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Sep 30

Charts – 29 September 2023

Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2023 by Paul in Music

We’ve got some unexpected new entries in the singles chart this week.

1. Doja Cat – “Paint the Town Red”
29. Doja Cat – “Agora Hills”

Doja Cat gets a fourth week at number 1, but her album “Scarlet” is also out this week, and lands at number 5. That’s actually two places below her 2021 album “Planet Her”, but as we’ll see, it’s a busy week at the top end of the album chart. The somewhat less instant release week single “Agora Hills” also charts – her third track on the top 100 is the promotional single “Demons”, which only got to number 53 on release, and re-enters at 87 on the strength of the album.


Sep 25

Charts – 22 September 2023

Posted on Monday, September 25, 2023 by Paul in Music

This is one of the busier weeks we’ve had in the singles chart for a while.

1. Doja Cat – “Paint the Town Red”

Three weeks, over Olivia Rodrigo at 2. Doja Cat’s album is out this week, and as you’d expect, the midweeks expect her to get a fourth week.

8. Tate McRae – “Greedy”

This is the lead single from her next album. Tate McRae had her first UK hit during the pandemic, when “You Broke Me First” reached number 3. With hindsight, that track now looks out wildly out of character, as she seems to have shifted into a dance pop artist. She’s had a couple of minor solo hits since, and got a second top 10 hit last year along with Tiesto on “10:35”. This finally gives her a second major hit of her own.


Sep 18

Charts – 15 September 2023

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2023 by Paul in Music

At last, stability.

1. Doja Cat – “Paint the Town Red”

After three tracks that only lasted a week at number 1, Doja Cat makes it to two. Apparently the margin is fairly comfortable.

7. Olivia Rodrigo – “Get Him Back”

This is the release week single from “Guts”, which becomes her second number one album and outsells the first. Admittedly, part of that is because she now has the sort of fanbase who buy the physical formats in week one. The She has her maximum three singles all in the top 10 – “Vampire”, one of the one-week number ones, rebounds to 2, and “Bad Idea Right” leaps back from 12 to 3 (having previously peaked at 6 a month ago).


Sep 9

Charts – 8 September 2023

Posted on Saturday, September 9, 2023 by Paul in Music

Continuing the rapid turnover, here’s the fourth new number one in as many weeks.

1. Doja Cat – “Paint the Town Red”

The last few number ones were all tracks that had been stuck behind “Sprinter” for ages. “Paint the Town Red” isn’t exactly new – it entered at number 20 four weeks ago – but it’s newer, and might have a reasonable shot of lasting longer.  It’s Doja Cat’s first number one; her previous best was number 2 for her debut hit “Say So” in 2020. The original sample, Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By”, only got to number 9 in 1964.

For the highest new entry, we have to go down to the bottom end of the top 20.


Sep 1

Charts – 1 September 2023

Posted on Friday, September 1, 2023 by Paul in Music

After the epic ten-week run of Dave & Central Cee’s “Sprinter”, we seem to be in a phase of the records it held off taking their turn at number one. Two weeks ago we had Billie Eilish. Last week it was Dua Lipa. And now, a record that wasn’t even number 1 in the midweeks…

1. Olivia Rodrigo – “Vampire”

This is the third number one for Olivia Rodrigo, following “Drivers Licence” and “Good 4 U” from her previous album. It’s not even the current single – that’s “Bad Idea Right”, which is a non-mover at 11 this week. “Vampire” is on its ninth week, and it spent the first four stuck at number 2 behind “Sprinter”. It’s never dropped before 5, but it’s still impressive for it to fight its way back to number 1.

The record at number 1 in the midweeks was “Paint the Town Red” by Doja Cat, which winds up at number 2. It must still be in with a shot next week. And if you’re wondering what happened to Dua Lipa, she gets hammered by the downweighting rule this week and drops straight to number 15.


Aug 26

Charts – 25 August 2023

Posted on Saturday, August 26, 2023 by Paul in Music

As anticipated, Billie Eilish only manages a single week – which means she’s now had two 1-week number ones. We’re still in Barbie territory, though.

1. Dua Lipa – “Dance the Night (From Barbie the Album)”

Climbing to number 1 in its thirteenth week on chart. This has grown on me somewhat, but it still strikes me as something of a generic Dua Lipa track. It’s her fourth number 1, following “New Rules” (2017), “One Kiss” (2018) and “Cold Heart” (2021). The Billie Eilish track is at number 2, and we’ve also got “Barbie World” at 9, “Speed Drive” at 15, and “I’m Just Ken” at 22. Overall, the Barbie wave seems to have crested, and given how long it took Dua Lipa to get here in the first place, I suspect she won’t be here too long.

In an absurdly quiet week for new singles, there is just a single new entry on the top 40. There’s also a slightly baffling re-entry for “Dog Days are Over” by Florence & The Machine at number 27, which appears to have had its downweighting reset on the very tenuous basis that it’s in a film soundtrack on Disney+ – but it already reached number 21 earlier in the year.

