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Charts analysis: Barry Gibb scores first solo No.1 album

As a member of The Bee Gees, Barry Gibb appeared on 26-chart albums between 1967 and 2017, but he topped the charts just once in that period. Spirits Having Flown was the group’s only credited No.1 album in 1979, although ...

Charts analysis: Olivia Rodrigo motors to singles summit

A song about passing a driving test to obsessively journey past the house of an ex-love, sung by the teenage star of a Disney+ series, Drivers License by Olivia Rodrigo is our first global smash hit of the new year. Via an online plug from Taylor Swift the intense ballad swiftly became a sensation, setting streaming records worldwide.  The Californian singer becomes one of only a tiny handful of acts to spend her first week on the British charts at No.1, the 94,770 chart sale of Drivers License already setting a high water mark for the year. All but 3,914 of the track’s sales are attributable to its 10.9m audio and video streams – a single week total bettered by just three non-festive tracks to date. Topping the charts a month shy of her 18th birthday, Olivia Rodrigo is the youngest solo female to land a No.1 hit since Lorde pulled off the trick with Royals just a few days short of her 17th back in 2013. Last week's Top 4 singles all move down a place to accommodate the surprise new arrival. Sweet Melody by Little Mix becomes No.2 by default, although it still clocks up 30,360 chart sales of its own to remain largely clear of the chasing pack. Ed Sheeran is No.3 with Afterglow (28,349 sales), CJ at No.4 with Whoopty (25,180 sales) and Justin Bieber No.5 with Anyone (25,077 sales) – the latter three all posting sales increases despite their decline in chart positions. Elsewhere in the Top 10 there are new peaks for Kid Laroi with Without You (No.6 with 23,882 sales) and Paradise by Meduza/Dermot Kennedy (No.7, 23,615 sales). Assuming it can maintain the momentum, Good Days by SZA should be joining them in short order, the single accelerating 28-14 with a 70.2% increase in sales to 17,353.  A reassuring rebound of the overall singles market this week has proved to be a double-edged sword with several tracks posting double-digit sales increases but with little discernible benefit to their chart positions. Worthy of due comment though is the 60% gain posted by Goosebumps by Spanish producer HVME. The track (a radical reworking of Travis Scott's 2017 No.65 hit of the same name) enjoys a 12-place climb to No.25 with 12,488 sales but is showing the kind of momentum that you would expect of a track destined for better things. Bugzy Malone lands an eighth chart single, Notorious, charting at No.30 with 11,704 sales to become the Manchester rapper's third Top 40 hit single. Guest star Chip opens his own 2021 account with his first Top 30 single since the Skepta/Chip/Young Adz cut Waze made No.18 in April last year.  The Weeknd's Blinding Lights still rides high in this week's Top 20 almost a year after it first reached No.1. For the moment, this has the unfortunate side effect of stealing focus from Save Your Tears, a track which first appeared on the Canadian's After Hours album in March last year. Mooted as a potential single back in the summer it has only now started to catch fire following the release of its symbolism-laden video. It debuts this week at No.34 with 9,474 sales, his 40th chart single. She made her British chart debut last autumn when Tap In eased its way to an eventual No.38 peak and this week American rapper Saweetie bags herself a second hit single with Best Friend making a debut at No.35 (9,313 sales). Guest star Doja Cat enjoys two new entries this week as her own single Streets charts at No.59 (6,028 sales), a track from her Hot Pink album first released in November 2019. Just missing out on a Top 40 place for the moment is WWII by Unknown T, duly becoming the drill performer's sixth chart single, although its No.42 entry with 7,831 sales is enough to ensure it becomes his highest charting single to date. Just ahead of the release of his new album, Zayn enjoys his 11th chart single as Vibez arrives at No.50 (6,735 sales). The new single is the follow-up to Better, which reached No.58 in October last year. Both tracks appear on his third solo offering Nobody Is Listening, which is being enthusiastically streamed by the Zquad as we speak.  Rudimental are the participants on two hangover releases from December, which now take the opportunity to surface. Credited to Raye & Rudimental, Regardless lifts to No.60 (5,950 sales). Meanwhile the producers get a lead credit on Be The One alongside performers Morgan, Digga D and Tyke, which is this week's No.66 single with 5,573. Finally for this week Lana Del Rey has a 19th chart single with Chemtrails Over The Country Club, the title cut from her forthcoming album, this week's No.72 hit with 5,351 sales. As noted, singles consumption enjoyed a lift this week with an 8.5% rise taking the market to 20,294,239 overall. Paid sales stand at 409,878, a 1.9% rise on last week's total. Click here for all the latest charts.

Inside Dua Lipa's Studio 2054 livestream

It was the ground-breaking livestream event of 2020. Now, Dua Lipa and Pete Abbott, director of production company Ceremony tell us how they made it happen... For an artform that only really began nine months ago and originally featured musicians strumming guitars in their pyjamas, livestreaming has come a long way. And Dua Lipa’s ticketed Studio 2054 extravaganza raised the bar higher than anyone else. Featuring guest stars Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Miley Cyrus, FKA Twigs and more, the multi-set show was filmed as-live at London’s Printworks and reached over five million viewers worldwide. “It was so exciting to get to do something like that,” enthuses Dua Lipa. “To be able to bring everybody together, put on a show and make it feel as if everything was normal again was great. It’s really interesting how you can reach so many people all over the world.” The show was livestreamed by LiveNow with Lipa’s agent, David Levy at WME, and promoters, Live Nation, also involved. But it was production company Ceremony – who also work on many of Lipa’s groundbreaking awards and TV performances – that was the driving force behind translating Lipa’s vision. “Dua’s really great in terms of understanding what works in the moment, when the right time is to do which bit of it,” says Ceremony director Pete Abbott. “And we as a team are good at coming up with the right combination of people to make it happen.” Studio 2054 was a never-seen-before production, with the star at the centre of its concept. “She knows exactly what she’s doing and where she’s going and she also knows that basically the way you become brilliant is by working hard,” says Abbott. “She started with a great base and, if she’s felt she’s needed to improve something, she just goes for it and does it 10 times more. Her work ethic is inspiring.” Abbott himself was influenced by shows such as The Carpenters’ TV special that, “take the camera and performer where they can’t go in a gig, and get to the essence of who they are”.  “We have to create Dua’s world around her,” he adds. “What you can’t do is stick her on a stage in an empty room, put cameras and pretend it’s as good as a gig, because it isn’t.” So will the success of Studio 2054 influence actual events in the future? “Well, an arena has limitations,” notes Abbott. “What it might teach people is that the thing we miss about shows is the human interaction, raw emotion, honesty and so on.  “But what we can definitely do now is make compelling versions of shows that can be sent to markets we can’t access,” he adds. “We’ve learned a lot about the process and we can bolt that onto a show quite easily. And thatis exciting.” PHOTO: Pixie Levinson

Charts analysis: Taylor Swift triumphs in three-way tussle for No.1

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Charts analysis: Little Mix's Sweet Melody soars to summit

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Charts analysis: Taylor Swift scores second No.1 album of 2020

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