analysis

International charts analysis: Travis Scott makes impressive start with Astroworld

As anticipated when it raced to the top of the iTunes chart in 41 countries within hours of release, Texan rapper Travis Scott’s third full-length album, Astroworld, has emerged as the week’s hottest new arrival. In the first official charts ...

Charts analysis: Drake racks up 30 weeks at singles summit

Two acts have spent 30 weeks atop the singles charts in the 2010s – and they’re both Canadian. Justin Bieber was first to the target, scoring six No.1s between 2015 and 2017, the last of which was Despacito, a track that was originally by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, but which spent 11 weeks at the summit once Bieber’s vocals had been added to it. The second is rapper Drake, who secures his 30th week at the summit this week, with his fifth No.1 since 2010, In My Feelings, spending its fourth straight week at the top on consumption of 83,085 units, including 70,478 from sales-equivalent streams. Aside from Bieber and Drake, the act with most weeks at No.1 in the 2010s is Ed Sheeran (23). Bieber could up the ante again shortly, as his latest hit, No Brainer – a collaboration with DJ Khaled, Quavo and Chance The Rapper – climbs 4-3, with consumption up 8.42% week-on-week at 45,887 units. For the moment, however, it remains behind George Ezra’s Shotgun, which spends its fifth straight week at No.2 (65,441 sales).  Drake co-wrote and raps on the week’s highest new entry – but even if it gets to No.1 it won’t add to his official tally. That’s because the track in question - Sicko Mode, which debuts at No.9 (31,787 sales) – credits only Travis Scott. It is one of three songs from Texan rapper Scott’s new album, Astroworld, to debut this week, ahead of Stargazing (No.15, 28,744 sales) and Carousel (No.29, 16,675 sales). Thirteen of the 14 other tracks from the album are ‘starred out’ of the Top 75, due to the regulation that restricts primary artists to a maximum of three concurrent chart singles. Scott’s triple raises his tally of Top 75 entries to 10 – but only one of his previous hits even made the Top 20: Know No Better, which reached No.15 exactly a year ago, and was credited to Major Lazer feat. Travis Scott, Camilla Cabello & Quavo. There’s more Canadian talent in the Top 10 in the form of Toronto DJ/production duo Loud Luxury – Andrew Fedyk and Joe Depace – whose debut smash Body (feat. American singer Brando) was a bit of a sleeper, taking 35 weeks to make the Top 40, but made it a fortnight ago, and now explodes 19-8 (33,230 sales). Taste by Tyga (feat. Offset) debuted 11 weeks ago at No.82 and has improved its chart position every week since. It finally breaches the Top 10, moving 11-10 (31,112 sales), while Swish becomes Tyga’s 11th Top 75 entry, moving 82-72 (6,934 sales). The rest of the Top 10: Rise (3-4, 40,182 sales) by Jonas Blue feat. Jack & Jack, Youngblood (5-5, 38,001 sales) by 5 Seconds Of Summer, Jackie Chan (6-6, 35,816 sales) by Tiesto & Dzeko feat. Preme & Post Malone and Girls Like You (8-7, 35,206 sales) by Maroon 5 feat. Cardi B.     If You’re Over Me’s seven week run in the Top 10 for Years & Years comes to a sudden end, with ACR pushing the track 7-28 (17,181 sales). Also departing from the Top 10 are God Is A Woman (10-13, 29,283 sales) by Ariana Grande and I Like It (9-14, 29,929 sales) by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin.  Bazzi’s debut solo album Cosmic consists of 16 songs, all solo efforts with one-word titles. However a new mix of one of the songs – Beautiful – adds vocals from former Fifth Harmony singer Camilla Cabello, and becomes his second Top 75 entry (Mine reached No.21 in March) this week, debuting at No.56 (8,717 sales). The Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again soundtrack is the source of three Top 75 tracks for the second week in a row. There are minor declines for When I Kissed The Teacher (44-46, 11,456 sales) by Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies & Celia Imrie and Why Did It Have To Be Me (48-50, 10,686 sales) by John Dylan, Lily James & Hugh Skinner but Andante Andante by Lily James (No.61 last week) departs the chart, as it has 11 fewer sales than Mamma Mia! by Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies, which fills the last berth available to the set under primary artist rules, debuting at No.57 (8,443 sales). Also new to the Top 75 are: In My Mind (100-68, 7,552 sales) by Dynoro & Gigi D’Agostino and Who Am I (No.69, 7,523 sales) by Kojo Funds feat. Bugzy Malone.   Juice Wrld’s Lucid Dreams slumbered at No.12 last week but is on the rise again, advancing to No.11 (30,513 sales) while parent album Goodbye & Good Riddance also advances to a new peak on its eighth week in the Top 75, climbing 39-25 (2,134 sales).    There are also new peaks for: Eastside (23-12, 30,223 sales) by Benny Blanco, Halsey & Khalid, Panic Room (35-34, 14,411 sales) by Au/Ra & Camelphat, Best Life (41-37, 13,446 sales) by Hardy Caprio feat. One Acen, Don’t Leave Me Alone (46-42, 12,117 sales) by David Guetta feat. Anne-Marie, Your Lovin’ (56-51, 10,609 sales) by Steel Banglez feat. M.O & Yxng Bane and Lost Without You (66-59, 8,396 sales) by Freya Ridings.  Overall singles sales are down 0.25% week-on-week at 15,328,274, 18.35% above same week 2017 sales of 12,952,030. Paid-for sales are down 6.18% week-on-week at 904,917 and are 26.93% below same week 2017 sales of 1,238,482. They are below same-week, previous-year sales for the 262nd week in a row. The last time paid-for sales were lower was nearly 13 years ago, in chart week 42, 2005 (sales week ending October 22), when 882,819 singles were sold.

