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Chart Watch Weekly - February 7th 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
So when is a first not a first? That’s this week’s big question as we dive into the strange world of phenomenally successful movie soundtracks.
Also in this week’s feast for your charts-loving eyes this week:
  • Who really has the No.1 album? And why is Encanto missing from the listings?
  • America is static but things shake up a little in Australia.
  • The French still love their rap, but one of their new hits this week is the coolest thing ever.
  • ArrDee and Aitch are heading for the Top 10.

The Way I Use My Walk
It’s the third week at No.1 for We Don’t Talk About Bruno which is more than enough to make it the most successful single from a movie soundtrack since Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding (as heard in Fifty Shades Of Grey) enjoyed a four week run at the summit starting seven years ago this week (damn, was it really that long ago?).
You will notice that after weeks of us edging towards it, we do finally have all three singles from Encanto peppering the Top 10. Jessica Darrow’s Surface Pressure sits happily at No.4 and is joined by Stephanie Beatriz & Olga Merediz performing The Family Madrigal at No.7.
This prompted Official Charts to plug Encanto as the first soundtrack album ever to have three simultaneous Top 10 hits - one of those news angles which pops up in conversation in the office and which they run with if nobody can think of any other. And in all fairness, if I’d been asked by anyone midweek I would have said the same because I could not call to mind any other circumstances where it might have happened before.
Yet actually it has, twice over within a few weeks way back in 1978. The first movie soundtrack to do it was Saturday Night Fever in May that year when a segment of the Top 40 looked a little like this:
That’s the Bee Gees at 2, Yvonne Elliman at 4, and Tavares at 7. All three songs appear in the box office smash and on its soundtrack album.
Then we whizz forward to October to find John Travolta is responsible again, this time in person:
That’s Summer Nights in first place, Grease in fifth and Sandy three places below. Of course, the Saturday Night Fever and Grease soundtrack albums both topped the charts in their own right. Which is more than Encanto has been able to do, although we are close to this being down to a mere technicality.
Rules Are Rules
These guys here are Don Broco, proudly holding aloft for the camera their official No.1 award for their album Amazing Things, one which as we noted last week made a mere No.91 when released for streaming alone at the end of last year but which now debuts at No.1 with a sale of 14,959.
That does mean it is - just - the top-selling album of the week for real. The Encato soundtrack is in real terms just a few paces behind, having accumulated 14,761 sales. But it is absent from the main albums chart listing owing to a specific clause in the chart rules which insists that cast recordings have to be placed on the Compilations chart.
That’s a rule which has only been applied since the start of 2020. Prior to that the “Cast Of The Movie” was considered the ‘artist’ leaving the soundtrack free to chart on the main albums listing. Hence in 2018 we had a plethora of multi-artist cast recordings at the top of the charts with The Greatest Showman, Mamma Mia - Here We Go Again, and A Star Is Born all racing to the summit. And this may have been what prompted the rule change.
Really though this is slightly unsatisfactory as relegating cast recordings to the Compilations chart meant that a rule also had to be enacted to state that streams of “Various Artists” albums would count for the charts if the track in question was exclusive to the album in question. That means there isn’t quite the level playing field there should be on the oft-unloved compilations chart. Streams of Encanto tracks go towards the sales total for the soundtrack, but streams of the hits that appear on Now 110 don’t. And it is probably no coincidence that the Top 3 albums this week on the Compilations chart are Encanto, The Greatest Showman, and Sing II. All of which are soundtrack releases.
You will further note that the rules don’t quite join up. Encanto may be a “multi-artist” compilation per the rules, but the cast still counts as one “artist” for the rule governing the Singles chart. This is why there are still only three hits from the album on the chart itself, even though Waiting On A Miracle, All Of You and Dos Oruguitas all enjoying enough streams of their own to theoretically qualify.
For the record, this week is the closest Encanto has come to being the actual top-seller of the week as for most of January its sales lagged behind the top artist albums. But next week is a brand new world.
For those still interested, I wrote a piece last summer about the history of the compilations chart and wondered just what its future was given that supermarkets were rapidly pulling out of stocking CDs altogether.
Across The Atlantic
The American charts look a little becalmed with a static Top 5 and the only change being Doja Cat’s Need To Know returning to the fray, knocking Surface Pressure out of the week.
We Don’t Talk About Bruno becomes the first Disney song to spent two weeks at the top of the Hot 100, its radio audience alone having more than doubled during the course of the week to ensure it reached 3.6m pairs of ears. The album itself is comfortably top of the Billboard 200 once more, this is the first time a soundtrack album and its lead single have been No.1 simultaneously since Eminem’s Lose Yourself and the 8 Mile soundtrack were both at the summit in 2003.
The highest new entry of the week is Rumours from Gucci Mane and Lil’ Durk which lands at No.51. It is nowhere to be seen in Britain.
Gucci Mane - Rumors feat. Lil Durk [Official Video]
Gucci Mane - Rumors feat. Lil Durk [Official Video]
A Land Down Under
The top end of the Australian charts is pretty much as you were with Stay continuing its extraordinary new year comeback and landing itself a 16th non-consecutive week at the summit in Kid Laroi’s native country. That’s enough to move it into second place in the list of all-time longest-running Australian No.1 singles. Dance Monkey is the record holder, meaning the two biggest chart-toppers in history have at the very least been performed by local acts.
Just for a change though there are new singles breaking through into the Top 10 although all three will be familiar to us. Lost Frequencies, The Encanto Cast, and Luude all stake their claim inside the ARIA Top 10.
The Wiggles’ day in the sun turned out to be brief. Last week’s No.10 new entry plunges all the way down to No.48.
Euro-vision
Le SNEP
Le Top Singles de la semaine est sorti ! 🎧

