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.