballad propels the American singer-songwriter to No.3 in the blink of an eye. In a sense he is slightly unlucky, the early midweeks having had him down to have the highest new entry of the week and coming within a whisker of topping the charts. In the event Lewis Capaldi's stunt relegates him to third place and the second biggest new release of the week. But make no mistake, seeing this here is a very huge deal indeed.
Unlucky not to make the Top 10 is Post Malone who instead lands at No.11 with new single Chemical. It is his first chart single since I Like You (A Happier Song) made No.19 last summer but perhaps more notably his biggest chart success since Circles reached No.3 in October 2019 following the release of his Hollywood's Bleeding album. The new single was initially billed as the first release from an upcoming new studio album but it has also this week been cheekily added as a bonus track on his new The Diamond Collection compilation - a mini album of all the tracks that have apparently made him the act with the most Diamond-certified singles in Billboard history. Even if Chemical isn't technically one of them - for the moment.
Girl's A Newcomer
A relative unknown before the spring, American rapper Ice Spice was thrust into the limelight when she participated on the remixed version of Pinkpantheress' Boy's A Liar which soared to No.2 last month. Even if the charts didn't fully credit her. Now she has a proper hit of her own with Princess Diana, a track she released back in January but which now drives itself into contention thanks to the release of a new remix with added vocals from Nicki Minaj. Who, almost needless to say, doesn't actually get a chart credit as she's not on the "primary version".
Not Yet Middle Of June
From the "wtf is that doing there" files we have the apparently random reappearance of Heat Waves by Glass Animals which for the second time has been gifted an ACR reset and so flies back into the Top 40 at No.24. I'm presuming it has achieved new-found virality from some source or other although the official reason for the reset is a celebration of its nomination for an Ivor Novello award. If they insist I guess. The continuing fascination with the long-lived song remains beyond me I have to confess, but there is no denying that over its 105 weeks (and counting) of Top 75 action it is well on its way to becoming one of the most notable hits of the decade. For those who have lost track the single arrived for its first chart wander in late 2020 peaking at No.63. It returned in the new year for a chart run which saw it climb as high as No.19 before ACR came calling and was then given an ACR reset on another chart journey which saw it peak anew at No.5 in October 2021. Even after a second ACR tumble it remained popular enough at streaming to linger on the chart until December last year when the Christmas songs finally removed it from sight. Since then Heat Waves has been an occasional chart presence at the very bottom of the Top 100 from where it has been propelled for this new wander around the bestsellers, fully two and a half years since its first release. Is the intention for it to stick around until the three year guillotine finally falls I wonder.
It has made the Top 10 in Australia (of all places) but Fifty Fifty's Cupid has proven to be no K-pop one-week wonder as it makes a climb to No.26 to make the Top 30 for the first time.
Back Black Do It Again
Taken from the new Super Mario Brothers movie, Peaches gives comedian Jack Black his first ever solo chart hit as it rises to No.28. It is a vanishingly brief chart hit, just over 90 seconds in length. The multi-talented star's only previous chart adventures came as part of comedy rock outfit Tenacious D, their biggest hit P.O.D. reaching No.24 in November 2006. In a strange reverse of current trends the present cartoon Mario Brothers movie comes 30 years after a live-action depiction of the characters hit the screens. The Bob Hoskins-starring "original" had a chart hit of its own on the soundtrack, Roxette's Almost Unreal reaching No.7 in July 1993.
The last time we saw underrated British superstar Labrinth on the Top 40 was back in 2018 when he was part of the LSD trimverate alongside Diplio and Sia. Since then he has been mostly focused on soundtrack work, most notably becoming musical director of the Euphoria TV series (from which his Zendaya collaboration I'm Tired was taken - that single reaching No.47 just over a year ago). He returns as a solo artist this week for the first time since 2014 with Never Felt So Alone, the fourth single to be released from his forthcoming new solo album Ends & Begins which is due for a belated release next week. The big selling point of this single? The uncredited co-vocals of a certain Billie Eilish.