Any lingering doubts over the long term popularity of Harry Styles' As It Was (assuming there still were any) are well and truly laid to rest this week as the failed X Factor auditionee maintains his commanding lead at No.1 for a third straight week. Now well and truly the most successful single ever released by anyone associated with One Direction, As It Was notches up a further grand sale of just over 65,000. That's a tiny dip on last week's total but with Jack Harlow's First Class dropping still further (although retaining its No.2 position with some considerable ease once more) Harry's lead at the summit is extended.
I can't keep stressing enough, this could easily have been so different. Singles that open huge in their first week run the risk of being front-loaded, propelled there by fan support which dissipates as quickly as it arrived. But As It Was has zero range anxiety. It's a proper, certified, long-term chart smash. Although it still pisses me off that it is really just a Weeknd copy.
There's at least one story worthy of note just below as Baby by Aitch/Ashanti and former No.1 Starlight by Dave swap places at 3 and 4. After six weeks tied together this is the first time the Aitch track has managed to outperform its counterpart and occupy a higher rung on the chart.
We do have one prompted change in the Top 10, Where Are You Now by Lost Frequencies and Calum Scott suffering an ACR collapse and plunging 7-19. But amusingly that's done nothing more than leave a neat gap which the next few singles shuffle up to fill. Every one of the singles from 7 through to 13 climbs a single place. The top end of the singles market is utterly becalmed, waiting it seems for the next large batch of ACR changes to hit and give us all a much-needed shakeup.
Fingers Crossed She Climbs
I was slightly disappointed when Lauren Spencer-Smith's debut single Fingers Crossed "only" peaked at No.4 back in January, feeling it actually had the potential to be an Olivia Rodrigo-esque smash hit. But the single turned out to have some impressive staying power, a three-week spell in the Top 10 was followed seven straight weeks hurtling around the teens before it finally succumbed to ACR and vanished from sight. Now the honorary Brit returns with a second hit single, one which hands her a second Top 20 chart success as it debuts at No.18. Flowers sticks to a winning formula, a piano ballad drenched in emotion and a stream of consciousness lyric which will speak in large volumes to anyone over the age of 14 suffering some inevitable heartache. Another vanishingly short hit single, it clocks in at a mere 2:35 give or take and is well worth that amount of your time. Although that clearly just means an open door for all the bad dangers who seemingly do this with every new single these days:
Those who like these details may care to note that Lauren Spencer-Smith's hit is the fifth to be titled simply "Flowers" to reach the Top 75 although effectively only the fourth different song, given that the 20-year apart hits by Sweet Female Attitude and Nathan Dawe/Jaykae the same composition to all intents and purposes.
There's just one other new arrival to note, Freaky Deaky by Tyga and Doja Cat finally completing a two month odyssey and reaching the Top 40 at the eighth time of asking as it climbs to No.38. I'm hoping this kind of bodes well for the future prospects of what remains my favourite song of the moment Big Energy by Latto and the now credited DJ Khaled and Mariah Carey. It remains narrowly out of sight of the Top 40 chart show, rising to No.41 this week.
Eye Eye Captain
The final thing to note this week is the presence of Noughty By Nature by Digga G at the top of the albums chart, the rapper's third mixtape becoming his highest-charting so far and taking him to the summit for the very first time. Pretty much all that needs to be written about Digga D has already been done so, But it still remains a marvel and perhaps an indication of the "anything goes" nature of the independent music scene that a man who has been in and out of prison over the past few years and still remains uniquely under a court injunction that determines what he and his friends are allowed to write songs about can still rise above it all - and indeed rise above every other act in the land this week. Good on him I guess.