Charts analysis: Ariana Grande scores sixth week at singles summit

In an unchanged top three that consists entirely of female American soloists in their mid-twenties, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next racks up its sixth straight week at No.1 on sales of 58,450 copies (including 53,754 from sales-equivalent streams). The last ...

Charts analysis: Encore for The Greatest Showman

The album jumped 39-4 in the first week of 2018, and has remained in the top five ever since. Its return to the apex kickstarts its sixth tour of duty at the summit, and raises its cumulative weeks at No.1 to 22 – one less than the 21st century record of 23 weeks set by Adele’s 21 in 2011/12. After starting 2018 with cumulative sales of 7,021 copies from three weeks on release, The Greatest Showman’s consumption has risen to 1,498,993 units (including 506,664 from sales-equivalent streams). No.2 for the year, George Ezra’s Staying At Tamara’s is also No.2 for the week, climbing from No.4 to secure its highest chart position for 25 weeks, and its highest sale (40,558) since it opened 37 weeks ago at No.1 on sales of 62,564 copies. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra score their third Top 10 album in as many weeks, and The Carpenters their first since 2016 as Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra debuts at No.8 (25,006 sales). The Carpenters’ 11th Top 10 album in all, it blends their original recordings with newly-recorded instrumental elements from the celebrated orchestra, whose Unchained Melodies collaboration with Roy Orbison made the Top 10 a fortnight ago, and now reaches a new peak (6-4, 37,424 sales) while their True Love Ways collaboration with Buddy Holly, which made the Top 10 last week, now slips 10-17 (20,613 sales). The rest of the Top 10: Love (3-3, 39,647 sales) by Michael Buble, Odyssey (5-5, 29,424 sales) by Take That, Si (9-6, 26,875 sales) by Andre Bocelli, Christmas (7-7, 25,956 sales) by Michael Buble, Bohemian Rhapsody (8-9, 24,853 sales) by Queen and LM5 (11-10, 23,579 sales) by Little Mix.  After debuting at No.1 last week, The 1975’s third album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships makes a huge retreat, slumping to No.33 (8,916 sales). It is the second biggest dive from No.1 in chart history, after the 1-35 suffered by The Vamps Night & Day in July 2017.  Coldplay have an unbroken run of seven straight No.1 studio albums dating back to their 2000 debut Parachutes but fall just short of the Top 10 with their new Live In Buenos Aires set (No.15, 22,097 sales), which was actually recorded not in the Argentinian capital of that name but at La Plata in the province of that name, some 60km away. Dutch violinist, conductor and orchestra leader Andre Rieu & The Johann Strauss Orchestra’s latest collection of tunes, Romantic Moments II, debuts at No.22 (12,178 sales). Dubbed the “world’s first classical superstar” and “the king of the waltz”, 69 year old Rieu has now had 18 Top 50 albums - all since the age of 60 - and 31 Top 200 albums. The Kidz Bop Kids franchise scores its fourth Top 75 album with Kidz Bop 2019 (No.28, 11,138 sales). Xxxtentacion scores his third chart album in all, and his first since his death in June, with Skins. Following on from 2017 debut 17, which reached No.11, and March release ?, which reached No.3, Skins opens at a more lowly No.29 (10,969 sales). It is one of the chart’s shortest-ever entries - its 10 tracks have a combined playing time of less than 20 minutes. Veteran singer/songwriter Van Morrison scores his second chart album of the year and 47th of his career, with The Prophet Speaks (No.40, 6,696 sales). His 40th studio album, it includes his take on songs originally recorded by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke alongside six originals. The 73 year old from Belfast reached No.20 in May with You’re Driving Me Crazy, a collaboration with US jazz keyboards player Joey DeFrancesco. No.1 for three weeks when first released in 1998, Manic Street Preachers’ fifth studio album This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours is newly released in an expanded collectors’ edition, and is back on the chart for the first time since 2000, re-entering at No.55 (4,194 sales). Now That’s What I Call Music! 101 tops the compilation chart for the third time on sales of 48,642 copies. Its runner-up throughout is The Greatest Showman Reimagined, which chalked up its highest weekly sale of 27,150 copies in the latest frame. Overall album sales are up for the eighth week in a row, climbing 5.35% week-on-week to 2,948,283, 6.09% below same week 2017 sales of 3,139,541. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for 1,099,503 sales, 37.29% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 8.83% week-on-week at 1,848,780, 18.88% below same week 2017 sales of 2,279,052.

Airplay analysis: Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus surge to No.1

A week after becoming Pink’s fourth No.1 on the radio airplay chart, A Million Dreams slumps to No.8, handing the baton to Mark Ronson’s Nothing Breaks Like A Heart (feat. Miley Cyrus). Jumping 6-1, Nothing Breaks Like A Heart increased plays a massive 85.09% week-on-week. Its tally of 2,656 plays (up from 1,435) is only the 29th biggest on the chart but audience is what counts on the radio airplay chart, and that is up 21.20% from 53.31m to 64.61m, nearly 5m more than any other song. Cyrus’ first radio airplay No.1, and Ronson’s second – arriving four years to the week after his Uptown Funk collaboration with Bruno Mars started an eight week residency – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart secured 70.39% of its audience from 24 plays on Radio Two (six more than any other song) and 29 plays at Radio One, where only four songs had more exposure. It had top tallies of 48 plays from SIBC (Shetland) and Capital London, and 47 plays from a further eight stations in the Capital network. The only other song to reach a new peak in the Top 10 this week is James Arthur & Anne-Marie’s Rewrite The Stars, which surges 7-3. Like Pink’s outgoing chart-topper A Million Dreams, it is taken from The Greatest Showman Reimagined. Its latest leap is facilitated by a 22.16% increase in plays from 3,051 to 3,727, generating an almost identical 21.97% increase in audience from 47.71m to 58.19m. It had top tallies of 44 plays from each of 19 Heart franchises.  With a 22-6 leap, Wham!s Last Christmas is the first festive addition to the Top 10 this Christmas, although more are on the way, with seasonal songs currently occupying 18 of the Top 50 slots. Vintage Christmas songs are even more in evidence on the TV airplay chart, where four of them are already in the Top 10, though none can match Ariana Grande’s completely contemporary and wholly unseasonal Thank U, Next which racks up his third week at the summit, with plays up marginally (1.22%) at 497, and top tallies of 81 plays from MTV Hits, 70 plays from Box Upfront and 68 plays from KISS TV.    

Charts analysis: Ariana Grande breaks streaming records

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Charts analysis: The 1975 do the hat-trick at albums summit

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Airplay analysis: Pink scores fourth radio No.1

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