analysis

Great expectations: 10 years of the BRITs Critics' Choice Award

Oh, she was hot. Adele was lovely, quite childlike still; she was just out of the BRIT School…” Maggie Crowe OBE, director of events and charities at the BPI, is reliving the night of February 20, 2008, when a 19-year-old ...

International charts analysis: Justin Timberlake seizes more top spots around the world

  Justin Timberlake's fifth solo studio album, Man Of The Woods, opened at No.1 in three territories and made the Top 10 in a further six last week, and now adds further debuts at No.1 in Canada, The Czech Republic, Denmark and The USA, No.2 in Australia, Slovakia and Switzerland, No.4 in Austria, No.7 in Spain, No.8 in Norway, No.10 in France and No.11 in Finland. It also holds at No.1 in Flanders, while falling 1-3 in Germany, 1-4 in The Netherlands, 3-6 in New Zealand, 2-8 in The UK, 6-12 in Sweden, 6-18 in Flanders, 3-18 in Ireland, 32-35 in Japan and 8-54 in Italy.     Film soundtracks are doing great business at the moment, with The Greatest Showman at No.1 for the sixth time in The UK, the fourth time in Ireland and the second time in New Zealand, while Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther start their campaigns. How they are treated for chart purposes varies from territory to territory. In the UK, for example, The Greatest Showman is in the artist album chart on the grounds that the ensemble cast performs it - although Lorin Allred is not in the film and performs two of its top tracks. Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther, however, are exiled to the compilation chart in the UK, with the logic being that they are compilations of tracks which may or may not be in the film but which are by artists who (largely) are not, and therefore don't qualify as ensemble cast efforts. Fifty Shades Freed starts at No.2 in the UK compilation chart and Black Panther at No.9 - but albums in the compilation chart receive no sales-equivalent boost from streams. If they did, both would rank higher, particularly Black Panther, which is chock-a-bloc with hip-hop, which is huge on streaming, less so on paid-for sales. With that in mind, Fifty Shades Freed debuts at No.1 in Germany, No.5 in Flanders, No.9 in Norway, No.10 in New Zealand, No.12 in Wallonia and No.18 in The Netherlands in regular (artist) chart action, while Black Panther is No.1 in Norway, No.2 in The Netherlands and New Zealand, No.8 in Flanders and No.43 in Wallonia. Liverpool band The Wombats equal their highest chart position domestically, with fourth release Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life debuting at No.3 in The UK. It also opens at No.19 in Norway, No.39 in Germany, No.67 in The Netherlands and No.75 in Flanders. Glasgow band Franz Ferdinand's fifth regular studio album, Always Ascending, debuts at No.6 in The UK, No.13 in Germany and Wallonia, No.19 in The Netherlands, No.21 in Flanders, No.26 in Japan, No.31 in Italy and No.35 in Ireland. Apologies to Yorkshire heavy metal veterans Saxon for missing their name off a paragraph about them last week, when they scored their highest charting album in the UK for 33 years with Thunderbolt - their 22nd studio set - debuting at No.29. It performed even more impressively in Germany, where it became their 23rd chart album, and the first to make the Top 10, debuting at No.5. It also debuted at No.13 in Sweden, No.48 in Wallonia, No.53 in Flanders and Italy and No.172 in The Netherlands. Although making spectacular declines in many of the above this week, it now adds debuts in Switzerland (No.6), Austria (No.18), The Czech Republic (No.31) Spain (No.39) and France (No.113). Meanwhile, Scots legends Simple Minds' 18th studio album Walk Between Worlds - which opened at No.4 in The UK and Flanders and at No.7 in Germany last week, while opening its account in another five countries - now debuts at No.5 in Switzerland, No.29 in Spain, No.36 in Austria, No.52 in The Czech Republic and No.82 in Australia. Finally, Dua Lipa's eponymous debut demands our attention yet again, securing new peaks in Argentina (13-7), Norway (11-10), Canada (16-15), The USA (35-27) and France (91-90) while heading north again in Denmark (12-11), Finland (14-13), Sweden (14-13), New Zealand (27-26), Australia (45-39) and Slovakia (81-61).    

