Charts analysis: Saint Jhn grows Roses spell at No.1 to two weeks

On the face of it, it is an easy second week at No. 1 for Saint Jhn with Roses. The remixed rap hit makes short work of the competition with a 13.7% increase in chart sales to 59,859 of which ...

Charts analysis: The Weeknd romps to the top of the albums chart with After Hours

The Covid-19 crisis continues to have a huge market impact. Artist album sales slump another 4.7% week on week to 1,484,482. Physical sales are down a big 40.9% with just 154,478 discs passing across the counter last week. It means that digital sales account for a whopping 84.85% of the total. The compilations sector takes even bigger hits, down 18.2% week on week to 84,085. Just 40,466 physical compilation albums were sold last week, below 50% of the total for the first time ever.   Already home to one of the biggest hit singles of the year so far, The Weeknd’s fourth full studio album After Hours was always going to be the biggest of the week. The album opens with a chart sale of 25,677 copies, of which 19,959 were accounted for by calculated streams, the second-highest sale so far this year for a No.1 album. By comparison, Abel Tesfaye’s last album full studio album Starboy debuted at No.5 with 35,697 sales in its first week on sale in November 2016.   After a three year absence, Morrissey returns to the albums chart with his 13th studio offering. I Am Not A Dog On A Chain is the follow-up to 2017’s Low In High School and slides neatly into place at No.3 with 6,720 sales. It is his 15th solo Top 10 album in all and his first to reach the Top 3 since World Peace Is None Of Your Business reached No.2 in 2014.   One of the select band of country stars with fame beyond his genre, the passing of Kenny Rogers at the age of 81 was always going to result in an outpouring of affection entirely in keeping with his status. Posthumous sales and streams have this week propelled his 1999 hybrid collection All The Hits & All New Love Songs back into the charts, the album this week landing at No.6 (4,770 sales), easily beating the No.14 it scaled when first released almost 21 years ago. It is only his third ever Top 10 album in this country following 1980’s Kenny (home to the No.1 hit Coward Of The County) and 1985 hits collection The Kenny Rogers Story.   After reaching a No.18 peak with their third album Build A Tower in 2018, Manchester rock band Slow Readers Club have been looking up. New collection The Joy Of The Return is their fourth studio collection since they formed from the ashes of predecessors Omerta and this week becomes only their second chart record of any kind. The album is the fourth highest new entry at No.9 (3,781 sales) – fascinatingly almost identical to the 3,797 copies sold by its predecessor in its first week on the market two years ago.   Four years on from his death, David Bowie makes his album chart return this week with Is It Any Wonder?, a six-track EP of a series of rare and previously unreleased tracks. Manna for completists, it generated enough interest to chart at No.10 (3,509 sales). It is Bowie’s 34th Top 10 album to date.   It has been three years since Donald Glover suggested to a festival audience that he planned one more Childish Gambino album before retiring the concept completely. We wait to see whether time (and the impact of 2018 smash hit This Is America) have mellowed his view, but for now the presumption has to be that his fourth studio offering will indeed be his last. Named after the date on which the full work was briefly teased online, 3.15.20 charts this week at No.20 (2,851 sales – all of them digital) to become far and away his highest-charting work to date. His only other chart entry is Awaken, My Love which charted at No.34 in December 2016 and which has sold 87,221 copies to date.   New at No.25 are rap duo Young T & Bugsey who make their albums chart debut with Plead The 5th, notching up 2,640 chart sales. This was yet another album unavailable physically this week and so is entirely reliant on digital numbers to make up its chart position.   Conan Gray may not have managed much in the way of mainstream attention, but the social media star has successfully leveraged a large enough following via non-traditional media. His debut album Kid Krow makes a strong start landing at No.30 with 2,393 sales, including 799 physical copies. His hype boasts over 150 million Spotify streams for the tracks he has released to date, the Official Charts Company here crediting his tracks with a cumulative total of 292,322 chart sales. The biggest of these is Maniac which has had almost 6.5m streams since last October even though the track, like all his other songs, has yet to graze the singles chart itself.

Recruitment Special: What key skills do you need to work in the music industry in 2020?

With everything from algorithms to metadata, blockchain and analytics now a everyday part of the music industry, it is easy to overlook the human factor. Yet without the people onstage or in studios the biz would just be a collection of random noise. It is true also of the individuals behind the scenes who make the music business work. Whether running labels, booking tours, representing artists, managing accounts, and beyond, ours is a people-led business – and in fact with technological innovation increasingly forcing faster change, having the right human beings in the right jobs is more crucial than ever. As part of Music Week's special investigation into the recruitment sector – which subscribers can read now –  a group of the biz' top recruitment specialists discussed the key skills they, and music industry employers, are currently looking for. Time to update your CV? Natalia Nastaskin, UTA (pictured) “From the perspective of music artist representation, there was a time when the music agent was looked to for the tour, show, personal appearance to support the artist’s new music releases, and that was the end of that. That’s no longer the case. The beauty of today’s artist representation business is that the agent and agency are key players in the development of an artist’s career. Companies like UTA, which offer a full suite of services to clients, are an integral part of the artist’s team and can contribute multiple verticals in the development of the artist and the artist’s brand: touring, brand partnerships, data analytics, on-screen film and TV opportunities, music licensing opportunities… The list goes on and on.” David Johnston, Handle Recruitment “There is a continued demand for digital first experience and there has been a significantly increased demand for metadata specialists. Becoming at ‘metadata expert’ may not be the first role people think of when they imagine a career in music but music discovery, distribution and royalty allocation has made it hugely valuable – especially as streaming services and voice recognition software continue to evolve.” Helen Ward, The Music Market “Digital skills are always in high demand. Content skills, videography, etc, for an ever increasing visual music experience. Candidates with a strong global commercial mindset an a working knowledge of analytics are also prized. I would like to mention that an increasing issue for us is the fact that potential candidates rarely read the job ads in full and apply regardless of whether they meet the criteria. I had one candidate apply for 23 different roles ranging from a junior management assistant to a VP of Latin America! I do wish people would take the time to check they have the skills we need.” Hannah Parish, CC Young & Co “We have seen that new artists expect a digitally savvy service. Clients are keen on information being more interactive and readily available, so we have focused our effort on acquiring and building bespoke software, which allows greater visibility to the clients. This requires existing staff to embrace change and, from a recruitment point of view, we are actively seeking candidates with experience in data analysis and technology-based roles. For traditional business management, we look for staff with a ‘can-do’ and yet ‘go with the flow’ attitude. This requires someone to have a ‘to do’ list, but be happy to change the plan when required – the bus broke down, the band have to cancel, or sometimes the band turns up on the wrong day!” Silvia Gargiulo, BIY People & Talent “It’s crucial for us to help clients understand why being open-minded and creative when it comes to recruitment is so key, so we encourage hiring with potential in mind rather than simply seeing only what’s written on a CV. Considering behaviours and attributes, rather than just hard skills, is important if you want to create a strong, diverse team.” Read Music Week's Recuriment Special Report now, plus check out the jobs section of our website for the best roles currently out there.  To subscribe and never miss a music biz story, click here. Make sure you can access vital music biz information wherever you are by signing up for our digital edition here.

Special report: Inside the world of music business recruitment

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Charts analysis: Niall Horan 'Weathers' the storm to top Albums Chart in difficult week

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Charts analysis: Saint Jhn makes a splash as Roses just beats The Weeknd to No.1

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