Twelve weeks now. That passes the eleven weeks of Slim Whitman’s “Rose Marie”, so it’s now the fourth longest single reign at the top, behind “Everything I Do (I Do It For You)”, “Love is All Around” and “One Dance”. (In terms of total weeks at number one, it’s also behind “I Believe” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”, both of which had multiple runs.)
But it was close this week – the notional sales of “Shape of You”, including streaming, were only 5,000 ahead of the number two single. It’s just that the number two single is also Ed Sheeran, in the form of “Galway Girl”, which now has a lyric video and is obviously being positioned as the “next single”, whatever meaning that still has. So while there’s every prospect that “Shape of You” won’t manage thirteen weeks, it’s still likely to be Ed Sheeran. Other Sheeran tracks are still sitting at 5, 12, 19, 22, 23, 27, 28, 33 and 35. Mind you, they are all going down, and “How Would You Feel (Paean)” drops out of the top 40 this week.
Climbing four, but it’s one of only two Drake tracks to climb. The other ones still on the chart are “KMT” at 21, “Get it Together” at 25, “Portland” at 32, “Madiba Riddim” at 34, “No Long Talk” at 37, and “Gyalchester” at 39 – so while he’s still got eight tracks on the chart, four of them are below 30. “Teenage Fever”, “Skepta Interlude”, “4422” and “Free Smoke” all drop out of the top 40. But Drake still becomes the second artist – after you-know-who – not only to flood the chart with tracks from his new album, but to see them stick around for a second week. How common is this going to be from now on?
And here’s your single new entry for the week (the other departing tracks are replaced by re-entries from just outside the top 40). It’s the lead single from Zayn Malik’s upcoming second album and it’s a bit Afrobeat. It’s quite decent, actually. Zayn hasn’t had a really big hit since his solo debut “Pillowtalk” entered at number one, and later singles from that album didn’t get very far. His Fifty Shades Darker track was a slow burner, but that had Taylor Swift on it. Still, you never know – it’s the first track from an album and I can see it building an audience. Partynextdoor gets his second chart credit, having previously guested on Major Lazer’s “Run Up” in February.
This entered at 28 three weeks ago and dropped down to number 40 (partly under the onslaught of Drake) before returning to a new peak this week. There doesn’t seem to be anything in particular driving this rebound, other than weathering the storm and building an audience.
On the album chart:
Ed Sheeran’s “÷” spends a fourth week at number one.
“Wonderland” by Take That enters at 2. The single “Giants” made number 13 last month but dropped straight out of the top 90 (sic) – the Take That audience are still purchasers, and they’re still first-week purchasers. If it doesn’t progress further, “Wonderland” will be the first Take That studio album to miss number one since their 1992 debut – though its sales would normally have been easily enough for the job.
“The Afterlove” by James Blunt is number 6. It’s his fifth album in 12 years and he’s yet to miss the top 10, though this is the lowest place yet. Single: “Bartender”.
“Damage and Joy” by the Jesus and Mary Chain is 16. There’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. The Jesus and Mary Chain reformed a decade ago, but this is their first actual album since 1998’s “Munki”. I’m slightly surprised to learn that their biggest hit single back in the day was “April Skies”, which spent two weeks in the top 10 in 1987. Single (from this album): “Always Sad”.
“Eternity, in Your Arms” by Creeper at 18. Debut album. They’re a horror punk band, apparently, though the single “Suzanne” is more melodic rock.
“Lower the Bar” by Steel Panther at 26. Parody 80s metal band. The previous album got to number 12 so the joke may have peaked. Single: “I Got What You Want”.
“The Night Siren” by Steve Hackett at 28. Former member of Genesis in the 1970s, who’s been releasing solo albums ever since. Single: “Behind The Smoke”. The video defies description. Do watch it.
“Tremaine The Album” by Trey Songz at 40. That’s a big drop off from his previous albums, which made the top 20. Single: “Animal”. It ain’t subtle.