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Chart Watch Weekly - September 6th 2021

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Hi there, and thanks for sticking around. The world of music appears to have gone nuts with every big story happening all at the same time. It makes for lots to tell this week, and don’t get me started on what is going to be noteworthy in seven days time. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is plenty to discuss before we get onto that.
In this week’s carefully crafted masterpiece of nerdery:
  • Celebrating the glorious 70 day chart-toppers
  • The charts ignore their own rules
  • Roundups from America, Australia and Germany
  • Your sneak peek at the Monday midweeks

Double Figures And No Stopping
I genuinely thought this was going to be the biggest story of the week. In the long and storied 70 year history of the British charts there have been just ten records whose unbroken run at No.1 stretched to ten weeks or more. The last four of those have come in the last five years as it happens, almost as if there has been a change to the way people consume music and the way the charts were compiled.
Anyway, the 10th of these landed this week, as Bad Habits by the guy you have all heard of blasted through what used to be an unassailable barrier and made it into double figures. But that makes him unique - the only man to have performed TWO of these epic No.1 hits, his current one and Shape Of You which spent an unbroken 14 weeks (plus one more for luck after that) at the top of the charts back in 2017. And I think that’s a pretty huge deal.
Oh, and before anyone chimes in, there are actually three more singles whose total run at No.1 also runs into double figures - I Believe, Bohemian Rhapsody and Despacito - but as none of them managed a single unbroken run that long I’m counting them differently.
West Of Eden
What started out as a five-way race on the albums chart eventually turned into a procession as Kanye West’s Donda shoulder-barged its way through a crowd of female and female-led acts to take pride of place at the top of the charts. Although the erratic but never less than entertaining American rapper feels like he is the kind of artist who tops the charts with considerable ease, this is actually only his third album to reach the summit.
The others: Graduation in 2007 (when he was engaged in a famous head to head battle with 50 Cent over who had the smallest penis who was the bigger star) and Yeezus in 2013.
Kanye’s last album proper was Jesus Is King which topped out at No.2. Rather fascinatingly that album debuted on the charts with 19,407 sales to its name. The total for Donda last week? 19,617. He’s nothing if not consistent.
That consistency spreads to the way the album’s biggest tracks impact the singles chart - only three of them eligible of course even though under normal circumstances the entire tracklisting would have dominated the Top 75. Hits from Donda landed at 7, 11 and 15 respectively. The three eligible tracks from Jesus Is King made 6, 19 and 20.
Incidentally the second of his hits this week is Jail at No.11, which for me is the most entertaining cut from the album. Note that this charts on the basis of the streams of the solo version which kicks off the album proper. Much of the fuss after its release was the critic-bating ‘Part 2’ version which only got added to the tracklisting after the album’s initial release thanks to vocal contributions from Marilyn Manson and Da Baby. In the end that only had a handful of streams and registered 7,201 chart sales which puts it between the No.57 and 58 singles. I can’t help but think it is actually the better version of the two.
Kanye West - Jail pt 2 (Official Audio)
Kanye West - Jail pt 2 (Official Audio)
I Got New Rules I Ignore 'Em
Time and time again Tik Tok has demonstrated it has the power to break hits, not only new material but also re-surfacing older tracks and making them fresh and new again.
This is behind the sudden meteoric re-birth of Heat Waves by Glass Animals, a track which had already enjoyed an extended wander around the chart, peaking at No.19 back in May. It is still loitering, despite having crashed to ACR some time ago, and was last week at No.60.
Then an Irish teen called Juliette Cullen posted a rant about a lack of curly fries on the McDonald’s menu, a video which somehow went viral and became one of the most viewed clips on the platform at the start of last week.
Her backing track of choice? Heat Waves by Glass Animals. Which suddenly took on a brand new life at streaming.
Glass Animals - Heat Waves (Official Video)
Glass Animals - Heat Waves (Official Video)
But this is where it gets weird. It is very possible for hits that are languishing on ACR to reset themselves. The rule says that if your growth in streaming numbers exceeds the market by 25%, and provided you are within three years of release, then on the following week’s chart your ACR status is reset. The rule is there to ensure tracks which were minor hits first time around aren’t penalised unfairly and are given a second bite at the cherry. It was actually changed two years ago, reducing the threshold by half when it turned out precious few singles ever made the grade.
But this year the reset rule has come into play several times, it becoming more and more common for labels to stir the pot with new versions or new ways to hook people into a long-running track. This has however only served to highlight the problem with the one week delay to matters. Your chart reset only takes place the week AFTER you’ve gone viral again, by which time the impact is lost.
So this is probably why this week Official Charts exercised their discretion and waived the weekly delay, re-promoting Heat Waves to full chart status midweek and causing what appeared to be a seismic leap in the performance of the hit from one day to another. And in writing the analysis for Music Week this week I totally failed to spot this has happened. Foolish me thinking the charts would stick to their own rules. Heat Waves was indeed listed in the datafile as being calculated at the full streaming ratio, but confusingly was also marked as being eligible for a reset next week.
That’s my excuse for not noting and I’m sticking to it.
They also did the same with the BTS track Butter allowing the full impact of the new Megan Thee Stallion remix to be felt.
So my assertion that Heat Waves had actually been streamed enough to be Top 3 without the handicap was completely wrong, an error which alas there was no opportunity to correct. The track’s surge to No.18 was indeed its true chart position.
The Glass Animals single is set to rise still further next week. Meanwhile, we wait to see what changes will be made to the reset rule. The fact that Official Charts are overriding it may be a tacit admission that it just doesn’t work in quite the way it was originally intended.
Nugget Of The Week
This week marked Ed Sheeran’s 51st career week at No.1 meaning that the next time he tops the charts (which you suspect won’t be too long to wait) he will join the elite group of artists who have spent a year or longer at the top of the charts.
Well, I say “elite group”, there are actually just two others. Elvis Presley with 80 weeks and The Beatles with 69. That’s the kind of territory our Ed is now in.
Oh yes, and Stay by Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber is now into its sixth week in total at No.2. That’s now just one short of the all-time record for a single that peaked in the runners-up position. Although I suspect if it is going to equal the record it won’t be this coming week.
Across The Atlantic
Kanye West Lands 10th No. 1 Album With 'Donda' on Billboard 200 Chart | Billboard
A public holiday in America means the reveal of the new Hot 100 singles chart is delayed until Tuesday so we’ll just have to speculate amongst ourselves what is set to take place and see just how many Kanye West songs clog up the list. In the meantime, the man himself naturally has the No.1 album. Would have been pretty damn weird if he hadn’t quite frankly.
Down Under
Check out this week's #ARIACharts Top Ten albums with @kanyewest, @blissneso, @halsey, @CHVRCHES, @thekidlaroi and more.