Charts analysis: Mamma Mia 2 soundtrack settles in at No.1

Thirty-two chart weeks have elapsed thus far in 2018, and in 24 of them – 75% – the No.1 album has been a Motion Picture Cast Recording. The latest such phenomenon, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again has an easy third week at the summit, albeit with consumption in decline for the first time, falling 12.82% week-on-week to 35,488 units, including 8,256 from sales-equivalent streams. The Greatest Showman soundtrack, which spent 21 weeks at the summit earlier this year, remains at No.2, although its sales – off 11.30% week-on-week at 22,992 – are at their lowest level for 31 weeks.    Travis Scott’s third full-length album, Astroworld, makes a much bigger first impression than predecessors Rodeo (No.22, 3,290 sales) and Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight (No.19, 3,797 sales) in 2015 and 2016, respectively, opening at No.3 (18,609 sales) on digital platforms alone. The album – which is set for release on CD and vinyl next month – also spins off the week’s three highest new entries on the singles chart. Although the album includes more guests than most – Drake, Frank Ocean, Stevie Wonder, The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams, Quavo and Take Off among them – they are mentioned only on the album’s notes, with Scott himself the only credited artist at track level. With founder members Tim Booth (vocals) and Jim Glennie (bass) still on board, veteran Manchester indie band James’ 15th studio album, Living In Extraordinary Times debuts at No.6 (12,268 sales). Their ninth Top 10 album and 16th chart album in a 32-year chart career, it is the follow-up to 2016 set Girl At The End Of The World, which achieved their highest chart position for a regular release, debuting at No.2 on sales of 16,317 copies. Their 1998 Best Of set is their only No.1 and by far their biggest seller, with to-date sales of 910,722 copies, while the following year’s Millionaires – their eighth studio album – is their biggest selling regular release, with 175,516 sales. Girl At The End Of The World has sold 43,012 copies.  Norfolk alt. rockers Deaf Havana score their third consecutive Top 10 album with fifth studio set, Rituals, debuting at No.8 (6,432 sales). It is the follow-up to All These Countless Nights, which is their highest charting album to date, opening at No.5 (7,359 copies) in 2017. Their second album, 2011’s Fools And Worthless Liars peaked at No.49 but is their biggest seller, with to-date sales of 51,368. Rituals opens at No.2 on both the vinyl and cassette albums charts, trailing James’ Living In Extraordinary Times on both. Divide falls 7-10 (6,131 sales) to occupy the lowest chart position of its career, while extending its opening chart run in the Top 10 to 75 weeks for Ed Sheeran. It thus eclipses the introductory 74 week Top 10 run achieved by immediate predecessor X, which slipped 9-12 on its 75th week in 2015. The two albums have the longest opening runs in the Top 10 in the 21st century, while X’s overall tally of 99 weeks in the Top 10 is also a 21st century record. Sheeran’s debut album, +, was Top 10 for 32 straight weeks at the start of its chart career in 2011/2. Adele’s 21 managed 71 straight weeks in the Top 10 at the start of its career in 2011/2, while Emeli Sande’s Our Version Of Events was Top 10 for 66 weeks in a row from debut in 2012/3, and Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour for 69 weeks in 2014/5, a record for a debut album.    The rest of the Top 10: Scorpion (3-4, 14,208 sales) by Drake, Staying At Tamara’s (4-5, 12,636 sales) by George Ezra, Mamma Mia! (5-7, 8,435 sales) and Gold: Greatest Hits (6-9, 6,143 sales) by Abba.   Departing from the Top 10 are: Beerbongs & Bentleys (9-11, 5,623 sales) by Post Malone, High As Hope (10-14, 3,480 sales) by Florence + The Machine and Vicious (8-77, 1,095 sales) by Halestorm. Four earlier albums by Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller have fallen short of the Top 50 in the UK despite all making the Top 5 in The USA – but his fifth studio album, Swimming, fares better, debuting at No.37 (1,780 sales). Anthologising 17 songs written by Bob Dylan and recorded by Fairport Convention, 1970 spin-off Fotheringay and Sandy Denny – the legendary lead singer of both acts, who died 40 years ago - A Tree With Roots debuts at No.70 (1,166 sales).  Of seven re-entries to the Top 75, one – Billie Eilish’s Don’t Smile At Me - reaches a new peak, climbing 76-63 (1,275 sales) to surpass the No.70 peak it attained a fortnight ago. The album was released a year ago this week, with total consumption of 29,528 in the interim. Now That’s What I Call Music! 100 is No.1 on the compilation chart and No.1 overall for the third straight week, on sales of 43,908 copies.  Overall album sales are down 5.56% week-on-week at 1,659,553, 4.96% above same week 2017 sales of 1,581,079. Streaming accounted for 947,382 sales – 57.09% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are down 11.19% week-on-week at 712,171, 16.35% below same week 2017 sales of 851,356.

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