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Wanna Fall For The Stars

Comfortably ahead of the chasing pack once more, Starlight by Dave is No.1 for a third straight week, the single now comfortably Dave's biggest hit single ever in pure chart peak terms, given that Funky Friday only managed a solitary week at the top back in 2018. It is now - perhaps surprisingly - the longest-running pure rap No.1 since Dance Wiv Me by Calvin Harris, Dizzee Rascal and Chrome enjoyed a four week run at the top way back in 2008.

The topic of the song's credits continue to be a source of fascination at this end. As readers of the weekly newsletter will have learned in the week, although Dave continues to be credited as the sole songwriter in most online sources, including Spotify's metadata, the ASCAP database via which all royalty payments are cross-checked clearly lists Bart Howard (composer of Fly Me To The Moon) as a co-songwriter. Which means his estate is indeed getting royalties from the track. So why the obfuscation?

Despite my breathless optimism about the upwardly-mobile nature of the singles chart last week, this time around the market elects to mess with us as Starlight is in fact top of an all-static Top 7, the first such singles chart since just before Christmas last year. That's not to say there isn't room for some upward movement and the biggest winners of the week are arguably Bad Boy Chiller Crew who move into a new gear as it were with BMW and rocket 21-9 - this jump largely attributable to the release of a new remix adding vocals from French The Kid, MIST and Bugzy Malone to an already crowded list of attendees.

Flaming Out Quickly

Mimi Webb's House On Fire peeks its nose back into the Top 10 too at No.10 meaning two songs depart. One is D-Block Europe's Overseas which finally exits after an 11 week run but the other is Dove Cameron's Boyfriend which you may remember advanced to No.9 last time out following a CD release. Well, wouldn't you just know it, that artificial boost was incredibly short-lived, the track collapsing back to No.20 now that stocks of the release are exhausted. This of course isn't the first time this year we have seen this phenomenon. Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift rocketed into the Top 3 with The Joker And The Queen thanks to a CD release only for the single's sales to collapse a week later meaning its week at No.2 was literally its only moment in the Top 10.

This all means that George Ezra is once more knocking on the door of the Top 10. Three times now the single has registered a potential Top 10 position on the early midweeks only to fall short when the full chart is revealed. Anyone For You (Tiger Lily) does at least climb once more, but still only to No.12. One place behind is the similarly slow-burning The Motto from Tiesto and Ava Max which rises another two places. But still to nowhere near the Top 10.

The "old school" behaviour of the singles chart does at least come into play with one of last week's low new entries turning into the highest climber of the week. Glad U Came from Liilz featuring ZieZie jumps 35-17.

Hugs And XCXs

There's a notable debut at the top of the albums chart as the No.1 album of the week is Crash from Charli XCX. I've noted on so many platforms the strange disconnect that has existed over the years between the level of critical adoration she receives and the actual commercial performance of her music. Part of that is admittedly because she has made sure to be deliberately uncommercial and instead challenge expectations, making it perhaps all the more interesting that this release actually marks the final one of her existing record deal. And Crash is deliberately her first unabashedly "pop" record, a claw for the mainstream attention that finally appears to be coming her way, almost as if to make the point that she can actually do it.

But this is for sure a significant moment. The British singer has never before had anything resembling a commercially successful album release. She made a mere No.85 with her debut True Romance (2013), No.15 with Sucker (2015), No.14 with Charli (2019) and finally No.33 with 2020's hurriedly released and home recorded lockdown catharsis How I'm Feeling Now. So Crash is not only her first No.1 but her first album to even make the Top 10. So that's why plenty will be shouting about it.

The release of the collection has also had a beneficial effect on the fortunes of its present single, the Rina Sawayama duet Beg For You. Alas, it isn't quite the spectacular leap that was first anticipated when the midweeks were published, but its rebound to No.24 does at least mean it finally surpasses the No.29 position it entered at two months ago. Beg For You is of course heavily indebted to Cry For You, a No.8 hit for September back in 2008 with questions also continuing to be asked about just how much it influenced the production of Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits. But perhaps that's a plagiarism lawsuit for another day.

The New Guys (This Week Edition)

New entries? Yeah, we have a couple, once more confined to the very lower reaches of the Top 40. After the huge success of Bed (which was itself a magnificent pop record) last year Joel Corry once again finds himself in the warm bosom of David Guetta for a co-credited collaboration. This week's No.31 hit, What Would You Do is perhaps most notable for the presence of Bryson Tiller on vocal duties. The track drags the singer cum rapper in a clubland direction for the first time, to his stated enthusiasm. Tiller was last seen in the Top 40 on Outta Time which hit No.24 in the wake of the release of his last album Anniversary and he was of course one of the performers on DJ Khaled's No.1 hit Wild Thoughts back in 2017. Does it scare anyone else that this was five years ago?

Also new is Machine Gun Kelly with his first Top 40 hit single in a year and a half, Maybe charting at No.39. The track is a co-production with Bring Me The Horizon who have been waiting for the same amount of time for their first Top 40 single since Teardrops (also a No.39 hit) although they did of course appear uncredited on the Brit Awards remix of Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits which propelled it briefly back up the charts in February.

Ending Down Or Up?

Now nobody else seems to be saying it, but I'll note it anyway. The once-mighty (and still magnificent, don't get me wrong) Clean Bandit released their latest single Everything But You on February 18th. It has had remixes made, a video released and plenty of social media action. But five weeks on it has yet to make an appearance anywhere in the Top 100. Given their last single Drive was pushed and shoved into the Top 20 that's a most extraordinary reversal of fortune.

But I'd hate to end a column on a downbeat note. Instead, let's consider the job being experienced by Sam Tompkins whose debut EP Who Do You Pray To lands at No.7 on the albums chart. He took to social media to share the moment he shared the news with his mum. And as I'm always fond of noting, the affirmation a good chart position gives to an artist proves once and for all that what happens in the charts matters to absolutely everyone who cares about music.


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