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Chart Watch Weekly - June 20th 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Well, this has been all kinds of fun. Every so often my hobby (and the topic that you are all interested in) becomes enormously topical and the world suddenly becomes a maelstrom of media requests and painstaking explanations of “no, the rules haven’t been changed”. Welcome then to Kate Bush Week #2.
Running up lots of hills this week:
  • Records tumble, including one nobody is talking about
  • The diffident Japanese man who turns out to be anything but
  • Hips don’t lie, and Shakira remains very famous in Spain

Places Swapped
They are back! Shareable, embeddable graphics of the British Top 10 to bring us in line with the rest of the world. Thanks Official Charts, long may they continue!
So yes, Kate Bush is indeed No.1 after a reset of her streams, allowing Running Up That Hill to take its place quite deservedly as the biggest single on the planet right now. And that still hasn’t stopped being decidedly weird.
And as I’m sure everyone with even half an interest in the charts knows, by topping the charts at this particular moment Kate Bush made all kinds of fascinating records tumble. They are:
  • Oldest woman to have a No.1 single.
Kate Bush is a month shy of her 64th birthday, meaning she is more than ten years older than both Cher (52 when Believe topped the charts) and Debbie Harry (54 when she sang on Blondie’s Maria) who could previously lay claim to the crown.
Some pedants grumbled that the other two women topped the charts with new material, Kate Bush has merely done so with a record she actually made when she was just 27. This is in theory a fair point, but since when did we start counting the moment someone set foot in a studio as the true date of a hit record? If I recorded a song as a 12 year old which lay undiscovered for 20 years, do I top the charts as the child I was or the 32 year old adult I am now?
In any event, the lady credited as the previous solo record holder was made aware of the situation and has notably conceded her crown:
Bravo Kate🙌🏼
Records Are Meant 2 Be Broken‼️Remember Back In The Day,When Women Had SHORT SELL BY DATES⁉️We Had 2 Fight Our Way Through The Testosterone Curtain,& We Did it So The Girls Who Came After Us Could Sing As Long As They Want To.
With Mega Respect
  • The longest-ever gap between No.1 hits. This week being 44 years, 2 months since Wuthering Heights was No.1. I notice no pedants have popped up to complain that she was a prominent participant (singing a solo line) on the Ferry Aid single Let It Be in 1987. Because that would be just mean spirited.
  • Slowest climb to No.1. Running Up That Hill tops the charts longer since its first release than any other record in history, taking a full 36 years and 10 months to get there. And this time there are no hairs to split.
But there’s another notable first that Kate Bush has achieved, one which nobody seems to be talking about.
The One Nobody Is Talking About
The credits for Running Up That Hill are remarkably simple, especially in this day of multiple songwriting and performing collaborators.
Performer: Kate Bush
Writer: Kate Bush
Producer: Kate Bush
Achieving this solo grand slam of song credits is, as you might imagine, phenomenally rare. Less than 20 artists have pulled off the trick since Ray Stevens became the first to do so with The Streak in 1974. What makes Running Up That Hill special is that Kate Bush becomes the first woman ever to do this.
Or is she?
The fly in the ointment is this chart entry from January 1997:
Tori Amos wrote, produced and performed her own No.1 single, right? Except this No.1 hit version of the song was the “Star Trunk Funkin’” remix of the track by Armand Van Helden which discarded all but the tiniest fragments of the original Amos track as heard on her Boys For Pele album. It was just that the only way she would consent to the release was if it retained her original credits, hence the chart listing above.
So really Tori Amos did not write and produce her own No.1 single, she actually had very little involvement in its creation. But the printed Music Week charts of the period are the official journal of record, so go figure.
Bounce Back
The adjustment to Kate Bush’s streaming status means her calculated chart sales rocket in comparison to last week, rising to 77,903 compared to the total seven days ago when she only posted 44,739. But you may recall that last week’s figure would have been a massive 83,613 were she on ACR status then, meaning that online consumption of Running Up That Hill has actually gone down week on week.
