Charts analysis: Ed Sheeran's Perfect start to 2018 on singles chart
by Alan Jones
With 34 songs dropping out of the Top 75 this week – all but two of them Christmas-related – the singles chart is extremely volatile... but not at the top, where Ed Sheeran's Perfect spends its fifth week at No.1.
Combining paid-for sales (20,362) and sales-equivalent streams (36,673) of Sheeran's original album version and duet versions with Beyoncé and Andrea Bocelli, Perfect had a combined tally of 57,035 sales in the week, the smallest of its reign.
Perfect may be nearing the end of its run – but if it is, Sheeran is in the hunt to replace himself at the summit for the first time in his career, with a little help from Eminem, as the latter's River, on which Sheeran is guest vocalist, rebounds 3-2 (40,350 sales).
The departure not just from the Top 10 but from the entire singles chart of festive favourites Last Christmas by Wham!, All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl, Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee and Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin' Stevens – at No.2, No.4, No.5, No.7, No.9 and No.10 a week ago, respectively – creates space for five other songs to resume their Top 10 residencies, and one to make its maiden appearance.
The newcomer is Ramon Rochester aka Ramz with Barking – in which he namechecks the Essex town of that name and complains about the price of Nike – which was overwhelmed by the tide of Christmas tunes last week, when it slid 17-30 despite securing the highest weekly sale of its career. Its sales reach another new high this week, although they increase just 7.47% to 29,684 as its soars to No.8.
Back in the Top 10 and climbing to a new peak is MK's 17 (23-7, 21,852 sales) – which previously peaked at No.10. Camila Cabello's five-week topper Havana bounces 12-5 (24,767 sales), while Clean Bandit's I Miss You (feat. Julia Michaels) surges 18-6 (22,817 sales). Selena Gomez x Marshmello's Wolves charges 20-9 (20,324 sales) and NF's Let You Down recovers 25-10 (19,688 sales) – all equalling their previous peaks.
Completing the Top 10, Big Shaq's Man's Not Hot climbs 6-3 (32,257 sales) to reach a new peak on its eighth week in the Top 10, while Rita Ora's Anywhere bounces 6-4 (32,234 sales) after being reduced to 59p on iTunes.
Alongside 27 re-entries, there are seven new entries to the Top 75, of which three are tracks from the soundtrack to the film The Greatest Showman, which itself jumps 39-4 on the album chart. They are This Is Me (No.28, 9,931 sales) by Keala Settle & The Showman Ensemble, The Greatest Show (No.40, 81,64 sales) by Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron & Zendaya and Rewrite The Stars (No.46, 7,358 sales) by Zac Efron & Zendaya. Four more songs from the set – most notably Never Enough, which would have been the debut hit for Loren Allred - are denied Top 75 spots, as the three track limit is here applied to the album as a whole, regardless of who the primary artist is.
Cardi B apparently matches the record set by The Beatles and equalled by Ashanti by charting her first three hits simultaneously in the Top 10 in America this week, and has two new and one re-entry to the Top 75 here. Charting for the first time are No Limit (84-51, 6,808 sales) by G-Eazy feat. A$AP Rocky & Cardi B and Bartier Cardi (No.54, 6,312 sales) by Cardi B feat. 21 Savage, while Motor Sport – a No.49 single in November that credits Migos, Nicki Minaj & Cardi B – jumps 95-59 (5,288 sales). Cardi B's biggest US hit – with three weeks at No.1 - was her debut hit Bodak Yellow, which peaked at No.24 here last September and couldn't have come closer to re-entering the Top 75 this week, with 4,200 sales – the same as the No.75 title – seeing it rank No.76.
After seven weeks out of the Top 20, Dua Lipa's former No.1 smash New Rules bounces 37-13 (16,715 sales), and she has a new hit with IDGAF (No.55, 5,732 sales).
Also new to the Top 75 is Home (No.64, 4,721 sales), a collaboration between Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors & Bebe Rexha. No song called Home made the singles chart in the first half of its 65-year existence – but 19 have since.
Falling out of the Top 75 after a 20 week tenure last week, Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man surges back, and secures its highest chart position yet, moving 89-35 (8,817 sales).
Radio stations recapping the year's biggest hits, 2017 retrospective playlists and TV appearances combined with the disappearance of Christmas-related songs from the chart see many old favourites making resurgences this week while the following tracks secure their highest chart placings to date: I Know You (45-15, 14,295 sales) by Craig David feat. Bastille, No Words (40-17, 13,986 sales) by Dave feat. MoStack, Tip Toe (44-19, 13,464 sales) by Jason Derulo feat. French Montana, Decline (46-22, 12,299 sales) by Raye feat. Mr. Eazi, My Lover (48-23, 12,170 sales) by Not3s, Breathe (50-24, 12,108 sales) by Jax Jones feat. Ina Wroldson, Beautiful Trauma (42-25, 11,093 sales) by Pink, Bouff Daddy (57-29, 9,745 sales) by J Hus, Him & I (65-30, 9,419 sales) by G-Eazy & Halsey, Never Be The Same (71-37, 8,516 sales) by Camila Cabello and Bad (78-44, 7,577 sales) by Steel Banglez, Yungen, MoStack, Mr. Eazi & Not3s.
Overall singles sales are down 9.89% week-on-week to 14,259,275, 41.45% above same week 2017 sales of 10,080,447. Streams accounted for 13,112,962 sales, 91.96% of the total. Paid-for sales are down 17.23% week-on-week at 1,146,313, and are 27.40% below same week 2017 sales of 1,578,964. They are below same-week, previous-year sales for the 231st week in a row.
© Music Week