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Charts analysis: Kate Bush is No.1 again - but will it be her last week at the summit?

Running down that clock: In the fifth frame of its renaissance, inspired by its use in multiple episodes of the fourth season of Netflix’s hugely popular Stranger Things sci-fi/horror series, Running Up That Hill is No.1 for the third straight ...

Charts analysis: Harry Styles holds off No.1 challenge from Porcupine Tree

Ending a run of 24 consecutive weeks in which leadership of the album chart has changed hands, Harry’s House is No.1 for Harry Styles for the second week in a row, and the fourth time in six weeks overall. Its consumption falling 28.88% week-on-week to its lowest yet tally of 19,507 (2,074 CDs, 2,550 vinyl, 192 cassettes, 458 digital downloads and 14,233 sales-equivalent streams), Harry’s House came from behind for the second week in a row. After pipping Drake at the post last week, it didn’t move ahead on this week’s chart until Thursday’s sales flashes, having previously trailed Porcupine Tree’s Closure/Continuation. Porcupine Tree’s first album of new material for nearly 13 years, Closure/Continuation is their 11th studio album in all, arriving 30 years after the Hertfordshire prog. rock trio’s first, On The Sunday Of Life. Opening at No.2 (13,683 sales) – it is No.1 on every metric except sales-equivalent streams, which contributed just 284 to its tally – Closure/Continuation is only the fourth album by Porcupine Tree to make the Top 75, and the first to make the Top 20, their previous best placing coming from their last studio release, The Incident, which reached No.23 in September 2009. Porcupine Tree’s lead singer and main composer Steven Wilson has racked up six solo album chart entries, with a highest placing of No.3 for 2017’s To The Bone, with most recent set, The Future Bites, reaching No.4 in January 2021. The 54-year-old has also become the go-to remixer for original era prog rock bands, providing sympathetic updates to works by Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Caravan and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, as well as other rock acts like Black Sabbath, Roxy Music and Rush. R&B singer Chris Brown registers his 12th Top 75 album, and eighth Top 10 entry with 10h regular studio album Breezy debuting at No.6 (7,665 sales). Although it contains 24 tracks and runs for more than 80 minutes, Breezy is far from the longest album by the unsinkable and apparently indefatigable Brown, who has had more than his share of negative publicity since his eponymous debut album at the age of 16 in 2005. His 2017 album, Heartbreak On A Full Moon, contained 45 tracks - all of which Brown wrote or co-wrote - and a playing time in excess of two and a half hours, while his last regular album, Indigo, was pretty substantial too, with 32 more original songs and a playing time of more than 125 minutes.  Two years after introductory album, Kid Krow, peaked at No.30, 23-year-old Texan singer/songwriter Conan Gray’s follow-up, Superache, debuts at No.8 (5,635 sales). The first country album by a male soloist to make the Top 10 since either Kiefer Sutherland’s Reckless & Me (No.9, 2019) or Glen Campbell’s poignant swansong Adios (No.2, 2017) depending on how strict your definition is, Growin’ Up debuts at No.9 (5,179 sales) for Luke Combs. The third album by the 32-year-old from North Carolina, Growin’ Up easily surpasses the No.198 peak of his 2017 debut This One’s For You and the No.27 peak of 2019 follow-up What You See Is What You Get. Combs’ popularity has been increasing steadily since his debut, which explains why both of his earlier albums have consumption in excess of what you might expect for their chart peaks, with This One’s For You on 108,974 units and What You See Is What You Get on 97,020, while six of his songs have exceeded consumption of 100,000 units, most notably Beautiful Crazy (244,243 units) and When It Rains It Pours (236,107 units). The youngest artist ever to headline on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury, 20-year-old Billie Eilish is also the artist who enjoys the biggest chart resurgence post-festival with her latest album, Happier Than Ever (28-10, 5,175 sales), returning to the Top 10 after an absence of 43 weeks, while 2018 debut Don’t Smile At Me (81-39, 2,402 sales) and 2019 follow-up When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go (61-25, 3,451 sales) achieve their highest chart positions for 98 and 59 weeks, respectively.  