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Chart Watch Weekly - October 11th 2021

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
This opening text will remain unchained until Ed Sheeran is no longer No.1. Which may actually be as soon as next week, kind of defeating the object of trying to avoid writing it. Welcome to this week’s semi-detailed and not in any way nerdy wander around all matters music chart related. Your subscription is important to us, please hold.
In Chart Watch Weekly this week:
  • Sticking to the script.
  • This week’s highest old entry.
  • Our global wander taking in Australia, America and Spain.
  • The Monday midweeks. Where it starts getting interesting.

Don't Tread On My Lego House
I've run out of creative ways to feature Ed Sheeran. So here is something else made of ginger instead.
I've run out of creative ways to feature Ed Sheeran. So here is something else made of ginger instead.
Bloody hell it was quiet this week. So quiet in fact that much of the music buzz centred around stuff that is going to happen soon, rather than stuff happening now. That’s all thanks to Adele breaking cover from the teaser campaign we noted last week and confirming that a new single and a new album are on the way, and that the single itself Easy On Me is to be released this coming Friday (15th).
But this does however mean we can kind of plan ahead with some degree of certainty. Ed Sheeran is, almost needless to say, No.1 in the UK once more as Shivers lands itself a fourth consecutive week at the top of the charts. The single was downloaded 6,348 times, purchased physically once (although that may or may not be a database rounding error), and was streamed 6,702,000 times for a total calculated chart sale of 61,366. That’s slightly down on last week’s total but easily enough to mean Ed’s long run at the top of the charts continues apace.
For those who have lost count (and who could blame them really) an Ed Sheeran record has been top of the British charts for every one of the last 15 weeks, dating from when Bad Habits was first released and hit No.1 on the singles chart announced on July 1st. It really was that long ago.
That equals the marathon runs notched up by Drake (in 2016) and Wet Wet Wet (in 1994) and means he is now one short of the all-time record of 16 consecutive weeks.
Whether he does that or not is something we’ll come on to later. But assuming he does, it isn’t too hard to predict that this marathon stay at the top will be halted in fairly short order by the arrival of a new Adele track. Meaning the record can only be equalled but most probably not broken. Unless of course he and his label have another stunt up their sleeve to cause another unexpected spike. They wouldn’t, would they?
Ed Sheeran – Shivers [Official Acoustic Video]
Ed Sheeran – Shivers [Official Acoustic Video]
Oh yes, and as expected last week’s massive new entry by Coldplay x BTS did indeed prove to be an utter one week wonder, diving to No.12 after seeing its second week sales halve in comparison with the first the first. Here’s the fascinating bit: overall streams of the single only declined by 3.8%. That sales collapse was entirely down to the hefty paid number My Universe did in its first week. And just as we expected that simply wasn’t a sustainable level.
No Time Like The Present
Readers of last week’s newsletter will note that at least one of the two things speculated upon did come to pass.
The long-overdue arrival of a certain James Bond movie in the cinemas caused a resurgence of interest in its lavish and epic-sounded theme song. No Time To Die by Billie Eilish rebounded back onto the charts and yes, although it was not clear from the early midweeks, a common-sense approach was taken to the whole issue of whether the track should still be subject to ACR rules. In that it wasn’t, the streams of the track counted for full strength and so the former No.1 single (one of the last to hit the top before the world went largely to shit in March 2020) re-enters the singles chart at No.32. That is its first Top 75 appearance since April 30th last year.
Absorbingly No Time To Die actually did make a brief appearance on the full Top 100 last October when it resurfaced at No.95, I’ve a feeling in response to the hype machine cranking up towards what was at the time the imminent release of the movie only for everything to be moved back once more.
Billie Eilish - No Time To Die (Live From The BRIT Awards, London)
Billie Eilish - No Time To Die (Live From The BRIT Awards, London)
The second highest new entry (although it was actually just climbing up from below the Top 75) wasn’t a single we were expecting. After Brit rising star award-winner Griff appeared on Strictly Come Dancing the weekend before last, her social media team became very excited about the way sales of the track she performed One Night started to rise. Thus began an intensive Twitter campaign where Griff (or at least the people who post for her) cheered the track as it rose up the iTunes charts. As if it were still 2009 and the iTunes charts mattered.
But still, One Night enjoyed a 63.4% uplift in sales to take it to No.45. It was downloaded 1,491 times. So I’m not completely convinced the Twitter excitement actually had too much of an effect in the end.
One place below at No.46 was the new entry flagged up last week, Last One Standing by Skylar Grey and chums, as heard in the new Venom movie.
Griff performs One Night in the Ballroom ✨ BBC Strictly 2021
Griff performs One Night in the Ballroom ✨ BBC Strictly 2021
They Will Be Moving
We are officially in Q4, the last 13-week stretch of the year, meaning record labels start to wheel out both the big guns and indeed much of the product they have been holding back until now.
We may still only be clearing our throats, but this did mean everything suddenly got really busy albums-wise with no fewer than six new entries (and one return) inside the Top 10.
The charge was lead as expected by The Script whose career-retrospective Tales From The Script - Greatest Hits stormed to the top with a huge 23,285 sale, over 20,000 of these naturally through physical sales. It is now their sixth No.1 album in seven releases, their 100% record only spoiled by the failure of their creatively-titled third album No.3 to progress beyond second place. It was beaten to the top by Coexist by The XX in September 2012 fact fans.
The Script celebrate "a lifetime of work" as Greatest Hits claims Number 1 | Official Charts
The Script celebrate "a lifetime of work" as Greatest Hits claims Number 1 | Official Charts
Zimmer In The Frame
In other exciting albums chart news, redefining the phrase “delayed release”, Hans Zimmer’s original soundtrack to No Time To Die lands in the Top 10 at No.7 after moving 6,150 copies.
In the first instance it is the highest charting soundtrack work to date for the German composer. Never before has he made the Top 10, his previous best coming back in 2000 when he made his debut with the Gladiator OST (co-credited with Lisa Gerrard) and which made No.17.
But get this - it is also far and away the highest-charting Bond soundtrack ever. This perhaps isn’t much of a shock, purchasing the original orchestral scores for movies, even Bond ones, is a bit of a niche interest. It just so happens that with overall album sales so low these days, even niche interests stand a chance of a good chart position.
To put this in some kind of context, Zimmer takes over as Bond composer from Thomas Newman who scored the last two instalments in the franchise. The Spectre OST charted at No.25 with 3,384 sales and the Skyfall OST charted at No.36 with 5,257 sales. So the No Time To Die has at the very least beaten the first week performances of both of its predecessors, although we should note that 655 of the chart sales of the new album came via streaming calculations - and the fact that Billie Eilish’s theme song is one of the tracks on the album with a million streams of its own last week may have something to do with that number.
Nugget Of The Week
Not so much a nugget this week as an intriguing question posed to me on Twitter:
That’s a reference to the Dry Cleaning album New Long Leg which did indeed chart at No.4 back in April only to vanish from the charts completely the following week (it sold 1,140 copies in its second week on sale, enough to rank at an unpublished No.112 on that chart). The record though was actually set twice earlier this year, albums by YouMeAtSix and Ben Howard tumbling out of the Top 100 completely from the very top. Although I had to be reminded of this by others on Twitter.
Across The Atlantic
Billboard’s tardiness last week meant we missed out seeing the spectacular debut of Coldplay and BTS’s My Universe at No.1, Coldplay’s first trip to the top of the American charts since Viva La Vida. But we do get to note that it is - shock - nowhere to be seen in this week’s Top 10, meaning the single has traced exactly the same sales path across the Atlantic as it did here, popping a big number and then sinking back to a more realistic level.
So instead that means *zzz* Stay climbs back to the top of the US charts, making it the second single this year to have three different spells at the top of the Hot 100. The other? Butter by BTS. Amazing scenes.
The Coldplay single is replaced in the Top 10 by the Wizkid single Essence, meaning Justin Bieber occupies a slot at either end. The track never really took off here, peaking at No.16 in early September.
A Land Down Under
ARIA
Here's this week's Top Ten #ARIACharts singles featuring @thekidlaroi & @justinbieber, @eltonofficial, @DUALIPA, @pnau, @edsheeran, @LilNasX, @ckay_yo and more!

