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Nov 6

Charts – 5 November 2021

Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2021 by Paul in Music

Ed Sheeran has an album out, but fortunately we’ve heard most of the hits already.

1. Adele – “Easy On Me”

Three weeks. That matches the run of “Hello”.

4. Ed Sheeran – “Overpass Graffiti”

This is the release-week single from his album “=”, which naturally becomes his fifth number one. All of his albums since 2011 have reached number 1 – that’s “+”, “÷”, “x” and “No 6 Collaborations Project”. The two previous singles, “Shivers” and “Bad Habits”, rebound to 2 and 3 respectively, so no doubt if we didn’t have the three-song rule, he’d be swamping the charts. I’m slightly surprised that the final single didn’t get a number one, but I guess it’s diluted somewhat by the release of a whole album of material.


Nov 1

Charts – 29 October 2021

Posted on Monday, November 1, 2021 by Paul in Music

I’m starting to wonder if people have given up on releasing new singles.

1. Adele – “Easy On Me”

Two weeks. Adele’s longest-running number one was “Someone Like You” (five non-consecutive weeks in 2011). So that’s a way off. But it heads up a static top four, with two former number 1s making up the rest of the top 3 – and the rest of the top 10 is just records that have passed their peak shuffling places around. It’s not like the challengers are queuing up.

15. The Swedish House Mafia & The Weeknd – “Moth to a Flame”


Oct 22

Charts – 22 October 2021

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2021 by Paul in Music

Now this is something different.

1. Adele – “Easy On Me”
25. Adele – “When We Were Young”
34. Adele – “Someone Like You”

Adele hasn’t released anything since 2016, and her last single, “Water Under the Bridge”, reached number 39. Admittedly, it wasn’t exactly heavily promoted. Still – five years is a long time, and you could be forgiven for thinking that fourteen years into her career, Adele might become an elder statesman on the album chart.

Quite the opposite. A new Adele single, it turns out, is huge. The previous weekly streaming record was 16.9 million; “Easy On Me” shatters it, at 24 million. The other two Adele singles in the chart aren’t B-sides or tracks from the album (which isn’t out yet). People have just been inspired to go out and listen to her back catalogue. They aren’t the obvious choices, either – “Someone Like You” was a number 1 in 2011, but “When We Were Young” wasn’t one of her biggest hits; it got to number 9 in 2015.


Oct 15

Charts – 15 October 2021

Posted on Friday, October 15, 2021 by Paul in Music

At last, deliverance is upon us.

1. Elton John & Dua Lipa – “Cold Heart”

In its 9th week on the top 40, and following three weeks at number 2, “Cold Heart” climbs to the top and spares us all a sixteenth week of Ed Sheeran. Bryan Adams remains unmatched.

I explained all this back when “Cold Heart” first charted, but it’s the latest in a series of tracks by the Australian trio Pnau, constructing new dance tracks from chunks of the Elton John back catalogue. In this case, that’s supplemented by original vocals from Dua Lipa, but still sticking to Elton John elements. The main sources for “Cold Heart”, and the most immediately recognisable, are “Rocket Man” and “Sacrifice”, but it also draws on two more obscure tracks, “Kiss the Bride” and (in the fade out) the album track “Where’s the Shoorah?”


Oct 9

Charts – 8 October 2021

Posted on Saturday, October 9, 2021 by Paul in Music

After a few fairly quiet weeks on the singles chart, here’s an absolutely dead one!

1. Ed Sheeran – “Shivers”

Four weeks at number one, and it was preceded by eleven weeks for Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” (currently at number 6). So Ed Sheeran has now been at number one for 15 weeks, which matches Drake’s run in 2016. Of course, Drake did it with just one song – “One Dance” – but it’s still an uncommon level of dominance. For the next target, you’re going back to 1991, when Bryan Adams spent 16 weeks at number 1 with “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”.

Number 2 is still “Cold Heart” by Elton John and Dua Lipa, which has been stuck there for three weeks now.

32. Billie Eilish – “No Time To Die”

So here’s an artefact of the pandemic. This is the theme tune to the new Bond film… and it was originally released last February, when the promotion was just starting to ramp up. It spent a week at number 1 on release, and managed ten weeks in the top 40. It now re-enters a year-and-a-half later. Her current single, “Happier Than Ever”, also climbs back into the top 10, sitting at 9.