The rest of this week’s Top 10: = (4-3, 11,016 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Honestly, Nevermind (2-4, 9,926 sales) by Drake, Gold Rush Kid (6-5, 7,966 sales) by George Ezra and Sour (9-7, 6,150 sales) by Olivia Rodrigo. No longer in the Top 10 are Greatest Hits (8-11, 4,677 sales) by Queen, Divide (10-12, 4,576 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Fine Line (7-14, 4,131 sales) by Harry Styles, Life Is Yours (3-38, 2,421 sales) by Foals and A Light For Attracting Attention (5-87, 1,537 sales) by The Smile.  Twenty-seven years after the release of Martin Scorsese’s documentary film Nothing But The Blues chronicled Eric Clapton’s affection for and performance of blues classics in concert at San Francisco’s Fillmore in 1994, the newly upgraded set is also released on CD and vinyl for the first time, debuting at No.44 (2,322). Also new to the chart: Give Or Take (No.37, 2,454 sales), the debut album by R&B singer Giveon who has previously featured on Top 10 singles by Drake and Justin Bieber; Muna (No.61, 1,950 sales), the third album by the Californian trio of the same name, whose only previous Top 200 appearance came in 2017 when their debut release, About U, reached No.170; Otherness (No.67, 1,861 sales), the fifth album and third chart entry for Canadian band Alexisonfire after a hiatus of 13 years; Live From The Royal Albert Hall, Y’All (No.69, 1,815 sales), the ninth chart album for Black Stone Cherry; and Vaxis II: A Window Of The Waking Mind (No.73, 1,799 sales), the 10th album and seventh chart entry for New York prog. rock band Coheed & Cambria. Her appearance in the coveted ‘legends’ slot at Glastonbury power resurgences for Diana Ross’ latest album, Thank You – No.7 last year and now a re-entry at No.78 (1,741 sales) – and her newly-repackaged 2011 No.24 compilation, The Greatest, which re-emerges at No.49 (2,173 sales). There are also significant Glastonbury bumps for Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under (63-19, 3,948 sales) and Hypersonic Missiles (128-33, 2,507 sales) and Wet Leg’s eponymous debut (77-29, 2,896 sales). Kendrick Lamar’s much-acclaimed Pyramid stage set revives his latest album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (24-20, 3,880 sales), while Paul McCartney’s lengthy (160 minute) performance on the same stage helps The Beatles’ 1 compilation to climb 30-24 (3,759 sales). It was last higher 25 weeks ago. Olivia Rodrigo's Sour was already in the Top 10 but climbs two places following her appearance (9-7, 6,150 sales). Percentage increases in consumption week-on-week: Thank You – 455.92%, The Greatest – 337.84%, Seventeen Going Under – 110.11%, Hypersonic Missiles – 103.47%, Wet Leg – 71.32%, Mr. Molare & The Big Steppers – 27.32%, 1 – 39.22% and Sour – 30.2%.   Baz Luhrmann’s dramatic biography Elvis Presley is No.1 on the UK box office chart, and triggers a further 55.77% increase in consumption of Elv1s: 30 Number 1 Hits, which jumps 39-22 (3,822 sales), to achieve its highest chart position since 2003.   Now That’s What I Call A 60s & 70s Summer: Seasons In The Sun clearly captures the mood of those halcyon days enough to debut atop the compilation chart on sales of 4,491 copies, though I’m not sure how Telstar by The Tornados and Albatross by Fleetwood Mac – instrumentals with, therefore, no apposite summery lyrics – which topped the chart in October/November and February respectively, fit the brief. Overall album sales are down 4.93% week-on-week at 2,029,256, 14.94% above same week 2021 sales of 1,765,565. Physical product accounts for 295,372 sales, 14.56% of the total.  We’re halfway through the year, and overall album consumption in the first 26 weeks of 2022 is up 1.38% over the same period in 2021 at 46,826,795 units. Physical sales are up 0.96% at 8,429,101, digital downloads are down 27.63% at 1,789,659 and sales-equivalent streams are up 3.50% at 36,608,035. Within physical sales, vinyl is up 35.83% at 2,356,667 and cassettes are up 12.72% at 73,216.    

