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Chart Watch Weekly - March 21st 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Welcome loyal subscribers (or people who just click the link from Twitter - yes, we see you) to another delightful dart around the charts of the world. This week James has been scouring songwriting databases in another desperate attempt to take Dave’s triumph away from him.
Also in this week’s mountain of music:
  • Aitch and Amelia sitting in a tree.
  • Up is where we go from here.
  • Batman brings Nirvana back from the dead.
  • A European No.1 that isn’t a rap hit. Praise be!

Fly Him To The Hoon
(that’s Moon with an ‘Aitch’ if you get my drift).
Funny how these things coincide isn’t it?
Dave spends a second week at the top of the British chart with Starlight as the conversation about “just how the hell did he get away with pretending the song is all his own work” rumbles on. But what is fascinating is that it isn’t, depending on which source you look.
Most people (and by that I mean “creators of Wikipedia entries”) base their info on the credits listed by the Digital Streaming Providers. They after all need to know who to send the royalties to and trust the metadata provided to them by the uploading distributors. Call up Starlight on Spotify and ask to be shown the credits and you get this:
Hard not to snigger isn’t it? Performer: Dave, writer: Dave, producer: Dave, source this info: Dave told us.
But take a look in the Songview database, the searchable list of all music registered with ASCAP and BMI and the supposedly definitive source of who owns a piece of published music and that tells a fascinatingly different story:
Howard Bart (the composer of Fly Me To The Moon) is officially listed as co-composer of Starlight. And even half the publishing of the song. Make of that what you will.
She's Old Enough To Be His...
Dave’s nearest rival for No.1 was, as anticipated, Aitch with his new track Baby which duly slammed into No.2 to equal the baby-faced freestyler’s best-ever chart placing. This song too is by no means the Mancunian’s own work but he has been required to hand an artist credit to Ashanti whose 2003 hit Rock Wit U (Awww Baby) forms the basis of the hit.
During a convivial chat with some entertainment journalist friends a few weeks ago we noted that there is a strange new breed of pop stars whose lifestyles don’t really lend themselves to the kind of fun gossip of old. Rap stars in particular either remain enigmatic or are making the wrong sort of headlines as they face gang-related incarceration. There appears to be no in between. We cited Aitch as a classic example, a guy whose chart form suggests he should be a full mainstream superstar but about whom there was generally little gossip.
Only in the last week or so this all changed after he went “Instagram Official”, so to speak, with a social media star from a different world as he documented what appeared to be a bowling date with Amelia Dimoldenberg, the 28-year-old host of the web series Chicken Shop Date. The joke here being that she normally interviews people from Aitch’s world over a plate of KFC and here he is taking her somewhere more exotic (they were in LA at the time). Real-life or stunt? Hard to say, but Dimoldenberg also pops up in a cameo in the Baby video and gets her name in the credits at the end.
Bravo to Aitch in every sense of the word. He’s gone from being this slightly enigmatic baby-faced guy from Manchester into full on tabloid fodder, just as he lands his biggest hit in some time. And although he looks (and sounds) 12 years old he’s actually 22 so we are allowed to speculate who he might be shagging.
Aitch, Ashanti - Baby (Official Video)
Aitch, Ashanti - Baby (Official Video)
Coming Up
Pick your way through the usual miasma of “the charts are meaningless and don’t matter anymore/streaming has ruined everything” debates that clog up any half-notable music forum these days and a common theme develops. Old farts who hanker for the good old days complain loud and long about the way hits don’t seem to grow from small acorns any more. The perception that hits don’t climb the charts on a regular basis still persists.
But lately that just isn’t true. Whether it is just one of those passing things or symptomatic of a larger trend, but record labels, pluggers and promoters appear to have finally cracked the secret of nurturing tracks from slow burners to smashes. Of course, the biggest hits will always start as they mean to go on, the current No.1 did enter straight at the top after all. But it was also the first single to do so for months.
If you read this week’s Chart Watch UK piece you will have seen me point out the large number of up and coming hits that are steadily moving into their destined permissions. But I thought it would be interesting here to take time out to note the songs in the current Top 10 and just where they began their chart life. Because at any time over the past 20 years or so virtually every one of the Top 10 singles would have arrived there instantly.
Right now? Not so much. Take a look:
1) Starlight. Entered at: 1
2) Baby Entered at: 2
3) Peru Entered at: 28
4) Where Are You Now Entered at: 91
5) Make Me Feel Good Entered at: 66
6) Down Under Entered at: 32
7) Where Did You Go Entered at: 40
8) Overseas Entered at : 8
9) Boyfriend Entered at: 14
10) Go Entered at: 53
That’s just three of this week’s 10 biggest hit singles that began their chart lives actually IN the Top 10. And just one other one started out in the Top 20 from the get-go. Even just a few years ago that would be utterly unheard of.
