Music Week report by Alan Jones
Female solo artists continue to dominate the chart, with Look What You Made Me Do – the first single from Taylor Swift's upcoming album Reputation – at No.1 (46,411 sales, including 30,166 from sales-equivalent streams) for the second time in an unchanged top three, ahead of Dua Lipa's New Rules (2-2, 41,413 sales), and Pink's What About Us (3-3, 32,045 sales).
Swift also racks up her 11th Top 10 single, with ...Ready For It? – the second cut from Reputation – opening at No.7 (24,089 sales). Although making significantly lower debuts, reality TV star Megan McKenna's High Heeled Shoes (No.43, 8,480 sales) and Far Cry From Love (No.53, 6,999 sales) were released less than 48 hours before the end of the chart week, and achieved higher paid-for sales in that period that any other tracks, following the debut of her new ITVBe show There's Something About Megan, which documents her trip to Nashville and the launch of her career as a 'country' artist. McKenna's TV credits include Britain's Got Talent, Ex On The Beach, Celebrity Big Brother, TOWIE and The X Factor.
The last of these started its 14th season last weekend, and instantly made an impact on the chart, with Liverpudlian Anthony Russell's performance of Julia Michaels' Issues – a No.10 hit for her in April – back into the Top 75 after an absence of 10 weeks, with sales of 6,527 copies earning it a No.58 position and raising its cumulative sales to 594,034.
Turning from Top 10 hitmakers of the past (Michaels) and (possibly) the future (McKenna), we return to the current Top 10 but stick with the girls, specfically with Demi Lovato, who scores her fifth Top 10 hit and her first for exactly two years with Sorry Not Sorry, on its ninth week in the Top 75, climbing 12-9 (22,202 sales).
After slipping last week, the reggaeton smash Mi Gente bounces 9-5 (24,945 sales) to achieve a new peak for J Balvin & Willy William, and there are recoveries (but not new peaks) for Justin Bieber & BloodPop's Friends (5-4, 27,846 sales) and CNCO & Little Mix's Reggaeton Lento (7-6, 24,201 sales).
The rest of the Top 10: More Than Friends (8-8, 23,390 sales) by James Hype feat. Kelli-Leigh and Sun Comes Up (6-10, 21,348 sales) by Rudimental feat. James Arthur.
Falling out of the Top 10 are two multi-artist former No.1s: Feels (4-18, 17,097 sales) by Calvin Harris feat. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean – the latest casualty of SCR (standard chart ratio) stream slashing – and Despacito (10-13, 20,207 sales) by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber.
Maroon 5's third collaboration with an urban star in a row – following No.5 Kendrick Lamar collaboration Don't Wanna Know and No.24 Future teaming Cold – What Lovers Do features SZA, and debuts at No.23 (14,358 sales). Their 22nd Top 75 entry (and her first), it is based on Neiked's Sexual, which reached No.5 earlier this year. None of The Maroon 5 tracks mentioned above has yet appeared on an album, suggesting that all three may appear on their upcoming sixth collection.
Also new to the chart are If I'm Lucky (No.32, 10,478 sales), Jason DeRulo's 22nd hit in total and the second from his upcoming album 777; Crybaby (No.61, 6,204 sales), Paloma Faith's first chart entry since 2014 and the initial single from her forthcoming LP, The Architect; Young, Dumb & Broke (80-69, 5,560 sales), the fourth hit for Khalid; and No Don (82-71, 5,433 sales), the introductory hit by Birmingham hip-hop duo Lotto Boyzz.
With Cuba under threat from Hurricane Irma, Camila Cabello's Havana – a love song to the capital of the Communist island state in which she was born – whips up a storm, dashing 24-11 (20,810 sales). She made the Top 10 twice as a member of Fifth Harmony, but has yet to get there solo, although this is the fourth song she has had in the Top 20 so far this year.
