The most absorbing takeaway from this week’s British charts was perhaps not Harry Styles’ fifth week at No.1, nor even the way for the first time in four weeks we had a single enter the charts inside the Top 10 (Future’s Wait 4 U at No.8). No, it was the fun fact that Peru by Fireboy DML and Ed Sheeran this week spent a fourth consecutive week at No.6. And that’s enough to equal the all-time record.
Spending an extended period of time at the same mid-table chart position is quite the trick, given that your sales have to be not only consistently in the same range for the entire period, but always in exact proportion to those singles around you. It is of course far easier in the modern era given the way hits will often settle in place with streaming audiences and be played in largely consistent amounts for an extended period.
Nonetheless, Peru is one of only four singles to have lasted for an entire lunar cycle at this specific chart position. The record was first set as long ago as 1965 by The Nashville Teens with Tobacco Road and it wasn’t equalled until 2016 when Don’t Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers pulled off the same trick (although this wasn’t its chart peak as it had reached No.2 a month earlier). More recently Joel Corry’s Sorry spent four weeks at its own No.6 peak in 2019.
In truth, we only know this thanks to the diligent work of some deeply committed chart fans on music forums who sat down and worked out the full list some years ago. But it is because of that I can note that the all-time record for “most consecutive weeks at a Top 75 chart position outside the Top 10” was equalled earlier this year when Doja Cat spent five consecutive weeks at No.14 with Woman.
However, this wasn’t actually the single’s peak. At the end of that run it climbed a place, before settling back for a further fortnight at No.14.
The only single ever to peak outside the Top 10 for a five-week run only does so on a technicality. That was Robert Palmer’s Looking For Clues which is listed as having spent five weeks at No.33 at the end of 1980. But this was the pre-Gallup era when BMRB didn’t produce a chart over the New Year week and the record books simply duplicate the final pre-Christmas countdown to fill the gap. So Palmer’s fifth week was a “phantom” week. Although we still regard the No.1 singles of that period as having an extra week at the top, so there’s no reason why his non-mover can’t count as well.
One final fact before I let this topic go. Did you know that no single has ever spent more than a fortnight at No.60, No.65 or No.75? You’ll be watching out for this from now on.