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Chart Watch Weekly - September 20th 2021

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Welcome to this week’s issue of Chart Watch weekly, your seven-day sweep of the stories that matter to UK chartwatchers and our regular glance at the stories grabbing headlines in other countries.
In Chart Watch Weekly this week:
  • Ed for Ed, as predicted.
  • You should never fight old battles again. Unless it is one from 1998.
  • Roundups from America, Australia and France.
  • The Monday midweeks. Where nothing much is going on.

Next Week's Lottery Numbers
Look, I don’t always predict things correctly so I’m going to wallow in it when I do. Because the situation I anticipated four weeks ago has indeed come to pass.
At the precise moment that long-running No.1 smash Bad Habits moves into what Official Charts like to call Accelerated Decline, Ed Sheeran’s brand new track Shivers arrives to take its place at the top of the charts.
Why do I think this was deliberate? Because the man has form when it comes to this kind of thing. Back in December 2017 the already long-running hit Perfect was meandering its way up the charts but had become stranded at No.4, only for the release of a new Beyonce duet version, swiftly followed by a third with Andrea Bocelli, pushed the track almost effortlessly to the top of the charts where it remained until just after Christmas.
They know exactly how important chart positions are, and this way they have managed to create a situation where Sheeran may well loiter at the top of the charts until the album itself is in the shops.
Shivers deserves to be at the top though, a track distinctively different to its predecessor but which is another fabulous pop record. According to the singer himself it was a toss-up as to whether or not it became the lead single, the decision to go with Bad Habits taken very late in the day.
The stats for the single are impressive. 9,180 physical copies were sold along with 6,265 downloads while the track was streamed 5,540,000 times to take its total chart sales to 59,181.
Ed Sheeran - Shivers [Official Video]
Ed Sheeran - Shivers [Official Video]
But of course, it isn’t quite as straightforward as that, this being one of those weeks where the incumbent No.1 single is bumped down the charts by the rule that applies to all singles, no matter what, but which actually should by rights still be No.1
Officially Bad Habits is this week’s No.3 hit with chart sales of 35,628. But it was still overwhelmingly the most streamed track of the week, commanding no fewer than 8,022,000 pairs of ears over the preceding seven days. Were those streams to covert to their full ratio the track would have registered 66,363 chart sales and be No.1 for a 12th week, stranding Shivers in second.
Incidentally, Ed now adds “replacing himself at No.1 on two different occasions” to his long list of chart feats, having first pulled off the trick in January 2018 when Perfect made way for his Eminem duet River.
It is almost but not quite a chart first, because technically John Lennon was the first to do it twice, first with The Beatles in 1964 and then posthumously as a solo artist in 1981. And then there are The Shadows who on no less than three occasions in the early 1960s (twice in 1963 alone) contrived to top the charts in successive weeks both as Cliff Richard’s backing band and as an act in their own right.
But that’s just nit-picking surely.
Obsessed With Her?
The week’s second-highest new entry lands at No.5. Rapper Central Cee follows up the springtime hit Commitment Issues with a second Top 10 single Obsessed With You. But it is interesting beyond being just another impenetrable rap hit, as the single makes extensive use of a speeded-up sample from Just For Me as performed by bedroom pop singer Pinkpantheress. That alone demonstrates the incredibly fast turnaround of the production, given the original was only released (and made the Top 30) in early August.
But it is an appropriate track to use. Just For Me is about Pinkpatheress’ obsession with a past crush, meaning there is a logic in Central Cee using it in a track covering the same subject.
Central Cee - Obsessed With You
Central Cee - Obsessed With You
We Can Tolerate This
They have been in the business for over 30 years, but until now the Manic Street Preachers have only ever had one No.1 album. Said record was possibly their most famous one of all This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours which made it to the summit in September 1998 - 23 years ago next week in fact.
So there is a genuine sense of “at long bloody last” that they have finally managed a second, The Ultra Vivid Lament sliding neatly into place at the very top.
But the most extraordinary part is that the Welshmen had to beat the exact same act to the top on both occasions. Back in 1998, their nearest rival was the Steps’ debut album Step One, this week they ended up in a close-run battle with Step’s seventh album What The Future Holds Pt2. This is either an extraordinary slice of fate or perhaps an example of the dire state of the albums market, given that two deservedly famous acts from the 1990s are still able to battle at the top end of the market over two decades later.
Steps themselves were aiming for their fourth No.1 album, although by a strange coincidence only their second that isn’t a Greatest Hits collection. Their only studio recording to top the charts was Steptacular in 1999.
They were at least able to be gracious in defeat.
WHAT A WEEK it's been!! We wanted to thank you all SO much for your outpouring of love for our new album #WTFH2. We are delighted to be number two on this week's official UK album chart and congratulate the Manics on their #1!
Nugget Of The Week
Did you know Tones & I has an album out?
It is called Welcome To The Madhouse and it is where her most recent Top 20 single Fly Away was taken. It was released to very little fanfare back in July and bizarrely has received very little in the way of marketing. There was a huge push for the single a few weeks ago with some radio stations even running spot commercials for it. I wondered to friends if the idea was to push it into the Top 10 (which never happened) and then set to work on the album.
It probably doesn’t help that an Australian artist can’t do much in the way of worldwide promotion at the moment, although that hasn’t stopped Kiwis such as Benee or Lorde from making their own mark over the course of the past year and a half.
So the Tones & I album languishes in semi-obscurity, possibly until it can produce another proper hit and it is worth someone’s while spending money to promote it. In the meantime it has accumulated just over 5,000 sales since release, the vast majority of which have come via digital streams. Its highest chart position so far has been No.145 which it scaled in the week it was first released.
Across The Atlantic
After last week’s Drake domination of the American charts things calm down just a little, the Canadian star now down to just three singles in the Top 10. He couldn’t even last more than a week at No.1, Way Too Sexy bumped down into second place by Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s Stay which thus barges its way back for a fifth week at No.1.
Drake is still top of the Billboard 200 album chart. Kacey Musgraves lands the highest new entry of the week, her Star Crossed album enters at No.3.
The one single in the Top 10 you may not recognise is Fancy Like by country star Walker Hayes which duly becomes the biggest C&W hit of 2021 so far, the first to reach the US Top 5 since I Hope by Gaby Barrett was a Christmas hit. Tik Tok has helped this one along and when you hear the chorus you will understand why. The track has yet to surface in this country, and indeed its sales have slipped back from the levels they reached at the end of August when the dance challenge was in full flow.
Walker Hayes - Fancy Like
Walker Hayes - Fancy Like
Down Under
Yeah, I got nothing here. Australia remains mired in the same stuff that has been hanging around all summer, although Ed Sheeran’s Shivers also makes a strong showing and grabs an instant Top 5 placing for itself, while Heat Waves by Glass Animals is also enjoying the kind of late-blooming success it is managing for itself in this country.
Le Top Singles de la semaine est sorti ! 🎧

