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Chart Watch Weekly - January 24th 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
ANOTHER new No.1 single? The British public are well and truly spoiling us with all this breathless change. A Disney song tops the charts for the first time, but instead of regurgitating everything you have read about it already, we will instead consider its fascinating list of credits.
Also in Chart Watch Weekly this week:
  • Another newspaper piece asking if everything is OK.
  • America and Australia go Encanto crazy. Italy doesn’t. As you might expect.
  • Meat Loaf (RIP) is a big deal in the early midweeks. But that surely can’t last. Can it?

The Return Of Bruno
The midweeks did not lie. Whether it is the January lull, a quirk of nature, or just that the movie and its songs are genuinely that much in demand right now, who can say. But We Don’t Talk About Bruno is, quite sensationally, the No.1 single of the week in Britain.
It was a detail that was picked up by media outlets worldwide. As long as you overlook the Gareth Gates recording of Suspicious Minds as heard in Lilo & Stitch, the “Encanto” soundtrack single is indeed the first song from a Disney musical soundtrack to make it to the top of the British charts. Let It Go even at the height of “Frozen” mania never even climbed past No.11.
What is just as fascinating though is the rather convoluted credit for the song. Official Charts’ graphic above neatly sidesteps the issue by crediting Bruno to “Cast Of Encanto”, primarily for practical graphical reasons, but also because that’s actually the most common-sense way to present it. But that’s not how the label itself has chosen to present the track, based on the metadata submitted to the charts database.
We Don’t Talk About Bruno is actually credited to each of the singers and voice actors who contribute to the ensemble track, meaning its full chart listing should actually read “Carolina Gaitan, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, and Stephanie Beatriz” (although Spotify also adds “Encanto - Cast” to the metadata, primarily to help seed its search engine). It is a credit that is too long for the spreadsheet data files sent out to media partners, so the full list is truncated in these (and also I’m guessing in the front end of the charts database itself).
In truth, it is all the more surprising that a similar situation hasn’t arisen before. The “Martha Wash rule” which gives performers the legal right to have their vocal contributions given full credit, plus the growing propensity for acts to invite a cast of thousands along for the ride, means that song credits often become swollen beyond utility. When Body topped the charts last year it was credited solely to Tion Wayne and Russ Millions because they were the only ones on the original release. But the track topped the charts thanks to the remix which added new artist credits for Arrdee, 3x3E1 & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo, and Buni. Imagine the chaos if they had all been listed as well.
Based solely on my own imperfect research centred around a Word document that I’ve been compiling for years listing every No.1 single, I can confirm that the credits for We Don’t Talk About Bruno come in at 91 characters (including the word ‘and’ and using the Oxford Comma as above) and they are the longest for any No.1 single ever, beating the previous record-holder I’m The One as credited in 74 characters to “DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, and Lil Wayne”.
We Don't Talk About Bruno (From "Encanto")
We Don't Talk About Bruno (From "Encanto")
Calm Down Calm Down
If ever you have cause to question your own devotion/interest in the weekly singles charts and wonder just what their purpose in your life is, then note the following. It is the perfect opportunity to have people come to your attention who may not have done so before, but without whom your life would have been just that little bit less entertaining.
Take the owner of the highest new entry of the week. Hazey hails from Liverpool, but that’s really about all we know about him, the 17-year-old keeping his face hidden for the moment. He first came to prominence with a series of TikTok clips, leading to a full deal with Colombia Records.
The first fruit of that deal is a full version of a track which hitherto only existed as a series of viral clips, the football-referencing Packs And Potions which is, almost needless to say, as impenetrable to elderly ears as any other drill or grime track of its ilk. But the whole thing is delivered in his native accent, sounding for all the world like it is Jamie Carragher attempting a new career, making it possibly one of the most entertainingly diverting rap hits of the moment.
Only No.26 but that’s still enough to make it the biggest newcomer this week. And your life would genuinely be missing a small something if you didn’t have cause to listen to it at least once.
HAZEY - Packs and Potions (Official Video)
HAZEY - Packs and Potions (Official Video)
In Print Once More
Last week I was contacted by a journalist from The i Paper who was planning a short piece about the continuing relevance of the charts and the level of interest in them. So I was pleased to give him my point of view.
The article itself appeared today and you can read it here. I’m amused by the spin the sub-editors put on it, selling it as “chart bosses fight claims the chart is broken” even though said claims are merely the ones put forward in the article and nobody else is really arguing this.
My quotes feature extensively although some are devoid of the full context of the extensive points I was making, but it is always flattering to be asked for my point of view as something resembling an expert.
