Just Go Already
This week we are all about the fours and threes.
Fours, because that's how long Harry Styles has been No.1 with As It Was, the smash single immovable at the top of the charts with another commanding lead over its rival, his total of 63,873 almost 20k more than the following competition. Nothing but nothing is moving him for now. But it's still just Take On Me redone via Blinding Lights and I don't care how many times I have to point this out.
The release date of his new album Harry's House is approaching fast, Styles on Friday tweeting out the details of the tracklisting. I was particularly taken with a subsequent tweet from Billboard magazine in the States stating that it "did not disappoint", prompting me to wonder about the circumstances where you'd feel let down by a list of the titles of songs you haven't heard yet.
Meanwhile, we are also about the threes, as for the third week running the Styles/Harlow hegemony holds firm at the top of the charts with the latter's First Class still doggedly clinging on in second place.
But there's a new face in the Top 3 as Cat Burns makes a two-place climb into third with the still endearingly sweary Go. This is the track's 15th week on the singles chart in total and its seventh as a Top 10 single, this climb to the Top 3 coming after it spent a fortnight at No.6 followed by two weeks at No.5. But we should also note that she first released the song in July 2020 meaning it has had a long odyssey to near the top than most people realise. All good things do come to those who wait. Let's hope she gets "fucked up on night out" to celebrate.
There's one "new" arrival to the ranks of the Top 10 singles, albeit a returning one as BMW from Bad Boy Chiller Crew turns and drives four places back to No.7, finally beating the No.9 it first peaked at five weeks ago.
Thank Netflix Too
Unlucky not to make the Top 10 but enjoying a huge leap regardless is Gangsteritus by Potter Payper and Tiggs Da Author. This is one that merits some degree of explanation, the track seemingly having peaked at No.23 four weeks ago and had been on a downward spiral ever since. Last week it sat at No.40 but now rebounds spectacularly to No.12 as a very old school "highest climber of the week". Needless to say there's a remix involved, the new presence in the market of Gangsteritus "Part 2" which stirs in a new verse featuring Nines and which takes the darkly epic hit to entirely new dimensions of awesome.
The highest new entry of the week is another remix, this time from Ed Sheeran whose ability to flit between music your nan loves and associating with the hottest of urban stars pays off once more. Solo on the album, 2Step is now gifted with a new collaborative verse from Lil Baby and it is this version which turns it into his new official single and propels the track into the chart for the first time at No.13. That's perhaps not the most impressive chart debut he's ever had (compare that to the instant Top 3 success of The Joker And The Queen earlier in the year), but given that Sheeran somehow finds new ways to mine an album for singles in an era when nobody bothers to do that any more, credit is due that he has even got this far. The video is notable for the fact that it is filmed in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sheeran noting that he did so just days before the Putin went bonkers. All proceeds from the track will go to Ukrainian refugee charities.
I Want Him To Also Go
You will remember Kid Laroi's last hit. Or at least you will struggle to have avoided it. Stay turned the Australian singing rapper star into a true global phenomenon, the Justin Bieber collaboration peaking at No.2 here last summer and ending up a near-permanent fixture on charts worldwide, still a Top 5 single in both America and Australia five months later. ACR rules put paid to its chart fortunes in this country some time ago but it remains maddeningly and somewhat bizarrely popular (I mean, it isn't THAT good surely), consistently in the Top 30 most-streamed tracks week in week out.
But at some point you have to move on, so here he comes with new single Thousand Miles which doesn't quite live up to its early week hype but still makes a reasonably acceptable debut at No.21. It is Kid Laroi's ninth chart single to date (yes, he does have other songs) although only his fourth to actually reach the Top 40. Time to find out then, was the success of Stay entirely down the presence of Justin Bieber? Can he make it just as big on his own?
It is quite the week for angry young women, Leah Kate finally breaking into the Top 40 with the sparkling 10 Things I Hate About You, its successive chart moves of 56-42-30 indicating it has the wind in its sales. The singer from Los Angeles has been on "ones to watch" list for a couple of years now, so don't underestimate the effort it has taken to finally get her to this stage.
Joyful Energy Unbounded
And also advancing into the Top 40, to the joy of this writer who has been waiting for it to happen for a number of weeks now, is current US Top 5 hit Big Energy from Latto. Or at least that's how it was originally billed, the single having unusually had its credits changed subsequent to its first chart appearance to fully acknowledge the role played by the DJ Khaled remix which has finally turned the single (first released at the start of 2022) into a proper smash hit. Based around the loop from Tom Tom Club's oddly seminal Genius Of Love, Khaled has mashed it up with a famous track from the 90s which also used the same source as inspiration. No, not Return Of The Mack, but rather Fantasy by Mariah Carey (which Latto has admitted was the inspiration for Big Energy in the first place, unaware of the rhythm track's true origins). Mariah herself has supplied re-recorded vocals for the remix (hence she now has a co-credit) but turns the hip-hop hit into something very very special. I don't know why it has taken several weeks for British audiences to turn onto this, but this is 20s pop at its very best. Even if it required a hit from 1981 to bootstrap it. Genius Of Love only made No.65 here, Mariah's Fantasy a No.4 hit in 1995. So where will this take on the concept end up?
Meanwhile in albums land it is the turn of Fontaines DC to land at No.1, Skinty Fia taking them to the top of the pile for the first time after their previous studio releases Dogrel and A Hero's Death made No.9 and No.2 in 2019 and 2020 respectively. And just to prove that there is always room to climb the charts, almost six months after its release and its first peak at No.4 Little Mix's apparent swansong Between Us climbs to a new peak of No.3, coinciding neatly with the trio's final live shows together.