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Chart Watch Weekly - March 7th 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
It is another edition of the Chart Watch newsletter, the weekly roundup of stuff that we believe matters about music chart countdowns worldwide which only occasionally lands in your inbox 24 hours later than originally planned. But we are still more reliable than Spotify at least.
Also in this week’s feast for your charts-loving eyes this week:
  • It is plagiarism season!
  • Heat Waves is top of the US charts after waiting a year.
  • Heat Waves is BACK on top of the Australian charts. Also after waiting a year.
  • Dave is set to be No.1 next week. Fly him to the moon.

Everybody Wants To Top The Charts
Official Charts
Huge congrats to Central Cee on bagging his first ever Official Charts Number 1 Album 👑💫

See what he has to say: https://t.co/N4smd9zZYz https://t.co/WQLjmlFN5b
Finally! Finally I get to say that this is the last time we’ll have to talk about Bruno. The Encanto soundtrack single is top of the UK charts once more for sure, this now its seventh week running, but as we’ve already observed in these pages the ACR clock has been merrily ticking away. This week was the single’s third straight week of streams decline and as a result next time around the axe will swing. We WILL have a brand new No.1 single - and it seems set to be quite an unexpected one too.
You should also have all heeded my note of caution about the midweek album charts last week, and after everyone got carried away with the idea that Tears For Fears might return to No.1 for the first time in over a generation they in the end had to play second fiddle to the man up there, Central Cee topping the charts with mixtape 23. His first offering Wild West made No.2 a year ago next week, but this second collection of tracks (many of which we’ve actually encountered on the singles chart over the past couple of weeks) lands almost double the sale of its predecessor to go one place better. Fair play to him, he’s worked this release hard, and a tie-in deal with some physical merchandise also stood him in good stead. In truth, there was only ever going to be one winner. And far better than it was the youngster from West London rather than a pair of old men who began their careers 40 years ago.
We Need Some Time To Breathe
The most notable thing about this week’s singles chart is the sheer lack of overall notability. For completely brand new arrivals we are limited to yet another Central Cee track, Straight Back To It entering at No.25, and as teased last week the Becky Hill/Galantis collaboration Run which squeaks in at No.34.
But the chart itself is far from static, and it means a large number of up and coming hits actually have time to breathe, have time to develop and tell their own stories. Climbing the tables and into people’s hearts in a distinctly old school kind of way.
So that’s the stuff we should actually celebrate. After four weeks on the singles chart and four straight climbs, Where Did You Go from Jax Jones and MNEK is knocking on the glass ceiling at No.11. Meanwhile faith in George Ezra’s Anyone For You has been duly rewarded as this finally sparks properly into life with a climb to No.16 in its fifth week of life.
Let’s not forget also The Motto from Tiesto and Ava Max, one of those hits which has almost risen without trace, having been a mid-table classic for most of the year so far. First released in early November it was one of a number of lower-level hits that went missing over Christmas only to reassert itself once the new year arrived. Now nine weeks into its second proper chart run it is on the verge of breaking properly into the Top 20, climbing this week back to the No.19 it first scaled a fortnight ago. A fine example of a long-term hit single that perhaps struggles for visibility in a world (like this one) that focuses far too much on the Top 10.
Tiësto & Ava Max - The Motto (Official Music Video)
Tiësto & Ava Max - The Motto (Official Music Video)
This Week In Plagiarism
We are going through one of those periods when everyone appears to be taking time out of their day to accuse someone else of copying their work.
Every day there seems to be a new accusation levelled at Dua Lipa and questions raised over the true origins of global smash hit Levitating. Then there is the perenially unlucky Ed Sheeran who not for the first time finds himself standing up in court defending himself against accusations of passing off other people’s work as his own, this time over Shape Of You for which he hasn’t earned a penny in the last few years owing to a copyright claim which has now reached the ears of the judiciary.
And now it appears it is the turn of Sam Smith to face the prospect of defending himself against charges of copying his homework for a second time.
But song royalties are the last great cash cow in music, as illustrated by the number of investment funds who have hoovered up the rights to the back catalogues of some of the biggest names in music - they themselves cashing in it seems for one final payday.
billboard
Sam Smith and Normani are facing a copyright lawsuit over their 2019 hit “Dancing With a Stranger,” filed by three songwriters who say the song is “strikingly similar." #BillboardNews https://t.co/WkXiK7Kla8
Across The Pond
Well now this is where it gets interesting. This week is not We Don’t Talk About Bruno‘s sixth week at the top of the Hot 100. Instead, the Encanto track is bumped down to second place, replaced at the summit by British act Glass Animals and their phenomenally long-running viral hit Heat Waves.
It is far and away the slowest-burning single in US chart history. It had already set records for the slowest climb into the Top 10 (42 weeks) and the slowest climb into the Top 5 (51 weeks) but it is now officially the most patient No.1 single ever, hitting the top of the American charts in its 59th week on the countdown.
Glass Animals are now the third British act to top the Hot 100 in the space of the past few months, hard on the heels of both Coldplay and Adele. And this week, just as last week, fully five of the biggest hits in America right now are by British performers.
A Land Down Under
But it isn’t just in America that Heat Waves proves to have chart-topping form, the single climbing back to the top in Australia too.
Wait a moment, back to the top? Incredibly enough yes. 2022 has already seen one long-standing smash hit repeat at No.1 after a long absence, Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s Stay having reclaimed the pole position it first claimed back in the southern hemisphere winter. But Heat Waves now does something extraordinary. It first topped the ARIA charts exactly a year ago, spending six weeks at No.1 in March and April 2021. And now is back at the summit once more.
Heat Waves continues to hover around the UK charts as well, although it has long been hamstrung by ACR restricting its chart performance. It peaked at No.5 in October, is No.26 this week and is still routinely one of the Top 10 singles on the unfiltered streaming chart.
Glass Animals - Heat Waves (Official Video)
Glass Animals - Heat Waves (Official Video)
Never Going To Get To France
Le SNEP
Le Top Singles de la semaine est sorti ! 🎧

Classement complet 👉 https://t.co/hxZLT2O3BV

"Filtré" de Timal & Gazo reste à la première place 👏 https://t.co/3sXdf6gcoj
The French charts continue to plough their own determined furrow, France-rap continuing to dominate despite struggling to find a niche on mainstream radio which prefers to focus on the more well known international hits.
Here is their current No.1 single, as performed by Timal and Gazo, the former a 24-year-old performer from Saint-Denis.
Timal, Gazo - Filtré (Clip Officiel)
Timal, Gazo - Filtré (Clip Officiel)
Midweek Teases
So this is where it gets interesting. As noted, We Don’t Talk About Bruno will this week plunge to ACR status and indeed the latest midweeks suggest it will end up around No.7 - not a disastrous plunge by any means but still one that can only be explained away by streams of the track being halved in value.
Set to replace it at the top is… not one of the existing chart hits but instead a surprise new arrival. Dropped without fanfare on Friday, Starlight from Dave is streaking ahead of the competition and has enough of a commanding lead to almost certainly ensure it will become the British rap star’s second No.1 hit single. Written and entirely self-produced by the man himself alone, the track is based around a hummed melody that resembles Fly Me To The Moon and truth be told probably more than deserves the chart-topping accolades it seems due. This one is worth taking the time to appreciate, which if it ends up lodged at the top for some time is something we will all have time to do.
Dave - Starlight
Dave - Starlight
Those who prefer their music to go “twang” will be cheered by the fact that the albums chart race is presently being led by The Stereophonics whose Oocha! is 9,000 copies ahead of Marillion’s An Hour Before It’s Dark in second place.
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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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