Check out https://t.co/bfON5Bzzfk for all of this week's charts! https://t.co/ye19trcpFy
So our regular Australian checklist is intact. Stay at No.1 for Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber? Check. That’s now 13 weeks they have sat there. Everyone else is present and correct, although you will note that there, just as here, Coldplay and BTS couldn’t sustain a Top 10 position. Instead their place is taken by CKay with Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah) which is proving almost as popular on the other side of the world as it is here.
But the highest new entry of the week in Australia is the long-overdue official release of a track which went viral earlier this year in a much rawer acoustic form. Rancid Eddie are a five-piece from Melbourne who formed a group as a way of ensuring their friendship would survive high school graduation. Dry is a cheery singalong which conceals a melancholic lyric about a failing relationship, although only in Australia would you get a love song which complains “it’s such a struggle just to cum any more”.
The video itself is equally wistful, a series of cut together online clips that the group assembled given Coronavirus lockdowns are preventing them going out and making a proper one. But the track is now No.17 on the ARIA charts and is possibly the biggest breath of fresh air you will hear all week.
Rancid Eddie - Dry (Official Visualizer)
Rancid Eddie - Dry (Official Visualizer)
Euro-vision
Listas Ventas España
VENTAS OFICIALES SINGLE ESPAÑA 🇪🇸
Semana 39 (24 al 30 de septiembre de 2021)

