I've Never Bought Flowers
That which we all expected to happen, did indeed happen. Miley Cyrus' new album Endless Summer Vacation smashes straight to No.1, buoyed naturally by the presence of current long-running No.1 single Flowers as its lead track. It marks nothing less than a spectacular return to form for the American singer, only the second chart-topping album of her career and her first since the equally celebrated Bangerz a whole lifetime back in October 2013.
And yet this perhaps wasn't quite what we were expecting. Maybe the presence of Flowers at the head of the singles market for the past two months gave a false impression of her overall popularity. The sale of Endless Summer Vacation is strong but shall we say not all that spectacular. It debuts at No.1 with a sale of 18,746, but that's actually not even the biggest weekly sale of 2023 so far - Miley moved fewer albums than The Courteeners did back in January and barely 1,000 more than Shania Twain did just over a month ago.
But let's not be too negative. The arrival of the album needless to say consolidates the position of Flowers at the summit of the Official UK Singles chart meaning for the second time in her career Miley Cyrus does the chart double of topping both sales tables simultaneously. Flowers completes the Golden chart run, spending every one of its first nine weeks at the top. But most significantly - and indeed as flagged up in these pages several weeks ago - the track enjoys a huge jump in streaming support. Enough to become the most played track in the nation for the first time in several weeks, enough to lift its weekly sales up 5.8% to just short of 57,000 and enough to ensure its ACR clock is reset. Barring a huge shock that should mean the single moves into double figures next week, although its likely departure from the top of the charts is almost certainly to be hastened not by ACR but by the arrival of a new Ed Sheeran single two weeks from now.
I'd hate it to be that predictable, but it is hard to ignore that it will be.
Miley almost needless to say has three hit singles to her name this week with other album cuts enjoying enough popularity to chart in their own right. Flowers is thus joined by River at No.16 and Jaded at No.27.
Rihanna Is Dead To Him
But siblings, let us not be downhearted. For there is some actual other new stuff around. Defying the years, fashion and indeed his own sometimes erratic chart form Calvin Harris smashes his way straight to No.3 with brand new single Miracle. A veritable banger, as they are commonly known, the track sees him reunite with Ellie Goulding for the latest in what has been an ongoing series of collaborations. The pair first appeared alongside each other on I Need Your Love (which began its journey to No.4 exactly ten years ago this week), following it up with No.6 hit Outside a year later. Picking the bones out of this single, in an instant it becomes the Scotsman's biggest chart hit as a performer since Giant reached No.2 in early 2019 and likewise for Ellie Goulding her highest charting record since her festive cover of Joni Mitchell's River snuck a week at the top at the very start of 2020.
Truly it is indeed a miracle, pun entirely intended. But I hope Robert Miles isn't paying too close attention.
Digging The Stories Out
Top 10 exits for SZA and Miguel mean there is room for other hits to nudge their way upwards. So Rema's Calm Down returns to its No.5 peak after a fortnight away, Lizzy McAlpine reaches a new peak of No.6 with Ceilings, as does Libianca with People a rung below. And after three weeks moving 12-13-12 Strandz finally has a Top 10 hit to call his own as Us Against The World sneaks up to No.10.
He will wind up the least-noted new entrant of the week, but let us take nothing away of a return to the charts for Digga D, Energy his latest hit at No.19, his biggest chart single since Pump 101 hit No.9 just over a year ago.
Nothing But Songs Man
And just like that Eurovision is cool again. It has been a long journey back to this stage, the BBCs decision 20 years ago to treat the whole event has high camp led to an endless succession of idiotic song choices and an extended period of trying to work out just what we were doing wrong. We've tried talent show stars, reformed boy bands, singing legends of yesteryear and even persuaded Andrew Lloyd-Webber to put his reputation on the line to create our entry. All to no avail. And in the end all it took was to call in true industry professionals, hire a friendly bipedal spaniel to perform the song and victory was ours.
Well, almost of course. Ukraine could have entered the sound of a fart echoing in a bucket and picked up a huge sympathy vote to win last year, but with Sam Ryder's Spaceman the de-facto best song on the night justice is at least served with the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest to be staged in Britain (Liverpool to be precise) for the first time in 25 years. All of this means a greater level of interest than ever before in our 2023 entry.
When Mae Muller's I Wrote A Song was unveiled as our Song For Europe last week people fell over themselves to praise it, although I couldn't help but feel we've chosen a song that deliberately isn't going to win, just so we don't have to host the damn thing again two years running. But for whatever reason it has turned out to be the most instantaneously popular Eurovision entry in forever - eclipsing even the pre-contest chart performance of Sam Ryder a year ago.
I Wrote A Song crashes into the charts at No.30, the first UK Eurovision entry to make the Top 40 in its first week since Blue's I Can back in 2011. But even Blue didn't chart until the month of the competition itself. I Wrote A Song is the first UK Eurovision hit to become a major chart hit as early as March since Ooh Ah Just A Little Bit by Gina G way back in 1996. Although she still didn't win. Mae Muller is no stranger to the charts, although her only other hit prior to today was her role on the Neiked/Polo G track Better Days which crawled its way to No.32 in late 2021.
Another act overdue a second hit is Cat Burns, her last solo single People Pleaser having died a small death earlier this year. But the Go singer returns to the Top 40 this week with a collaboration with ArrDee on the gentle and breezy Home For My Heart, a track you would like to think is destined for far better than its No.35 opening.
The bottom run this week is occupied by React from Switch Disco, the latest act to enlist the vocal pipes of Ella Henderson, this track another that has been sculling around the bottom end of the singles chart for the past few weeks before finally making its Top 40 bow.