We’re now three quarters of the way through 2022, and the sales results are in for Q3 and the year to date.
Read on for Music Week analysis of music consumption of the last three months and 2022 so far, based on Official Charts Company data…
Dance music had a big quarter on the singles chart, thanks in part to LF System’s eight weeks at the summit with Afraid To Feel. The West Lothian DJ duo finished the quarter as the act with the biggest single with consumption of 574,173 (and 753,291 for the year to date, making it No.14 overall in 2022).
Warner Records scored consecutive chart-toppers when Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal replaced LF System at the summit. B.O.T.A (Baddest Of Them All) amassed sales of 346,061 in Q3, to finish in eighth position during the quarter.
The Top 10 for Q3 also featured two other dance tracks: Crazy What Love Can Do (Parlophone) by David Guetta, Becky Hill and Ella Henderson at No.9 (325,656) and Beyonce’s Break My Soul (RCA) at No.5 (388,275). Beyonce’s album Renaissance isn’t classified as dance by the OCC, unlike the lead single. The LP finished the quarter in third place with sales of 78,075, which made it the biggest album released in Q3. It's also worth nothing that other hits in Q3 by George Ezra and Cat Burns were boosted by dance remixes.
Harry Styles consolidated his chart success in 2022 during Q3. Harry’s House (Columbia) was the biggest album of the quarter (125,385), ahead of Ed Sheeran’s = (Asylum/Atlantic) on 89,761 and Beyonce at No.3. And Harry’s House is still the biggest LP of 2022 so far on 369,734, which puts it just over 23,000 ahead of Sheeran.
As It Was, which has broken US chart records for a UK act, was Q3’s third biggest single (459,636) behind LF System and second-placed Running Up That Hill (Fish People) by Kate Bush on 506,246. Harry Styles’ single is the year’s biggest so far, though, on 1,314,991. It means that Styles is on course for a chart double on albums and singles in 2022. Further down the year’s singles rundown, Styles’ Late Night Talking is No.29 at this stage with sales of 474,733.
Outgoing BPI boss Geoff Taylor recently highlighted a misnomer about the catalogue streaming phenomenon: ‘catalogue’ is a broad category that covers everything from Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits to Harry Styles’ 2019 album Fine Line. If you look at Q3’s biggest albums, it’s a fair point: the Top 10 sellers include classic catalogue by ABBA, Queen and Fleetwood Mac, but also Ed Sheeran’s Divide (Asylum/Atlantic) and The Weeknd’s The Highlights (Island). Even Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour (Polydor) could be classed as a catalogue title by the end of the year.
What’s not in doubt, though, is that albums released in 2022 are getting squeezed by older releases. A case in point is George Ezra, who’s doing blockbuster business on his arena tour, as well as in the charts, including Green Green Grass as the quarter’s No.4 single (400,561 sales in Q3). But while Gold Rush Kid (Columbia) is the third biggest selling album released in 2022 (behind Harry’s House and The Weeknd’s Dawn FM), it has to settle for No.17 overall for the year to date (111,161 sales). With consistent streaming securing the LP a No.13 placing in Q3, though, it’s set to run and run into 2023 and beyond.
ArrDee was a mere three sales behind Wet Leg at the halfway point, so the Domino-signed duo could claim to have the biggest debut of the year at that point. In the last three months, though, the UK rapper has pulled away thanks to superior streaming. The Pier Pressure (Island) mixtape is No.36 for the year to date with sales of 83,784, compared to 74,252 for Wet Leg’s eponymous LP at No.47. That’s one place behind another famous Domino debut: Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (74,816 sales in Q3).
ArrDee’s mixtape is the only 2022 debut to make a big splash in the Q3 rundown (No.34, 28,221). Just outside the Top 50, Aitch’s No.2 debut album Close To Home (Capitol) finished the quarter at No.52 (24,406 sales). The UK rapper has previously made the weekly Top 10 albums rundown with EPs. Further down, Wet Leg’s album was No.88 in Q3 with a further 18,686 sales.
Click here to read our analysis of the market share results for record labels in Q3.
Read our interview with Warner Records president Joe Kentish on the label’s run of dance hits here.