All hail the power of the dancefloor. The story of the summer for 2022 is clearly going to be the way electronic club hits have dominated for the whole of August, and possibly beyond.
The main headline of the week is the continuing and still extraordinary No.1 run of Afraid To Feel by LF System - the Scottish hit once more posting numbers that are by no means insurmountable or in any sense represent a commanding lead over the rest of the market, but week in week out they are figures that nobody is able to better. So No.1 on the charts it remains. A further 47,117 means Afraid To Feel has now been at the top of the charts for seven straight weeks - a figure which I will never tire of noting would be something quite extraordinary 10, 15 or 20 years ago but now is simply par for the course for a particularly successful chart-topping single.
But coming up on the ropes appears to be LF System's biggest challenger yet. This week B.O.T.A (Badddest Of Them All) by Eliza Rose and Interplanetary Criminal has reaped the benefit of an unusual switch of horses, the previously independent track having been snapped up mid-chart run by Warner Records who have now issued a proper radio edit and clearly turned more promotional screws. Already with huge momentum on its side, the smash club hit rockets up the chart again to hit No.2, its sale of just over 36,000 meaning it is at the very least within striking distance of Afraid To Feel. Of course no club hit of the modern era is complete without some kind of really obscure sample to be ferreted out, and its core synth line has now been identified as having been lifted from the LL W / Love RC remix of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam's 1991 hit Let The Beat Hit Em. Meaning the hottest sounds of this summer are directly inspired by hits from over 30 and 40 years ago respectively.
Credit for the breaking of both of the Top 2 hits (both now on Warner Records as noted) goes to the label's A&R boss Anton Powers who snapped up both tracks, the veteran DJ and producer perhaps best known outside the music industry for his weekend shows on the Kiss Network. But he has also been a chart star in his own right, co-credited alongside Philip George on the 2015 No.4 hit Alone No More.
Shake It Up
After weeks of stillwater the Top 10 takes on a radically fresh look, some of its ACR inspired but some thanks to some genuinely upwardly mobile hit singles as pop music starts to get fresh and exciting again. Still on the up (even after all this time) is Crazy What Love Can Do from David Guetta, Becky Hill and Ella Henderson, the appeals of both the club and underrated acoustic versions of the track mean that after 19 weeks the hit is still rising and now hits a new peak of No.5. With Beyonce's BREAK MY SOUL at No.3 it means that 4 of the Top 5 singles are dance records (George Ezra's Green Green Grass the only anomaly), the first time in six years that club tracks have achieved this level of chart domination.
Meanwhile OneRepublic's I Ain't Worried is a beat behind, up three places a No.6.
More Than One Hit
Two new arrivals fill the bottom rung of the Top 10. James Hype and Miggy Dela Rosa's annoyingly catchy Ferrari rockets 17-9 giving Hype a long-overdue second Top 10 hit after his debut More Than Friends peaked at No.8 five years ago next month. And although I mocked its initial failure despite the superstar power involved I now have to eat my words. Stay With Me by the combined talents of Calvin Harris, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and Halsey makes a three-place climb to No.10. Harris aside, that returns many of the participants on the hit to the top tier of the charts for the first time in a devil of a long time. Timberlake's last Top 10 hit was Say Something back in spring 2018, Pharrell hasn't been this high as a credited performer since his last Calvin Harris collaboration (Feels) topped the charts in summer 2017 while Halsey has been absent from these heights for over three years - her last Top 10 hit was Without Me at the start of 2019.
Bring On The Minaj
Speaking of hits inspired by some incredibly old ones, check out this week's highest new entry. Super Freaky Girl becomes a landmark 40th Top 40 hit for Nicki Minaj as it bursts into life at No.15. Its title pays homage to its origins, based heavily around the famous synth line from Rick James' Super Freak, originally released in 1981. James' original was never a hit single in this country but the music has since become iconic - largely due to its use by MC Hammer on his own breakthrough hit U Can't Touch This back in 1990. Nicki Minaj is perhaps guilty of recycling someone else's good idea, but her animated avatar in the lyric video has her arse out, so all seems well with the world.
There are more upwardly mobile hits in the Top 20, none for the moment stuck on the glass ceiling, although don't rule it out. Steve Lacy 's Bad Habit is up to No.12, No Excuses by Bru-C just refuses to go away and is at No.14 while Luude's reworking of Mattafix's Big City Life smashes its way to No.16, now just one place behind the peak of the original version from 2005.
Sad Irishman Alert
New to the Top 40 is All For You by Cian Ducrot, a track which has taken a devil of a long time to get this far. The tender ballad from the Irish singer-songwriter first charted back in April, embarking on a chart run which saw it stagger as far as No.49 before falling away. Then Tik Tok steamed in, sending it viral and heading back to the charts four weeks ago, since when it has moved 45-44-50-54 but now turns around and jumps to No.29 to become a proper hit at long last. The jump this week can be attributed to the release of a new version which adds a new vocal line from Ella Henderson into the mix, although it is the original which still appears to have the most streaming traction. It is the first hit single for Ducrot as a performer, although he has already tasted success as the co-writer of Lauren Spencer-Smith's Flowers which peaked at No.17 back in April, just as All For You was getting into first gear.
Another hit that has been bubbling under for literally months is Sunroof by Nicky Youre and Dazy which is on a chart run which began at the lower end of the Top 100 back in June but which now finally(!) sneaks into the Top 40 at No.33 at the 13th time of asking.
Can't Beat Them
No.1 on the albums chart this week is The Alchemist's Euphoria from Kasabian, this now the group's sixth chart-topping collection. It is most notable for being their first release with guitarist Sergio Pizzorno on lead vocals, former frontman Tom Meighan having departed the band in July 2020 following his conviction for assaulting his ex-fiance. Having received full marks for their zero tolerance of his behaviour, the band have moved on with the popularity undimmed, even if alas their days of anything resembling a chart single appear to be long behind them.