Kanye hear me now? Do artists need a new deal with labels & publishers?

Transparency has been an industry watchword for a while now, but this may not be what everybody had in mind. The sight of Kanye West tweeting out page after page of his Universal Music contracts before posting a video of ...

Charts analysis: Doves soar to summit with comeback album

When the story of the albums chart in 2020 comes to be written, it will include tales of successful British rock bands and some spectacular comebacks. So how appropriate then to have a No.1 album which combines the two. On hiatus since the release of their 2010 Best Of collection The Places Between, Doves ended nearly a decade of pursuing varyingly successful side projects with a charity concert appearance in March last year. Further live dates and two single releases later, the comeback cycle is complete as the group’s fifth studio album The Universal Want, their first brand new work in 11 years, obliterates the rest of the market to sit proudly at the top of the charts. Topping the pile with a pleasingly round 17,400 sales total (14,922 of these physical) the album is their third No.1 record in all, following in the footsteps of The Last Broadcast (2002) and Some Cities (2005). The former remains by some distance their biggest seller to date, with 408,824 sales to its name. In second place is their 2000 debut Lost Souls which despite its lowly No.16 chart peak has moved 311,131 copies since release. Eleven weeks into its chart life Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon by Pop Smoke continues what by any normal standards is an impressive chart run. Buoyed by two concurrent Top 20 chart singles the posthumous work this week returns to No.2 for the third time having spent just one week outside the Top 5 since its release. This week, just like all of the preceding ones, precious few of its 8,424 sales are paid purchases – just 77 physical and 33 download to be precise – with the remainder coming thanks to DSP consumption. Preventing rapid streaming burnout of albums is one of the market’s biggest challenges of the moment, but the Pop Smoke album is showing little sign of slowing down any time soon.  After four albums on a major label, Manchester’s Everything Everything last week began a new life as an independent act with the release of brand new album Re-Animator. Recorded over the space of two weeks with most songs performed live in just two or three takes, the album is an absorbing switch of musical direction. Fans have remained loyal and the album is this week’s No.5 record with 4,989 sales, matching the peak of its predecessor A Fever Dream to become their third Top 5 record and fourth Top 10 release in a row.  On a run of productivity rarely seen in their three-decade long career, American Head is the 16th studio album from Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips. The fourth highest new entry of the week, the album lands at No.17 with 2,956 sales to give the celebrated live act their biggest British chart album since At War With The Mystics reached No.6 back in 2006. Delayed from April, Roachford’s brand new album Twice In A Lifetime finally had its release trigger pulled this week. It turns out to have been more than worth the wait, propelling the British star back into the albums chart for the first time in almost 23 years. No.31 with 2,057 sales, it is his first chart record since 1997’s Feel climbed to No.19. He’s been edging towards album chart glory since last year, mixtapes Al Youngboy 2 and Still Flexin’, Still Steppin’ unlucky not to quite reach the printed listings in October and February. But American rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again can now rest easy in the record books as his second album proper Top makes the grade at No.62 with 1,466 sales. Its predecessor was 2018 release Until Death Call My Name which despite never charting has enjoyed 10,583 sales to date. For the second time this summer, PJ Harvey lands on the albums chart with a collection of demo recordings. But whereas the Dry Demos back in August were a straightforward reissue of a previous limited edition collection, To Bring You My Love – Demos is a 10-track album of entirely unheard performances of the music which would eventually form part of her third studio album. Originally released in February 1995, 1,350 sales are enough for it to be this week’s No.71 record. Meanwhile the “proper” versions add another 905 to their career total this week, bringing To Bring You My Love’s cumulative number to 144,743. Albums sales are down a statistically insignificant 0.36% this week to stand at 1,701,672. Meanwhile, physical sales slide 8.89% to 310,153, representing 18.23% of the market. For all the latest charts, subscribers can click here.

