Chart Watch Weekly - July 4th 2022





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James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Oh good, a week when nothing much happens. The UK charts have a touch of the sleepies, America are all on holiday and we are reduced to hoping Europe have some stories to tell. Or at least that Germany has something really stupid at No.1. But you know we chart nerds. There’s always something to pull apart. Including:
  • The winners (and losers) of Glastonbury.
  • The longest running flop of all time.
  • Bye bye Bush. Hello Paolo.

I'm Afraid...
Week 3 of Kate Bush’s British singles chart domination comes at a heavy price, as it also marks three weeks since her sensational ACR reset and three weeks of consecutive decline in her streaming numbers. It is all at once logical and a slight anomaly that a reset of your ACR chart status does not come with a notional resetting of the clock, allowing you a further ten weeks of grace before the downgrade comes calling. But alas the rules are what they are, and as a track that is officially 22 weeks old as we combine both its first and modern-day chart runs, Running Up That Hill will next week collapse back to ACR and begin what is presumably an inexorable slide back down to obscurity. Although, as plenty have noted, there is another batch of “Stranger Things” episodes dropping which may continue to boost the appeal of the vintage hit.
Meanwhile, the surprise success of the hit still hasn’t done a huge amount to breathe life into the rest of Kate Bush’s back catalogue. Her The Whole Story hits collection (to whose sales streams of the single are mostly benefitting) has hurtled 19-24-17-27 over the past few weeks but RUTH‘s parent album The Hounds Of Love has yet to climb back beyond No.80. Consider that it was last in the albums chart proper as recently as August 2021 when it reappeared at No.52 thanks to an HMV stock clearance sale (no, really).
Hope Of Deliverance
What is Glastonbury for?
To increase tent sales amongst a certain demographic? To raise money for various right-on causes? To fill up endless hours of TV time during a dead weekend in the summer?
Possibly all of those things. But it is also naturally a good chance for some well-loved and often less well-loved acts to enjoy a brief sales boost from the exposure they are granted. And part of the annual post-festival game is noting just who got that expected boost.
The big winner here was Billie Eilish who saw both singles and albums charge back up the charts following her Pyramid Stage headlining performance on the Friday night. She won herself a whole new set of fans which seems only right and proper.
Was Paul McCartney there to win new fans on the Saturday night? Probably not, all things considered. His set was rightfully hailed as a masterpiece, a celebration of just about everything he had achieved in his long career. But it was perhaps too scattergun, too wide-ranging to actually sell any specific part of it to new fans. So there was no discernable effect on sales or consumption of any of his music.
Kendrick Lamar though was an interesting case. One of those artists who you almost feel you are obliged to cultivate some kind of appreciation for, given that everyone with any kind of influence keeps banging on about how good he is. And if anyone was supposed to come away from Glastonbury with a renewed appreciation of his work amongst casual audiences and to enjoy a corresponding return to chart form it would have been him.
But you want the truth? Most people I know skipped his set to watch the Pet Shop Boys on the other side. And although in fairness the American star only had four days of the chart week to enjoy a post-Glastonbury boost from his Sunday night headline performance you can look at the charts this week and could genuinely not tell whether he was there or not.
But as noted the other big winners seemed to come from the undercard. Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under shot back into chart contention and there was a pleasing boost in album sales for Wet Leg, the two women already with a No.1 album to their name and well on their way to becoming the most talked-about act of the festival season.
Wet Leg - Chaise Longue (Glastonbury 2022)
Wet Leg - Chaise Longue (Glastonbury 2022)
More Record Breakers
“This one is a bit niche” acknowledged Alan Jones in the Music Week Chart Pack this week, calling attention to a fun bit of chart trivia that people on forums had been anticipating for a few weeks.
Dandelions by Ruth B was released by the singer five years ago, first appeared on the British charts at the start of February and has been meandering around the lower reaches of the countdown ever since. It finally peaked at No.42 five weeks ago and this week reaches a summer-long low point of No.61. But crucially this is in its 23rd week on the Official UK Singles chart.
It is one of those tracks which just got stuck at a single low-level, barely growing at all, but crucially never fading away. And time and time again it has avoided the ACR drop that would cast it from the chart altogether to instead set a brand new record of lasting 23 weeks without ever becoming a sizable hit.
I say “sizable hit” because for years the benchmark for such nearly-hits has been Shame by Evelyn Champagne King, a favourite trope of chartwatchers of my era which also had an epic chart run of 23 weeks without ever climbing higher than No.39.
