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Chart Watch Weekly - February 28th 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Bruno-mania continues to hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps it will end up one of the 10 biggest songs internationally next year. For now, we get to chew over the 2021 list.
Also in this week’s feast for your charts-loving eyes this week:
  • What’s in a name?
  • How do we sleep when Midnight Oil are back?
  • The Superb Owl does weird things to the US charts (briefly)
  • Are Tears For Fears set for a grandstand comeback?

Biggest In The World
We begin this week with a chart with a difference, as today (Monday 28th) the IFPI announced their annual “chart of the year”, aiming to tally together global digital sales and streams to compile the definitive worldwide biggest hits of 2021.
As you can see there The Weeknd topped the pile with Save Your Tears, making it the second year in a row he has had the planet’s biggest song after Blinding Lights dazzled the competition in 2020.
As ever, take these tables with a slight pinch of salt as they inevitably favour those hits which have been around the longest, with more of an opportunity to accumulate the numbers. But for those curious about the underlying figures, here is the full Top 10. Numbers are streaming equivalents (ie with paid sales accounting for 0.x of a stream) in billions:
1) The Weeknd - Save Your Tears 2.15
2)The Kid Laroi, Justin Bieber - Stay 2.07
3) Dua Lipa - Levitating 1.88
4) BTS - Butter 1.76
5) Olivia Rodrigo - Drivers License 1.73
6) Justin Bieber (ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon) - Peaches 1.72
7) The Weeknd - Blinding Lights 1.61
8) Olivia Rodrigo - Good 4 U 1.61
9) Lil Nas X - Montero (Call Me By Your Name) 1.60
10) Ed Sheeran - Bad Habits 1.57
You’ll note the lack of Adele in there, as Easy On Me was indeed released too late in the year to accumulate the billions of streams required. Otherwise there are few shocks, even if the failure of British audiences to take to Butter in the huge numbers elsewhere remains a fascination.
Stuck On Bruno
Official Charts
The Official Singles Chart is now live! Check out the Top 40 breakdown and the Top 100 in full now 👇 👇 https://t.co/FWdwdQNDPX
Six weeks at No.1 for We Don’t Talk About Bruno means ever more creative ways to find things to talk about. In the Chart Watch column this week I leaned on the fact that it is the first “cartoon” No.1 single to be credited to the voice actors rather than the characters they portray (as opposed to Bob The Builder or The Simpsons for example). Alan Jones in the Music Week analysis elected to share that it is now the longest-running No.1 single with a male name in the title, surpassing Lil Nas X’s Montero (Call Me By Your Name). The all-time record is still held by a hit named after a girl, Slim Whitman’s Rose Marie which for over three and a half decades was the longest-running No.1 single of all time with an 11-week spell at the top.
As predicted last week Mimi Webb’s House On Fire was the highest new entry as she slammed in at No.6. The most notable thing about the song is its length, at 2:20 it ties with Lauren Spencer-Smith’s Fingers Crossed as the shortest hit of the year so far.
Yet this is merely part of a larger trend, a strange shift in the structure of songwriting meaning the average duration of many of today’s biggest chart hits is approaching levels not seen since the early 1960s. Look at the running time of the track’s in Spotify’s Global 50 or any other hit playlist you care to mention and there are a surprisingly large number of ‘2’s on the start of them.
I’ve a feeling it is down to two things - the lost art of the intro (as songs get to the meat far quicker to discourage skipping and thus lost streams) and also the fact that a short song is one you haven’t yet bored of and (so the theory goes) will be only too happy to click to play it again.
Streaming didn’t just change the charts forever. It changed the way we create pop music too. Until the next trend comes around.
Other Stuff That's Weird
The strange absence of Ed Sheeran’s The Joker And The Queen from the Top 10 raised a few eyebrows. The track plunged 2-12, largely as a result of stocks of the special CD that Ed and Taylor released running low. But the inability of the track’s streams to sustain it was still something of a shock. Perhaps it just goes to show that you can never assume a name is enough to ensure instant success. The Joker And The Queen is still at the end of the day a track from an album that has been around for several months now. It needs long term work to propel it to the status of a major enduring hit.