But what about that new entry? Ah. Well.


Aug 22

Charts – 18 August 2023

Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 by Paul in Music

At long last, “Sprinter” by Dave & Central Cee is comfortably past its peak and gets hit by the downweighting rule – with the result that it drops straight to number 10 after a ten-week run at number 1. Thanks to that, our new number one is…

1. Billie Eilish – “What Was I Made For”

Not by a huge margin, admittedly. Dua Lipa is number 2, and the midweeks have her taking the slot next week. But it’s Billie Eilish’s second number one, and a very good record, too. The other one was “No Time To Die”, which had a single week at number one in 2020, so she’s in the odd position that her two biggest hits both come from film soundtracks. This one is more characteristic of her normal work, though. And hey, she’s had another 7 top ten hits to go with them both.


Aug 12

Charts – 11 August 2023

Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2023 by Paul in Music

For the first time in a while, this is a dead week for the singles chart.

1. Dave & Central Cee – “Sprinter”

That’s 10 weeks, tying with Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers” as the longest running number one of the year. In theory, the next target is Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits”, which had 11 weeks in 2021. But “Sprinter” is due to be hit by the downweighting rule next week, so in practical terms it has no prospect of getting there. The top three is all non-movers – in fact, there are six non-movers in the top 10 – so Billie Eilish has a reasonable shot of taking the number 1 by default next week.

20. Doja Cat – “Paint the Town Red”

Doja Cat’s previous single “Attention” stalled at number 37, but probably achieved its actual goal of signalling that she’s tacking away from pop. That means we can follow it up with a track with a nice familiar sample – “Walk On By”, which reached number 9 for Dionne Warwick in 1964. Warwick’s biggest UK hit was actually “Heartbreaker”, which got to number 2 in 1982. “Walk On By” has also been a hit single for the Stranglers (number 21 in 1978), Sybil (number 6 in 1990) and Gabrielle (number 7 in 1997). The 1962 top 5 hit of the same name by Leroy Van Dyke is a different song entirely.


Aug 5

Charts – 4 August 2023

Posted on Saturday, August 5, 2023 by Paul in Music

Not even Barbie can shift this. Well, not yet.

1. Dave & Central Cee – “Sprinter”

That’s nine weeks – it needs one more week to match Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers” from earlier in the year. It’s not due to get hit by the downweighting rule last week because it isn’t far enough past its peak yet, so it’s got a decent chance of getting there. It’s not a track I would have predicted having this much sustained popularity, but there you go. Central Cee has another track out this week too, but we’ll get to that later.

It’s holding off three Barbie tracks – Billie Eilish at 2, Dua Lipa at 3 and Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice at 4, with Charli XCX also entering the top 10 at number 9.

10. Travis Scott featuring Drake – “Meltdown”
13. Travis Scott featuring Playboi Carti – “Fein”
21. Travis Scott – “Hyaena”

That’s the maximum three tracks from Travis Scott’s fourth album “Utopia”. It’s his first UK number 1 album, but since the chart positions for the previous three were 22, 19 and 3, it’s not a huge surprise. He’s not a consistent singles act in the UK, despite having a few big hits to his credit (his peak was number 2 in 2019 with “Highest in the Room”). The lead single for this album was “K-Pop”, which got to number 24 last week, and gets immediately shouldered aside by these tracks.


Jul 29

Charts – 28 July 2023

Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2023 by Paul in Music

Hope you like pink.

1. Dave & Central Cee – “Sprinter”

That’s eight weeks. Still two weeks to go before they match “Flowers” from earlier in the year. “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo remains stuck at number 2 for a fourth week, and after that we have the march of the Barbie soundtrack, with Billie Eilish at 3, Dua Lipa at 4 and Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice at 5. Apparently, this is the first time a single movie soundtrack has produced three simultaneous top 5 hits. (Three simultaneous top 10 hits has been done before, by EncantoGrease and Saturday Night Fever.)

But the three song rule only applies to artists, not compilation albums. It applied to Encanto because even though individual tracks were credited to different actors, the chart treated it as a single album by The Cast of EncantoBarbie‘s album is a true compilation of unrelated acts, which means the whole lot can chart if people listen to it all. So…

19. Charli XCX – “Speed Drive (From Barbie The Album)”

Charli XCX hasn’t had a top 20 hit of her own since “1999” in 2018 (though she did guest on a Joel Corry track in 2021). This is the one which interpolates the hook from “Mickey” by Toni Basil (number 2 in 1982, and yes, it’s her only UK hit). “Mickey” is actually a gender-swapped cover of a 1979 album track by Racey, originally called “Kitty” – it’s a Chinn/Chapman song. But the original version doesn’t have the cheerleader chant that “Speed Drive” lifts – that’s Toni Basil’s contribution. Racey are almost entirely forgotten now, but they had two top 5 hits in 1978-9.