Well, I jinxed that, didn’t I?
One week after waxing lyrical about the resoundingly fresh nature of the British charts and the upwardly mobile trends that are showing up all around, we are stranded with a Top 7 made up of entirely non-movers. It is the most static chart since the week before Christmas when just as today every song from 1-7 remained solidly where it was the week prior.
All of this is course to the benefit of Dave who spends a third week at No.1 with Starlight.
Official Charts themselves have the same dilemma as people like me, attempting to find some kind of spin to put matters, teasing out a narrative about the charts of the week in order to give news organisations a hook on which to hang their headlines.
So this week they went with “Dave holds on at Number One but Aitch and Ashanti could offer up a challenge next week as Baby holds at No.2 and begins to close the gap”. That’s a direct reference to the fact that Baby‘s chart sale this week of 51,316 is a mere 7,326 behind that of Starlight, compared to the 13,451 gap that existed a week ago. And if you choose to believe there is a growing trend there (Dave has peaked, Aitch is still on the way up) then this does indeed help to generate intrigue ahead of next week.
I find it to be a fascinating drawing back the curtain, an addition to the narrative that was never there before. In years gone by there was simply no reference to the underlying numbers (even though they’ve been available in one form or another for over 28 years now). The No.1 and No.2 records were just that, and we the general public had little idea just how close or distant one was to the other. But this is the new information-led age where I guess even pretending nobody actually knows the true numbers would be futile. After all, even midweek updates are now “official” and Radio One even counts down a (largely meaningless) chart of predictions for next week a mere 48 hours after broadcasting the official list.