Classement complet 👉

"TDB" d'OBOY reste à la première place ! 👏
Since we last checked in on the French charts they’ve had a changing of the guard at the top, although swapping one piece of French language grime for another. Their current local favourite is TDB by 24-year-old Madagascan-born OBOY. He’s not totally unheard of on these shores, having made the British charts back in April when he was one of the featured voices on the Ghost Killer Track single Tonight which charted at No.48
OBOY - TDB (clip officiel)
OBOY - TDB (clip officiel)
Midweek Teases
Shivers seems set to comfortably remain at No.1, Monday’s update has it about 5,000 copies in the lead - and that seems only set to increase now the track has a proper video available.
No.2 should end up being Cold Heart the oddly hypnotic Pnau mash-up of disco beats, old Elton John vocals and a new contribution from Dua Lipa.
Lil Nas X will end up with a smattering of new entries as his debut album Montero is doing nicely in the race to top the albums chart, level with Bob Dylan as it stands but the rapper is set to fabulously power his way into the lead later this week as streaming numbers catch up.
Watch out too for Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version) which should make a debut somewhere inside the Top 40. All eyes on whether it will out-chart the original version which only reached No.40 when first released in 2015. Although being the fifth single to be promoted from the 1989 album may have had something to do with that.
Don’t forget the new UK charts are announced by Radio One from 5pm every Friday, can be seen in full on and, 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. Thank you to Dave Shackleton for allowing me to drink to wake up last week. Your name could be here in lights too.
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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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