Charts analysis: Miley Cyrus' weekly sales for Flowers still above 100,000

Wilting ever so slightly, Flowers is still a runaway No.1 for Miley Cyrus, its consumption falling 12.09% to 106,508 units – 9,074 digital downloads, the rest from sales-equivalent streams - on its third week at the summit. It nevertheless has ...

Charts analysis: Sam Smith lands third No.1 album with Gloria

Sam Smith is back on top of the album chart for the first time in more than five years, with fourth release, Gloria, becoming the artist’s third No.1. Potentially the first major album release of 2023, it achieves first week consumption of 14,155 units (7,898 CDs, 1,440 vinyl albums, 298 cassettes, 1,139 digital downloads and 3,380 sales-equivalent streams), and is home to Smith’s eighth No.1 single – Kim Petras collaboration Unholy, which topped the chart for four weeks last October, as well as Calvin Harris & Jessie Reyez collaboration, I’m Not Here To Make Friends, which debuts this week at No.23, and two more minor chart entries. Gloria’s introductory sales are somewhat lower than 30-year-old Smith’s previous albums: debut set In The Lonely Hour spawned three No.1 singles before itself debuting at No.1 on sales of 101,752 copies in 2014; follow-up The Thrill Of It All almost matched that three years later, topping the chart on an initial frame of 97,328; and Love Goes sold 23,755 copies opening and peaking at No.2 behind Ariana Grande’s Positions in 2020.  Smith’s overall album sales are approaching four million, with In The Lonely Hour on 2,852,368, The Thrill Of It All on 780,259 and Love Goes on 218,437. In The Lonely Hour, which climbs 63-53 (2,050 sales) this week, has spent 345 weeks in the Top 75 – the 14th highest total for any album, the seventh highest for a regular (not hits) album, and the second highest for a debut album, behind Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell (462 weeks) - and arguably above it, if we count Meat Loaf’s prior album release as half of Stoney & Meat Loaf. In The Lonely Hour ranks 21st in the 21st century, and fourth for the last decade (since February 2013). Housing new remixes of the 11 tracks that made up his 1997 album Time Out Of Mind, 25 previously unreleased outtakes and alternate versions, 12 live tracks (11 previously unreleased) and a dozen tracks reprised from an earlier album in the series, Fragments – Time Out Of Mind Sessions 1996-1997: The Bootleg Series Volume 17 debuts at No.9 (4,712 sales) for Bob Dylan. It is the 72nd Top 75 album, and 42nd Top 10 entry for the 81-year-old folk/rock legend, and the sixth of 15 releases – Volumes 1-3 were a single release – in the ongoing Bootleg Series to make the Top 10. The rest of the Top 10: The Highlights (4-2, 8,259 sales) by The Weeknd, Midnights (2-3, 8,159 sales) by Taylor Swift, SOS (3-4, 7,375 sales) by SZA, Curtain Call: The Hits (7-5, 5,622 sales) by Eminem, = (8-6, 5,088 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Diamonds (10-7, 4,872 sales) by Elton John, Harry’s House (12-8, 4,838 sales) by Harry Styles and Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (9-10, 4,690 sales) by Lewis Capaldi. The Weeknd album achieves both its highest position and highest consumption since it debuted at No.2 (8,617 sales) two years ago next week, while the Eminem set, on its 454th appearance in the Top 75, achieves its highest placing since its eighth week on the chart, 17 years ago this week.    The three albums that made their Top 10 debuts last week suffer enormous second week slumps. They are: Rush! (5-52, 2,050 sales) by Måneskin, What’s Rock And Roll? (1-66, 1,823 sales) by The Reytons, and Wrong Side Of Paradise, which opened at No.6 last week for Black Star Riders, but now falls out of the Top 200 (656 sales). More than five years since her introductory chart single, Sweet But Psycho, reached No.1 and more than two years since her first album, Heaven & Hell, debuted and peaked at No.2 on first week sales of 8,306, Ava Max still has enough traction for follow-up LP Diamonds & Dancefloors to debut at No.11 (4,599 sales). 25-year-old US rapper Lil Yachty has had eight previous album and mixtape release, only charting with Teenage Emotions (No.70, 2017) and Lil Boat 2 (No.44, 2018), but surpasses both of those peaks with his latest set, Let’s Start Here, which debuts at No.32 (2,687 sales). Lauded as an experimental jazz and rock album, with Lil Yachty himself calling it a ‘non-rap album’, it derived nearly all of its sales from streaming, with just 30 digital sales and 21 vinyl double packs. Led by 75-year-old Mick Box, London hard rock veterans Uriah Heep’s landmark 25th studio album Chaos & Colour debuts at No.73 (1,735 sales), becoming their 13th chart album in a 53- year recording career. They are extremely popular in Germany, where Chaos & Colour is their 27th chart entry and highest ever, debuting at No.4 this week, two notches higher than Sam Smith’s Gloria.   With greater sales (2,631,509) in the last decade than the two next most popular multi-artist releases together, 2017’s The Greatest Showman soundtrack is No.1 on the compilation chart for the third week in a row, and 36th week in total, on consumption of 2,549 units (99 CDs, 67 vinyl albums, 41 digital downloads and 2,342 sales-equivalent streams). The Frozen soundtrack and Now That’s What I Call Music! 89, both from 2013, are its closest competitors with to-date consumption of 1,341,713 and 1,160,566, respectively. Overall album sales are up 0.39% week-on-week at 2,126,348, 2.00% above same week 2022 sales of 2,084,726. Physical product accounts for 275,812 sales, 12.97% of the total.  