In a weird irony, it is the only one of the current batch of Top 10 singles to have dropped in chart sales this week. Harry Styles is up from 55K to 59K, Cat Burns is up from 37.6K to 42.4K and Lizzo is up from 34.4K to 35.4K.
That is enormously significant, as for all three it resets their ticking ACR clocks and in the case of the Harry Styles and Cat Burns singles means they escape the axe for at least another four weeks. The No.1 run of As It Was has been halted at 10 weeks for now, but if the Running Up That Hill phenomenon burns itself out any time in the next month it is very possible he could be set for a return.
Good Day Starshine
One place that Kate Bush appears not to be marching to the very top is America where she does at least enjoy a second week in the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, albeit slipping down a place.
No.1 still belongs to Harry Styles (yay) making this his seventh week at the summit in total.
But the most intriguing arrival is the No.10 single of the week. Blissed out phenomenon Glimpse Of Us by Joji is making waves on many charts worldwide, even if it is has only just crept into the Top 40 in Britain. Clearly set to become one of the most talked-of names of the summer the Japanese performer has been releasing music under numerous monikers for several years but only now seems set to move into the mainstream.
Yet he has actually already been responsible (indirectly) for one of the most notorious global online phenomenon’s of the last decade. Joji’s previous life (one of many he has had) was as a YouTube creator, responsible for a series of serious and not so serious channels. And it was under the name of “George Miller” that he posted the first Harlem Shake video back in February 2013 which of course spawned a whole subculture of copycats and propelled the unlikely hit into charts worldwide.
So yeah, that’s him. The same guy. YouTube prankster turned blissed-out musical genius. And Glimpse Of Us is about to become a phenomenon.
Joji - Glimpse of Us (Official Video)
Joji - Glimpse of Us (Official Video)
A Land Down Under
RUTH (as everyone is calling it online) enjoys a second week at No.1 in Australia. But look at that, here’s Joji again. He eclipses even his American success for the moment and crashes straight into the usually moribund ARIA Top 5.
Growing In Spanish Harlem
Our regular wander around the Spanish charts is as usual and by necessity a week out of date as they do things slowly in Iberia and don’t actually publish their new listings until Tuesday. But the man of the moment over there is Bad Bunny, his extended run in the American Top 10 with Spanish language songs nothing compared to the land of his forefathers where he currently boasts five of the Top 10 singles, including the above which remains comfortably No.1 after five weeks around.
Harry Styles is No.18 after only peaking at No.10, but even the Spanish aren’t immune to the RUTH phenomenon.
But I think the most interesting song in the Spanish charts is this track at No.3. Her personal life may be in the news for all the wrong reasons, but Shakira is still featuring on some very large hits in all the right places. Hips don’t lie after all.
Shakira, Rauw Alejandro - Te Felicito (Official Video)
Shakira, Rauw Alejandro - Te Felicito (Official Video)
Midweek Teases
Showing no signs of burning out, Running Up That Hill is on course for a second week at No.1, the veteran single presently has a lead of over 6,000 over (you guessed it) Harry Styles who is clinging doggedly on in second place.
The albums chart is set to become an intriguing two-way duel between Foals, currently in the lead with Life Is Yours and Drake, his surprise new album Honestly, Nevermind is presently some 6,000 chart sales behind but of course is also one of those albums whose numbers are only going to grow as the week goes on thanks to his powerful streaming performance.
We are thankfully long past the era when any new Drake joint flies straight to No.1 and stays there for the best part of a millennium but tracks from the Canadian’s album are inevitably flooding the Spotify listings in much the same way Harry Styles did a few weeks back. That means he is on course for three new entries in the Top 10, Falling Back the biggest of those currently planted at No.4 on the Monday midweek update.
But Beyonce has a new track out tomorrow…
What though of Glimpse Of Us? On course to sneak into the Top 20 by all accounts. Britain is taking time to wake up to it. See you for Chart Watch itself on Friday.
Drake - Falling Back
Drake - Falling Back
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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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