Charts analysis: Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish can't catch Tones And I

Written about her time as a busker, Dance Monkey spends its eighth consecutive week at No.1 for Tones And I – Australian singer/songwriter Toni Watson.  With consumption slipping 0.18% week-on-week to 82,796 units (including 73,897 from sales-equivalent streams), the track ...

Charts analysis: Westlife reach summit with first album in nine years

Westlife’s first studio album for nine years, and their 11th in all, Spectrum races to a No.1 debut, opening atop the chart on consumption of 62,621 copies, including 1,867 from sales-equivalent streams. That’s the highest sale achieved by a No.1 for eight weeks and the fifth highest by a No.1 album thus far in 2019.  Their eighth No.1 and eleventh Top 10 entry, it includes five songs co-written by Ed Sheeran, and arrives at the summit 20 years and three weeks after their eponymous first album debuted and peaked at No.2 on pure sales of 83,032. Their last studio album, Gravity, sold 94,894 copies to debut and peak at No.3 this week in 2010.   Westlife’s best first week came in 2000 when second album, Coast To Coast, sold 234,767 to become their first No.1. It is their biggest-selling studio set, with a to-date tally of 1,725,393 sales, although it trails their chart-topping 2002 compilation Unbreakable: The Greatest Hits Volume 1, which has sold 1,896,765 copies. Westlife were a quintet with an average age of 20 when they made their album chart debut, and are now a quartet with an average age of 40. Their cumulative album sales, prior to the release of Spectrum, were 13,063,893, with seven of their albums selling upwards of a million. None of their singles has achieved consumption of a million copies, although their 2001 cover of Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl – which has contributed 989,767 of their cumulative singles sales of 9,800,471 to date, will do so early next year.  Spectrum replaces The Script’s Sunset & Full Moons (1-14, 5,504 sales), and provides the third instance of an album by one Irish act toppling another in the 21st century, the others both involving Westlife’s former co-manager Ronan Keating, whose Songs For My Mother usurped U2’s No Line On The Horizon in 2009, and whose debut solo set Ronan toppled The Corrs’ In Blue in 2000. The Script and Westlife are now tied on eight No.1 albums, with U2 the only Irish act ahead of them, on 10, although Keating has had nine if we count his five solo and four as part of Boyzone.  Spectrum sold almost as many copies last week as the rest of the top five combined, and more than three times as many copies as Celine Dion sold to secure a No.2 debut with Courage (18,946 sales), her 12th Top 10 album and 21st Top 75 entry. Her first English-language set since 2013, when Loved Me Back To Life sold 52,856 copies to debut and peak at No.3, Courage is Dion’s highest-charting album since A New Day Has Come became her fifth and last No.1 in 2002.  Odyssey: Greatest Hits Live (No.5, 12,929 sales) is Take That’s 13th Top 10 album, and 15th Top 75 entry. It is also their third charted live set in a decade, following The Greatest Day: The Circus Live (No.3, 2009) and Progress Live (No.12, 2011).  Kidz Bop 2020 (No.7, 7,859 sales) is the fifth chart entry and third Top 10 album by the ever-changing and always anonymous Kidz Bop Kids. Michael Buble’s Christmas climbs 28-18 (5,165 sales) in its quest to make the Top 10 for the eighth time in nine years but pundit and former footballer Chris Kamara, 61, has the advent advantage with his first album, Here’s To Christmas, debuting at No.8 (7,308 sales).  Canadian rapper Tory Lanez has his fourth Top 20 album and second Top 10 entry with new set Chixtape 5 (No.10, 6,907 sales), which includes current singles chart collaborations with T-Pain, Chris Brown and Snoop Dogg. Last Christmas debuted atop the UK box office chart this week, helping the George Michael/Wham! soundtrack set to edge 11-9 (7,075 sales) to posthumously become Michael’s 13th Top 10 album.       The rest of the Top 10: Back Together (2-3, 17,758 sales) by Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (8-4, 13,732 sales) by Lewis Capaldi and No.6 Collaborations Project (5-6, 11,361 sales) by Ed Sheeran.  In a close three-way fight, Capaldi’s album is now 2019’s biggest seller (496,815), and Sheeran’s album moves up to No.2 (491,323), with both finally eclipsing The Greatest Showman soundtrack (490,607).  Exiting the Top 10: Hollywood’s Bleeding (10-11, 6,354 sales) by Post Malone, From Out Of Nowhere (7-12, 6,263 sales) by Jeff Lynne’s ELO, What A Time To Be Alive (9-13, 6,072 sales) by Tom Walker, Reworked (3-26, 3,966 sales) by Snow Patrol, Ghosteen (4-38, 3,028 sales) by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Blue Eyed Soul (6-47, 2,705 sales) by Simply Red.  A year to the week after being released on vinyl, The Police’s Every Move You Make: The Studio Recordings has been released as a 6 CD set, and duly debuts at No.17 (5,174 sales). Providing the 11th chart entry for the volatile trio, it consists of their five studio albums and a bonus disc. As arresting as it might seem, the bonus disc’s rarities are 12 in number with a playing time of just 43 minutes, with no sign of such desirable curiosities as De Do Do Do Do, De Da Da Da in Spanish and Japanese. Demon Music’s Crimson label secures its 12th and 13th 2019 chart albums entitled Gold, with the latest in its series of 3 CD compilations being by Boney M (No.41, 2,954 sales) and Village People (No.66, 2,102 sales). The highest-placed album in the series reached No.11 in September for Belinda Carlisle.  Also new to the chart: Love Like This (No.22, 4,386 sales), the fourth studio album by classical crossover act Collabro, and the first to miss the Top 10; Ocean (No.29, 3,664 sales), the seventh of eight studio albums to chart for country trio Lady Antebellum; Mad Lad: A Live Tribute To Chuck Berry (No.44, 2,880 sales), by erstwhile Faces and current Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood & His Wild Five; Our Pathetic Age (No.53, 2,410 sales), the sixth studio album by 47-year-old US producer/hip-hop turntablist DJ Shadow, and the first to fall short of the Top 40; and Everybody’s Everything (No.63, 2,150 sales), the third chart album by rapper Lil Peep, released to coincide with the second anniversary of his death.  Now That’s What I Call Music! 104 is No.1 compilation for the second straight week on sales of 27,696 copies. Its to-date tally of 67,739 sales is 22.44% below immediate predecessor Now! 103’s same-stage total of 87,342, and 52.43% below 2018 equivalent Now 101!’s same-stage total of 142,429.     Overall album sales are up 7.15% week-on-week at 2,078,055, 6.60% below same week 2018 sales of 2,224,869, and their highest level for 46 weeks. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for a record 1,255,029 sales, 60.39% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 9.64% week-on-week at 823,026, 30.11% below same week 2018 sales of 1,177,673. 

Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2019: Nicola Spokes

At the Music Week Women In Music Awards this month, 12 names were added to the Roll Of Honour, sponsored by Jack Radio, which celebrates female execs across the industry. We meet the class of 2019... Nicola Spokes, UK label head, Caroline International How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour? “Delighted! It’s an illustrious group of industry women, that I feel very proud to part of.” How do you look back on your early years getting into the industry? “Fondly. I actually started my career up North, working for an artist management company in Liverpool that later relocated to London. It was a fun time, learning the ropes, fortunate to be working with artists who were enjoying a lot of success at the time.” Did you have a mentor or role model who helped you at that stage? “Well, Jon Barlow was the only person kind enough to respond to my request for an interview as part of my uni dissertation and afterwards, to look at my CV and recommend me to his friends, Rob Swerdlow and Dave Nicoll, who were looking for a management assistant. Thank you, Jon!” What do you consider to be your biggest achievement so far? “Rather than any sales figures or campaign statistics, I think I’m most proud to be a female label head, with a young family.” Is the business taking enough positive and proactive steps to deal with the issues surrounding diversity and equality? “Yes, but there is definitely more work to be done in both areas – it’s one thing encouraging more diversity and equality at entry level but another ensuring it carries all the way through the industry to the highest levels.” Is the industry doing enough to protect the mental health of execs and artists? “At Universal Music, we have a really great package of healthcare support that includes mental health support and training.” What one thing would you change about the music industry? “It’s not always easy to juggle the pressures of family and work life and consequently, there aren’t that many women my age at my level. I’d love the industry to think more about not just how we bring women into the business but how we retain them beyond their 20s and 30s too.” What advice would you offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in music? “Stay true to who you are and treat everyone you meet with courtesy and respect, as you would want to be treated. The 21st century music industry is constantly shifting and changing at an incredible pace – every person you interact with could play an important role in your career at some point and in my experience, great things happen when good music and good people come together!” What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? “Trust your gut – if something doesn’t feel right, it’s not right.” What is your vision for the industry’s future? “Balance – I would love to see a balance of gender and diversity in every area of the industry. Artists, their campaigns and the industry as a whole will benefit enormously when there are more balanced and diverse opinions being given, ideas being shared, strategies being formulated, at every level and in every area of the music business. It’s definitely happening but we’re not fully there yet.”

Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2019: Lucy Noble

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Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2019: Frances Moore

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Women In Music Roll Of Honour 2019: Colleen Maloney

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