Charts analysis: Miley Cyrus makes history with Flowers

Miley Cyrus makes chart history this week with current smash Flowers becoming the first ever recording by a female soloist to spend its first 10 weeks on the chart at No.1. In residence continuously since January, Flowers achieved consumption of ...

Charts analysis: U2 land first No.1 album in 14 years

U2 return to the top of the album chart this week for the first time in more than 14 years with Songs Of Surrender. Comprising stripped-back re-recordings of 40 songs from the group’s back catalogue, it delivers their 11th No.1 on consumption of 20,569 units (11,042 CDs, 6,000 vinyl albums, 1,008 cassettes, 1,407 digital downloads and 1,112 sales-equivalent streams). Average age 62, the Irish band’s span of No.1 albums expands to a little over 40 years – their first No.1, War, dethroned Michael Jackson’s Thriller in March 1983. U2’s overall tally of No.1 albums is exceeded among groups only by The Beatles, who have 15, and equalled by The Rolling Stones, who have also had No.1s with 11 different albums, although two of them returned to No.1 in expanded editions giving them, on some counts, 13. The release of Songs Of Surrender has also re-awakened interest in the original versions of many of the songs thereon, hence the 138-38 leap (2,358 sales) of their 2006 No.4 compilation U218 Singles, which thus achieves its highest chart position since 2009. Although two of their members were born in the UK, U2 are rightly regarded as being an Irish band, in which category their tally of UK no.1 albums puts them well ahead of nearest challengers Westlife, The Script and Boyzone, who have had eight, six and five No.1 albums, respectively.    Brighton indie quartet Black Honey’s third album, A Fistful Of Peaches, is their second Top 10 entry, and highest-charting release to date, debuting at No.6 (5,619 sales). Their eponymous 2018 debut peaked at No.33, while follow-up, Written & Directed, reached No.7 two years ago this week. Although no UK dates have yet been announced, the start of Taylor Swift’s sprawling US leg of her new The Eras Tour last Friday (March 17) and the release of a quartet of previously unreleased tracks resulted in increased consumption of her catalogue here, with most recent album Midnights bouncing 8-4, with consumption up 31.05% week-on-week at 6,703 units. Also on the rise are 1989 (26-18, 3,876 sales, 24.62% increase), Lover (39-23, 3,468 sales, 52.71% increase), Folklore (38-26, 3,326 sales, 44.51% increase), Reputation (51-33, 2,736 sales, 33.18% increase), Evermore (121-57, 1,987 sales, 46.44% increase), and Red (Taylor’s Version) (127-66, 1,888 sales, 42.19% increase), giving Swift a total of seven albums in the Top 75. The rest of the Top 10: The Highlights (2-2, 8,916 sales) by The Weeknd, Endless Summer Vacation (1-3, 7,855 sales) by Miley Cyrus, Trustfall (4-5, 5,958 sales) by Pink, 50 Years: Don’t Stop (9-7, 5,429 sales) by Fleetwood Mac, Curtain Call: The Hits (6-8, 5,281 sales) by Eminem, Diamonds (10-9, 4,996 sales) by Elton John and Harry’s House (5-10, 4,959 sales) by Harry Styles. Ending an introductory run of 14 weeks in the Top 10, SOS slides 7-11 (4,893 sales) for SZA, while Sleaford Mods’ UK Grim dives 3-122 (1,380 sales) after just one week in the top tier. Its line-up unchanged since it was first settled in 2003 when its members were variously aged between 13 and 15, Maryland band All Time Low celebrates its 20th birthday with ninth studio album, Tell Me I’m Alive. Debuting at No.12 (4,637 sales), it is All Time Low’s seventh Top 75 album in total, and sixth Top 20 entry. Their sixth album, Future Hearts, reached No.1 in 2015 on first week sales of 19,463, the best for the band.  However, their third album, 2009’s Nothing Personal, is their biggest-seller with to-date consumption of 134,110 units, despite peaking at No.104. It did, however, spawn the band’s only Top 75 singles chart entry, Lost In Stereo, which reached No.63, and has thus far achieved consumption of 139,922. Their biggest track, though, is Dear Maria, Count Me In. Originally included on their second album, 2007’s So Wrong, It’s Right, it has never charted but has racked up to-date consumption of 518,587 units, a tally which increases by around 2,000 units a week, even at this stage.  Also new to the Top 75: Sundowners (No.46, 2,152 sales), the seventh album and sixth chart entry for hard rock quartet The Answer, from Northern Ireland; and The Complete Singles (No.74, 1,762 sales), the eighth chart album (third compilation) by The Inspiral Carpets. It is 20 years since the formation of Scottish rock band Frightened Rabbit, and 10 years since their only Top 10 album, Pedestrian Verse, which reached No.9 in 2013. Disbanding following the death of primary songwriter and lead singer Scott Hutchinson in 2018, they return to the chart for the first time since with special 10th anniversary editions of Pedestrian Verse making it a re-entry this week at No.59 (1,970 sales). It returns to its peak of No.2 in Scotland.  Default champion The Greatest Showman spends its 39th week at No.1 on the compilation chart on consumption of 2,371 units (89 CDs, 40 vinyl albums, 55 digital downloads and 2,187 sales-equivalent streams) .  Overall album sales are up 0.99% week-on-week at 2,176,070, 8.56% above same week 2022 sales of 2,004,560. Physical product accounts for 266,143 sales, 12.23% of the total.   PHOTO: Olaf Heine

AIMS API's Einar Helde on how the tech start-up can help navigate catalogue for syncs and playlists

AI and music are becoming an increasingly powerful partnership in the industry. AIMS API is one of the key players establishing a presence with clients including Universal Production Music, Warner Chappell Production Music, Partisan Records, Hipgnosis, Extreme Music, BMG Production Music and more. The tech start-up specialises in using artificial intelligence to power music search and provide auto-tagging solutions, which can improve efficiency for playlist curators and music supervisors. “Our goal was to make searching through large music catalogues more intuitive and efficient by using similarity instead of keywords and browsing functions,” Einar Helde, co-founder and head of business development, tells Music Week. We’re making it possible for people to discover the hidden gems of entire catalogue Einar Helde The AIMS Similarity Search function uses machine learning to enable partners to find music in their catalogues that has a similar feel to a search reference track. The AI analyses the characteristics of the audio and brings back the best song match.  “We’re making it possible for people to discover the hidden gems of entire catalogues,” says Helde. He is confident that their proprietary technology has an edge when it comes to sourcing the right song from ever-expanding catalogues. “We are experts in the complexities of music search and its impact on the industry,” says Helde. “We pride ourselves on being a research-led tech company. We’ve developed products based on our experience in the music industry, and with a truly global team made up of music and TV industry professionals, we understand the needs and wants of our customers like no one else.” With a team of 20, who have publishing and sync backgrounds, AIMS API has established itself in Prague, Copenhagen, Berlin, the US and London. Katie Thompson was recently appointed as UK marketing manager. Developments include automating playlist creation and curation, as well as discovery and recommendation features. “Our goal is to revolutionise the way people search for and discover music, whether they’re professionals or consumers,” says Helde.   

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