For the third week in a row we have a brand new No.1 single (the second time this year this has happened) and for the third week in a row the ultimate chart champion has been a single which was trailing at the first midweek stage. But there's even more, for this is also the third No.1 single in a row to be performed by a female solo artist - the first time this has happened since Miley Cyrus, Ellie Goulding and Katy Perry all followed each other at the top exactly 10 years ago this month).
And finally what we dreamed of has taken place. After an epic nine-week chart sojourn, during which time it has never dipped lower than No.5, Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo ascends gracefully to the top of the charts. For a number of reasons this isn't entirely as organic as it might have been, this late charge is primarily thanks to a drop of physical singles which gave the track the edge over the competition. And there's a second reason which we will deal with in a moment.
It is for all that a quite glorious moment. All the superlatives that were attached to the single which it first charted back in July still apply, the brooding intense single only enhanced by the way the American star makes no apologies for performing the everloving arse out of everything she puts her name to. Vampire is a performance, a genuine work of art, and to be honest if this had spent its entire chart career near but ever quite at the very top of the charts it would go down as one of the all-time great injustices. But now we don't have to worry.
Vampire is Olivia Rodrigo's third No.1 single, following on from her 2021 brace of Drivers License and Good 4 U. She is the first female soloist to land three No.1 hits so far this decade. Rodrigo is also possibly notable for being (rappers aside) the most profane female starlet we've ever had grace the pop charts, contriving to say "fuck" or a variant thereof in every single one of her chart-topping singles to date.
Commiserations therefore should go to Paint The Town Red by Doja Cat, leading in the chart race until Olivia Rodrigo pulled off her stunt and instead relegated to the No.2 position, matching the peak of her debut hit Say So from back in 2020. As you will see, this could just be delayed gratification.
Rules Of Many Kinds
So what the hell happened to last week's No.1 hit? Well, for the second time in the space of a month the record at the top of the charts exits in a hurry thanks to the wonder that is ACR. However Dance The Night from Dua Lipa manages to set a unique first, the only track since the rule was introduced in 2017 to climb to No.1 in the exact week that its ACR clock ticked for a third time and imposed the relegation. A few people contacted me in the week confused over this, as yes, Dance The Night increased its chart sales week on week last time out (moving from 40,831 to 41,204). But that boost was entirely due to the physical sales (the nearly 4,000 cassettes to boot) the single notched up. ACR rules track streams exclusively, and Dua's numbers had been on the slide for many weeks. Hence the slightly incongruous sight of the No.1 single from last week becoming the first in chart history to fall 1-15. It is the biggest fall from the top endured by a non-festive single since Olivia Rodrogi's Drivers License plunged 1-18 (through ACR, natch) in January 2021.
I don't want to scare anyone though, I've a feeling that this exact same fate is about to befall Vampire too. We could be on course for another enforced changing of the guard next week. And that will be, frankly, nuts. [false alarm as it turns out, Vampire is still at full strength]
New For Old
Brand new to the Top 10 after what is nothing less than a meteoric climb is Prada from casso, RAYE and D-Block Europe which rockets to No.8 after a 12 place climb. Created by the 20 year old producer on nothing more than his laptop, the energetic rave track is essentially a reworking of Ferrari Horses, a cut which originally appeared on D-Block Europe's The Blue Print: Us vs Them back in 2020. The club mix has thus surpassed with some ease the chart peak of the original which gave RAYE and her rapper friends a No.14 hit first time around when it was promoted as a single in early 2021.
One place behind is Baddadan from Chase & Status, BOU and Flowdan which has taken a comparatively leisurely five weeks to make it this far. Nonetheless it does ensure that the veteran DnB producers have the honour of two simultaneous Top 10 hits, this No.9 hit coming hard on the heels of their Becky Hill collaboration Disconnect which sits at No.6 this time around.
She Can Buy Herself Hits
Miley Cyrus' Endless Summer Vacation album this week spawns its fourth chart single and becomes the highest new entry of the week, Used To Be Young sliding nicely in to No.12. It is a new addition to the tracklisting, made available a week ago as part of the digital edition of the album. Hence you suspect the slightly better chart showing than its predecessors, River and Jaded having peaked at Nos.16 and 27 as (admittedly) album cuts the week the collection was released. Meanwhile, the all-conquering Flowers is the hit of the year which refuses to die, lurking at No.38 this week in what is now its 33rd week on the chart.
Burna Boy makes some history of his own this week, his album I Told Them… storming to No.1 to make him the first African-born afrobeats star to ever top the British charts in this manner. The album duly spawns a handful of chart hits, the Dave-featuring Cheat On Me leading the way at No.19. It is joined by No.31 hit City Boys - and oddly enough nothing else - or so it appears. In theory the track Big 7 posted enough chart sales to justify a chart placing of its own, enough to have made a theoretical No.58. But it is "starred-out" of the main chart listing, flagged as having been excluded by the three tracks per artist rule. So what is Burna Boy's third hit of the week? It is more than likely that Official Charts are counting Talibans II which also features on the album and indeed is this week's No.43 single. But as a chart single it is credited solely to Byron Messia and under its original title so in theory that shouldn't count as a "primary artist" single for Burna Boy. Yet for rule exclusion purposes it does. Very odd.
The final new arrival this week is Single Soon from a returning Selena Gomez. Brand new at No.21, it is the first chart single of any kind from the well-travelled star since she accompanied Coldplay on the No.24 hit Let Somebody Go back in 2021. It is her first single as a solo artist since Boyfriend limped to No.55 in April 2020 and her highest charting single of any kind since Lose You To Love Me reached No.3 in November 2019. The track is for now a standalone hit but may well appear on her fourth studio album which for now remains a work in progress.