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International Charts Analysis: Royal Blood rock the global charts

Two truly disparate albums dropped today (23rd), and between them are No.1 on iTunes in 65 territories as we go to press at 6pm. Having made his global breakthrough with I'm The One, which featured Justin Bieber, rapper and producer ...

Official Charts Analysis: Artists For Grenfell soar to No.1

Recorded to raise funds for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, which claimed dozens of lives and left hundreds homeless a little over a week ago, Bridge Over Troubled Water debuts emphatically atop the singles chart on sales of 170,360 copies (including 1,785 from sales-equivalent streams) despite being released a mere 40 hours before the end of the chart week. That's the highest weekly sale for any single since Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You debuted atop the chart 23 weeks ago on sales of 226,808 copies.  Credited to Artists For Grenfell, Bridge Over Troubled Water includes contributions from more than 50 recording acts, most of them British, and is a cover of the classic title track to Simon & Garfunkel's fifth and final studio album, which spent three weeks at No.1 when released as a single in 1970. More recently, A Bridge Over You - which combines elements of Bridge Over Troubled Water and Coldplay's Fix You and was also a charity release  - was the Christmas No.1 in 2015 for Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir. Wikipedia states rather weakly that "over 50 artists" have recorded Bridge Over Troubled Water. In fact, it is well over 1,000 - and Simon Cowell, who organised the Artists For Grenfell recording and issued the track on his Syco label, has more than a passing connection with it, with artists signed to his label who have recorded it including Robson & Jerome (a rejected 1996 recording which has since turned up on a PWL compilation), Rhydian, Susan Boyle, Il Divo (on DVD), Clay Aiken and 2014 X Factor winner Ben Haenow, whose version was sold on the ITV website at the time but is no longer available. Fellow X Factor graduates including Leona Lewis, Matt Terry, Louisa Johnson, James Arthur and Fleur East are on the Artists For Grenfell recording. Bridge's release spells the end, at least for now, of the reign of Despacito, the Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber track which has spent the last six weeks at No.1 but now dips to No.2 despite sales increasing 7.20% week-on-week to 101,347. DJ Khaled's 10th studio album, Grateful, dropped today (23rd) and is certain to outperform the first nine. It supplied his first ever Top 10 hit, I'm The One - feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper & Lil Wayne - which topped the chart on debut seven weeks ago, and now yields his second, with Wild Thoughts (feat. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller) opening at No.3 (59,608 sales). I'm The One continues to decline, however, falling 7-9 (34,861 sales).  Climbing 13-10 (33,333 sales), Power (feat. Stormzy) becomes Little Mix's 11th Top 10 hit in all, and third from their fourth album Glory Days.  Strip That Down (No.4, 46,659 sales) by Liam Payne (feat. Quavo) and Mama (No.6, 41,118 sales) by Jonas Blue (feat. William Singe) spend their third straight weeks at their current positions but reach new sales peaks - and although Unforgettable falls 3-5 for French Montana feat. Swae Lee, it does so with its highest sales yet, 44.768 sales. It would appear from this, and the performance of the singles market as a whole, that consumers purchasing Artists For Grenfell's single from iTunes and other online download sites also impulse-bought other tracks while there.    Elsewhere in the Top 10, there are declines for One Last Time (2-7, 40,018 sales) by Ariana Grande and 2U (5-8, 35,329 sales) by David Guetta feat. Justin Bieber. Departing the Top 10: Attention (10-12, 32,162 sales) by Charlie Puth, There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back (8-13, 31,618 sales) by Shawn Mendes and Slow Hands (9-14, 31,483 sales) by Niall Horan.  There's a week to go before the release of Calvin Harris' fifth album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1, which spawns its fourth hit in the form of Feels. Featuring Pharrell, Katy Perry & Big Sean, the track debuts at No.21 (22,465 sales) becoming Harris' 32nd Top 75 hit, all but two of which have also made the Top 40.  Jax Jones has appeared on two chart entries hitherto, both of them monster hits. First heard on Duke Dumont's 2014 chart-topper I Got U, which has gone on to sell 827,521 copies, Jones returned with You Don't Know Me (feat. Raye), which spent three weeks at No.3 earlier this year, and has thus far sold 890,409 copies. His third hit is Instruction, which debuts this week at No.46 (11,450 sales) and features Demi Lovato & Stefflon Don.   Another single closing in on the million sales mark - and like the above, with much help from sales-equivalent streams - is Sexual, the debut smash from Swedish DJ/producer Neiked, a No.5 hit which marks its first birthday this week by moving 104-100 (5,305 sales) while raising its cumulative sales to 950,150. It was available for several weeks before it first made the Top 75 - and the same is true of his follow-up Call Me (feat. Mimi), which previously peaked three weeks ago at No.90, but now breaks its Top 75 duck, dashing 123-55 (10,034 sales). The sixth and final Top 75 debut comes from Don't Matter Now, the first single from George Ezra's upcoming second album, which debuts at No.69 (7,732 sales).   After slipping 13-15 last week, Your Song achieves a new peak and moves ever closer to becoming Rita Ora's ninth Top 10 hit, improving 15-11 (32,218 sales). There are also new peaks for Crying In The Club (23-20, 22,522 sales) by Camila Cabello, Came Here For Love (26-23, 20,140 sales) by Sigala (feat. Ella Eyre), Know No Better (35-31, 14,976 sales) by Major Lazer (feat. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo), Bad Liar (53-33, 14,886 sales) by Selena Gomez, Thunder (38-36, 14,541 sales) by Imagine Dragons, There For You (63-48, 11,078 sales) by Martin Garrix & Troye Sivan, Unpredictable (55-49, 10,582 sales) by Olly Murs & Louisa Johnson and Congratulations (58-51, 10.383 sales) by Post Malone & Quavo.    Overall singles sales are up 6.40% week-on-week at a record 13,898,718, 44.78% above same week 2016 sales of 9,600,104. Streams accounted for 12,416,477 sales, 89.34% of the total. With an 11.37% contribution from Bridge Over Troubled Water, paid-for sales are up 12.82% week-on-week at 1,482,241 - 15.57% below same week 2016 sales of 1,755,646 and below same-week, previous-year sales for the 203rd week in a row. PHOTO: Nic Serpell-Rand

