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Charts analysis: The Weeknd scores first No.1 with Blinding Lights

When Blinding Lights dipped 20-41 six weeks ago, with consumption down for the third week in a row, it seemed somewhat unlikely that it would make a spectacular recovery and become the very first No.1 for The Weeknd…but that is ...

Charts analysis: Blossoms score second No.1 album

Melodic Stockport indie quintet Blossoms’ third album, Foolish Loving Spaces, delivers their highest-ever first week sale, and their second No.1, opening atop the chart on consumption of 22,489 units (including 2,457 from sales-equivalent streams).  It thus surpasses the introductory tallies of their eponymous debut, which achieved consumption of 20,987 units when topping the chart in August 2016; and follow-up Cool Like You, which debuted and peaked at No.4 on consumption of 19,138 units. Blossoms has achieved to-date sales of 172,164 and Cool Like You of 78,366.  The band’s success has been achieved without ever having a Top 75 single not least because they have always received excellent support from radio, with upwards of 62,000 plays on the Radio Monitor panel, and eight of their songs making the radio airplay Top 50, including Your Girlfriend, the first single from Foolish Loving Spaces, which reached No.18 last July, and current single, The Keeper, which peaked at No.12 last week. Their most-played song, the anthemic Charlemagne from their first album, has been aired more than 13,000 times, with 602 plays on Radio One, and 91 plays on Radio Two. Although it peaked at No.98 on the OCC chart, it has cumulative consumption of 455,215 units, including 48,240 from paid-for sales. All three Blossoms albums have also opened atop the vinyl album chart, the latest on sales of 3,974 copies – but after topping the cassette charts with their first two albums, they fall short this time, with 290 sales earning Foolish Loving Spaces a No.2 debut.  Louis Tomlinson becomes the fifth and final member of One Direction to release a solo album, specifically Walls, which debuts at No.4 on consumption of 14,729 units for the 28-year-old from Doncaster. Departed One Direction member Zayn Malik was the first Directioner to release an album, Mind Of Mine, which sold 22,250 copies when it topped the chart in March 2016. Thereafter, Harry Styles' eponymous first album sold 56,630 copies when it opened at No.1 in May 2017; Niall Horan’s Flicker sold 22,703 copies debuting at No.3 in October 2017, and Liam Payne’s LP1 sold 9,910 copies debuting at No.17 last December. Two of the band have delivered second albums – Malik’s Icarus Falls debuting and peaking at No.77 (3,043 sales) in December 2018, and Harry Styles’ Fine Line debuting and peaking at No.3 (49,082 sales) last December. Styles’ first album is the biggest-seller of the lot, with a to-date tally of 253,289 sales, but his follow-up, Fine Line, has spent longer in the Top 10 than all of the others put together, moving 9-10 (5,943 sales) on its eighth engagement there this week, while raising its cumulative consumption to 117,935 units.   Pertinent to Blossoms cassette’s failure to reach No.1 this week, Tomlinson’s album was released in five different cassette versions, attracting total sales of 2,159 to debut at No.1. The vinyl version of his album sold 1,720 copies, to debut at No.2 on its format’s chart.   No.1 last week, London rapper/singer J Hus’ second album, Big Conspiracy, dips to No.5 (12,673 sales). The album it replaced at No.1, Eminem’s Music To Be Murdered By, falls 2-3 this week, its descent slowed by its first full week of availability on CD, which contributed 5,411 to its total of 14,879 sales. The rest of the Top 10: Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (4-2, 16,498 sales) by Lewis Capaldi, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (7-6, 9,129 sales) by Billie Eilish, Heavy Is The Head (6-7, 8,007 sales) by Stormzy, No.6 Collaborations Project (8-8, 7,259 sales) by Ed Sheeran and Huncholini The 1st (5-9, 6,014 sales) by M Huncho.     Departing the Top 10: Hotspot (3-16, 3,622 sales) by Pet Shop Boys and All The Hits (10-22, 3,029 sales) by Dave Clark Five. After consecutive No.1 studio albums former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher’s Acoustic Sessions – eight tracks, three of which were originally by Oasis – debuts at No.24 (2,735 sales). It is currently available only digitally. Liam’s most recent album, Why Me?, Why Not? sees an upsurge in interest, climbing 80-31 (2,377 sales). Also new to the chart: Chaos And A Dancing Star (No.35, 2,259 sales), the 25th solo album by 62-year-old Soft Cell legend Marc Almond, and the follow-up to Shadows And Reflections, a 1960s covers album, which was his highest charting album ever, reaching No.14 in 2017; and The Unraveling (No.36, 2,180 sales), the 12th studio album and fifth chart entry by Athens, Georgia’s rock/country band Drive-By Truckers. Three acts who made the top five last time out fall short of the Top 40 this time. They are: Treat Myself (No.41, 2,140 sales), the third album by Meghan Trainor after the chart-topping Title (2015), and 2016’s Thank You (No.5); Funeral (No.61, 1,808 sales), rapper Lil Wayne’s 13th studio album, which is destined to become his fifth No.1 in America, and is the follow-up to 2018’s Tha Carter V, which was his highest-charting album here, reaching No.5; and High Road (No.63, 1,702 sales), the fourth album by Kesha, whose last release, Rainbow, was her highest-charting but lowest-selling, reaching No.4 in 2017. Frozen 2 is No.1 compilation for the fifth time (4,540 sales, including 3,165 from sales-equivalent streaming).  Overall album sales are up 0.48% week-on-week at 1,846,239, 8.21% above same week 2019 sales of 1,706,117. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for 1,352,996 sales, 73.28% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 3.68% week-on-week at 493,243, 19.37% below same week 2019 sales of 611,709.