Also migrating to new peaks are: Rain (18-15, 18,850 sales) by The Script, Questions (19-16, 18,737 sales) by Chris Brown, Swish Swish (29-22, 14,458 sales) by Katy Perry feat. Nicki Minaj, Boys (36-31, 10,753 sales) by Charli XCX, Spirit (39-36, 9,431 sales) by J Hus and Silence (53-38, 9,043 sales) by Marshmello feat. Khalid. Also, 1-800-273-8255 (66-41, 8,579 sales) by Logic feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid, Unsigned (54-48, 7,420 sales) by Hardy Caprio feat. One Acen, Hurtin' Me (73-50, 7,254 sales) by Stefflon Don & French Montana and Bodak Yellow (65-59, 6,250 sales) by Cardi B.
Overall singles sales are up 3.42% week-on-week at 13,425,414, 32.73% above same week 2016 sales of 10,114,664. Streams accounted for 12,211,166 sales, a record 90.96% of the total. Paid-for sales are up 0.40% week -on-week at 1,214,248, and are 26.39% below same week 2016 sales of 1,649,653. They are below same-week, previous-year sales for the 214th week in a row.
In another week of heavy action but light sales, 13 albums debut inside the Top 75, with The Script leading the influx and scoring their fourth No.1 from five releases in a little over nine years with Freedom Child.
Home to the hit Rain, which advances to a new peak of No.15 this week, Freedom Child sold 29,574 copies, including 2,179 from sales-equivalent streams. Although that is more than twice as many copies as any other artist album in the frame, it is the first album by the Dublin trio to sell fewer than 40,000 copies on debut. Their eponymous 2008 debut topped the chart on sales of 54,520, follow-up Science & Faith did likewise on sales of 70,816 in 2010, third album, Number Three opened and peaked at number two on sales of 52,878 in 2012 and No Sound Without Silence sold 42,546 copies as it opened atop the list slightly under three years ago. The all-time sales of their albums are in the same order as their release, with The Script selling 1,299,847 copies to date, followed by Science & Faith (798,403), Number 3 (558,708) and No Sound Without Silence (350,098).
The Script are the third Irish band in chart history to have more than three No.1 albums, joining U2 (10), Westlife (7) and Boyzone (5).
More than seven years after their third album became their first Top 10 entry, New York dance/punk act LCD Soundsystem seem to have lost little impetus from their long lay-off – which included a four year disbandment – and have their highest-charting album to date with American Dream debuting at No.3 (11,893 sales). Their eponymous 2005 debut peaked at No.20, 2007's Sound Of Silver at No.28 and 2010's This Is Happening at No.7. Despite achieving the lowest chart peak, Sound Of Silver is their biggest seller with to-date sales of 127,915.
Still fronted by 1978 founders Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark) score their 13th straight Top 40 and third since their 2006 reformation with The Punishment Of Luxury. Debuting at No.4 (9,894 sales) it is the sixth of those albums to make the Top 10, and the first since 1991, when Sugar Tax (on which Humphreys did not appear) debuted and peaked at No.3. The Liverpool synth-pop legends last album, English Electric was similarly their highest charting studio album for 22 years, when debuting at number 12 (7,267 sales) in 2013.
It is 20 years next month since Glaswegian rock band Mogwai's debut album Young Team gained a toehold on the chart, debuting at No.75 on sales of 2,683 copies. Their 10th regular studio album, Every Country's Sun, is also the highest-charting, debuting at No.6 (6,331 sales) to surpass their ninth, which became their first to make the Top 10 when it debuted and peaked at No.10 (7,783 sales) in 2014. They have been in the chart since then with Atomic, the soundtrack to a BBC war documentary with instrumental soundscapes fashioned by the band, which reached No.20 (4,242 sales) last year.
For the third week in a row, there are five debuts in the Top 10 – the first time that has happened this year. The last of the new arrivals is Hearts That Strain, the fourth album in a little under five years for Nottingham singer/songwriter Jake Bugg. Still only 23, Bugg was a mere 18 when his self-titled debut was a critical success and opened atop the chart in October 2012 on sales of 35,785 copies. The only male soloists to have a No.1 album at a younger age than Bugg are Neil Reid, who was 12 when his eponymous first album was released in 1972, and Justin Bieber, who was also 18 when Believe reached No.1 in 2012. Bugg also acquitted himself well with second album Shangri-La selling even more copies (39,714) to debut at No.3 in 2013, and completed a hat trick of top five debuts when third album On My Own sold 16,079 copies to open at No.4 last year. Hearts That Strain breaks that streak this week, debuting at No.7 after selling 5,350 copies.
