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Chart Watch Weekly - August 30th 2021

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Welcome to edition No.2 of the Chart Watch weekly, because we’re far too new to take the bank holiday off. Awkwardly though Official Charts do, meaning no midweek updates are posted for Monday and delaying any official announcement of what the albums chart looks like at the midweek stage. More on that later.
In this week’s lashed together edition:
  • Glorious Nines
  • Frangipane Bushes
  • Roundups from America, Australia and Italy
  • Your sneak peek at the Monday midweeks

Running Out Of Habit Jokes
No, seriously I have. I’ve tried to open as many Music Week chart analyses as possible with variations on the theme of Ed Sheeran becoming a habit and I’m sure there aren’t any more left to do.
Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran this week spends its ninth week on top of the UK Singles chart, and that’s a devil of a long time. In fact, for decades it was the ultimate in No.1 stays. Two records had made it into double figures, but that was back in the 1950s when things were a bit different. No, the truly epic No.1 singles were the ones that made it to nine weeks. Bohemian Rhapsody - nine weeks. Mull Of Kintyre - nine weeks. You’re The One That I Want - nine weeks. Two Tribes - nine weeks. You get the picture.
So well done to Ed I guess for hitting that benchmark, even though it is actually the second single this year to hit the nine-week mark - Drivers License was the first. Although surprising though it may sound this is the first time since 2016 (when One Dance and Rockabye made the grade) that two singles have enjoyed nine consecutive weeks at the top in the same year. It still doesn’t happen all that often - although it probably would have done in 2017 but for the run of Despacito being interrupted by a charity single.
Excite Me With More Numbers James
Sheeran’s streaming numbers are still quite phenomenal. Bad Habits managed to accumulate a further 10 million plays this last week. And that puts it into unique territory, the only non-festive single to date to post numbers above 10 million (regarded by me as the dividing line between the very biggest hits and the rest) on five occasions.
Why “non-festive”? Because of course there’s one track which has done it before, albeit over a three year period. All I Want For Christmas Is You. Bloody Mariah.
Bring In The New
Ed Sheeran - Visiting Hours [Official Performance Video]
Ed Sheeran - Visiting Hours [Official Performance Video]
OK look, we are still going to have to talk about him. As expected the new Ed Sheeran track Visiting Hours is indeed the highest new entry of the week. Despite my pessimism, it still clung on for what turned out to be a Top 5 new entry. It is technically only a “promotional single” ie, not pushed to radio stations or even without a proper video for now. So its failure to challenge for No.1 should not be too much of a shock. It’s just been flung out to further whet the appetite for the new album (due in October) and to stop people getting too bored with the long-running No.1. Not a bad strategy overall.
It means the British superstar can now boast 30 Top 10 singles (even if that total is slightly over-inflated by most of the tracks from Divide landing there following the album’s release in 2017, back when they were still permitted to. But they still count.
On the all-time list he’s now level with Rihanna, although you can argue amongst yourselves as to who is above him.
That’s because there are two different lists of “most Top 10 hits” circulating.
The one that should truly count is Official Charts’ own, they define the rules after all, and the one I have to officially reference too. However, there is also the one on Wikipedia which counts hits individuals have had as members of groups as well as solo work - which is actually fair enough given that Robbie Williams is credited with a huge number of hits by this method. But it also means Ed Sheeran and Rihanna now technically have the same number of Top 10 hits as Cheryl Cole-Tweedy-Nolastname. Which doesn’t sit quite as comfortably does it?
Click Upload
The second-highest new entry of the week is Wid It by Tion Wayne and Ardee which very nearly made a mockery of my predictions in last week’s issue, only just managing to sneak into the Top 20 at No.19. But I’m tired of sharing videos for impenetrable rap singles, so how about we enjoy the sound of the next biggest new hit which hands a debut to former YouTuber turned mainstream recording star Clinton Kane. Yes, it is another intense love ballad from a bloke and which effectively treads the same path as Lewis Capaldi and James Arthur do. But never underestimate the British public and their love of having their heart strings tugged. This is either going to vanish quickly without trace or be lodged in the Top 5 from now until Christmas.
Clinton Kane - I GUESS I'M IN LOVE (Official Video)
Clinton Kane - I GUESS I'M IN LOVE (Official Video)
Nugget Of The Week
Here’s a detail you won’t read anywhere else:
Doja Cat has four tracks all vying for attention at the moment, which means life gets a little complicated when you are restricted to just three on the singles chart itself. She is No.11 with her latest banger Need To Know and up to No.20 with Woman, but her other two hits are currently playing the chart hokey-cokey with each other. Back IN this week is the longer-running (and ACR restricted) Kiss Me More which re-enters at No.38 a fortnight after vanishing from sight, relegating Ain’t S**t from sight after an eight week run. Yet exactly which one was going to chart wasn’t clear until the final table was produced as both singles are neck and neck. Kiss Me More charts with 10,357 chart sales. Ain’t S**t is precisely one place behind with 10,340 sales and would otherwise be this week’s No.39 hit. Watch them swap places next time around.
