Anyone old enough to remember Bryan Adams or Wet Wet Wet’s marathon stints at No.1 may be feeling slightly bewildered this week, and not just because of their age.
Because, as Drake’s One Dance draws level with Love Is All Around’s 15-week stay at the top and hones in on (Everything I Do) I Do It For You’s 16-week record, it’s clear just how much music consumption has changed.
With both Adams and Wet Wet Wet, it seemed like those records were an inescapable part of British life over the summers of 1991 and 1994 respectively. The songs blared from every transistor radio and shop and were played on every pub jukebox and fairground ride.
You couldn’t even go to the cinema without hearing them, as both songs came from big hit movies.
And, seemingly every British household owned an actual, physical copy of them.
While there’s an echo of the Wets’ threat to delete their single to try and cling to No.1 in Drake’s price drop strategy, it seems like you could easily have gone through the summer so far without hearing One Dance in public.
The consumption driving its success is a more private affair: no postman is whistling it and, while it may blare from a million streaming playlists, the advances in noise-cancelling headphones mean you’d never know it.
And, of course, comparatively few people actually own One Dance, certainly in comparison to Adams or WWW’s hits, but also compared to several contemporary smashes that it’s kept off the top spot. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is open to debate.
But when even a 15-week No.1 can’t achieve ubiquity, it’s certainly something to think about.
Mark Sutherland, Editor