I roll my eyes every time people try to address the issue of sales v streams with furrowed brows as if it is problematic and responsible for all manner of ills. Both, as I note in the article, are two very different ways of consuming music. But both are valid means of consumption and both have to be considered in assessing and ranking the popularity of current chart hits. I’m fairly certain that point will only be grasped when all the people who used to buy music in Woolworths with their pocket money are finally in retirement homes.
Across The Atlantic
“Encanto” fever is starting to dominate the US listings as well, just as in Britain two songs from the soundtrack land in the Top 10. …Bruno can’t quite shift Adele for the moment, but it does at least become only the second Disney single to make the Top 3 of the Hot 100. Because the chart nerds at Billboard are nothing if not efficient they have compiled a list of all the other Disney Top 10 hits:
billboard charts
Every song from a @DisneyAnimation film to reach the top 10 of the #Hot100:

#1, A Whole New World
#2, We Don't Talk About Bruno
#4, Can You Feel The Love Tonight
#4, Colors of the Wind
#5, Let It Go
#9, Beauty And The Beast
#10, Surface Pressure
I love that there have only been seven. And that “Encanto” accounts for two of them.
Adele as noted remains atop the pile with Easy On Me although how much the growing Vegas-cancellation backlash will affect her remains to be seen. This is her tenth week at No.1, making her only the seventh artist to date to have at least two No.1 hits that have made it into double figures. Boyz II Men and Drake are the only stars to have managed three.
A Land Down Under
“Encanto” fever is running reasonably high in Australia, although not quite at the fever pitch it has in the Anglo-American world. I love that the ARIA graphic artists have gone the extra mile in trying to squeeze the full artist credit in. Top work guys, real dedication to the cause. Surface Pressure is their second-favourite hit from the soundtrack too although it presently languishes at No.20.
The rest of the Aussie singles chart is as moribund as ever, but over on the albums listing there is one fascinating entry of note. New at No.9 this week is Cordi Elba, a collaborative EP between Australian pop-rock group Lime Cordiale and - no word of a lie - Idris Elba, the actor having teamed up with the group while shooting a movie down under at the start of last year. The collaboration spawned a number of teaser singles but now all six tracks can be appreciated in full.
Cordi Elba - Apple Crumble (Official Music Video)
Cordi Elba - Apple Crumble (Official Music Video)
We wander down the crazy lone furrow that is the Italian charts for the first time this year and once more get to note in wonder that Gayle is the sole English-language artist inside their Top 10 (she’s at No.9) and that there is literally no sign of any Encanto single anywhere to be found.
Italy’s No.1 hit is there for a second week, but if we are being honest there seems to be a hard limit to the Italians’ parochialism. Sure this is done by Italian performers and in their own language. But is it all that different to something that you might expect to appear on a Drake collaboration?
Sick Luke - SOLITE PARE (feat. tha Supreme, Sfera Ebbasta) [Lyrics Video]
Sick Luke - SOLITE PARE (feat. tha Supreme, Sfera Ebbasta) [Lyrics Video]
Midweek Teases
The Sunday afternoon “first look” chart was more eyebrow-raising than usual this week, based on the startling number of posthumous Meat Loaf hits that peppered the countdown. This wasn’t all that unexpected. In a masterpiece of timing the larger than life star passed away at the precise start of the chart survey week, meaning the inevitable surge of interest in his work coincided with these first sales flashes. As is so often the case though, posthumous spikes in sales and streams tend not to persist beyond a day or so, and so although Bat Out Of Hell was indeed the No.1 track on UK Spotify on Friday, by the end of the weekend it had plunged down the popularity tables.
So Music Week’s Monday evening table gives us a little more perspective, although the aforementioned signature song still remains on course for a surprise Top 10 placing. I’ll be shocked if it is still there by Wednesday though. Fireboy DML and Ed Sheeran’s Peru was pegged at No.1 on Sunday night but has now surrendered its lead to We Don’t Talk About Bruno once again. It will be fascinating to see just how close the two tracks remain during the week.
The highest new entry proper should be Digga D’s new cut Pump 101 which is on course for now for a place just outside the Top 10.
Years & Years’ Night Call is for the moment in pole position to be the No.1 album of the week (its current single is featured below), but our first sight of the albums chart is also notable for the mass invasion of Meat Loaf’s back catalogue. Bat Out Of Hell is No.3, its sequel is No.4, Hits Out Of Hell is No.5 and Dead Ringer is No.6. Treat all of that with caution though, that’s a reflection of weekend demand which is surely to slacken off as the week progresses. Still incredible to see them all there. Meat Loaf was far more loved than perhaps anyone actually realised.
Years & Years, Galantis - Sweet Talker (Official Video)
Years & Years, Galantis - Sweet Talker (Official Video)
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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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