Charts analysis: Drake holds off Rudimental on singles chart

Drifting 5-8 on the paid-for sales list, God's Plan by Drake nevertheless racks up its fourth straight week atop the singles chart, with total consumption of 51,983, of which sales-equivalent streams account for 44,402. Runner-up for the second time, Rudimental's fifth Top 10 hit, These Days (feat. Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen), increases sales 14.15% week-on-week to 44,969, reducing Drake's lead from a commanding 43.51% in the last frame to 15.60%. These Days remains top of the paid-for sales list, with digital purchases accounting for 18,752 of its total. Four weeks after debuting at No.11, Liam Payne & Rita Ora's For You – from Fifty Shades Freed – responds to the release of said film and its soundtrack album by jumping 18-8 (27,399 sales). It thus becomes Ora's 12th Top 10 hit and Payne's 17th, including 15 with One Direction.  Keala Settle's barnstorming performance of The Greatest Showman breakout hit This Is Me on The Graham Norton Show on BBC One last week, fuels a further increase in sales of the soundtrack album, while the track itself springs 6-3 on the singles chart, with sales up 24.10% week-on-week at 33,590. Up for the fifth week in a row since it re-entered the Top 75, Feel It Still moves 9-6 (29,999 sales) for Portugal The Man on its 27th appearance in the chart.  Its sales down marginally after growing for 10 weeks in a row, IDGAF is No.4 (32,551 sales) for the fourth straight week for Dua Lipa. The rest of the Top 10: Barking (3-5, 32,163 sales) by Ramz, River (5-7, 27,839 sales) by Eminem feat. Ed Sheeran, Finesse (7-9, 25,848 sales) by Bruno Mars & Cardi B and Breathe (11-10, 25,525 sales) by Jax Jones feat. Ina Wroldsen.  The highest of 15 debuts on the Top 75 this week is Friends (No.19, 18,931 sales), a collaboration between US producer Marshmello and UK singer Anne-Marie. It is his fourth hit, her seventh and the eighth different chart entry called Friends. Already hip-hop's leading hitmaker, Drake has his fourth of the year and 68th in total as featured artist on rising rapper BlocBoy JB's debut hit, Look Alive (No.23, 16,133 sales). James Bay's 2015 debut album Chaos & The Calm spawned five hits including the million-selling Hold Back The River. He is now working on his second album, from which the first hit is Wild Love, which debuts at No.39 (8,893 sales).  With superhero film Black Panther doing excellent box office business, the soundtrack album debuts at No.9 (3,333 sales) on the compilation chart. The existing hits from the soundtrack – Pray For Me by The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar and All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar & SZA – climb 15-13 (24,123 sales) and 28-11 (25,264 sales) respectively – and are joined in the chart by seven others, namely Lamar's title track (No.42, 8,497 sales), X (No.45, 7,801 sales) by Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz & Saudi, King's Dead (No.53, 7,079 sales) by Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future & James Blake, The Ways (No.54, 6,863 sales) by Khalid & Swae Lee, Big Shot (No.55, 6,819 sales) by Kendrick Lamar & Travis Scott, I Am (No.62, 6,226 sales) by Jorja Smith and Opps (No.71, 5.486 sales) by Vince Staples & Yugen Blakrok. Unlike The Greatest Showman soundtrack, which is a cast project allowed in the artist album chart, Black Panther is simply a compilation of new tracks from the soundtrack, and all are eligible to chart, although individuals are still subject to the three track rule. Kendrick Lamar gets away with five Black Panther tracks on the Top 75, however, with definitions of primary being muddied by the way artist credits are styled – &, and, with, featuring, x, + and / are all being used to link names together in a constantly confusing and evolving way.         It is barely seven months since Calvin Harris released his fourth album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1, which spawned four hits – but he has already moved on, and his 34th hit, Nuh Ready Nuh Ready, is a brand new song, which debuts at No.48 (7,612 sales). It features Canadian rapper PartyNextDoor, for whom it is hit No.6. Birmingham rapper Mist's Diamond In The Dirt EP storms the Top 5 of the album chart this week. Existing hit single Game Changer becomes his first Top 40 single, advancing 44-38 (9,122 sales), while On It (feat. Nines, No.66, 5,915 sales) and Wish Me Well (feat. Jessie Ware, No.73, 5,397 sales) make their debuts. Also new to the chart: You Are The Reason (86-49, 7,588 sales) by Calum Scott and Capital Letters (No.59, 6,577 sales) by Hailee Steinfeld & Bloodpop. Aside from those already mentioned, there are new peaks this week for: Jumanji (27-25, 14,129 sales) by B Young, Let Me Go (39-30, 11,446 sales) by Haillie Steinfeld & Alesso feat. Florida Georgia Line & Watt, Check (33-32, 10,265 sales) by Kojo Funds feat. Raye, Sick Boy (40-36, 9,494 sales) by The Chainsmokers, Mine (50-37, 9,460 sales) by Bazzi and Rappin' & Trappin' (74-70, 5,614 sales) by Fredo.       Overall singles sales are up 1.41% week-on-week at a record 16,046,935, 30.62% above same week 2017 sales of 12,284,738. Streams accounted for 14,991,807 sales, 93.42% of the total, both new highs. Paid-for sales are down 0.88% week – on-week at 1,055,128 and are 28.45% below same week 2017 sales of 1,474,600. They are below same-week, previous-year sales for the 237th week in a row.

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