Classement complet 👉 https://t.co/KRPa5UTB89

"Jefe" de Ninho garde la première place 👏 https://t.co/16pve71bi3
Nos amis Francais are also immune to Encanto fever for the moment (which kind of does make sense, given that you cannot buy the translated version of the soundtrack).
Jefe by Ninho remains immovable at the summit, although he did briefly surrender his crown to Stromae with L'Enfer but as you can see the popularity of that hit was brief and just two weeks after topping the charts it languishes at No.6.
The SNEP charts are as usual dominated by Francorap, with Criminel from Kaaris and Kalash the highest new entry of the week at No.2. But it gets tedious embedding this stuff all the time, so let’s take a moment to check out one of the other Top 10 debuts of the week, Melodie new in at No.5 for Ronisia, an unfortunately named 22-year-old singer from Cape Verde who is riding the Afrobeats wave in her native language.
Why is her name unfortunate? I’m sure a Ronisia is a species of wasp.
Mélodie (Tatami)
Mélodie (Tatami)
Midweek Teases
Presuming it can outsell Encanto then Bastille’s Give Me The Future should easily be the biggest album (of any kind) this coming week, topping the first look at the albums midweeks.
We Don’t Talk About Bruno seems set for a fourth week at the summit, although the No.2 single could well be a battle between Peru and Surface Pressure.
Liam Gallagher’s new solo single Everything’s Electric was a surprise addition to the Top 10 in the First Look chart broadcast by Radio One on Sunday night, but that was a rather false dawn and the first “proper” midweek update puts it somewhere inside the Top 20.
The highest new entry of the week then will be the oddly compelling War, the collaboration we were all waiting for between ArrDee and Aitch (Brighton collides with Manchester!) which should give the former his fourth Top 10 hit and return the latter to the upper end of the chart for the first time since Rain almost two years ago. It is the kind of single that puts this writer on the horns of a dilemma. I can tolerate ArrDee and see where his talent is coming from. Aitch just irritates the hell out of me although this might be the first collaboration of his which edges towards tolerable.
ArrDee x Aitch - War (Official Music Video)
ArrDee x Aitch - War (Official Music 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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