That solitary week in the Top 40 in August 1978 possibly disqualifies it from being a true flop, but it is nonetheless a record that has lasted ever since - all the more phenomenal when you consider its release coincided almost exactly with the expansion of the British singles chart to 75 places, freeing it to set such a record.
With streaming meaning singles can indeed smoulder for longer there have been more than a handful of tracks in recent years which have had similar epic battles with failure, although when challenged to name one at the weekend I could only call to mind Becky Hill and Weiss’ I Could Get Used To This which lasted 21 weeks on the Top 100 in 2019 without ever climbing higher than No.45.
This may well be the last hurrah for the Ruth B single, but it probably deserves an airing just to celebrate this truly niche chart achievement.
Ruth B. - Dandelions (Official Lyric Video)
Ruth B. - Dandelions (Official Lyric Video)
Today is July 4th, a national American holiday, and while Billboard themselves have been merrily tweeting away news stories it should come as no surprise that the charts team have taken the day off and we are still awaiting the news of the brand new Hot 100.
All I can report is that the Billboard 200 albums listing was unveiled on Sunday as usual, with Bad Bunny returning to No.1 with Un Verano Sin Ti for a third non-consecutive week. That actually makes it America’s second longest-running No.1 album of the year, second only to the Encanto soundtrack which had nine weeks in total at the summit.
A Land Down Under
We await news of just where Glimpse Of Us has ended up on the American chart in its third week in the Top 10. The hit has actually stalled in Britain and for the moment seems unlikely even to reach the Top 10, but it remains a huge smash in Australia, even if for the moment it surrenders its No.1 crown once again to Running Up That Hill.
New at No.32 last week, Beyonce’s Break My Soul rockets comfortably into the Australian Top 10 with a full week of sales behind it. It was a similar story in the UK as the single shot to No.4, her highest-charting solo hit in over ten years.
One track busy making its way up the Australian singles chart is the increasingly viral Sunroof from Nicky Youre and dazy, rising this week to No.25. This is another of those tracks which sounds like a hit in waiting but which has resolutely failed to catch fire in Britain. It is already on the UK charts, but this week fell back to No.65 after seemingly peaking two places higher a week ago.
Nicky Youre, dazy - Sunroof (Official Music Video)
Nicky Youre, dazy - Sunroof (Official Music Video)
An der Spitze der Offiziellen Deutschen Single-Charts wird fröhlich weitergefeiert, denn DJ Robin & Schürze und ihre „Layla“ bleiben die Nummer eins. Liazes erst vor wenigen Tagen erschienener Song „Paradise“ landet als höchster Neueinsteiger auf #8.
Kate Bush had her moment of glory in Germany as well, she’s down at No.6 this week and so just outside the graphic illustrated above, but RUTH managed a peak of No.3 a couple of weeks ago. This thing truly went worldwide.
Germany’s No.1 at the moment is happily nothing to do with the Derek and The Dominos classic although it is perhaps all the worse for it. Instead, Layla is a track seemingly trapped in time. Exactly what you would expect a German pop hit to sound like, but in equal measure what you truly wish it wouldn’t.
Just take a listen and you will see what I mean. This has been lodged at the top of the German countdown for the last fortnight. And it is refusing to go away.
DJ Robin x Schürze - Layla (Official Video)
DJ Robin x Schürze - Layla (Official Video)
Midweek Teases
After a week of precious little action (the Charlie Puth/Jung Kook track we highlighted last week didn’t even make the Top 40 in the end) we seem set for a singles chart featuring some interesting moves come Friday.
The big news will indeed be a changing of the guard at No.1, and perhaps to the relief of many it won’t boringly be Harry Styles returning to the top after stepping aside for Kate. Instead leading the way in some style is Afraid To Feel by LF System, meaning bizarrely we seem set to swap a No.1 single first recorded in 1985 for one based almost entirely around a disco hit first released six years earlier.
Man of the week though is almost certain to be Paolo Nutini. The OG 21st century Scottish musician has returned after eight years away and is surging into commanding lead on the albums chart with his new release Last Night In The Bittersweet. The album’s biggest track may well be on course to become the highest new entry of the week on the singles chart too, with Though The Echoes poised at No.30 as of the Monday evening midweeks. Even if it does sound like it could have been recorded 30 years ago.
Through The Echoes
Through The Echoes
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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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