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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.

Rising Star: Syco's Charlie Martin

The biz's brightest new talents tell their stories. This week it's the turn of Charlie Martin, Syco Music digital marketing manager. What’s your biggest aim for 2020? “Syco Music is home to a whole host of globally established stars like Camila Cabello, James Arthur and Louis Tomlinson, but this year I’m also looking forward to working with some of the label’s developing artists. For example, The X Factor: The Band winners, Real Like You, already have so many ideas of what their digital campaign will look like and I’m excited to be playing my part in helping bring their vision to life.” How hard was it to break into music? “Although it’s often extremely difficult to break into the music industry, I have found that every step I’ve taken since higher education has led me here. From 2013-2016, I studied music business at BIMM Manchester. At the same time, I had multiple work experience positions, which ultimately helped me to gain a full-time role at UniLad whilst continuing with my studies. As UniLad grew, I gained more contacts in the music industry and led the music and entertainment teams there. Since coming to Syco, I have maintained and built upon these contacts.” What’s your best moment so far? “I’ve been able to travel the world and attend some incredible industry events whilst working at both Syco Music and UniLad. In doing so, I’ve gained a network of key contacts in the industry who have been a huge part of my career to date. In particular, being able to attend the BET Awards in Los Angeles two years running was definitely surreal and exciting.” Tell us the best thing about working for Syco? “It’s definitely the team that work here! As Syco Music and Syco TV work hand in hand, you get to work with people with all different types of industry experience, so there’s multiple people to learn from and bounce ideas off.” What skills do you use most working in music? “The skill I use the most is thinking outside the box with creative ideas, especially as social media platforms are part of a hugely cluttered market. The best way to do that is to get a full understanding of the creative concept behind the artist’s campaign, to develop ideas the artist appreciates, but also something the fans will want to get involved in, too. Fan activations are a hugely important element to any campaign.” ADAM’S RECOMMENDED TRACK: PartyNextDoor - Loyal (Feat. Drake)

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