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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.


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”