It wasn’t all bad for Ed Sheeran. Equals fought its way through the five-way battle for supremacy to top the albums chart for a third time and for its fourth week in total.
Across The Atlantic
We have to play a brief catch up as last week’s US charts came out too late to make this newsletter. Not that they contained many surprises with Bruno still top of the pile in the US, although they too saw a superstar end up with an unexpected one week wonder. Nicki Minaj’s Do We Have A Problem which smashed in at No.2 a fortnight ago plunged all the way to No.32, although she did have the consolation of its immediate companion Bussin’ enter at No.20.
Last week’s US charts also saw an entertaining consequence of the “legends of the West Coast” halftime show at the Super Bowl impact the Hot 100. Vintage hits Still D.R.E. (No.23), The Next Episode (No.37) and Lose Yourself (No.40) gave Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem some unexpected chart re-entries.
Anyway, onto this week.
Hmm, not a huge amount to report here. We Don’t Talk About Bruno spends its fifth week at the top of the US charts, its numbers are 29.9m streams, 7.9m airplay audience impressions and 6,600 downloads. Gayle moves up to a new peak with ABCDEFU. Could it eventually be destined for a brief run at the top?
Bad Habits and Cold Heart barge their way back meaning once more we do have something of a British invasion with five of this week’s Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hits all performed by acts from the UK.
A Land Down Under
BORRRRRING. What more can you say? Jack Harlow has the biggest new entry of the week in Australia with Nail Tech entering at No.36. However, there’s a surprisingly familiar name at the top of the albums chart:
ARIA
Check out the Top Ten albums on this week's #ARIACharts with @midnightoilband, @EncantoMovie, @oliviarodrigo, @DojaCat, @Adele, @theweeknd and more.

For all of this week's charts, head to https://t.co/bfON5Bzzfk https://t.co/DDEZZpzNDY
The thirteenth studio album from legendary Australian rock band Midnight Oil becomes the sixth No.1 of their career, and their second in a row after 2020 comeback album The Makarrata Project also stormed to the top. The new album features songs recorded from those same sessions, allowing the tracks to all feature longtime bassist Bones Hillman who passed away just as their comeback was set for release.
Midnight Oil - Rising Seas (Official Video)
Midnight Oil - Rising Seas (Official Video)
Viva Espana
The Spanish charts don’t update until Tuesday, so this is last week’s countdown from our perspective. The Spanish aren’t immune to the charms of an all-star rap collaboration, hence current No.1 Cayo La Noche featuring an almost literal cast of thousands. Content warning: it is incredibly boring.
Cayó La Noche Remix - La Pantera, Quevedo, Juseph ft. Bejo, Abhir Hathi, Cruz Cafuné, El Ima
Cayó La Noche Remix - La Pantera, Quevedo, Juseph ft. Bejo, Abhir Hathi, Cruz Cafuné, El Ima
Midweek Teases
A seventh week at the top of the pile for We Don’t Talk About Bruno is more or less assured, the midweeks for Monday evening confirming the Encanto hit will be heading up a largely becalmed Top 10 with nothing more than a rearranging of songs taking place.
A fire does however appear to have been lit under two slow smouldering smashes in waiting, so watch out for big leaps into the Top 20 for Jax Jones and MNEK’s Where Did You Go and George Ezra’s Anyone For You, the latter apparently thanks to the early release of a set of signed CDs which purchasers were originally told would not arrive until March 4th.
It is a frantic week for album releases, and headlines are presently being made by Tears For Fears whose first studio album in 18 years Tipping Point is head of the pile so far. But as we have seen, heavily front-loaded albums have been known to slip back as the days drift by once their pre-orders have all been fulfilled.
Second place in a Top 10 which for now features 8 new entries (although it will be nowhere near as many by Friday) is Central Cee with his new mixtape 23. In a desperately quiet week for new singles yet another cut from the tape Straight Back To It should be the highest new entry of the week, in at No.25.
The biggest new pop release of the week is Becky Hill and Galantis team-up Run which should just about ease its way into the Top 40. But next week is going to be heavy going I’m afraid. We are all holding our breath waiting for another new Ed Sheeran collaboration. But that’s a story for another week.
Becky Hill, Galantis - Run (Official Video)
Becky Hill, Galantis - Run (Official Video)
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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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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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