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Mar 18

Charts – 17 March 2017

Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2017 by Paul in Music

You’ll never guess.

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You”

That’s ten weeks, which would normally be a big deal in its own right.  But leave that aside.  Last week Sheeran swamped the top end of the chart, placing all sixteen albums tracks from ÷ in the top 20, and taking nine slots in the top ten.  Now in the past, when album tracks have entered the singles chart en masse, they’ve mostly gone away after the first week.  Not so here – Ed Sheeran still has nine slots in the top ten, and the entire album is still placing in the top 30.  Which makes my job a lot easier this week, since there’s very little room for anyone else to enter the charts.


Mar 14

Charts – 10 March 2016

Posted on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 by Paul in Music

Full Force Sheeran.  FFS.

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You” 

That’s nine weeks, which matches the nine week run of the record it replaced, Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye”.  So we’ve had a grand total of two number one singles in 18 weeks.  In itself that’s not unprecedented, but it’s tended to happen when one record stays at the top for months on end (like Drake’s “One Dance” last year).  Two records in a row, both with nine weeks… that’s not happened before.

So.  Last week, we established that Stormzy can release an album and get six tracks into the top 40.  This week Ed Sheeran has his album ÷ out.  And Ed Sheeran is a bit more high profile than Stormzy.

2.  Ed Sheeran – “Galway Girl”


Mar 7

Charts – 3 March 2017

Posted on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 by Paul in Music

Okay… so, I was planning to review the Extraordinary X-Men tie-in issues of Inhumans vs X-Men last week, but with one thing or another I haven’t got to that yet.  So we’d best do the chart post before it gets completely out of date.  Reviews soon.

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You”

Eight weeks.  Since the previous number one, “Rockabye”, also managed eight (nine, in fact), this matches the all-time record for chart slowness.  We haven’t had two eight-week number ones in a row since the 50s, which is practically chart prehistory.


Feb 28

Charts – 24 February 2017

Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 by Paul in Music

By today’s standards, it’s a busy week!

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You”

That’s seven weeks.  This seems like a good time to remind you that the previous number one was “Rockabye” by Clean Bandit, which lasted nine.  Anyway, it’s been seven weeks, so it feels like time for another single from the album…

2.  Ed Sheeran – “How Would You Feel (Paean)”


Feb 20

Charts – 17 February 2017

Posted on Monday, February 20, 2017 by Paul in Music

This is a gloriously uneventful chart, so let’s bang through it.

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You”

That’s six weeks, though with the rest of the chart pretty much dead, it’s not exactly a surprise.  The logjam in the top 2 is broken, at least, as “Castle on the Hill” finally drops to 3, with “Human” by Rag’N’Bone Man returning to number 2.  That’s thanks to the release of the parent album.  But wait – Ed Sheeran has just released another single!  So he could be at the top for some time to come, in one form or another.

5.  Zayn & Taylor Swift – “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades)”

Up four.

7.  Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley – “Chained to the Rhythm”


Feb 6

Charts – 3 February 2017

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2017 by Paul in Music

Hey, we did a podcast, and it’s one post down!  Meanwhile, it’s Dua Lipa Week on the UK top 40.

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape of You” 

Fourth week, and “Castle on the Hill” is still at number 2.  Nothing else is particularly close, so this could last a while yet.  The album “x” rebounds to number 4, and “+” is back up to 21, because people really really like Ed Sheeran.  Maybe he’s an oasis of calm in uncertain times. (more…)

Jan 31

Charts – 27 January 2017

Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 by Paul in Music

Not a very eventful week, but hey, at least there are some new videos!

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You”

Third week, with “Castle On The Hill” still locked at 2.  “Shape Of You” had 56,000 downloads and 9.57 million streams.  It’s likely to be here for a while to come.  And it has a video now, because that’s the modern way – the video isn’t there to build to the release any more, it’s there to give it a boost once it’s underway.


Jan 25

Charts – 20 January 2017

Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 by Paul in Music

To be honest, it’s a pretty quiet week, now that all the corrections from last week’s recalibration are out of the way.  But let’s get it covered anyway.

1.  Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You”
2.  Ed Sheeran – “Castle On The Hill”


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.