analysis

Charts analysis: Dance Monkey extends lead at singles summit

In the most brutal week since its introduction in July 2017, ACR simultaneously ends the Top 10 careers of five tracks – but there’s no change at the very top, where Tones And I’s Dance Monkey is No.1 again, increasing ...

Charts analysis: Elbow make it a hat-trick of No.1 albums

Leadership of the album chart changes for the ninth straight week, with Elbow’s eighth studio album, Giants Of All Sizes, becoming their third in a row to debut at No.1, on first week consumption of 27,257 copies (including 1,554 from sales-equivalent streams). It also debuts atop the vinyl and cassette album charts, with sales of 3,584 and 206, respectively.  The Bury quartet previously topped the chart with Little Fictions selling 39,643 copies on debut in February 2017, and The Take Off And Landing Of Everything opening at No.1 on sales of 46,211 copies in March 2014. Elbow's fifth studio album, Build A Rocket Boys! secured their highest yet first week sale of 78,177 in 2011, when it was No.2 behind Adele's 21. Their fourth album, The Seldom Seen Kid, debuted and peaked at N0.5 on sales of 28,276 copies in 2008 - beating 2001’s Asleep In The Back (No.14 debut/peak, 10,656 first week sales), 2003’s Cast Of Thousands (No.7, 19,024), and 2005’s Leaders Of The Free World (No.12, 20,560) - and remains by far their biggest seller, with a to-date tally of 1,104,100, more than nine times as many as Little Fiction’s to-date tally of 121,046 sales. Elbow frontman Guy Garvey’s only solo album, Courting The Squall, in 2015. It debuted and peaked at No.3 on first week sales of 11,748, which have since climbed to 62,821. Its sales having fallen in each of the previous 12 weeks that followed its debut at No.1, Ed Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project increased consumption a modest 6.33% week-on-week, and climbs 3-2 (13,001 sales).  Soundtrack sets Bohemian Rhapsody (12-7, 5,778 sales) by Queen and The Greatest Showman (15-9, 5,350 sales) return to the Top 10.  The rest of the Top 10: Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (5-3, 10,779 sales) by Lewis Capaldi, Hollywood’s Bleeding (4-4, 10,568 sales) by Post Malone, PTSD (6-5, 7,592 sales) by D-Block Europe, Abbey Road (2-6, 7,174 sales) by The Beatles, Why Me? Why Not (8-8, 5,504 sales) by Liam Gallagher and Over It (7-10, 5,197 sales) by Summer Walker.  His breakthrough single Outnumbered continues to climb but, after debuting at No.1 last week, Irish singer/songwriter Dermot Kennedy’s Without Fear album dives to No.14 (4,537 sales). Simple Minds’ Live In The City Of Angels (9-82, 1,398 sales) and The Darkness’ Easter Is Cancelled (10-158, 950 sales) also exit the Top 10.  Bohemian Rhapsody’s return to the Top 10 (see above) coincides with the debut of Never Boring, a new compilation of the solo work of Freddie Mercury, which is the highest of 11 Top 75 debuts, opening at No.18 (3,642 sales). A more extensive CD/DVD version of the collection – Never Boring: Solo Box Set – opens at No.133 (1,076 sales) There is also a Top 200 return, following the release of a ‘special edition’, for Mercury’s 1985 No.6 solo debut Mr. Bad Guy (No.87, 1,359 sales), and a 30-26 climb (2,753 sales) for Queen’s The Platinum Collection. Meanwhile, the release of a new pink vinyl version of Queen’s 1978 No.2 album Jazz, exclusive to HMV, helps that album to a No.74 re-entry (1,449 sales) – its first appearance in the Top 75 since March 1981.  Metal Galaxy, the third studio album by female Japanese heavy metal duo Babymetal, becomes their second Top 20 entry, debuting at No.19 (3,445 sales). It debuts at No.3 in Japan, on sales of 73,096 copies. Both No.1 albums in their original studio incarnations in 1979, there are new ‘The First Recordings’ versions of Replicas (No.31, 2,442 sales) and The Pleasure Principle (No.3, 2,364 sales), which were the second and last album Gary Numan cut as Tubeway Army, and the first under his own name, respectively. They consist primarily of previously released early versions, outtakes and Peel Sessions.  Also new to the chart: True 2 Myself (No.22, 3,320 sales), the debut album by 18-year-old New York rapper Lil Tjay, Two Hands (No.34, 2,418 sales), the fourth album for New York indie quartet Big Thief, whose last album, U.F.O.F, was released only 22 weeks earlier, debuting and peaking at No.41; Black Anima (No.45, 2,144 sales), the ninth album and sixth chart entry (all between No.42 and No.48) for Italian goths Lacuna Coil; Fandom (No.52, 1,817 sales), the third album, and highest of two chart entries for Texas rock/pop trio, Waterparks; 2020 (No.54, 1,793 sales), the sixth album and first chart entry for 38 year old Geordie folk/rock singer/songwriter Richard Dawson; Gold (No.59, 1,728 sales), the fifth chart album in all for Swedish group Ace Of Base, and their first for 20 years, housing all 13 of their hits in a 3 CD, 46 song mid-price set;  and The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be (No.69, 1,534 sales), the second album by Wayward Sons, whose 2017 debut, Ghosts Of Yet To Come, reached No.71. Now That’s What I Call Music! 103 is No.1 compilation for the 13th week in a row (4,440 sales). Overall album sales are up 2.17% week-on-week at 1,755,169, 4.90% above same week 2018 sales of 1,673,258. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for a record 1,235,524 sales, 70.39% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 3.84% week-on-week at 519,645, 22.94% below same week 2018 sales of 674,319. 