BPI boss Geoff Taylor: Summer festivals spotlight new talent as streaming tears down barriers

Glastonbury 2022 delivered record digital results for the BBC thanks to acts including Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Kendrick Lamar and Diana Ross. While uncertainty around the pandemic resulted in festival cancellations in 2021, this summer has a full schedule of outdoor live music events.  Here, Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, highlights the importance of the UK festival sector as a showcase for incredible talent within the wider music ecosystem… It’s been a long, three-year wait, but a full summer season of UK music festivals is now upon us and for fans it is the chance to witness in a live setting British music at its brilliant best. Music never went away, of course; thanks to streaming, we turned to it in larger numbers during the pandemic, with UK music consumption rising by a tenth between 2019–2021. But the power of music is rarely more keenly felt than when performed on an epic scale and enjoyed in the company of friends who revel in the same passion for a particular artist or song. How we have all missed our iconic festivals, and our major tours and sell-out concerts these past years.  From 200,000-plus fans descending on Worthy Farm for the return of Glastonbury to an upcoming festival programme including Adele at Hyde Park, Creamfields, Latitude, Wireless and Reading & Leeds, these events showcase the breadth and depth of music that fans enjoy today, giving a platform to a new generation of emerging talent. Glastonbury alone showcased memorable performances from a number of the UK’s most exciting artists, including Arlo Parks, Beabadoobee, Bicep, Celeste, Holly Humberstone, Idles, Joy Crookes, Little Simz and Wolf Alice. They’re part of a new wave of talent that is shaping today’s popular culture and, with many now achieving hundreds of millions of streams every year, are fuelling the continuing success of British music. Their sets were alongside hundreds of other featured artists and bands bookended by the youngest and oldest-ever headliners in the shape of Billie Eilish and Paul McCartney, whose stunning Saturday night set of Beatles, Wings and solo classics wowed multiple generations. Streaming has removed the traditional barriers for emerging artists to reach new audiences, but success requires imaginative marketing and investment in talent Geoff Taylor This is a fantastic time for artists and bands, and new music has rarely been more vibrant. Thanks to streaming and social media, emerging and established artists alike from all genres and across the UK and beyond are with the support of their labels reaching new audiences at a scale we’ve never seen before. Of course, that means there is now more competition for attention, not just from the tens of thousands of new tracks uploaded to streaming services daily but from pretty much the entire history of recorded music: 90 million tracks and counting.  However, it’s easy to overstate the part played by older music: while it’s true that last year 72% of UK streams were made up of ‘catalogue’, over half these were from the 2010s, including such recent big hits as Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa and Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles. Music from pre-2000 accounted for less than 30% of the catalogue titles, with the share getting smaller for each preceding decade, going down to just 4% from the 1960s.  This century’s music accounted for four in every five streams. New and recently released music overwhelmingly dominates streaming. A glance of a recent Spotify chart reveals that most hits are current. While Kate Bush’s 37-year-old Running Up That Hill was No.1, 94% of the Top 50 were recently released songs, including domestic breakthroughs such as Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder’s Space Man and Go by former BRIT School student Cat Burns.  Other homegrown new artists are clocking up hundreds of millions of streams just each year in the UK alone, including Anne-Marie, AJ Tracey, Becky Hill, Dave, D-Block Europe, Glass Animals, Joel Corry and Sam Fender. And on the Official Albums Chart, new bands like The Lathums and Wet Leg are scoring No.1s. Streaming has removed the traditional barriers for emerging artists to reach new audiences, but success requires imaginative marketing and investment in talent to stand out in a crowded global marketplace.  Glastonbury, where a 20-year-old and an 80-year-old were given the same billing, shows us the huge appeal of music from all eras and genres, producing a generation of fans with more sophisticated knowledge than ever before. And just as streaming is allowing people to discover music released before they were born, it also means new artists can make their music available instantly to the entire world. Streaming has given emerging British talent a rich and vibrant global platform, with more opportunities to connect artists and fans.  Click here to read Geoff Taylor’s end-of-year message from 2021.   GLASTONBURY 2022 PHOTO: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage/Getty Images  

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