analysis

Charts analysis: Joel Corry and MNEK extend lead at singles summit

Comfortably extending its lead at the top of the singles market, Head & Heart by Joel Corry and MNEK increases its sales by a further 12.6% to spend a second week at No.1. Its sale this week is a massive ...

Charts analysis: Taylor Swift debuts at No.1 with digital-only Folklore

The project such a secret that even employees of her own label were unaware of its existence until mere hours before release, Taylor Swift's minimalistic Folklore was always going to be the biggest story of the week. The eighth studio album from the American singer is, almost needless to say, the No.1 record this week. It is her fifth No.1 album and continues an unbroken run of chart-toppers which stretches back to the release of Red back in 2012. Swift is now one of just five women to have topped the albums chart at least five times.  Folklore's first week sale of 37,060 (the second-highest of the year) is down on the numbers posted by its predecessors, Reputation (83,648) and Lover (53,015). But unlike those two, Folklore is for now a digital-only proposition, its much vaunted 16 separate physical editions only available on direct pre-order and not due to ship for weeks or indeed months in some cases. A more like-for-like comparison is to note that Swift's last album Lover opened with 17,891 of its sales derived from streaming. Folklore this week has posted 24,908. Sliding in at No.2 is Ronan Keating with Twenty Twenty, the singer's first album in four years and, as the title suggests, a record which marks the 20th anniversary of his solo career. His highest charting album since 2009, Twenty Twenty opens with 16,702 sales. We should note that only 674 of those are derived from digital streams, meaning Keating has enjoyed far more paid sales (16,030 to be precise) than Taylor Swift who attracted a mere 12,152 download purchases.  Neither album is in fact the biggest paid seller of the week. That honour goes to Volume 106 of the venerable Now That's What I Call Music series which tops the compilations chart with a sale of 28,305. The delayed release of its predecessor has meant that just 12 weeks have elapsed between editions, so full credit to the compilers for somehow assembling a double album of recent hits in such a short timescale. All Distortions Are Intentional is the fourth album from Welsh pop punk outfit Neck Deep. The concept album is launched with a sale of 9,123, which is more than enough to propel it to No.4. It is the group's third Top 10 album in a row following Life's Not Out To Get You (No.8 in 2015) and The Peace And The Panic (No.4 in 2017).  Top of the charts for 12 consecutive weeks upon first release in 1984, Legend by Bob Marley and The Wailers has gone on to become one of the most celebrated hits compilations of all time. As of last week it had registered 686 weeks on the Top 75 and, since the dawn of the streaming era, has rarely been absent from the countdown. To mark what would have been Marley’s 75th birthday this year, the collection is now available in a new vinyl picture disc edition, the release enough to propel Legend back to No.9 to reach its highest chart placing since October 2016. "It's been a great decade, now it is time to be a great father," announced Logic in a tweet last month in which he declared his retirement. It means that, at least for the moment, his sixth album No Pressure is to be his last. Debuting at No.11 (3,787 sales), it becomes his fourth Top 20 album in a row and his highest charting to date. Australian rapper Kid Laroi made his singles chart bow back in June and this week opens his albums account with tenderly titled release F**k Love. The album is new at No.12 with 3,523 sales. The latest in an ever-growing line of albums released in digital form during lockdown but which now make their physical bow is Fiona Apple's Fetch The Bolt Cutters. The album lands back on the chart at No.33 (2,024 sales), which by an amazing coincidence is the exact same position at which it originally charted at the end of April.  American bluesman Seasick Steve adds to his tally of chart albums this week with Love & Peace, which is new at No.39 (1,948 sales). It is his 11th to reach the British charts. Dry was PJ Harvey's debut solo album, first released in March 1992. Its release was notable for the inclusion of a second disc of "demo" versions of its tracks, available in a strictly limited edition of 5,000 LPs and 1,000 CDs, rendering them highly sought-after collectibles ever since. Now, for the first time in 28 years, the demos have been released as a discrete album in their own right. The result is a chart debut for Dry – Demos at No.59 (1,595 sales). Interest in the original studio versions was also piqued during the week but Dry itself didn't quite amass enough sales to reach the published chart and sits just inside the Top 100.  Bringing up the rear, Old Flowers becomes the second chart album for American singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews. It charts at No.62 (1,548 sales) to follow-up 2018's May Your Kindness Remain which reached No.58. Albums sales are up 3.37% to 1,837,035. Physical sales are up 11.08% to stand at 382,003 to command 20.79% of the market. Click here for all the latest charts.  

