Charts analysis: Greatest Showman edges closer to chart record
by Alan Jones
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of The Greatest Showman is No.1 again, and is now in rarely charted waters.
With consumption of 32,466 units (including 10,337 from sales-equivalent streams) in the latest frame – its lowest level for six weeks - the album is No.1 for the 20th time in 24 weeks. It thus moves level with Ed Sheeran’s ÷ as the album with second most weeks at No.1 in the 21st century, and trails the leader – Adele’s 21 – by just three weeks. It is also the first soundtrack album to spend 20 weeks at No.1 on the main chart since The Sound Of Music accumulated 70 weeks at the summit between 1965 and 1968.
Youngblood is the first ever single by 5 Seconds Of Summer to achieve growth for five weeks in a row. It jumps 22-13 this week to become the Australian band’s first Top 20 hit in nearly three years – an achievement which coincides with the debut of the band’s third studio album, also called Youngblood. The album opens at No.3 (16,040 sales) for the pop/punk quartet from Sydney, whose eponymous first release sold 66,973 copies debuting and peaking at No.2 behind Ed Sheeran’s X in July 2014; and whose second album, Sounds Good, Feels Good topped the chart on sales of 42,459 copies on debut in October 2015.
Beyonce and Jay-Z have long since abandoned conventional release strategies, so although it was a surprise release, it’s no surprise that their collaborative album, Everything Is Love, dropped on Saturday (June 16) with no prior notice and, apparently, only hours after being completed. Beyonce’s last solo album, Lemonade, was also an unheralded Saturday release, but racked up sales of 73,392 copies in its shortened sales week to become her fourth No.1 (including one with Destiny’s Child), while Jay-Z’s last album, 4:44, debuted at No.102 on streams from Tidal alone last July before becoming more widely available for downloading and streaming the following week, prompting it to jump to its peak position of No.3 on sales of 12,980 copies. Credited to The Carters, Everything Is Love sold 10,454 copies last week and debuts at No.5 becoming Jay-Z’s 16th chart album and Beyonce’s 15th.
Morrissey’s run of consecutive Top 10 studio albums – he has had 11 – is ongoing, but his lower-profile former Smiths colleague and fellow Mancunian, 54-year-old Johnny Marr, who started his solo career comparatively late, extends his own string to three. Marr’s latest set, Call The Comet, opens at No.7 (8,794 sales). His first solo album, The Messenger, debuted and peaked at No.10 (11,747 sales) in 2013, and follow-up Playland opened at No.9 (7,281 sales) the following year.
Rapper Xxxtentacion’s murder in Florida on Monday (June 18) at the age of 20 was headline news, and precipitates an 83-9 charge (8,278 sales) for his second album, ? (Question Mark), which debuted and peaked 13 weeks ago at No.3 on sales of 9,487 copies. Intended to be the first of a trilogy of releases from him, it included 18 songs but had a playing time of only 37 minutes. His earlier album 17 – which debuted and peaked at No.12 (4,250 sales) last September, and features 11 songs in less than 22 minutes – is also resurgent, jumping 162-13 (5,900 sales).
Elsewhere in the Top 10: Staying At Tamara’s (2-2, 19,899 sales) by George Ezra, the eponymous The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (4-4, 12,177 sales), Divide (5-6, 9,916 sales) by Ed Sheeran, Beerbongs & Bentleys (6-8, 8,645 sales) by Post Malone and Speak Your Mind (13-10, 7,209 sales) by Anne-Marie.
Five albums exit the Top 10, namely Wildness (9-12, 6,106 sales) by Snow Patrol, Lost & Found (3-14, 5,427 sales) by Jorja Smith, Ye (10-22, 3,924 sales) by Kanye West, his eponymous Kids See Ghosts collaboration with Kid Cudi (7-27, 3,146 sales) and No Shame (8-46, 2,247 sales) by Lily Allen.
Rapper Nas made the Top 10 for the very first time when his 10th solo album, Life Is Good, reach3e No.8 – but that was in 2012, and the six-year gap between releases has not been beneficial, especially as the only time he has even made the singles chart since then was in 2015, when his We Are collaboration with Justin Bieber peaked at No.74. Finally following-up Life Is Good, Nas enlisted heavyweight help from Kanye West, Puff Daddy and The Dream for Nasir, but the album debuts at No.16 (5,102 sales).
Christina Aguilera’s first album of new material in more than five years, her eighth studio set, Liberation, becomes her sixth Top 20 entry, debuting at No.17 (4,834 sales). It thus surpasses the No.28 debut/peak position of her last album, 2012’s Lotus, but not that album’s first week sale of 9,422. In fact, Liberation’s opening week tally is the lowest of Aguilera’s career. Her 2010 album, Bionic, was the last of her two No.1 albums but notoriously plunged 1-29 on its second week in the chart, the steepest ever experienced by a female solo artist, although The Vamps’ Night And Day made the biggest plunge from No.1 ever when it crashed to No.37 last July.
All seven regular studio albums by Linkin Park made the Top 5 in The UK, and as the anniversary of lead singer Chester Bennington’s suicide looms, his erstwhile colleague Mike Shinoda’s first solo album, Post Traumatic, debuts at No.20 (4,253 sales).
Diagnosed in 2013 with pancreatic cancer, Wilko Johnson was given less than a year to live, which is why he describes his new album, Blow Your Mind, as ‘the record I never thought I’d get to write’. But he did, and it provides his very first solo chart entry, at the age of 71, debuting at No.24 (3,743 sales). Johnson is best-known as a former member of Essex pub-rock band Dr. Feelgood, who topped the chart with 1976 live set, Stupidity. He revisited many of the band’s best songs in 2014, scoring a No.3 album with Going Back Home, a collaboration with Roger Daltrey, whose own first album since then, As Long As I Have You, reached No.8 a fortnight ago, and dips 15-18 (4,289 sales) in the latest chart.
Octogenarian chartmakers are few and far between but the latest is 81-year-old blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy, who is back in the chart for the first time since 1993, and only the third time in his career with his 18th studio album, The Blues Is Alive And Well (No.65, 1,594 sales), which features contributions from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and James Bay.
Also new to the chart are: Hope Downs (No.45, 2,253 sales), the first chart album for Australian indie band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever; Live At Hammersmith (No.47, 2,194 sales), the sixth chart album by hard rock/glam band The Darkness; Living Proof (No.54, 1,916 sales), the first chart album by pop/punk quintet State Champs, from New York; and Redemption (No.72, 1,514 sales), the first chart album for Californian rapper Jay Rock.
Ministry Of Sound is responsible for all of the top three compilations this week, including I Love Ibiza, which debuts at No.1 (12,659 sales).
Overall album sales are down 1.28% week-on-week at 1,789,316, 1.70% below same week 2017 sales of 1,820,209. Streaming accounted for 923,298 sales – 51.60% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 3.70% week-on-week at 866,018, 18.15% below same week 2017 sales of 1,058,024.
© Music Week