Blood Supply Dwindling
For the second week running the thing we were half hoping to see just didn't materialise. Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo remains epic, remains compelling, but Britain remains one of the few English-language markets where it just hasn't had the legs to make it to the top.
Instead, the intense drama remains stranded at No.2 and even dips in chart sales this week, shedding almost 20% of its first-week sales to barely top the 40,000 mark. Meanwhile sailing clear at the top are Dave & Central Cee as Sprinter now extends further its record as the longest-running British rap No.1 of all time. Six weeks is now their total as the track charges towards - perhaps unexpectedly - a golden chart run. Just three weeks more to go. The track's paid sales remain epic. 372 people bought a copy of the No.1 single last week.
Other than at the top there's a remarkably fresh look to things, aided by a large chunk of long-running hits making dramatic dives as they plunge to ACR status. So that means Top 10 exits for Miracle, Giving Me and Dancing Is Healing. Much of the rest of the top end of the chart takes the opportunity to be upwardly mobile, including Peggy Gou who rises to No.5 with (It Goes Like) Nanana.
Big Hits (Taylor's Version)
But the week surely belongs to Taylor Swift, although at the exact moment she is attempting to interest us all in her 13-year-old material her biggest hit of the moment is one that dates from a mere four summers ago. The reactivated Cruel Summer (first released in 2019) has turned into a quite unexpected viral streaming smash and this week rises to No.3, now matching the chart peak of Me! As the biggest hit single to be lifted from her Lover album.
But as noted the release of the week from her is a reworking of a piece of music that is even older. The reasons behind it and her motivations for doing so have now largely melted away but the singer is still pressing on with her project to re-record new "Taylor's Versions" of her earlier studio albums. Her latest target is Speak Now, her third studio album (although effectively only her second release as a mainstream performer). The Taylor's Version reworking was always going to be a curious sell, for the original (at least as far as the UK is concerned) was always the red-haired step child of her output. At that point she was still firmly sat in her country groove but with the novelty of Love Story having worn off the album was just - there as far as the British public is concerned. It was always one of her lowest-charting works, spending just a solitary week in the Top 10 at No.6 when first released in October 2010. By Christmas it was nowhere to be seen. The album was devoid of major hit singles too, No.30 hit Mine (the album's opening cut) the biggest hit it contained. Until today.
With Cruel Summer rather cock blocking things there was room for just two tracks from Speak Now (Taylor's Version) to chart. Leading the charge is one of the new "from the vault" deep cuts, I Can See You (Taylor's Version) landing smartly at No.6 to become her 23rd Top 10 single. But it is also joined on the chart by power ballad Enchanted (Taylor's Version) at No.15, Track 9 from the original album now enjoying a far wider audience than it did first time around.
The album itself storms in some considerable style to the top of the Official UK Albums chart, landing the American star her 10th No.1 album in 11 years as it becomes the second Taylor's Version re-recording to out-chart the original. The only solo woman with more chart-topping albums to her name is Madonna. Its sale of 67,112 (which includes streams these days of course) is by some distance higher than the 28,223 copies the original sold on its debut 13 years ago.
So that's three of the six now done and dusted. All eyes now are on where she heads next. Back to the teenage angst of her self-titled and at the time little-regarded self-titled debut? Or does she tackle the thorny issue of 1989 and Reputation, the two massive sellers which cemented her as a superstar? The former of these is back in the Top 10 this week at No.10, and combined with Midnights a place above it means Taylor Swift has 30% of this week's Top 10 albums to call her own.
Heaven When You Touch Me
I mentioned there were plenty of things upwardly mobile this week. Pakistan by D-Block Europe and Clavish is up to No.8, which in itself is unremarkable but the collective also make No.6 on the albums chart with DBE World to overtake The Streets as the British rap act with the most Top 10 albums (this their eighth). 0800 Heaven by Dawe/Corry/Henderson makes the Top 10 for the first time as it climbs to No.9. Perhaps surprisingly this is Joel Corry's first Top 10 hit in almost two years, the biggest chart hit he has been involved in since Out Out made No.6 in September 2021. The track still doesn't have an official video (only a "visualiser") but the newly released acoustic version does.
He Climbs She Climbs We All Climb
Reaction to streaming TV series The Idol was lukewarm to say the last, the shocking bits weren't, the plotline unresolvable and Lily-Rose Depp's nipples unremarkable once she'd whipped them out for the tenth time. But the soundtrack by co-star The Weeknd appears to be going from strength to strength. No one-week wonder this, Popular hits a brand new peak of No.11 to now become the biggest chart hit to date for Playboy Carti. Just one more heave and it gets to be Madonna's first Top 10 single in 14 years. Whoever could have guessed.
Also refusing to go away quite as quickly as its initial chart run might have suggested is Dance The Night from Dua Lipa which rebounds to No.16. The Barbie Movie soundtrack is awaiting the release of the film to be put in its correct context. All it has to do is evade the ACR axe between now and then. Now 7 weeks old the clock is set to start ticking.
Tom Grennan's infectious How Does It Feel took its sweet time to catch fire but now is doing so at some pace. In its fourth week as a Top 40 single it now makes the Top 20 for the first time with a leap to No.17.
There are no other totally brand new singles making their Top 40 debut this week but a couple do manage to sneak in at the lower end from below. Leading that particular charge is uplifting house hit Relax My Eyes from Dutch DJ/producer duo ANOTR who finally have a commercial hit to their name after being written about for what is quite literally many many years. Their hit single first charted back in April and has enjoyed (if that is the word) an extended run around the lower reaches of the singles chart ever since. This week it finally pops its head above the parapet with a climb to No.37. So let's see what takes place from here.
Not quite as old is Closer from Bou featuring Slay but it too has taken its time to make an appearance on the Radio One chart show, a Top 40 hit for the first time at No.39 after seven weeks around.