Across The Atlantic
The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber's 'Stay' Leads Hot 100 for Third Week, Lizzo & Cardi B's 'Rumors' Bows in Top Five
As you were then, as Stay tops the American charts for the fourth straight week with what Billboard reports as 63.4m radio airplay impressions, 31.7m streams and 13,700 downloads. Strange though it may sound, that is enough to make it Justin Bieber’s second longest-running Hot 100 #1 single to date. He’s the master of the short stay, generally only managing two or three weeks on the bounce. His only other single to spend longer at the top was Despacito which remained there for the small matter of 16 weeks.
Say what you like about the ACR process on the British charts, it does freshen things up every so often. America has no such system in operation meaning the biggest hits can linger for an interminably long time. See Levitating by Dua Lipa in there? This is the track’s 34th week as a Top 10 single, the third-longest run of all time. Only Blinding Lights (57) and Circles (39) have ever hung around longer.
billboard
.@Olivia_Rodrigo’s "Sour" album returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. https://t.co/tzexSf6g1a
Meanwhile, just as here in Britain, the vinyl release of Sour has propelled Olivia Rodrigo back to the top of the Billboard 200, this is now its fourth week at the top in total. In Britain it has managed five.
Down Under
The charts in English-language nations are startlingly consistent. If it isn’t Ed Sheeran at the top then it is Bieber and Kid Laroi, Stay remaining immovable at the top of the Australian countdown for what is now its seventh week at the summit. Although Ed Sheeran is just behind and thanks to Visiting Hours now has two of the Top 3 singles.
The globalisation of pop means that everything at the top end of the Australian charts is almost tediously familiar. The biggest exclusively antipodean hit present sits at No.16 but even this is just another club reworking of an old hit (in this case the startlingly original choice of Dreams). But its creator Joylon Petch is a Kiwi which makes this a (sort of) local hit.
Jolyon Petch - Dreams (Official Lyric Video)
Jolyon Petch - Dreams (Official Lyric Video)
Euro-vision
The Italians however are refreshingly parochial in their music tastes and their charts are generally crammed full of homegrown acts. Meaning that Stay languishes at No.4 and Bad Habits is a lowly No.7 which is as high as it has climbed so far.
Here’s Italy’s current No.1 single then, Mi Fai Impazzire (You Drive Me Crazy) by Blanco and Sfera Ebbasta, two guys who are best known as rappers but who seem to sing (via autotune) much of this suspiciously Weeknd-alike track.
BLANCO, Sfera Ebbasta - MI FAI IMPAZZIRE
BLANCO, Sfera Ebbasta - MI FAI IMPAZZIRE
Midweek Teases
Look, I hate to break it to you but nothing for now is going to shift Ed Sheeran from the top, meaning his tenth week at the summit is pretty much a foregone conclusion. A new “girl power” remix of Anne-Marie and Little Mix’s Kiss My (Uh-Oh) which (perhaps unnecessarily) adds new vocals from Becky Hill, RAYE and Stefflon Don could well propel it into the Top 10 after several weeks of languishing on the cusp of the Top 20.
Speaking of jump-ons, the much-talked-of Megan Thee Stallion-augmented version of BTS’ Butter finally came out this week, this after she claimed she had to take her label to court for the right to release it. It could well mean the highest new entry of the week is actually a re-entry as the track storms back into the Top 20 after having first peaked at No.3. But the single is actually a bit unlucky here, as it is still subject to the ACR status it crashed to at the end of its original 11-week chart run meaning its streams have half the value of the tracks around it. Without that restriction, the BTS track (at least based on first midweeks) would actually be heading for the Top 5.
Albums predictions are a little more awkward. As noted above, the Bank Holiday in England means that no midweek data was produced today (Monday), delaying the first official midweek albums update until tomorrow. That means there’s no information already in the public domain that I can legitimately share here.
What I can tell you is that in a busy week for new releases You Signed Up For This by Maisie Peters, Screen Violence by Chvrches, Only Honest On The Weekend and If I Can’t Have Love I Want Power by Halsey are all set to be the biggest new albums of the week. To find out the exact order in which they are set to chart, however, you will have to wait for the official update to find out.
Personally, I think Halsey should win the week simply for this tweet from Friday, engaging candidly and humorously with the online chatter about one of the more eye-opening scenes from the hour-long film she and director Colin Tilley made to accompany the female power concept album.
h
I promise I had a real bush underneath it I just couldn’t grow it thick enough 😩 https://t.co/YVfHykvBwP
Thankfully that’s all for this week, thank you for reading. Next week’s issue will be a guaranteed pop star pubes-free edition. Don’t forget the new UK charts are announced by Radio One from 5pm every Friday, can be seen in full on officialcharts.com and musicweek.com, and subscribers to the latter can read my exclusive chart analysis from 6pm that day.
There’s no charge for this newsletter, and never will be. But if you fancy thanking me for the work that goes into putting it together, then you can always buy me a coffee:
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James Masterton
James Masterton @chartupdate

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