The charts presently have the kind of growth narrative they haven’t done for literally decades.
La La La La La America
Glass Animals enjoy a third week atop the Hot 100, they need just one more to match the four week run of the Spice Girls to make it the most successful single by a British group on the US charts for 25 years. The last all-male British act to spend this long at No.1 in America was UB40, No.1 for seven weeks with Can’t Help Falling In Love back in 1993.
New to the Top 10 are Imagine Dragons and JID with Enemy (as heard in “Arcane League Of Legends”), a track that peaked at No.17 in the UK before falling victim to ACR rules and subsequently relegated to the depths of the Top 75.
The highest new entry on the US charts is Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa’s Sweetest Pie which crashes in at No.15. For now, it is outside the Top 30 in Britain but keep the faith.
Imagine Dragons x J.I.D - Enemy (from the series Arcane League of Legends)
Imagine Dragons x J.I.D - Enemy (from the series Arcane League of Legends)
A Land Down Under
For those struggling to keep track this week’s ARIA Top 10 is fundamentally the same as last week’s ARIA Top 10, with the Lost Frequencies and Gayle hits swapping places, as do Lil Nas X’s two contributions to the pile.
Much more is being made of the way The Wiggles have debuted at No.1 on the albums chart with their covers album re-wiggled (home to their reworking of Elephant which had a brief cup of coffee in the Top 10 a few weeks ago). It is the first time the celebrated children’s entertainers have ever topped the Aussie charts with an album.
The highest new entry of the week is a vintage golden oldie which has been making some rather surprising waves across the world. Something In The Way was (hidden track aside) the final track on Nirvana’s celebrated 1991 album Nevermind. It first sprang back to public consciousness in August 2020 when featured in the first teaser trailers for the new The Batman movie and following the belated arrival of the film in cinemas it has now exploded into life for real. It is No.22 on the Australian charts and No.46 on the Hot 100, only the fifth Nirvana track ever to chart in their native country.
In Britain, the cut is hamstrung by rules that restrict its streams to ACR and thus half their usual value as it counts as a back catalogue track. But it still managed enough attention to land at No.76.
Nirvana - Something In The Way (Audio)
Nirvana - Something In The Way (Audio)
I Saw A Mouse
Nederlandse Top 40
🥇 Hallo van Antoon verslaat The Motto van @tiesto en @AvaMax en is de nieuwe nummer 1 in de Nederlandse Top 40! > https://t.co/jPUDEwrvLc https://t.co/2xFHtQGvDu
Following the Dutch charts can be a complicated business as there are effectively two competing countdowns. The “official” music industry countdown is simply called “Dutch Charts”, compiled by marketing company GfK and which incorporates sales, streams and airplay. But it competes for public attention with the legacy “Dutch Top 40” the direct descendant of the famous Veronica Top 40 which was broadcast across Europe in the 60s and 70s. This long eschewed sales tallies and is based on Airplay, Streaming and what they term “social media trends” for what that is worth. But it is still the one with the higher public visibility overall.
Fortunately this week they both concur as to what the No.1 single is, this new cut from Antoon - alias heartthrob singer Valentijn Verkerk. He’s been threatening the release of his second album for almost a year, and the success of this hit may well finally be the catalyst for getting it released. Ride ‘em (fake) cowboy!
Antoon - Hallo
Antoon - Hallo
Midweek Teases
For all our optimistic talk about singles learning how to be upwardly-mobile once again and giving us interesting and dynamic charts, next week’s prospective Top 10 has a distinctly well, Australian look to it. The latest Monday midweeks suggest an all-static Top 7(!) meaning Dave gets to enjoy a third week at No.1.
The most fascinating move is actually linked to the albums market, perennial bridesmaid Charli XCX looks finally set to have cracked the commercial gold that has eluded her for a sod of a long time as her new album Crash is on course to take her to the top of the albums chart for the first time and a full ten years since she enjoyed a singles chart No.1 in her cameo role on Icona Pop’s I Don’t Care (I Love It).
As a result, the album’s most notable track Beg For You is set for a flying leap up the listings as well. Having failed to progress beyond the No.29 at which it first entered back in early February the single is poised to soar into the Top 20 as everyone figures out it is kind of quite good after all. And it is of course based on Cry For You by September, which also happens to be the song that people compared Bad Habits to after they tired of the Smalltown Boy link. Wheels within wheels.
See you Friday for the reveal.
Charli XCX - Beg For You feat. Rina Sawayama [Official Video]
Charli XCX - Beg For You feat. Rina Sawayama [Official Video]
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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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