Buy my book! After much hype, the brand new Chart Watch UK books are here, the newest volume covering the Top 40 hits of 1989 in the kind of loving detail you've come to expect from these weekly columns. Click the links to your left, unless you are reading on one of those exciting mobile devices. In which case jump on it here.
Which Coffee Shop? Starbucks? Costa? Ooh, Black Sheep perhaps.
Make that two weeks at Number One for Stormzy and Vossi Bop, the evidence of the track's continuing domination of the live streaming tables meaning few had any reason to doubt that he would hold firm at the top of the charts. But the truth is that the race was never all that clear-cut, the potent combination of the two versions of Old Town Road meaning that the Lil Nas X track was a close rather than distant second, the gap between the two narrowing considerably compared to last week. Both tracks notched up well over 80,000 chart sales last week to make this the fourth week in a row that Lil Nas X has enjoyed a chart sale which would under any other circumstances have guaranteed him the Number One position by some distance. But once more it was not to be, a grand total of well over 10m streams once again was still enough to haul Stormzy over the line, his main challenge to his crown I suspect coming not from any of the existing hit singles but one particular superstar collaboration which - all things being equal - should sweep all before it in seven days time.
Getting Used To Him Yet?
Not that we are all that short of superstars this week either, and the highest new entry of the week goes to a man whose huge celebrity may well be newly-minted but with one move proves it is no flash in the pan either. Lewis Capaldi hardly needs introducing, given that it was just four weeks ago that he was at the end of an epic seven-week spell at the top of the charts. He's Britain's most newly-minted superstar, and if the reception to his gig in Brighton the other night is anything to go by, he is very much here to stay. So any brand new hit Lewis Capaldi single was one which was inevitably going to be one of the most in-demand new releases of the week. So it proved, as Hold Me While You Wait became the most-downloaded single of the last seven days, enjoyed a strong streaming audience too and smashes straight into the chart at Number 4 to become his second Top 5 hit in a row.
What is entertaining though is that this wasn't quite enough to overcome the lingering popularity of its predecessor, and so Someone You Loved actually climbed back up the charts last week to sit at Number 3. Not that we should underplay the significance of this really, Capaldi now in the fun position of not only enjoying two simultaneous Top 5 hit singles but ones with back to back chart positions to boot. It remains a fun sign of the times that something which once upon a time was notable and unusual is merely "something plenty of other acts have done over the past few years".
Just found out 𝑯𝑶𝑳𝑫 𝑴𝑬 𝑾𝑯𝑰𝑳𝑬 𝒀𝑶𝑼 𝑾𝑨𝑰𝑻 has just gone straight in at number #4️⃣ in the UK chart in its first week!!!!! 😭😭😭 it’s also gone straight to #1️⃣ in 🇮🇪😭❤️ thought I’d celebrate by giving you all an orgasm in picture form enjoy you lucky fuckers ❤️ X pic.twitter.com/CW3ZO1q1Nv— Lewis Capaldi (@LewisCapaldi) May 10, 2019
Lewis Capaldi's other "forgotten" hit single continues to hold its own, Grace shifting back up three places at Number 25 this week, the highest it has been on the chart for three weeks and just four places short of the Number 21 peak it reached in the middle of March. This is now Grace's 26th week on the Top 100, a total it has clocked up during three different chart runs dating back to October last year. Its present run began in January, this now its 18th consecutive week on the charts - the last ten of which have been as a Top 30 hit single. The arrival of his new release means that the fourth Capaldi single in circulation - his 2017 debut release Bruises - vanishes from the singles chart this week. Ironically had it still qualified it would apparently have been reached the Top 40 for the very first time, having climbed as high as Number 49 seven days ago.
Shake It Down
It seems churlish to pay too much attention to a song going down the chart, but given all the attention paid to it last week, it would be wrong to completely ignore the 3-7 slump endured by Me! from Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie. I'd hate to call her a one-week wonder as such, but this is entirely in line with the way most of her singles behave. She's an enter high and slip down kind of gal, although before we are too hasty it is worth noting that both We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (2012) and Shake It Off (2014) both went into reverse after their chart debuts before reaching a peak some weeks later. Let's not write her off just yet.
Taking His Stitches Out
With two brand new entries in the Top 10, we are rather spoiled this week. Playing second fiddle in so many ways to the all-conquering Mr Capaldi is Shawn Mendes who crashes in at Number 9 with If I Can't Have You. Moving on from 2018's Shawn Mendes album, this is a brand-new track which it is safe to presume is set to feature on a forthcoming new collection. At a stroke, it sails past the eventual Number 10 peak of last year's In My Blood to become his sixth Top 10 hit single and his highest charting track since There's Nothin' Holding Me Back reached Number 4 in the summer of 2017. As radio-friendly as they come and almost certainly destined to be propping up the Capital FM playlist for the next couple of months, the only criticism you can level at the song really is its refusal to deviate from the formula. If I Can't Have You is very much a Shawn Mendes track. Of the kind we have already heard several times before.