Oct 5

Charts – 1 October 2021

Posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 by Paul in Music

It’s another extremely quiet week for the singles.

1. Ed Sheeran – “Shivers”

Three weeks, but if you combine it with the preceding run of “Bad Habits”, it’s a total of 14 weeks. If he manages another, he matches Drake’s 15-week monopoly from 2015 (though Drake did it with just one single).

3. Coldplay & BTS – “My Universe”

Well, that’s certainly two acts I wouldn’t have expected to find on the same record. I’m not sure anyone ever listened to a BTS record and thought “If only they were doing a Coldplay song”, but here it is. It’s the second single from the next Coldplay album and very much Coldplay’s record; the all-purpose upliftingness is a reasonable fit for BTS, to be fair, but it’s still just kind of what you expect from the big single for a Coldplay album, just with bits of it in Korean.


Sep 25

Charts – 24 September 2021

Posted on Saturday, September 25, 2021 by Paul in Music

It will never end…

1. Ed Sheeran – “Shivers”

That’s a second week for “Shivers”, but combined with the 11-week run of “Bad Habits” immediately before it, it means that he’s now been at number one for 13 weeks. That matches his own record from 2017, when he spent 13 weeks at number 1 with “Shape of You”. The next target for him is 15 weeks, which would match the run of Drake’s “One Dance” from 2015.

10. Lil Nas X – “Thats What I Want”

That’s not a typo. There’s no apostrophe in the title. It’s the release week single from his album “Montero”, which enters at number 2. Officially “Montero” is meant to be his debut studio album, but his EP “7” reached number 23 in 2019, and that had “Old Town Road” and “Panini” on it, so it’s kind of hard to say it doesn’t count.


Sep 18

Charts – 17 September 2021

Posted on Saturday, September 18, 2021 by Paul in Music

A lot of good stuff this week!

1. Ed Sheeran – “Shivers”

Well, the 11-week reign of Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” is over, and it’s replaced by another Ed Sheeran song. (A better one, if you ask me, though the video is trying way too hard.) “Bad Habits” is still hanging on at a very respectable number 3, and while we’ve all probably forgotten about it, he has a third track on the chart too – “Visiting Hours”, which entered at number 5 at the start of the month and is currently at 19.


Sep 11

Charts – 9 September 2021

Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2021 by Paul in Music

Okay, so you know how I said I was hoping this wouldn’t hang on any longer?

1. Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”

That’s 11 weeks – an especially difficult feat under the current chart rules, which downweight the streams of tracks that have been out for more than ten weeks, if they’re also a few weeks past their peak. It matches the 11-week run of “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I from the tail end of 2019. The next target in sight is Sheeran’s own “Shape of You”, which had a 14-week run at number one in early 2017 (though only thirteen of those weeks were consecutive). I don’t fancy his chances of making it that far under the current rules, but you never know.

Anyway, Ed Sheeran proves unbudgeable in the face of…

2. Drake featuring Lil Baby – “Girls Want Girls”
3. Drake featuring Travis Scott – “Fair Trade”
5. Drake – “Champagne Poetry”

I’ll be honest – if it’s a choice between an eleventh week of Ed Sheeran, and a song called “Girls Want Girls” from an album called “Certified Lover Boy”, I’m kind of rooting for Ed Sheeran. Besides which, “Girls” and “Fair Trade” feel like water-treading to me. “Champagne Poetry” is more interesting, though I can’t shake the feeling that it might be in the top three tracks simply by virtue of being the opening track.


Sep 4

Charts – 3 September 2021

Posted on Saturday, September 4, 2021 by Paul in Music

Please go away. Please.

1. Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”

Well, that’s ten weeks. If he’s past his peak, the chart rules will downweight him next week and he’ll be on his way. If not, and he manages an eleventh week, that’ll be the longest run at the top since “Dance Monkey” in late 2019. It heads up a static top four, for the second week running – “Stay” by Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber has been stuck at number 2 for five weeks now and would clearly have been a number one single against any normal competition.

7. Kanye West – “Hurricane”
11. Kanye West – “Jail”
15. Kanye West – “Off the Grid”

The maximum three permitted tracks from his new album “Donda”, which enters at number 1. It’s only his third number 1 album in the UK, the others being 2007’s “Graduation” and 2013’s “Yeezus”, but his last two albums both made number 2, so this hardly ranks as a surprise. There are no official singles from this album, and the only track with a video is “Come to Life” (which is just footage from one of his album playback events).