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Chart Watch Weekly - January 31st 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Bruno fever continues to sweep the globe, although Australia seem enraptured still by a track that was a hit last summer (from our perspective).
Also in Chart Watch Weekly this week:
  • Meat Loaf love all week long pays off for him in style.
  • Spain plough their own furrow.
  • The most famous children’s group in Australia have (unexpectedly) their greatest ever chart success.
  • What do Ed Sheeran and Lin-Manuel Miranda have in common? Billboard’s chart nerds have figured it out.

Disney World
I’m hoping that We Don’t Talk About Bruno isn’t settling in for a long run at the top, given it appears we’ve exhausted everything interesting there is to say about it during its first two weeks at the summit. Two weeks at the summit it is indeed for the “Encato” soundtrack smash, one which as we will see is steadily taking over charts across the globe.
The song (and indeed the soundtrack as a whole) will go down as a quite surprising triumph for its composed, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Prior to this year his only composition of note - at least as far as the singles charts were concerned - was How Far I Go as featured in a previous Disney feature “Moana”. His most celebrated creation is of course stage musical “Hamilton” but from which, at least to date, no major hit singles have been spawned. Although you can bet that when a Hollywood adaptation is made that situation will surely change.
Dig It
The week’s highest new entry is the single at No.9 in the UK this week, Pump 101 as officially credited to Digga D x Still Brickin’. It is the third Top 10 single in fairly short order for the British drill star, his real name of Rhys Herbert probably not one he appreciates being circulated too often. He reached No.5 in February last year with Bringing It Back and then reached No.6 in the summer with Wasted, AJ Tracey and ArDee his guests on each of those single respectively.
The fact that he has reached even this level of chart notability is a triumph over some often self-inflicted adversity. The complete Herbert first made headlines in 2018 after he and his 1011 crew were arrested for going tooled up to meet a rival West London gang, the stop resulting in the entire gang being jailed briefly and a Criminal Behaviour Order being imposed preventing them from recording any music and uploading it to YouTube without express permission. The further condition that they could not rap about guns, death or violence prompted a civil liberties debate all of its own. Digga D spent the next couple of years in and out of prison for various violations, losing the sight in one eye during the course of one of these incarcerations.
But he’s still here and apparently edging towards something approaching mainstream respectability in the process. One of these days he will sneak a single into the Top 3, at which point the press will wake up and join the dots to his rather controversial past.
Digga D X StillBrickin - Pump 101
Digga D X StillBrickin - Pump 101
For Crying Out Loud
As I’ve noted several times before, the final act of Meat Loaf’s life was to pass away with immaculate timing, news of his death coming at the very start of the chart week meaning he could enjoy a full seven days of posthumous consumption.
Yet post-mortum interest in most acts lasts 48 hours at best these days. While Meat Loaf’s domination of the Spotify charts did indeed only persist for the immediate aftermath of his death, songs from the legendary rock star continued to be streamed and purchased across the week, perhaps an indication of just how iconic he really was. It all meant some rather startling chart comebacks.
Bat Out Of Hell led the charge, racing to No.3 on the albums charts and in the process landing its highest chart placing ever. Its previous best peak was No.9 in August 1981.
Following two places behind was Hits Out Of Hell, a compilation originally released (to Meat Loaf’s own disgust) in 1984 and which shares four of its tracks with Bat Out Of Hell itself. Benefitting the album greatly though was the fact its digital edition is a 2009 reworking which added more contemporary hits such as I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) and I’d Lie For You (And That’s The Truth) to the tracklisting. Basically any stream of any Meat Loaf track of note meant a credit for the hits collection this week. So we should actually be impressed that the classic original was the one which charted higher.
Meat Loaf also invaded the singles chart in some style, Bat Out Of Hell itself leading the charge at No.26, I’d Do Anything For Love… following enthusiastically at No.32, and (perhaps surprisingly) Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad bringing up the rear at No.46.
This did prompt one commenter on the Chart Watch site to question how this could be, given that on the full download chart it is Paradise By The Dashboard Light which edges its way into third place. But of course the download listing counts raw streaming numbers only and is what you might call an unvarnished listing of popularity. The main singles chart discriminates between paid and free streams, and what happened is that Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad ended up with more streams from paying subscribers, they were consequently worth more and so it ended up charting higher despite having fewer plays overall than its epic cousin.