After becoming Queens Of The Stone Age's first No.1 album last week, Villains dips to No.5 (7,810 sales).
Elsewhere in the Top 10, Ed Sheeran's ÷ holds at No.2 (13,214 sales) and Dua Lipa remains at No.9 (4,669 sales) while there are declines for Rag'N'Bone Man's Human (7-8, 5,164 sales) and The 50 Greatest Hits (6-10, 4,469 sales) by Elvis Presley.
Falling out of the Top 10: A Deeper Understanding (3-15, 3,970 sales) by War On Drugs, Adios (8-17, 3,533 sales) by Glen Campbell, Love Always (5-30, 2,513 sales) by Shane Filan, All We Know Of Heaven All We Need Of Hell (4-64, 1,633 sales) by Pvris and Fifth Harmony (10-79, 1,429 sales).
Straddling the same folk/rock divide as Jake Bugg, Newton Faulkner was also a young singer/songwriter of great promise when his first album, Hand Built By Robots topped the chart in 2007. Faulkner's third album, Write It On Your Skin, was also a No.1 and his first four albums all made the Top 10 – a sequence which came to a sudden end when his fifth album Human Love debuted and peaked at No.41 on sales of 4,832 copies in 2015. Faulkner's sixth album Hit The Ground Running – his first for his own Battenburg label – makes a much higher debut (No.13) but delivers his lowest first week sales of 4,206 copies.
Containing their previously unreleased cover of David Bowie's Heroes – recorded just weeks before frontman Lemmy's 2015 death – Under Cover collects together Motorhead's recordings of fellow rockers' material and becomes their 22nd chart entry, debuting at No.19 (3,319 sales).
Six years after Belfast/London dance/electronic duo Bicep released the first of more than 20 singles and EPs they finally flex their album muscle, with their eponymous debut set – comprising a dozen tracks, all with single word titles – debuting at No.20 (3,245 sales).
Starsailor hit the ground running with their first two albums - Love Is Here and Silence Is Easy both opening at No.2 on bumper sales of 58,424 and 54,296 respectively in 2001 and 2003. Two subsequent albums fell short of the Top 10, most recently in 2009, but the Wigan quartet – whose line-up has remained unchanged – finally got round to releasing fifth album, All This Life, which debuts this week at No.23 (2,937 sales).
Also new to the chart: Greatest Hits Live (No.34, 2,309 sales) by Steve Winwood, Medusa (No.56, 1,783 sales) by Paradise Lost, We're All In This Together (No.62, 1,656 sales) by Walter Trout and Brave (No.73, 1,498 sales) by Britain's Got Talent star Beau Dermott, who turns 14 next month.
It is 20 years to the month since the release of The Verve's third album Urban Hymns. Home to three of the band's four Top 10 hits – Bitter Sweet Symphony (No.2), The Drugs Don't Work (No.1) and Lucky Man (No.7) – the album exploded out of the box with first-week sales of 250,054 and went on to become one of the 20 biggest selling studio albums of all time in the UK. To mark its birthday, the album has just been released in a selection of expanded editions, and returns to the Top 75 for the first time in nine years, re-entering at No.33 on sales of 2.349 copies, while raising its cumulative tally to 3,315,950.
Harry Styles' eponymous debut solo album jumps 67-29 (2,552 sales) after his appearance on the Jonathan Ross Show on ITV.
Now That's What I Call Music! 97 tops the compilation chart for the seventh straight week on sales of 18,641 copies.
Overall album sales are up 1.77% week-on-week at 1,575,938, 5.76% above same week 2016 sales of 1,490,117. Streaming accounted for 763,267 sales – a record 48.43% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are down 0.52% week-on-week at 812,671, 15.31% below same week 2016 sales of 959,565. It is their lowest level since Millward Brown started compiling market data for OCC in 1994.