Charts analysis: Joel Corry and MNEK surge to singles summit

MNEK really wanted to be top of the charts. When midweek flashes indicated his Joel Corry collaboration Head & Heart had edged into a narrow lead he tweeted out a brand new a capella rendition of the song complete with revised lyrics urging people to make his dream come true. Three weeks into its chart life the single sits proudly at No.1, its sales rocketing to 67,806 (of which 60,671 are from sales-equivalent streams). It is the first chart-topping single for either man, and the 20th No.1 hit in chart history to mention heart or hearts in the title - the first since Rixton's Me And My Broken Heart back in 2014.  Some small sympathy then for Savage Love by Jason Derulo and Jawsh 685, deposed from the top of the charts despite a still strong sale of 61,460, the most for any No.2 single for almost four months. The Top 5 are completed by former No.1 hits Rockstar (No.3, 49,780 sales) by DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch, Rain On Me (No.4, 39,966 sales) by Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande and Watermelon Sugar, which climbs to a new peak of No.5 (34,450 sales) for Harry Styles. We are used to artists featuring on multiple simultaneous chart hits, but this week Drake takes this to an entirely new level, contriving to appear as the secondary name on each of the three highest new entries. Two are accounted for by his collaborations with DJ Khaled. Leading the way is Greece, a track whose beats were first teased as long ago as last summer in social media postings by Swiss producer OZ. The finished product proves to be worth the wait, slamming straight in at No.8 with 28,928 sales as the highest new entry of the week.  A few paces behind is the equally fascinating Popstar, again credited to both men in tandem. It is desperately unlucky not to maintain the Top 10 placing it was set for based on weekend flashes, instead charting at No.11 with 24,804 sales. Just in between is Aubrey Graham's third hit single and the Canadian superstar can duly be found alongside Londoner Headie One as Only You Freestyle makes its chart bow. The track is no less than the fifth chart entry so far this year for the British rapper. At No.9 (27,878 sales) it is far and away the biggest so far in 2020, and his biggest chart hit since he featured on the Stormzy album cut Audacity (No.6 in December last year).  The three tracks are Drake's 86th, 87th and 88th chart entries respectively and together they mean his chart singles have spent a combined total of 802 weeks on the Top 75. All this in the space of just over 10 years. Go Crazy, the collaboration between Chris Brown and Young Thug continues to make impressive chart progress. Another jump in streams propels the track to a new peak of No.14 this week with 21,550 sales to its name. Before today, Tottenham rapper Abra Cadabra was perhaps most famous for being the subject of a famous mix-up at the 2016 MOBO awards, his intended gong mistakenly presented and victory speeches made by others before the error was corrected. He finally lands a long overdue chart hit of his own this week as On Deck becomes his first credited hit single, the highest new entry of the week not to feature Drake in any shape or form at No.39 with 11,679 sales.  Hard on the heels of his global smash hit mix of Whitney Houston's Higher Love, Kygo moves onto the next phase of his campaign to return legends to the charts. The subject this time is Tina Turner, his new remix of her 1984 smash What's Love Got To Do With It just as absorbing to the ear as it sounds on paper. Originally a No.3 hit 36 years ago, the track returns to the chart this week at No.40 (11,507 sales) at the start of a journey, which is almost certain to see it near the summit in due course. It is the 80-year-old Tina Turner's first chart single since 2010 and extends her span of hits to over 54 years.  Bringing up the rear in terms of new entries this week we also have a re-entry for KSI's Killa Killa at No.64 (7,562 sales), following the overdue release of its official video. The track originally hit No.27 at the start of June as an album cut. Just behind at No.65 (7,353 sales) is Hallucinate by Dua Lipa, officially the fourth single from her Future Nostalgia album. Cono, a track released by Jason Derulo in 2017 alongside Puri and Jhorrmountain is currently enjoying a second wind online as a TikTok viral and charts for the very first time at No.67 (7,062 sales). Finally, To Be Young, a collaboration between Anne-Marie and Doja Cat arrives at No.74 (6,202 sales). The singles market is once more virtually unchanged week on week, up 0.87% to 21,212,148. Paid sales rally slightly, up 1.8% week on week to 490,938. Sales of physical singles are up an incredible 441% week on week to 15,727, this entirely thanks to special edition 12-inch re-releases of three rare Joy Division singles (Love Will Tear Us Apart, Atmosphere, and Transmission), which between them accounted for 12,036 of that total. For all the latest charts click here.

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