Mercury winners Young Fathers' Graham 'G' Hastings on their first album in five years

As Young Fathers release their fourth album Heavy Heavy (out today - February 3), Music Week meets up with producer and vocalist Graham ‘G’ Hastings to discuss the latest iteration of the Mercury-winning trio’s experimental sonic melting pot… WORDS: Niall Doherty This is your first album since Cocoa Sugar in 2018, how did you approach it?  “We made a point of not starting anything until the three of us were in the room together, then we’d start hitting or singing things and making the music. This is our first album where we didn’t have an external producer in the studio, it was just the three of us. We didn’t even have a voice of reason! I think what keeps us together is that feeling of excitement from venturing into the unknown. This record took things from certain kinds of folk music, but not twee folk, indigenous folk and music from around the world like old Alan Lomax records, where the music is driven mostly by the human involved, by their passion and their voice.” How has the band’s dynamic changed since you formed back in 2008?  “We’re not the same 14-year-old boys anymore. Our dynamic changes, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Sometimes you don’t know what’s better or worse, because it could be worse personally but better musically or vice versa. We come together just enough to make something happen and we all still lean on each other very much to get the element of surprise with the music. If you’re going to do something new, it should surprise you in some way, you should feel that you’re onto something else. The dynamic changes daily. A lot of bands would’ve split up over creative differences, whereas we try and rein them in.” And how does all that feed into your relationship with Ninja Tune?  “They just leave us! They trust us. It’s good to have that trust, it’s one less thing for us to deal with. We’ve never had A&R, we’ve never had anyone from the label come to see us mid-album or anything. They always trust us, even with the art side of things, the artwork and the direction of videos. It’s the best situation for us because we can do it and we’ve done it over and over again.” Having had the mainstream exposure from the Mercury Prize, what have you learned about navigating the music industry? “Music is so industrialised now, every aspect of it is very industrialised. It’s not like the old model, it’s not just a conveyor belt for pop anymore, it’s crossed all areas, even into alternative and underground music. Trying to break that formula is where I get off. That conveyor belt can make life easier but it also dilutes, artistically. It feels like it’s harder to break out, it’s harder to kick back a bit – no one’s encouraging it unless you’re doing it yourself.” So is it up to Young Fathers to fight against that? “The main battle for us has always been after the album is done, when we go face-forward to the industry. It’s about trying to be stubborn and knowing that the whole thing is about what we are as a group. Every day it’s a battle and then you’ve got the moral decisions to make. You just try and do your best because you have to be seen to be heard. We’re a band who need the press, we’re not the size where we can just operate on our own and expect everybody to hear it. The kind of music we make is not typical, so you’re already at the mercy of being missed. But if [we ever risk] diluting that, it’s like, ‘Well, what’s the fucking point?’ Because then you’re just like anything else.” 

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