Fly Them To The Moon
"Unless something comes along to blow it out of the water Miracle seems set to notch up 11 weeks at the summit".
-- A person who knows NOTHING, approximately one week ago.
The track that blows Miracle out of the water and indeed pretty much everything else released so far this year is Sprinter from Dave & Central Cee which debuts at No.1 with a huge sale of… well, we'll come to that in a moment.
Right from the off it was clear the track was on course for an utterly colossal sale, already No.1 by a distance on the Sunday night First Look it landed on the Monday night midweeks with a weekend sale of well over 33,000 copies. That's an eyebrow-raising total for that early in the week and suggested that the single was indeed on course to debut with a six-figure total if it kept up the pace.
So what makes the track so compelling? Well, it is just so well put together, the first collision of two of the biggest names in UK rap at the moment is a beautifully understated trap production. Just beats and a guitar, allowing the poetry that the two men are spitting to come to the fore. And what poetry it is, a fun and entertaining romp featuring some of the best rhymes you've heard in the longest time. Dave's core mantra of "with Bae through thick and thin, she already thick so I'm halfway there" deserves to end up as one of the lyrics of the year for sure.
It is the first No.1 single for Central Cee (his previous best was the No.2 peak of DOJA last summer) but the third overall for Dave, the star having previously topped the listings with Funky Friday in 2018 and with Starlight in 2022. Sprinter does indeed end up with a six-figure sale to top the charts, its 108,200 sales accounted for almost entirely by streams (it was downloaded a mere 456 times over the course of the week). Those streams numbered 13.4m in total the eighth-highest tally for a non-seasonal single in the short history of the format and easily the biggest weekly total accumulated by a rap single ever - beating the 12.8m clocked up by Lil Nas X's Old Town Road in July 2019.
Sprinter isn't the only chart entry from the pair either, because they followed the single up with the midweek release of a four track EP, two of whose tracks also raced to impressive chart positions. Trojan Horse lands at No.14 while UK Rap sits three places behind at No.17. The collection's fourth track is ineligible, It Is Our 25th Birthday would be No.28 were the rule restricting acts to three singles not in place. Intriguingly they could have got around that by simply reversing the credits, but as all four are credited to "Dave & Central Cee" they are bracketed together in this manner.
Jazzy It Up
Elsewhere in the Top 10 there's a rise to No.3 for Giving Me by Jazzy, the track thus surpassing the No.4 peak of Make Me Feel Good to give the Irishwoman her biggest hit single to date. Meanwhile after dipping to No.10 last week Loreen's Tattoo rallies to sit at No.7 and thus occupy a rung of the Top 10 for the fourth week in a row. It bears restating, that's the best chart performance by any Eurovision Song Contest entry since Gina G spent 10 consecutive weeks in the upper reaches in 1996. One more week and it will equal the best Top 10 run by a Eurovision winner since Hold Me Now by Johnny Logan enjoyed a five-week run back in 1987. We should however give an honourable mention to 2000 winner Fly On The Wings Of Love which failed to chart in its original version but which was a No.8 hit for XTM & DJ Chucky presents Annia in 2003. The dance remake spent eight non-consecutive weeks in the Top 10 during a five month chart run.
New to the Top 10 for the first time is Dancing Is Healing which at No.8 becomes the first Top 10 single for Rudimental since the chart-topping These Days back in 2018.
Old Lady Winning
The media fuss around Kylie's Padam Padam still hasn't abated, but the increased attention propels the compelling track still further forward. It teased us with the prospect of a climb into the Top 10 but eventually settles for an 11 place climb to No.12, matching the peak of her last Top 20 hit Into The Blue from 2014. All eyes are now on whether it can give her a first Top 10 appearance since her cameo on Taio Cruz' Higher back in 2011.
What is getting Kylie fans particularly salty however is the continuing refusal of Radio One to give the track airtime, even to the extent of skipping over it during the First Look show last weekend. That is partly due to their long-standing policy of giving older acts a swerve, and at 55 years old Kylie regrettably doesn't fit their target demographic even if she has a song which is appealing to a whole new generation. This is nothing new of course, those with long memories will remember the nation's pop station declining to play Robbie Williams even after he reached No.1 back in 2012. They are a youth station and should focus on the young, regardless of how many people in their golden years are having hit records too.
New For The Week(end)
It is becoming quite the tradition for the bottom end of the Top 40 to feature a string of singles which may not necessarily make it to higher ground but are still a worthwhile listen for all that. Leading this week's charge is The Weeknd with the second single from his soundtrack to the HBO TV series The Idol, a follow-up to Double Fantasy which reached No.14 back in May. The big selling point of Popular is the presence of two guest stars - Playboi Carti and no less a legend than Madonna. The track debuts at No.21, not necessarily the biggest hit ever for the Canadian performer but most notably the highest-charting single for Madonna since Celebration made No.3 way, way back in 2009.
Summer must be upon us because the potential festival rave anthems are starting to emerge. Making a flying leap into the Top 40 with a climb to No.22 is the infectious Good Love which hands a chart debut to both Scottish producer/DJ Hannah Laing and Barbadian singer RoRo. Expect to hear this blasting from a soft top near you before too long.
Still Falling For You
Five years in the making, Jorja Smith is set to release her second full-length album Falling Or Flying at the end of September. As a teaser she has her first Top 40 hit in three years as the lead single Little Things finally comes good on its potential and climbs to No.28. That's enough to make it her biggest chart hit since Be Honest peaked at No.8 back in 2018.
How long has it been since we had some proper Jamaican dancehall in the Top 40? That comes this week thanks to Talibans by a debuting Byron Messia which slides to No.37. And finally two places behind is Area Codes by American rapper Kali, the track directly inspired by the Ludacris song of the same name, interpolating the original which made No.25 in September 2001.
Dave v Noel
To say there was a battle for supremacy at the top of the albums chart this week is to understate matters by an order of magnitude. With a lead that changed hands at least three times and with the gap between the two biggest albums no more than a few hundred copies at once, there genuinely was no telling who would emerge victorious until right at the death. It seemed almost imperative that Noel Gallagher maintained his 100% career success rate with the new High Flying Birds album Council Skies. To aid this there were almost endless numbers of vinyl, CD and even digital editions with the weep capped by the release of an NFT version right at the end. But it was all to no avail. Council Skies debuts at No.2 with just under 40,000 sales, beaten by the small matter of 5,000 copies by But Here We Are which duly becomes the sixth No.1 album for The Foo Fighters, their first since the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins. And it is hard not to feel that was the right result in the end.