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Chart Watch Weekly - June 13th 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
We aren’t really supposed to care this much about chart rules. But when they make illogical things happen we can’t help but pay close attention. Fortunately common sense appears to be prevailing, meaning this Friday should bring some very good PR the way of Official Charts.
Also ploughing fields and throwing up turnips:
  • Lots of unavoidable stuff about Kate Bush
  • Italy are livin’ la dolce vita
  • BTS set to land the highest new entry

There Goes A Tenner
In an ideal world the minutiae of chart compilation and the rules that determine what goes in and crucially where should be opaque to all. The Official UK Singles chart is the definitive list of what is most popular this week, and that’s the end of it.
But in truth, it was never like that, and if you have even half an interest in the medium then you will pay close attention to the precise way things are calculated - particular in this age of multiple formats and multiple means of content delivery. If you are reading these words you are the kind of person to whom this stuff matters. And the problem is this week the arcane world of chart rules ended up mattering to everyone.
The fate of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill track pivoted around a particular set of words, to be precise those contained in Rule 7.3(i), the first part of which reads (with my emphasis):
Automatic Reset – a track within the Top 100 on ACR and which is within 3 years of release can automatically return to SCR if it’s streams total increases by 25 percentage points greater than the streaming market change week on week.
Because this week the curious phenomenon of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill continued. It was the third most-purchased song of the week in online stores. It was far and away the most-streamed track of the week. Under any other circumstances it would have been the No.1 record of the week.
But because it is over 37 years since release (considerably more than 3) Rule 7.3 comes into play and it - in theory - is not eligible for a reset. And unlike in 2018 when Three Lions propelled itself from the depths of the back catalogue and back into public consciousness it just did not have the sales numbers to overcome that hurdle and top the charts anyway.
But who cares really, it is a footnote in writeups in the press, and surely only of interest to dedicated bloggers like myself who make a point of calling attention to these things.
But then respected trade journal Music Business Worldwide published a pointed editorial noting that for a single to be denied its true place at the top of the charts by a well-intentioned but suddenly awkwardly exposed rule was creating a huge credibility gap.
Kate Bush had the biggest record in the UK last week, but she’s not No.1 on the Official Chart. This is a watershed moment for a music industry struggling to understand the meaning of ‘new’.
All of this is probably why the power of Official Charts (directed, as their staff are often at pains to point out to me, by the Chart Supervisory Committee) to waive their rules at their discretion has now come into play. Midweek flashes this week show Running Up That Hill as having enjoyed an ACR reset. Its streams are now worth the same as all the singles around it (including Harry Styles). And with the phenomenon of the single now stretching into a third week there is a very good chance that all manner of exciting chart benchmarks will now be set. Official Charts get to make some very exciting headlines to give people a chance to care what is No.1 for the first time in an age. Just a week later than originally planned.
Preu Silence
Chart Watch Weekly isn’t just here for the stuff that everyone else has been talking about. It is about the things you may not have missed.
This week’s Top 10 is all but unique for 2022 so far. For the first time since the very last chart of last year Peru by Fireboy DML and Ed Sheeran is not a Top 10 record, the track dipping a single place to No.11. Which is kind of gutting as its unbroken 22 week run in the Top 10 was getting close to challenging all kinds of interesting records.
Don’t forget, to last in the Top 10 that long is bloody hard to do. You have to avoid the drop to ACR week in week out (or at least once every three weeks after you reset the clock) and also maintain your streaming numbers. The only other track of recent years to manage this kind of longevity is Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa which spent 25 weeks in the Top 10 in 2010/20, this run frustratingly not a completely unbroken one after it dropped to No.13 in Christmas week.
The all-time unbroken record for a Top 10 run goes back to the dawn of chart history, Frankie Laine’s I Believe with a surely unassailable 35 weeks to its name. But even that status as the record that has spent more weeks in the Top 10 than any other is almost certain to fall by the end of this year. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey has as of this moment notched up a grand total of 34 weeks in the Top 10. So watch this space in exactly six months time. By the time Christmas 2022 rolls around it should take over as the biggest Top 10 single of all time.
Good Morning America
The top end of the Hot 100 remains stable yet again, Harry and Jack continue to duke it out. But look at Kate Bush, rising once more in America too as it now sets a new record for the slowest climb (by a non-holiday single) into the American Top 5. It has waited 36 years, nine months and two years to get there.
And in other below the line news, Ed Sheeran’s Bad Habits this week celebrates its 50th week on the Hot 100, his fourth hit single to reach that particular milestone.
A Land Down Under
Kate Bush takes out #1 on the ARIA Singles Charts, Harry Styles holds #1 for the third week in a row with Harry's House and chart debuts for Thornhill and Post Malone.

#ARIACharts #PostMalone #KateBush #StrangerThings #Thornhill
To borrow a line from another old Kate Bush song, wow. Running Up That Hill is at the very least top of one important chart, hitting the heights in Australia and taking her to the top of the ARIA listings for the very first time.
I’ll just keep leaning on the fact that a 37-year-old song is at present the biggest pop hit on the planet. The equivalent would be a recording from 1948 blowing everything else out the water when it was first released back in 1985.
Oh Mamma
Our first visit to Italy in over a month sees the FIMI charts still merrily ploughing their own refreshingly different furrow. Kate Bush is No.18 on this week’s Italian countdown in case you were wondering.
This edition has been rather light on shared music, so let’s take a moment to appreciate the joys of the current Italian No.1 hit. Nothing to do with Ryan Paris and, refreshingly, not a rap single either (at least not in its entirety). Just a fun slice of retro summertime fun which I suspect may end up soundtracking your holiday if you are heading that way this year.
Fedez, Tananai, Mara Sattei - LA DOLCE VITA (Official Video)
Fedez, Tananai, Mara Sattei - LA DOLCE VITA (Official Video)
Midweek Teases
So I know you are dying to know what is going to happen this week.
As it stands as of Monday, Running Up That Hill seems set to dethrone Harry Styles from No.1, the reset of its streaming status meaning that instead of being once more some distance behind it is some 5,000 sales ahead of the As It Was. All that needs to happen is for the Stranger Things phenomenon to fail to burn out.
The fastest mover on last week’s chart seems set to maintain the momentum, Afraid To Feel by LF System is also on course to rocket into the Top 5.
The highest new entry of the week should go to BTS, although the present No.17 entry point for their new single Yet To Come is some way short of the instantaneous Top 5 success of past singles such as Butter although in all fairness this single (taken from their first Greatest Hits (sorry, “anthology”) collection Proof due out shortly) marks their return to their native language (although there are moments of English inside), their first original Korean-language release in two years.
Albums should belong to George Ezra, his third album The Gold Rush Kid has 30,000 sales to its name already and is pretty much uncatchable at No.1.
BTS (방탄소년단) 'Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)' Official MV
BTS (방탄소년단) 'Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)' Official MV
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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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