When I Was Young
For his latest hit single rapper Logic has enlisted the help of a heavyweight collaborator. No less a figure than Eminem joins the performer on his latest single Homicide which makes a strong start with a new entry at Number 15. It returns Logic to the upper end of the singles chart for the first time in almost two years - his last hit single of any note being 1-800-273-8255 which took him to Number 9 in October 2017. Eminem's appearance as a guest star on Homicide is of particular fascination. The veteran performer has been no stranger to collaborative efforts in recent years (his last Top 10 hit Lucky You featured Joyner Lucas on co-vocals for example) but instances of him popping up as a guest on other people's tracks are comparatively rare. Rarer still are the ones which become hits, his chart history over the past decade or so littered with appearances on tracks by the likes of Nicki Minaj, Pink, Big Sean and Busta Rhymes, all of which were either briefly charting album cuts or singles which failed to catch fire. Homicide is, therefore, the highest charting single to feature Eminem as a secondary or featured performer since 50 Cent's My Life charted at Number 2 in January 2013.
Homicide is taken from Logic's new album Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind which is in the 'shops' as we speak, so I suspect he will end up with two other chart entries in seven days' time.
Habe Ein Neues Auto
From American hip-hop we return to the more familiar sounds of British grime with a new entry at Number 18 for Hardy Caprio and Digdat. Guten Tag hands Caprio far and away his highest charting single to date, sailing past Best Life which reached Number 26 in September last year. It is also the highest charting hit to date for Digdat, beating the Number 20 chart entry of his own Airforce in last December. Why is this track called Guten Tag? Following on thematically from EO's German from a few months ago it is once again an ode to an Audi, the coveted car of choice for any discerning grime performer it appears.
Everybody Loves That Man
Following a massive 60-place jump, there is a welcome first Top 40 appearance for Bugzy Malone at Number 34. The 28-year-old is something of a mould-breaker given that he is an acclaimed grime performer who doesn't live anywhere near the capital. Instead, he's a standard-bearer for the north, hailing from Manchester and making not the slightest concession to hide his accent. That's enough to make his tracks stand out to the ear, and almost needless to say most of them are a worthwhile listen too. Most of his chart success to date has oddly come on the albums chart, the performer has focused to date on releasing extended play mini-albums. The success of this strategy can be seen by his chart placings, with four Top 10 albums to date, the most recent of which was last year's B.Inspired which made Number 6. Hence his new hit M.E.N. 2 (a sequel to a track he released in 2015) is his first-ever foray into the upper end of the singles chart, almost four years since he made his album chart debut.
Nothing Happens At All
The performance of the Bugzy Malone track stands out even more due to it being one of the largest moves of the week. It is the kind of chart shifting many tracks clearly wish they could enjoy. The big new entries notwithstanding, we appear to be in the middle of one of those oddly calm periods in music, where everyone has settled on the tracks they enjoy and are consuming them at exactly the same level as before. The singles chart has a weirdly static feel to it, the only tracks within the Top 20 to move more than three places from where they were a week ago being the aforementioned Taylor Swift hit (down 4) and Khalid's long-running Talk (down 6 to Number 20). The highest climbing single within the Top 40? Ellie Goulding's Sixteen which moves up a massive five places to Number 31. People need to change their playlists up a little, wouldn't you say?
Over on the Official UK Albums chart, Pink spends a second week at the top with Hurts 2B Human, relegating Vampire Weekend to Number 2 with Father Of The Bride. Meanwhile, at Number 12 there is the always pleasing sight of Lucy Spraggan who enjoys a fifth hit album (and her second Number 12 in a row) with new release Today Was A Good Day. Back in 2012 she spent a brief period as an X Factor contestant before being forced to pull out of the live shows, and as popular as she was back then, you can't help but feel having the freedom to strike out and be as independent as she wishes rather than being chewed up and spat out by the Syco machine was the best move she could have made.
The paid-for tracks market continues to decline. After an unusual spike last week things return to what seems to be their regular level with fewer than three-quarters of a million units across all formats sold. As mentioned above, the Lewis Capaldi hit tops the sales chart this week but does so after selling just 9,866 copies.
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The Chart Watch UK - Hits of 1989 book.— 🎧🎶 James Masterton 🃏 (@ChartUpdate) May 7, 2019
If you don't believe me when I tell you how good it is, take a listen to this guy. He knows. pic.twitter.com/i4xV6t0EvW