Official Charts Analysis: Royal Blood score second chart-topper

They have never had a Top 40 single but both albums thus far by Brighton hard rock duo Royal Blood have reached No.1. Their eponymous debut set sold 65,812 copies when opening atop the list in 2014, and follow-up How Did We Get So Dark? sold 48,447 copies (including 3,162 from sales-equivalent streams) last week to repeat the feat. 6,199 of its sales were on vinyl, also earning it a No.1 debut on the vinyl album chart. The regal rulers' first album - the highest-selling debut album by a group or duo in the last three years - surges 66-41 (2,818 sales) to join in the fun, securing its highest chart position since August 2015, and raising its cumulative sales to 521,402 (including 51,641 from streams). How Did We Get So Dark?'s coronation is a late birthday present for Royal Blood's lead singer/bassist Mike Kerr, who turned 28 on Monday. Colleague (drummer) Ben Thatcher was 29 in February. the album's arrival at the top of the chart prevents Ed Sheeran's Divide - which holds at No.2 on sales of 26,832 copies - from returning to the top for a 12th week, just as their debut denied his X album a ninth week at No.1.  Canadian rockers Nickelback's run of five straight Top 10 studio albums came to a halt when their eighth album, No Fixed Address, debuted and peaked at No.12 in the closing weeks of 2014 but in the less competitive chart climate of June, their ninth studio album, Feed The Machine becomes their sixth Top 10 entry with some ease, debuting at No.3 on sales of 17,332 copies. Nickelback's first two albums fell short of the Top 100 here but third album Silver Side Up became their only number one in 2002 - taking 25 weeks to get there - and is their only million seller, with a to-date sale of 1,117,454, driven by the success of breakthrough single How You Remind Me. Lorde was a few days short of her 17th birthday when her first album Pure Heroine debuted and peaked at No.4 (18,294 sales)hot on the heels of introductory single Royals topping the singles chart in November 2013. Now 20, the singer/songwriter from New Zealand recently had her biggest hit singles since that time when Green Light reached No.20 in April. It was the first single from her second album, Melodrama, which sold 17,026 copies last week, and debuts at No.5. Both Lorde albums have topped the chart in her home country, and Melodrama is on schedule to provide her first US No.1 album this weekend too. It is six years since Seattle indie band Fleet Foxes last released an album, with half of that time spent on hiatus. They finally return this week with third studio album Crack-Up debuting at No.9 on sales of 10,596 copies. Their self-titled debut entered nine years ago this week at No.11 on sales of 13,826 copies, and peaked at number three in February 2009 (34 weeks later) when it also achieved its highest weekly sale of 21,952 copies after being reissued as a two disc set. Follow-up  Helplessness Blues, debuted and peaked at No.2 in May 2011 on sales of 46,681 copies. It shares with Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Chase & Status’ No More Idols, Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More, Jessie J’s Who You Are, Elbow’s Build A Rocket Boys,  Katy B’s Katy On A Mission, Hugh Laurie's Let Them Talk, Kate Bush's Director's Cut and Jason Mraz's Love Is A Four Letter Word the distinction of peaking at No.2 behind Adele's 21. Despite Helplessness Blues' big first week, its cumulative sales of 164,918 copies are less than a third of the 534,385 copies that Fleet Foxes has sold. After debuting at No.1 last week, London Grammar's Truth Is A Beautiful Thing dips to No.7 (14,441 sales). The rest of the Top 10: Human (4-4, 17,313 sales) by Rag'n'Bone Man, Adios (3-6, 15,035 sales) by Glen Campbell, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (7-8, 10,976 sales) by The Beatles and Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie (5-10, 10,462 sales). Dipping out of the top tier this week are: Witness (6-17, 4,870 sales) by Katy Perry, Dua Lipa (10-21, 4,551 sales), Chuck (9-22, 4,486 sales) by Chuck Berry and Is This The Life We Really Want? (8-23, 4,272 sales) by Roger Waters. It's a big year for shoegazers. Just six weeks after one of the 1990's genre's top bands, Slowdive, reached No.16 with their eponymous third album, some 22 years after their last release, their Creation labelmates, the similarly revered Ride, deliver their first album in 21 years and secure their fifth chart album with Weather Diaries (No.11, 7,219 sales). More than 32 years after her debut solo album Alf topped the chart, Alison Moyet continues to prosper, with ninth studio effort Other debuting at No.12 (6,653 sales). It is her first album since 2013, when The Minutes debuted and peaked at No.5 (13,536 sales). Previously half of Yazoo, Moyet was 56 last Monday. It is 10 years since Americana act Jason Isbell released his debut album, Sirens Of The Ditch. He has returned with a new studio album every two years, with each more successful than the last, up to and including Something More Than Free, which provided his UK breakthrough, debuting and peaking at No.17 (3,256 sales) in 2015. His sixth album, The Nashville Sound also credits his band The 400 Unit, and makes a lower debuting on higher sales, opening at No.26 (4,077 sales). Goldie was one of the first and most influential drum'n'bass acts to achieve major success, with the No.7 peak ascended by his 1995 debut Timeless remaining the highest position achieved by an album from the genre until 2008, when Pendulum's second album, In Silico, reached No.2. Now 51, Goldie himself had a second Top 20 album, reaching No.15 with 1998's Saturnz Return but has been entirely absent from the chart ever since, having taken some time off to act, and release some material under the name Rufige Kru. But he returns to the chart with new album, The Journey Man, debuting at No.43 (2,708 sales) this week. Beth Ditto fronted The Gossip for five albums, from their 2001 debut That's Not What I Heard to 2012 swansong, A Joyful Noise. Ditto, 36, from Arkansas, now makes her solo debut with Fake Sugar (No.47, 2,569 sales). The Gossip's third album, Standing In The Way Of Control, was their biggest seller, with the title track, their only Top 10 hit, reaching No.7. The album, which peaked at No.22, went on to sell 187,270 copies. Country/Americana veteran Steve Earle's 11th UK chart album, So You Wanna Be An Outlaw (with his band The Dukes) debuts at No.48 (2,553 sales). A 27-year-old Liverpudlian of Irish parentage, Nathan Carter has made his home in Ireland for many years, and has become a major star there. His eighth Top 10 album and his fifth No.1 in the country since 2012, Livin' The Dream is his third UK chart entry, debuting at No.51 (2,381 sales). The 12th and final debut is Beautiful Thugger Girls (No.71, 1,886 sales), the first official studio album by 25 year old rapper Young Thug, who has previously issued 16 mixtapes.    I Love Reggae is the No.1 compilation for the second time, on sales of 20,171 copies. Overall album sales are up 3.05% week-on-week at 1,820,209,  0.99% above same week 2016 sales of 1,802,315. Streaming accounted for 762,185 sales – 41.87% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 1.38% week-on-week at 1,058,024, 18.50% below same week 2016 sales of 1,298,240.

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