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Chart Watch Weekly - February 21st 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Welcome friends and silent enemies to another wander around the high and low points of the charts both here and abroad. America has taken the week off, for reasons that will be explained shortly, but there are still plenty of things to chew over including:
Also in this week’s feast for your charts-loving eyes this week:
  • Is the end in sight for Bruno?
  • Australia loves Elton and Dua.
  • The Italian No.1 is a song you’ll be hearing a lot more of soon.
  • (British) Sea Power need your sales!

Tick Tock
So we make that five weeks at No.1 for We Don’t Talk About Bruno, but having noted last week that the single had increased sales every single week it had topped the charts, this week the Encanto track fell back very slightly, last week’s 59.9K sales turning instead to 59.1k. That’s significant as the single is now old enough (8 weeks) to be subject to the ticking of the ACR clock. It means Bruno’s days at the top are numbered if its sales keep on declining in this manner relative to the rest of the market.
As was widely expected Ed Sheeran’s The Joker And The Queen makes its chart bow, some way short of the top of the charts but doing more than enough to reach No.2. This is the first time the epic ballad from Equals has officially charted. In the week of the album’s release last November it was the eighth most-popular cut from the album. landing enough streams to post a notional chart sale of 18,162 which would have been enough to make it comfortably a Top 20 single were it eligible
This rise to prominence is naturally due to the release of the new duet version which adds vocals from Taylor Swift - not that you would know this looking at the chart listing above. Unlike in America where Billboard will cheerfully adjust the artist credit of a song if there’s a particular version which is the overwhelmingly more popular one, Official Charts here generally stick to the rule that the “primary” (ie, first released) version of the track is the one that determines who is credited. And as the Taylor Swift remix is a late arrival to the party, she won’t be acknowledged - unless of course the label make a special case for this to happen.
The application of this rule can sometimes seem a bit inconsistent, and indeed you will note that Ed Sheeran has two of this week’s Top 3 singles by dint of having been added to the credits of Peru, this despite the track first charting last year credited to Fireboy DML alone before the remix that added Sheeran’s contribution had been added to the pile.
In short: nobody has asked for Taylor Swift to be added to the credits for The Joker And The Queen meaning she remains invisible.
As it turned out however the single was never destined to top the charts, at least not this week. A chart sale of a mere 39,000 meant it actually finished some distance behind Bruno in the sales race. And it was never truly in contention.
Oh Girlfriend
This week’s second-highest new entry is Boyfriend from Dove Cameron, the lady who first came to prominence on the Disney Channel series “Liv and Maddie” in which she played both titular roles. Since then she’s been “working on her music” so to speak and in turn working on an online following who are tracking her every move in the studio with what seems like breathless anticipation.
It was the dropping of a snippet of the track which would become Boyfriend as a TikTok sound which drove everyone into a frenzy, prompting what we are being told was a scramble to finish the track and push it out to the public earlier than anticipated. Whilst that particular story may well be what it seems at face value I’m starting to get a little cynical about these tales of online teases that go viral and prompt changes of plans. It makes for a terrific story, but you cannot help but wonder if dropping snippets of songs on social media has now become almost the default way to build up anticipation for a release. With the days of releasing new music to radio several weeks before public availability and allowing demand to build up in large numbers now well behind us (on air/on sale is now the default) you cannot blame artists and labels for attempting ever more elaborate tricks to get people excited about a song they haven’t actually heard properly.
That said, the promotion of the track does appear to be lagging behind somewhat. Last week there was only an audio version available and it is only in the last two days that a lyric video has been made officially available. Perhaps this was a surprise to everyone after all.
Dove Cameron - Boyfriend (Official Lyric Video)
Dove Cameron - Boyfriend (Official Lyric Video)
Dove Cameron’s hit is the seventh Top 75 single to share the title Boyfriend (although we should offer special commiserations to Big Time Rush who topped out at No.76 with a song of that name in 2011. Strangely enough all of them have come in the 21st century, Ashlee Simpson leading the way with her No.12 hit back in 2006. Dove Cameron is in fact the fourth different act to have a hit with a song called Boyfriend in the past three years, hard on the heels of chart singles from Ariana Grande, Mabel and Selena Gomez.
