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Chart Watch Weekly - May 30th 2022

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
I could genuinely spend the entire newsletter this week talking about Harry Styles, given that his achievements this week put him into the same kind of superstar realm as Ed Sheeran and Adele. But we’ll try to find at least something new and original to say as well as note that there were actually other things going on in the world of music. Not that you would know it.
Also projecting itself onto Stonehenge:
  • Have the 1D kids really gone vinyl crazy?
  • Rap music at the top of the German charts. But it isn’t Harry! Yay!
  • Liam Gallagher rules all in the midweeks.

Harry's Universe
This was one of those “pick the bones out of that” weeks given the sheer overwhelming nature of Harry Style’s chart performance, both with the Harry’s House album and its complete set of tracks, meaning that whichever way you turned there was a story to tell or a new benchmark to note that he had approached. And as I noted in the intro it would genuinely be possible to fill an entire newsletter with the details.
So let’s focus on just three of the most fascinating points. Styles became on the third artist ever to achieve the ultimate in singles chart clean sweeps, placing three singles together in the Top 3 - Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran are the only others to have managed it. But as any half-awake chart fan knows this is really only half the story, Styles’ chart run restricted in his home country by the prevailing rule that only three singles by a “primary artist” (i.e. the first on the credits list) are allowed to chart at any one time.
That means if you want to be picky that the singles chart this week is a slightly false one, not fully reflecting the full set of most-streamed tracks. Were the rule not in place the Top 10 this week would have looked something like this (all songs by Harry Styles unless otherwise stated):
1) As It Was
2) Late Night Talking
3) Music For A Sushi Restaurant
4) Matilda
5) Cat Burns - Go
6) Lizzo - About Damn Time
7) Little Freak
8) Grape Juice
9) Daylight
10) Sam Ryder - Space Man
Wheels Of Steel
So almost needless to say Harry Styles had the No.1 album of the week. Taking him to the top of the charts for the second time solo, the album duly became the fastest seller since the Adele release fully six months ago, chalking up 113,812 sales. By way of comparison the No.2 album of the week (Ed Sheeran, randomly) managed 10,838.
Now, given the way every single one of its tracks was theoretically popular enough to merit a place in the singles chart Top 20 it should come as no surprise that a large chunk of that sale was thanks to its streaming performance. And you would be right, Harry’s House accumulated fully 45,388 sales through digital streams.
But what is most fascinating is that of the remaining paid sales, a plurality of them were actually on vinyl. Yes, LPs. 36.041 copies of the album were sold on this format. That’s largely because there were five different versions you could buy and needless to say many collectors snapped up a copy of every single one. As Music Week reported that’s the highest weekly vinyl sale achieved by any album this century, beating even the 30,000 notched up Abba Voyage last year.
Vinyl sales are a strange way to measure the popularity of a musical work, given that precious few people actually own the turntables to play them on. But of course they aren’t meant to be played. Just looked at, coveted and treated as collectibles. Most people buying a vinyl edition of an album will - you hope - also be consuming the music in a format they can access. But that is what makes the numbers for the Styles album so incredibly absorbing. I’d expect fans of Abba to be the kind of people who want to preserve a collectible issue of their masterpiece. Fans of a former boybander whose fanbase is still largely made up of those who went doolally over 1D a decade ago? That’s a new one on me.
Doubling Up
Harry Styles (yes, him again) also does the chart double this week, pulling off that (usually) rare trick of topping both singles and albums charts simultaneously.
Official Charts keep a handy list of everyone who has achieved this, so you can see at a glance that Styles is the first man this year to have done the double, making it something of a shock that we have had to wait this long. In 2020 Stormzy, Drake, Eminem and Ariana Grande were all double winners, while last year it was the turn of Olivia Rodrigo, Ed Sheeran and Adele to manage it.
What is more notable is that Harry Styles has now enjoyed a chart double both as a solo artist and as a member of a group, this thanks to One Direction’s Take Me Home album hitting the summit at the same time as their Little Things single in November 2012. That’s something that is far more rare, and indeed just like his Top 3 clean sweep something that only two other artists have ever done before.
Both of the previous occasions are however subject to technicalities. First there is Gary Barlow, No.1 on both charts exactly ten years ago this week as it happens as the leader of the Commonwealth Band with Jubilee tie-in record Sing. He’s not technically solo here, but does get the lead credit. And this matches his chart double as a member of Take That in December 2006 with the single Patience and the Beautiful World album.
The other man isn’t Robbie Williams. He’s done the chart double himself twice over, first in December 2001 with Somethin’ Stupid and Swing When You’re Winning and again in November 2012 with Candy and the album Take The Crown. But as any fan knows, he wasn’t a member of Take That at the time of their 2006 chart triumph. So he doesn’t count.
The other man to do the double double is therefore Gary Numan who did so twice in 1979 - first as a member of Tubeway Army and then again solo. Pedants will note that this was really just a change of branding, the same musicians who performed Are Friends Electric those who also played on Cars. But chart credits are what matter. And Numan did indeed do the chart double with records credited to both his old group and himself in person.
Throw Them Guns Away
Regrettably, it is a public holiday in America this week, Memorial Day falling on the final Monday in May. So Billboard have taken the day off and will not publish their new charts in full until Tuesday. However, they did announce the big news at the top end of the Billboard 200 on Sunday evening. Now, this may come as a shock to you, but Harry Styles has the No.1 album in America this week.
He managed 521,500 sales, just like at home the biggest week for any album since Adele last year. This maintains his 100% record of topping the American charts with his solo albums.
But America went crazy for the vinyl version as well. The total vinyl sale of Harry’s House last week was 182,000, the single biggest sale on the format since Billboard’s data partner Luminate began tracking numbers way back in 1991. So essentially the biggest since the start of the CD era. Utterly unbelievable.
A Land Down Under
No such issues in Australia who on Friday morning were the first to reveal to the world the full extent of the Styles domination coming our way. With no restriction on the number of tracks from an album that can make their listing Harry Styles occupies 8 of their Top10 singles this week. So yay for Jack Harlow and Lizzo for keeping the “other artists are available” flag flying.
But what is just as fascinating is the ARIA albums chart. Check it out.
ARIA
Check out the Top Ten albums on this week's #ARIACharts with @Harry_Styles, @kendricklamar, @flumemusic, @oliviarodrigo, @florencemachine, @jackharlow and more.