Charts analysis: Lewis Capaldi finally makes No.1 with Before You Go

Eleven months after Someone You Loved became his first No.1, Lewis Capaldi returns to the summit with Before You Go.  No.2 five times in the previous nine weeks, Before You Go went into reverse three times on its way to the summit, moving 19-2-2-4-3-12-2-2-2-5-1. Its coronation at this stage is due to a number of factors, including the reduction of its digital version to 59p on iTunes, its release on CD, and the release of its official video, which helped increase its streaming numbers. Its overall consumption of 65,943 units (including 45,181 from sales-equivalent streams) reflects that, with 13,393 of its sales on CD (77.55% of the total physical singles market for the week), 7,369 paid-for downloads (a 208.58% increase week-on-week) and an 84.44% surge in video streaming.    Those CD sales – spread across selfie, duvet cover and white label editions – are the highest for any single for 188 weeks. Erstwhile Britain’s Got Talent act The Neales (Birmingham solicitor Laurie Neale and his three sons, James, Phil and Dan) sold 19,149 CDs of their charity single I'll Be There that week (27 June 2016), having sold 21,746 copies of it the week before. Almost all of its sales were on CD, hence its lowly chart peak of No.22.  Although he is still waiting for his first No.1, Blinding Lights becomes the second of The Weeknd’s 36 hits to reach No.2. Climbing for the fifth straight week, it advances 4-2 on consumption of 57,325 units, including 98 on CD and a further 98 on cassette.    Eminem’s Godzilla (1-4, 50,799 sales) extends his extraordinary record of never spending more than a week at No.1 with a single – all 10 of his chart-toppers being seven-day wonders.  The rest of this week’s Top 10: The Box (2-3, 51,426 sales) by Roddy Ricch, Own It (3-5, 45,108 sales) by Stormzy feat. Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy, Don’t Start Now (7-6, 41,288 sales) by Dua Lipa, Life Is Good (6-7, 37,940 sales) by Future feat. Drake, Everything I Wanted (11-8, 37,701 sales), Someone You Loved (10-9, 35,626 sales) by Lewis Capaldi and Roxanne (8-10, 34,595 sales) by Arizona Zervas.  Exiting the Top 10 to make way for Billie Elish’s return is Ei8ht Mile (9-17, 25,393 sales) by DigDat feat. Aitch.  Big streaming numbers earn J Hus’ second album, Big Conspiracy, a No.1 debut on the album chart, and provide the bulk of consumption on singles chart debuts for its most popular tracks, namely Play Play (feat. Burna Boy, No.11, 32,808 sales), the title track (feat. Icee TGM, No.19, 24,844 sales) and Repeat (feat. Koffee, No.21, 24,398 sales). All of which leaves Hus with 17 Top 75 entries, and 12 Top 40 hits. Hus has a further 10 hits ‘starred-out’ of the Top 75 this week. Rapper M Huncho’s first album, Huncholini The 1st, also debuts inside the Top 10, and also spins off he maximum three chart entries for a primary artist, these being Pee Pee (No.32, 18,554 sales), Indulge (feat. D-Block Europe, No.50, 11,457 sales) and Head Huncho (feat. Headie One, No.60, 10,200 sales). Huncho has now had seven Top 75 entries, and three Top 40 hits.     