Hitmakers: The songwriting secrets behind Lost Without You

Freya Ridings wrote Lost Without You at her lowest ebb, and when the music industry doubted its potential, she didn’t give up. Now, it’s an indelible hit heading towards one million sales. Here, the singer tells its remarkable story… I was 19 when I wrote the song. It was a really, really painful time in my life. I hadn’t gone to university, I’d lost any industry interest that I’d had and I felt very abandoned. I was also losing one of the closest relationships I’d ever had. It was this moment where I had a deep well of loneliness and pain, but also a feeling that I couldn’t hold other people back because of that. I sat down at the piano in my front room after saying goodbye to that person and knowing I wasn’t going to see them for a very long time, if ever. I wrote the song in one go, which never happens. I shut my eyes and it came out fully formed, I was like, ‘Mother of God!’ I opened my eyes feeling like I was on the verge of crying and thought, ‘Well, I’m never going to show that to anyone’. I’d been told I needed to write happier songs and that definitely wasn’t happy! [Laughs] There were open mic nights in my area and I would always play guitar, but I started playing piano for some reason. We had this beast of a keyboard that me and my dad used to carry. I played the song in this tiny pub and everyone went, ‘Wow’. It became this anchor that I would play among the covers in my sets for the next two-and-a-half years. It wasn’t the vibe for pubs, but whenever I sung it, it was like a portal back to that place. People would have a different reaction to the song, I was always aware of that. When it came to finding a label, all the majors would ask if you could send demos and I was like, ‘I’m bad at recording, I don’t like it, I like playing live’. With the indie label [Good Soldier], we went to a café under their office and they mentioned they had Tom Waits’ piano and I thought, ‘This is my chance’. So I asked if I could play them one song, it felt like jumping off a cliff. I played it on this broken electric piano that wasn’t plugged in and they were like, ‘Let’s do this’. We recorded in the smallest room on the cheapest mic with an incredible producer called Ollie Green. You can hear the dishwasher beeping at one point, or maybe they cut it out. I’d carried the song for so long, it was such a relief to let it go. It didn’t change at all from the demo. It came out that way, it’s been played at Glastonbury that way. It’s like something out of a film, when someone says, I wrote this song in my room and then 30,000 people are singing it at the top of their lungs and you’re like, ‘Holy shit, this doesn’t happen’. It’s a really special song, it healed me and then it saved me. I don’t think a song has ever done more for someone. Then it was on Love Island nine months after it was released and it snowballed into another thing where it was on Radio 1 and Taylor Swift added it to her playlist. It exploded, but in slow motion. It went platinum. I have young women in general to thank, they are the majority of the watchers of that show who Shazamed it in their thousands and bought it in their hundreds of thousands. It’s one of the most surreal things that has ever happened to me. It was something that the industry as a whole had said would not work, and people picked it up, championed it and carried it to the top of the mountain. I’m not sure I’ve always been everyone’s cup of tea in the industry, but when it comes to real women and real people, I’m so grateful they let this song into their lives. When it went Top 10, I woke up and had a message from my A&R with just the number ‘9’. I couldn’t fathom what that would mean for my life, it changed everything. Writer’s Notes Publisher Good Soldier Songs Writer Freya Ridings Release Date 03.11.17 Record label Good Soldier Total UK sales (OCC) 946,690

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