For all of this week's charts, head to https://t.co/bfON5BRaDU https://t.co/0RI9KQPvnw
Harry’s House is No.1 with some ease, no surprise there. But just look at the way his back catalogue has resurrected itself. Second album Fine Line is at No.4 with his self-title solo debut from 2017 sitting pretty at No.9.
We saw something similar in this country, although by no means to this kind of extent. In Britain Fine Line accelerated back to No.8 although it has been hurtling around the Top 10 ever since As It Was made the singles chart to start with. But Harry Styles is also Britain’s No.29 album this week, its highest position since November 2017.
Guten Abend
OffizielleCharts
Bereits zum vierten Mal führt Lucianos „Beautiful Girl“ die Offiziellen Deutschen Single-Charts an. In Punkto höchster Neueinstieg setzt sich Newcomerin Domiziana durch, die ganz „Ohne Benzin“ an die achte Stelle braust. https://t.co/vnW0nB2cd7 https://t.co/PbdLymBzk4
Yes, Harry Styles is present and correct at the top of the German album charts too. But he can’t quite manage the double there with As It Was climbing merely back to No.2. Instead sitting pretty at No.1 in Germany where it has been for the past four weeks is - you guessed it - trap rapper Luciano who has created one of the more compelling sounds of the summer so far. Beautiful Girl is based at its heart on a sped-up sample of Sean Kingston’s 2007 smash hit Beautiful Girls. Hell, if nicking entire lyrics from older hits from the noughties is good enough for British acts (hello, Tion Wayne) then it is good enough for the Germans too.
Four weeks at No.1 though and it still doesn’t have an official video.
Beautiful Girl
Beautiful Girl
Midweek Teases
The first midweek flashes came as a surprise to everyone today, Sunday’s usual “First Look” update, the nature of which gets more pointless by the week, was cancelled as Radio One were having their Big Weekend event and so had no slot for the Sunday afternoon update. So Official Charts didn’t even bother to put one out.
After this week’s Harry flurry things are starting to return to some semblance of normality, although that still means that the A-Ha/Weeknd rip off of As It Was is still utterly immovable at No.1, on course now for its ninth week at the summit.
It means there is a fresher look to the Top 3 with Lizzo’s About Damn Time and Cat Burns’ Go competing for second place. The highest new entry is set to be a track which for some reason was greeted with lukewarm reviews when it was first unveiled on Friday, Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa reuniting for the first time since One Kiss with new post-disco track Potion. Lipa herself has suddenly been active on social media, posting an endless series of thirst trap photos of her in a variety of provocative poses. I’m sure the two aren’t related though. Anway, Potion (with Young Thug contributing) is well on course for a place in the Top 20. And you can never have too much Dua Lipa in your life after all.
Albums this week will belong to Liam Gallagher, easily on course to hit No.1 with his third solo album C'mon You Know but also set to be No.3 with the long overdue release of his December 2020 lockdown live stream Down By The River Thames.
Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, Young Thug - Potion (Official Video)
Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, Young Thug - Potion (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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