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Jan 13

Charts – 13 January 2017

Posted on Friday, January 13, 2017 by Paul in Music

It is 2017, and Ed Sheeran is upon us.

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You”

2.  Ed Sheeran – “Castle On The Hill”

Yes, new entries at both 1 and 2.  What he’s done here, in traditional terms, is to release a Double A-side, but it’s 2016 and so both tracks register separately.  We’ve never had simultaneous new entries at number 1 and 2 by the same artist.  Mind you, in fairness, not many bands have actually tried releasing two singles simultaneously: in terms of major chart players, you’re pretty much looking at the Manic Street Preachers in 2001 (and they landed at 8 and 9).  If you want to be really technical about it, one other act has at least appeared on simultaneous new entries at numbers 1 and 2: George Michael, in 1984.  But one of them was “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, so it’s a bit of a special case.


Jan 7

Charts – 6 January 2017

Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2017 by Paul in Music

The chart for the week after Christmas is traditionally an oddity; the Christmas singles all disappear, a bunch of tracks getting year-in-review airplay rise to fill the void, and not much else goes on.  This year, we have added wrinkle.  When streaming data was added to the chart, it raised a new issue for the chart.  Instead of just counting sales, there was now a subjective element: how to weight sales against streams?  They went for 100 streams = 1 sale.  Starting this week, that’s been changed to 150, which tilts the balance somewhat back in the direction of sales (though if streams keep growing, it won’t be long before we’re back where we started).

Is this a more refined view of the respective value of sales and streams (whatever “value” might mean in this context), or just an attempt to get some more movement into the chart, which was unusually sluggish in 2016?  Probably the latter, because while the chart is officially there to measure popularity, its unspoken function is to serve as a publicity device; and to do that, it needs people to pay attention; and to get people to pay attention, it needs stuff to happen.  But you can make a case that things had become imbalanced: tracks that were selling strongly but lacked streaming support were missing the top 40 altogether.


Dec 31

Charts – 30 December 2016

Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2016 by Paul in Music

Normally the chart between Christmas and New Year is a bit dead.  This time, there’s actually some back catalogue re-entries to talk about – but not the ones you’re probably expecting.

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye”


Dec 26

Charts – 23 December 2016

Posted on Monday, December 26, 2016 by Paul in Music

Ah, Christmas.  I’m determined to clear some of my reviews backlog over the coming days, but this is the chart with the 2016 Christmas number one, so I’d better do it while it’s still vaguely topical.  If you haven’t seen the link already, though, do look below for the nominations thread for the Homies!

But first…

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye”

And that’s your 2016 Christmas number 1.  Since it’s spending its seventh week at the top, and its sales (even the notional figure including streaming) are nothing special by the standards of the Christmas chart, you could see this as a bit of an anticlimax.  But really it’s the anticlimax that’s the story here.  What’s happening here is basically the failure of the usual Christmas number 1 circus to occur.


Dec 20

Chart – 16 December 2016

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 by Paul in Music

Well, this is interesting.  This is the chart before the Christmas number one.  In recent years it’s tended to be quiet – the regular record industry shut down for Christmas, the last-minute novelty singles and charity releases waiting for their one-week surge.  But this year we have a more normal chart, notable if anything for having a couple of high profile new releases.  Has the record industry decided that maybe, with the charity releases hobbled by the addition of streaming data to the charts, this might just be the year when a regular release gets to be Christmas number one again?  If the midweek charts are to be believed – and they’ve been notably less accurate this year – then the answer is “yes”.  (This is also likely to be the point where the general public twig to just what a difference streaming has made to the chart.)

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye”

But first, Clean Bandit celebrate six weeks at number one.  That means it overtakes “7 Years” and “Cold Water” to have the second longest run this year.  (Obviously, there isn’t time for it to beat Drake’s 15-week monopoly.)  It has a perfectly realistic chance of hanging on for Christmas.

2.  Louis Tomlinson & Steve Aoki – “Just Hold On”


Dec 7

Charts – 2 December 2016

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 by Paul in Music

I’d planned to get another X-Axis review up by now, but it’s going to be another day or two.  Anyway, it’ll be the previous Old Man Logan arc (since the book’s already on to the next one, so…)

Meanwhile, the top 40.  Hope you like the Weeknd.

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye” 

First, a fourth week for Clean Bandit, which matches the run of “Rather Be” two years ago.  (When, admittedly, four-week runs were rather less common.) The midweeks have it on course for a fifth week.

3.  The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk – “Starboy”
9.  The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk – “I Feel It Coming”
17.  The Weeknd – “Party Monster”
26.  The Weeknd – “Rockin'”
30.  The Weeknd featuring Kendrick Lamar – “Sidewalks”
39.  The Weeknd – “Reminder”


Nov 29

Charts – 25 November 2016

Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 by Paul in Music

It’s pretty much a dead week, to be honest.  Traditionally, we’d be approaching the winter shutdown around this time: unless you were trying to sneak a hit, you generally didn’t try to release or promote a regular single during the Christmas and New Year period.  In the streaming era, when records can take a month or so to slow-build anyway, this may not hold – people might figure it’s worth putting something out and seeing if it takes off at the start of January.  But it’s all  looking familiarly quiet right now.

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye” 

Three weeks.  It still needs a fourth to match the run of “Rather Be” in February 2014.  But along the lines of what I’ve just said, it’ll soon be time for the papers to start filling space by blathering about the race for Christmas Number 1.


Nov 21

Charts – 18 November 2016

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2016 by Paul in Music

Right, then… I will get back to a regular schedule later this week, with Deadpool v Gambit finally getting that review, followed by Uncanny X-Men Annual and an Old Man Logan arc a bit later, and maybe a wrestling post (depending on whether I want to write about the show in question once I’ve, you know, actually seen it).  Meantime, let’s clear this one away: a moribund top half of the chart, but a few more surprises lower down.

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye”

Second week.  It’s now number one in streaming as well as sales.

4.  Rae Sremmurd featuring Gucci Mane – “Black Beatles”

Blimey.  That’s a 28-place climb, which is quite something for a track that was propelled into the charts as a meme soundtrack (especially since it isn’t a novelty record).

23.  Nevada featuring Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap – “The Mack” (more…)

Nov 17

Charts – 11 November 2016

Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2016 by Paul in Music

Yes, I really will get to Deadpool v Gambit.  But you see, I explained last week that I was leaving it until I was in a better mood and…

So!  We’ve got a new number one!  And the next chart is out tomorrow so I’d better get this post up.

1.  Clean Bandit – “Rockabye”


Nov 6

Charts – 4 November 2016

Posted on Sunday, November 6, 2016 by Paul in Music

Okay, so.  I was going to try and get the long overdue Deadpool v. Gambit review done this week, but to be honest, I want to write that one when I’m in a more suitable mood for being positive about a happy little story.  And doing it this way round means the chart post won’t immediately shove the DvG review down the page.  So.

1.  Little Mix – “Shout Out To My Ex”

Third week, so it’s now their joint longest-running number 1, matching last year’s “Black Magic”.  Unusually, this is number one in sales but not in streams (on the streaming-only chart, it slips to number 2, leaving James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” to retake the top spot).  That’s unusual, because it’s tended to be the sales that flare out first.