Across The Atlantic
The lads and lasses from “Encanto” make the grade in the States as well, as We Don’t Talk About Bruno climbs a place to No.1 to become the first song from a Disney movie to top the American charts since A Whole New World back in 1993.
Billboard are most taken with the fact that a) seven different credited artists is (just as it is here) a record for a No.1 single and that topically enough b) the song has just one credited songwriter - Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is fascinatingly enough the first Hot 100 No.1 to have just one name in the composer credits since Perfect by Ed Sheeran back in 2017.
America’s highest new entry is a song that just creeps inside the Top 40 here, Charlie Puth’s Light Switch whose genesis and creation the singer has documented extensively on social media. Although No.41 at least for the moment hardly justifies the hype that has surrounded the project so far, the song is possibly the chirpiest international pop hit of January so far.
Charlie Puth - Light Switch [Official Music Video]
Charlie Puth - Light Switch [Official Music Video]
A Land Down Under
Holy mother of God where do you begin to unpick this? The two most notable moves on the Australian chart this week are both from Australian acts. The alarming stranglehold Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber appear to have on a large section of the English speaking world means that the long-running, almost superannuated hit Stay makes its way back to the top of the charts.
Stay enjoyed a 14-week unbroken run at the top in summer last year, finally surrendering its crown back in October to - what else - Easy On Me by Adele. But it never really went away, lingering in or around the Top 3 for the next 14 weeks. And now three months later it is back at the top. As Australian audiences keep what was for them a wintertime smash hit at the forefront of their thoughts in their own midsummer.
But check out the highest new entry of the week at No.10. Children’s novelty act The Wiggles have had a scattering of chart hits in their native country after having released no fewer than 58 studio albums during the 30 years of their existence, but never before have they had a single place as high as No.10.
The track which has finally broken their smash hit single duck is their cover of Tame Impala’s 2012 single Elephant, first recorded for radio station Triple-J’s “Like A Version” show which I guess you might call the equivalent of Radio One’s Live Lounge covers here. Elephant is taken from the forthcoming album Re-Wiggled which will see one disc feature contemporary acts covering their favourite Wiggles songs and the other the group themselves performing some of their own covers. And I bet you now can’t wait to hear it.
The Wiggles cover Tame Impala 'Elephant' for Like A Version
The Wiggles cover Tame Impala 'Elephant' for Like A Version
Euro-vision
Time for one of our regular visits to Spain where, as regular readers will be aware, this brief look is out of necessity a week out of date as Promusicae don’t update their weekly charts until Tuesday. The Spanish charts did however undergo a brief revolution a couple of weeks ago, finally joining most other surveys in tracking YouTube plays when compiling streaming data.
Spain is another of those territories which ploughs a refreshingly local furrow when it comes to popular music (although that still didn’t stop Adele from enjoying a brief spell of glory at the top of the Spanish charts last year). Heck, even We Don’t Talk About Bruno still languishes some way down the Spanish bestsellers table.
Here then is their reigning No.1, Puerto Rican rapper Rauw Alejandro landing yet another chart-topping track from his second album Vice Versa.
Rauw Alejandro & Chencho Corleone - Desesperados (Video Oficial)
Rauw Alejandro & Chencho Corleone - Desesperados (Video Oficial)
Midweek Teases
There seems very little prospect of any change at the top of the singles chart, the latest midweeks suggesting Bruno will be stuck there for a third week. The battle for second place is more intriguing with ABCDEFU and Peru almost neck and neck. The “Encanto” soundtrack looks set to finally place all three of its hits inside the Top 10 with The Family Madrigal presently looking set for a five-place jump to No.6.
The highest new entry of the week should be from the lady whose often misfiring career finally received an overdue shot in the arm last summer when she featured on Joel Corry’s long-running Top 10 smash Out Out. Charli XCX (for it is she) should see her new single Beg For You land somewhere inside the Top 30.
The No.1 album of the week seems set to be Amazing Things from Don Broco, this is effectively a re-entry as the group first released the album for streaming back in November, whereupon it charted briefly at No.91. This new surge naturally enough follows a full physical release on all formats.
Charli XCX - Beg For You (ft. Rina Sawayama) [Official Visualiser]
Charli XCX - Beg For You (ft. Rina Sawayama) [Official Visualiser]
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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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