1️⃣ @zz0ilo y @Aitanax 💿💿
2️⃣ @jhaycortez y @Anuel_2bleA 📀
3️⃣ @Rvssian, @rauwalejandro y @chrisbrown 📀
4️⃣ @FarrukoOfficial 💿💿💿
5️⃣ @rauwalejandro 💿💿

#TopCanciones https://t.co/jxOuA696LL https://t.co/zJ1NdCPsAZ
Let’s take a trip to Spain for the first time in this series. The Spanish charts are produced to a relatively laid-back schedule, as although their survey closes on a Thursday just like everyone else’s the new data isn’t released until Tuesday meaning to feature it here is all a bit retrospective. But no matter.
The Spanish are a bit like the Italians in that they love their local artists, meaning their weekly charts are slightly less globalised than some we take a look at. By way of an example, Ed Sheeran’s Bad Habits climbed no higher than No.26 in the Costas and the highest-charting English-language hit over there at the moment is Stay which still only reached as high as No.11.
So here is their No.1 single of the moment, a newly re-versioned collaboration between debuting singer Zzolio and Spanish pop sensation Aitana, who was first discovered on a TV talent show in 2017 and who has had a string of huge hit singles in Spain. And there is something oddly compelling about this one, you can see why it has been top of the charts for weeks.
It’s six in the morning and I don’t care
I’m going to go out on the street, I’m going to scream
I’m going to scream that I love you, that I really love you
With that smile on, it really doesn’t cost me
Thinking of you when I go to bed
But, Aitana, don’t imagine the rest
If not, this is not pretty
Zzoilo, Aitana - Mon Amour (Remix)(Official Video) (Letra)
Zzoilo, Aitana - Mon Amour (Remix)(Official Video) (Letra)
Midweek Teases
More than one person contacted me over the weekend very excited at the news that specially signed CD singles of the Elton John/Dua Lipa collaboration Cold Heart were being sent out, wondering if this was going to be the event that finally pushed the single ahead of Ed Sheeran and to the top of the charts.
My first response was to laugh at the idea, the numbers involved were going to be tiny in the grand scheme of things, and given that 11,000 chart sales separated the two singles this week there is a lot of ground to catch up.
But would you look at that, the Official Chart First Look broadcast on Sunday evening did indeed give Cold Heart a surprising lead at No.1. And that is a lead it has maintained into the Monday updates as well.
But, and I have to be careful here about how much I am allowed to reveal. The two singles are close enough to ensure that the chart this week is by no means a foregone conclusion. The Sheeran single is still outpacing Cold Heart when it comes to streams, Elton and Dua only have the edge thanks to a larger paid sale - and yes, that includes a batch of physical copies.
Here is one thing I can tease you with - intriguingly the gap between the two singles as of Monday evening corresponds almost exactly to the reported physical sale of Cold Heart. And it isn’t going to add any more to this total as the week goes on.
Jesy Nelson’s solo debut Boyz has grabbed all the headlines this week and seems set for a Top 5 entry or thereabouts. Whatever the arguments over the merits of the track (based heavily on a sample from a P Diddy track) it will have easily outpaced the first post-split offering from her old group. Which must be satisfying.
Sam Fender’s new Seventeen Going Under album will easily be No.1 It is the biggest album of what is otherwise a very quiet week. So much so in fact that its Monday midweek sale is 1000% more than its closest rival. No, that isn’t a typo.
Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under (Official Video)
Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under (Official Video)
Don’t forget the new UK charts are announced by Radio One from 5pm every Friday, can be seen in full on officialcharts.com and musicweek.com, and subscribers to the latter can read my exclusive chart analysis from 6pm that day.
There’s no charge for this newsletter, and never will be. But if you fancy thanking me for the work that goes into putting it together, then you can always buy me a coffee. Ready for the next time I have to sit up until midnight to wait for the American charts.
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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. The deep dive facts there just wasn't room for in the magazine and a summary of events taking place worldwide.

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