Making It Look Easy
Yes OK, it would have been more of a surprise if it hadn't happened, but we still need to step back and marvel at it regardless. Adele reigns supreme at the top of all possible tables for a second week running as her 30 album becomes only the second album this year to spend two consecutive weeks at No.1 - Olivia Rodrigo's Sour was the other. Honourable mention must also go to Dave's We're All Alone In This Together and Drake's Certified Lover Boy which both also had two weeks at the top, albeit non-consecutively.
30 shifts over 100,000 copies for the second week running, notching up over 102,000 and almost needless to say becoming the first album to do this since - you guessed it - Divide by Ed Sheeran back in 2017. Once again Adele's album enjoyed a huge level of paid success, Official Charts reporting that 81% of that 102K came via physical and digital download copies.
Inevitably Easy On Me is top of the Official UK Singles chart for what is now the seventh week running, making it now Adele's most successful hit single to date. I'd note that she becomes the first British female to enjoy a seven-week No.1 single since Leona Lewis with Bleeding Love back in 2007, but given the Brit Awards no long wish to honour the separate achievements of male and female stars, why should we do so with chart stats?
Adele once more follows in the footsteps of Olivia Rodrigo who did the singles and albums chart double for a fortnight back in June. Adele has some way to go to beat her own personal best however, landing herself four consecutive weeks atop both charts back in 2011 with Someone Like You and 21, the pair of discs adding a fifth after a week away at the end of March that year.
I'll be shocked if the album isn't still on top for Christmas, although the prospects for Easy On Me look fascinating. Its sales were back down to 69,372 this week after reaching six figures once more. That's also the first of its three ticks of the ACR clock meaning the single is on course to take a tumble just in time for the Christmas chart itself. So you can pretty much rule out any prospect of Adele being Christmas Number One, regardless of circumstances.
Adele's almost total domination of the upper end of the singles chart is however rather dramatically shattered, and not just by the parade of oldies that we'll deal with in a moment. Instead ABCDEFU by newcomer Gayle continues its meteoric rise and indeed is now the hottest new single of the moment, rocketing 14-2 in a move which rather took everyone by surprise. Adele's other two hits are I Drink Wine (No.5) and Oh My God (No.6). Overpass Graffiti takes over as Ed Sheeran's biggest hit of the moment as it climbs back up to No.9. We should of course note that this is largely down to his two older cuts crashing to ACR status, the halving in value of their streams meaning Shivers plunges 3-13 and after an unbroken 22 week epic run in the Top 10 Bad Habits dives 5-19.
What a shame there is nothing fresh replacing them.
Ring Out The Bells
The start of December is technically advent by as far as many are concerned Christmas is here already. Marching to exactly the same beat as they did last year the parade of Christmas songs begin their annual chart invasion in earnest, with two of the usual suspects charging merrily into the Top 5.
They are (as if anyone reading this really needed telling) All I Want For Christmas Is You which rockets to No.3 and Last Christmas which is a beat behind at No.4. Both of course are on permanent ACR but would only rank a place above were that not the case. Adele has the edge for the moment, but bearing in mind this was the exact moment last year that the Mariah Carey single was readying itself for a sensational fortnight at No.1 in the run-up to Christmas, next week's chart race should be a fascinating battle between the two women - assuming Ed and Elton don't stick their noses in.
But hush, we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Christmas oldies are, alas, the only tracks making chart moves of note. Three more are Top 20 and there are four others occupying slots between 21 and 30. Whereas once the December charts were a fascinating table of some of the most memorable releases of the year all vying for festive party supremacy, they are now reduced to a parade of the same set of vintage songs in a slightly different but otherwise largely similar order to last year. And the year before. And the year before.
The one true new arrival inside the Top 40 is however the first of this year's Amazon originals to surface, new singles of course not subject to the ACR strictures of the older ones. Step forward Come On Home For Christmas from a returning George Ezra at No.36. That is followed by The Christmas Song (aka Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) by Olivia Dean, the 22-year-old British singer having been nominated as Amazon Music's "Breakthrough Artist Of The Year" and so gifted this recording which finally becomes her first chart single after almost four years of trying.
Also brand new this year is Camila Cabello's I'll Be Home For Christmas which is a new entry at No.59, the first ever chart version of a song first recorded by Bing Crosby back in 1943. Meanwhile Sia's Snowman, taken from her five year old Everyday Is Christmas album, surfaces at No.72 thanks to a TikTok challenge.
We have four more weeks of this until the singles chart returns to something resembling normal. Strength in numbers people, we'll get through this.