Girl group The Angels were the first act to have a hit single with the word in the title, My Boyfriend’s Back landing on the then bottom rung of No.50 back in 1963. It was fully 19 years until anyone else charted with a “Boyfriend” single, Mari Wilson buzzing to No.51 with Beware (Boyfriend) in November 1982.
Across The Atlantic
billboard charts
This week’s #Hot100, Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. top 10 announcements (charts dated Feb. 26, 2022) will be postponed until Tuesday, February 22, in observance of President's Day.
Pfft. In Britain we produce charts on Good Friday and even on Christmas Day if the calendar requires. Try harder American cousins!
A Land Down Under
The gloriously barmy countdown that is the Australian chart delivers for us once more. Moribund yet again with pretty much nothing new destined to break into the upper reaches any time soon, the merry-go-round of No.1 single rotates once more. Gone (at least for now) is Stay from Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber. Instead, Cold Heart from Elton John and Dua Lipa makes a triumphant return to the summit.
For those who have lost track, this is now the single’s fourth separate spell at No.1. It spent a fortnight at the top in mid-November before succumbing to the twin challenges of Taylor Swift’s All Too Well and Adele’s Easy On Me. But then it returned to see off the year, topping the table for the final three weeks up to Christmas. Another interregnum to allow All I Want For Christmas Is You a token week at the summit followed before Cold Heart returned for its third spell at No.1, this one lasting another three weeks.
And now following another three-week run for Stay, Cold Heart is back once more, this is now its ninth week in total as Australia’s biggest single of the moment.
The highest new entry of the week is - naturally - Ed Sheeran’s The Joker And The Queen at No.11. The likes of Tate McRae and Dove Cameron also chart with their current international hits.
Forza Italia
Italy continues to be Italy with a chart that is almost entirely dominated by domestic acts. The highest-charting international hit there is ABCDEFU which languishes all the way down at No.25.
No.1 for the third week running is Brividi from Mahmood and Blanco, a song which in the coming weeks will take on a rather greater international significance. This was the victorious song in the Sanremo Music Festival which doubles as Italy’s selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest - which as I’m sure you are aware is due to be held in Turin following Italy’s victory last year. These are the guys with home-field advantage. Reckon they can make it two in a row?
Mahmood, BLANCO - Brividi (Sanremo 2022)
Mahmood, BLANCO - Brividi (Sanremo 2022)
Midweek Teases
Little prospect for the moment of any change at No.1 with We Don’t Talk About Bruno heading comfortably for its sixth (and penultimate?) week at the top. For the second week running the early midweeks tease the prospect of an Encanto 1-2, with Surface Pressure in the running for second place, although it remains to be seen set in stone that is.
The highest new entry of the week on the singles chart should be Mimi Webb, her of Good Without fame and who returns this week with the exceedingly catchy and incredibly radio-friendly House On Fire, a brand new track that didn’t appear on her Seven Shades Of Heartbreak EP last year. It seems on course for a comfortable placing inside the Top 10.
Mimi Webb - House On Fire (Official Music Video)
Mimi Webb - House On Fire (Official Music Video)
The albums chart is for the moment an intriguing five-way battle with any one of a number of new releases (and Ed Sheeran) all contending to top the charts. With a narrow lead just for the moment are the artists formerly known as British Sea Power and who turned themselves into a talking point last summer by electing to drop the “British” from their name (I even ended up invited onto TV to talk about it). The newly-minted Sea Power currently lead the long-players race with their eighth album Everything Was Forever. And they seem very keen that things stay that way. Especially as to date they’ve only ever had one Top 10 album.
Sea Power
Currently sitting at No.1 in the U.K. charts!!!! @officialcharts

Currently only a few more sales than Ed Sheeran.
We expect by the end of the week we’ll lose top spot, or will we?! Can it happen?
Buy 1 for your friends!
Retweet!!!
We are Sea Power
https://t.co/uwqgZ5yrg9 https://t.co/mf2O1viGny
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The new UK charts are announced by Radio One from 4pm every Friday, can be seen in full on officialcharts.com and musicweek.com, and I’m now back on chart-watch.uk with my own detailed charts analysis later that same evening.
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RIP Jamal.
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James Masterton
James Masterton @chartupdate

From the world famous chart analyst, a weekly roundup of everything fit to print from charts worldwide. Considered coverage of the stories generated by the UK charts along with a summary of events taking place on pop charts in Europe, across the Atlantic, and on the other side of the world.

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