Charts analysis: Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion come out on top again

For the first time in 11 weeks, the No.1 record of the moment clocks up fewer than 60,000 chart sales, but it is still enough to ensure Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion enjoy a third straight week at the top of the British charts with WAP. It is the first track by an all-female group to do so since Little Mix’s Shout Out To My Ex enjoyed a similar run in October 2016. The duo added a further 59,563 sales this week, of which a mere 1,685 were paid downloads, but it is a steady decline which means their grip on the top of the charts is slipping.  Finishing just 1,353 copies behind are 24kGoldn and Iann Dior, but even as Mood holds steady at No.2 with 58,210 sales to its name (a further 15.3% rise week-on-week), you have to presume the pair are in pole position to take over at the summit in fairly short order. Ain’t It Different holds firm at No.3 (42,353 sales) for Headie One ft. AJ Tracey & Stormzy, while Nathan Dawe and KSI stay locked at No.4 (37,501 sales) with Lighter. So our first sign of movement comes at No.5 as Paul Woolford, Diplo and Kareen Lomax surge to both a brand new chart peak and a new high of 32,796 sales with Looking For Me.  Forward momentum is also with Jason Derulo who rises 11-9 with Take You Dancing (28,285 sales) and so grabs a 15th Top 10 hit single, his second of the year following No.1 smash Savage Love. Derulo’s single effectively swaps places with DJ Khaled’s Greece, making it the only departure from the Top 10 with a corresponding 9-11 fall.  Double-digit sales rises and new chart peaks are the order of the day for a number of Top 20 singles, among them Tick Tock by Clean Bandit & Mabel (No.12, 24,137 sales), You Broke Me First by Tate McRae (No.13, 23,257 sales), Lemonade by Internet Money & Gunna (No.16, 20,182 sales) and Giants by Dermot Kennedy (No.18, 18,604 sales). Mention should also be made of Pop Smoke’s For The Night which rises one place to No.15 (20,726), now just one place below the No.14 peak it first scaled back in July. Top 3 with the epic Rover back in the spring, Swindon’s very own S1mba returns to the singles chart with his second hit Loose which is the week's highest new entry at No.14 (22,725 sales). Along for the ride this time around is another man of the moment, KSI, this now the social media star’s seventh chart single of the year to date.  Not all charity singles are created equal, and OK Not To Be OK by Marshmello & Demi Lovato manages to hit the sweet spot of both representing an admirable cause and being a pop single of some considerable appeal to boot. Created in partnership with Hope For The Day, the single has been released to mark world suicide prevention day and debuts on the singles chart at No.42 with 8,712 sales. It is Marshmello’s 13th chart single, Lovato’s 19th. New at No.47 (8,167 sales) is Brothers, a track which hands a simultaneous singles chart debut to up-and-coming rappers Morrison and Jordan. It is genuine north vs south collaboration, the former star hailing from East London, his collaborator a Manchester lad with a delivery style that echoes the Lancashire tones of his fellow citizen Aitch. No.39 with B1llionz back in June, rapper M1llionz lands a second chart entry with Lagga. The track is this week’s No.52, debuting with 7,660 sales.  The pairing of David Guetta and Sia has to date been responsible for four equally memorable chart singles, the most recent of these No.7 hit Flames from 2018. So a brand new collaboration between the French producer and Australian singer was always going to command attention. Let’s Love makes what is perhaps a more understated No.53 debut than its quality deserves with 7,591 sales. It is Guetta's 49th chart entry, his first in over a year. Sia has now had 24 chart singles.  Also new this week are American singer/rapper Ashnikko with Daisy (No.59, 6,813 sales) and 20-year-old American Ritt Momney who is No.69 (6,288 sales) with his quite extraordinary rendition of Corinne Bailey Rae’s 2006 classic Put Your Records On. Both entries mark the chart debuts for each artist.  Singles consumption rises just over 2% week-on-week to 20,857,929, but paid sales sink further into the abyss, down 2.36% this week to another download-era low of just 414,304. The first sub-400K week in almost 16 years is surely only a matter of time. For all the latest charts, subscribers can click here.

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