At 11pm on Friday (January 31), Britain left the EU but there is some small comfort for Remainers in the fact that the track they put their support behind in an online campaign – Ode To Joy by Andre Rieu & The Johann Strauss Orchestra – debuts at No.30 (19,977 sales), leaving The Brexiteers’ choice, 17 Million F**k Offs: A Brexit Song (No.43, 13,266 sales) by Dominic Frisby, trailing in its wake. The vast majority of their sales came in the form of paid-for downloads, in which respect they are the week’s top two, with Ode To Joy racking up 19,743 digital sales, compared to its rival’s 12,961. It’s 51-year-old actor/comedian Frisby’s first chart entry of any kind, and 70-year-old Rieu’s first hit single, although he has no fewer than 23 Top 75 albums to his credit. Ode To Joy is an apposite choice for Remainers – Rieu is from Maastricht, where the Treaty Of European Union was signed, and Ode To Joy is the European Anthem. Based on Beethoven’s ninth symphony, it was previously a No.36 hit in 1996 for The BBC Concert Orchestra & Symphony Chorus in a version that was the theme to that year’s European Football Championships, and – as Song Of Joy – a No.16 hit for Miguel Rios in 1970.  Also new to the Top 75: Lonely (No.61, 10,104 sales), the second hit for Joel Corry; One Night (80-65, 9,307 sales), the 10th hit for MK (Marc Kinchen), the first for Sonny Fodera, and the first for their featured guest Raphaella; and Faith In My Killy (No.75, 8,132 sales) by GRM Daily feat. Nafe Smallz, Yxng Bane, Blade Brown & Skrapz.  Rapper SAINt JHN’s first hit, Roses, advances 55-40 (13,945 sales) this week. There are also new peaks for: You Should Be Sad (26-24, 22,718 sales) by Halsey, Better Off Without You (63-42, 13,361 sales) by Becky Hill feat. Shift K3y, Suicidal (50-44, 13,086 sales) by YNW Melly, Say So (60-45, 12,538 sales) by Doja Cat, Power Over Me (53-48, 11,833 sales) by Dermot Kennedy, Sugar (68-62, 9,880 sales) by Brockhampton, High Fashion (74-63, 9,722 sales) by Roddy Ricch feat. Mustard.  Two tracks re-enter the Top 75 at new peaks, namely Ballin’ (77-64, 9,699 sales) by Mustard feat. Roddy Ricch and July (81-74, 8,144 sales) by Noah Cyrus, which previously peaked at No.72 and No.75, respectively.  Singles sales are up 0.58% week-on-week at 20,924,192, 20.84% above same week 2019 sales of 17,315,485. Paid-for sales are up 12.92% week-on-week at 606,173 – 23.53% below same week 2019 sales of 792,647 and below same week, previous year sales for the 339th week in a row. 

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