Head to for all of this week's charts.
Naturally, it is all about Kanye in Australia too, although look at the impressive way Chvrches have made the Top 10, duplicating their success back home. They plough their own furrow and are a huge international hit.
Kanye has already broken the Australian singles chart, as just like in America they have no restriction on the number of songs an artist is allowed to have on the same countdown. As a result, he breaks the record (previously held by Taylor Swift) for most new entries, as 19 tracks from Donda all land at once. That also sets a new record for most simultaneous hits, beating Post Malone and Michael Jackson who each had managed 17 at once.
The German singles charts are gummed up with Kid Laroi and Ed Sheeran, just as they are pretty much everywhere. But take a look at that album listing above as this is one territory where Kanye did not manage to sweep all before him. Although perhaps that is a language thing.
Instead the biggest album of the week is Germany is the eleventh album by Swiss schlager singer Beatrice Egli. Here is the title track which was a single a month or so back. I think I’d cheerfully spend time at a beer festival with her.
Beatrice Egli - Alles was du brauchst (Offizielles Musikvideo)
Beatrice Egli - Alles was du brauchst (Offizielles Musikvideo)
Midweek Teases
While the world went Abba crazy at the end of last week, a certain Canadian rapper-cum-moaner slipped out a new album and grabbed the attention of the younger generation.
It meant the Official Chart First Look (as the Sunday night Radio One show is called) presented a Top 3 made up entirely of new entries by Drake as the biggest cuts from his new release Certified Lover Boy basically barged everything else out of the way.
The latest data does however indicate things aren’t quite as clear cut, and although Girls Want Girls is the Drake track that is out in front, Bad Habits has moved ahead of the chasing pack and is just a 1,000 sales or so behind. It genuinely is all to play for at No.1 for a change.
The two Abba singles meanwhile are comfortably Top 10 and seem destined to remain there, landing their first Top 10 hits after a gap of 40 years. Meanwhile, amongst all this fuss there is a new Little Mix single out, their first as a trio. That seems set to struggle to even reach the Top 20.
The albums race is just as intriguing with Drake pretty much neck and neck with Iron Maiden and their new album Senjutsu. I can’t help but think the Canadian will have the edge here though. Most of Iron Maiden’s near 30,000 sales so far came thanks to pre-orders being delivered on Friday. They haven’t actually added all that many more since the weekend and sales may already have topped out.
Friday should still be very interesting indeed.
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.
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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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