Charts analysis: Sweet But Psycho at summit with consumption up for 20th week
by Alan Jones
The calm: After moving to the top of the singles chart last week, Ava Max’s debut hit Sweet But Psycho easily retains pole position, with consumption rising for the 20th week in a row, up 9.18% to 71,139 units (including 58,636 from sales-equivalent streams).
The storm: With the exception of Sweet But Psycho every other song in the Top 75 is a climber or a re-entry, with a record 45 of the latter.
This unprecedented situation is due to the departure of all of record tally of 46 Christmas-themed songs from the chart since last week. Largely charting on streaming – even though they were hindered by ACR – the mass exodus of seasonal selections was precipitated by listeners abandoning Christmas playlists and returning to contemporary chart fare.
After several weeks in which Christmas fare imposed an ever-tightening grip on the chart, there are some dramatic re-adjustments this week, not least in the Top 10, where four songs reach new peaks, three of them on their first appearance in the chart’s top tier.
Top 10 returnee, Post Malone’s Sunflower (feat. Swae Lee) surpasses the No.7 position in which it debuted 10 weeks ago, surging 19-3 (33,979 sales).
Rapper Malone also has the highest placed of the three first time Top 10 entries, namely Wow, which gained a toehold on the chart at No.52 last week, and now becomes his sixth Top 10 hit, catapulting to No.5 (28,641 sales).
Making a sudden attack on the Top 10 after 19 previous weeks in the Top 75 (13 of them in the 30s), Baby Shark accelerates 27-6 (24,300 sales) for Pinkfong.
Five weeks after reaching No.11, Ruin My Life becomes Swedish singer Zara Larsson’s sixth Top 10 hit, bouncing 35-9 (20,935 sales).
Meanwhile, Ariana Grande’s six week chart-topper Thank U, Next is also in recovery mode, climbing 5-2 (47,792 Sales), and there are re-entries to the Top 10 for Mark Ronson’s Nothing Breaks Like A Heart (feat. Miley Cyrus) which equals its previous peak, rallying 15-4 (33,478 sales), George Ezra’s Shotgun (33-7, 23,737 sales), James Arthur & Anne-Marie’s Rewrite The Stars (25-8, 23,521 sales) and Kodak Black’s ZeZe (feat. Travis Scott & Offset, 34-10, 20,077 sales), after absences of a week, 12 weeks, three weeks and five weeks, respectively.
All of the eight tracks which depart the Top 10 are Christmas-related, and all drop out of the chart entirely. The biggest disappearing act is that of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, which was No.2 last week. Its consumption is down 93.30% week-on-week, though it still attracted a surprising number (201) of paid-for downloads, compared to 160 in the same frame in 2018.
Amidst all of the activity in the chart, four tracks make their Top 75 debuts, the highest of which is Leave Me Alone (No.56, 7,671 sales) by 23-year-old rapper Flipp Dinero from New York. It is not exactly a new track, however, having been available for 40 weeks, with consumption of 71,858 units prior to its chart debut.
Also new to the chart are the Grammy-nominated (Best Dance Recording) tech-house track Losing It (No.68, 7,037 sales) by US-based Australian DJ/producer (Paul) Fisher, which has taken 24 weeks to chart; Swervin (No.73, 6,726 sales), the introductory hit for rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, taken from his chart-climbing album Hoodie SZN, and featuring 6ix9ine; and Fire On Fire (No.74, 6,504 sales), the 17th hit for Sam Smith, taken from the new BBC/Netflix adaptation of Watership Down.
In addition to those in the Top 10 mentioned above, there are new peaks for: Hold My Girl (50-14, 18,304 sales) by George Ezra, Baby (49-15, 18,135 sales) by Clean Bandit feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi, Play (80-19, 16,083 sales) by Jax Jones and Years & Years, Advice (70-27, 12,921 sales) by Cadet & Deno Driz, Money (91-35, 10,684 sales) by Cardi B, Gun Lean (61-36, 10,487 sales) by Russ, Perfect To Me (No.41, 9,401 sales) by Anne-Marie, Grace (No.44, 8,918 sales) by Lewis Capaldi and Saturday Nights (No.50, 8,240 sales) by Khalid.
After topping the paid-for sales rankings for the last two weeks, LadBaby’s Christmas chart-topper We Built This City dives to No.46 on that metric, with 1,057 purchases in the latest frame. It also scoots 21-84 on the singles chart, with total consumption of 5,585 units. To clarify a point I made last week, when We Built This City fell 1-21 on the OCC chart: the most dramatic retreat from No.1 within the Top 75 came exactly three years ago, when another advent aberration, A Bridge Over You, tumbled 1-29 for Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir – however, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner & The Lightning Seeds’ 3 Lions fell out of the Top 75 entirely a week after returning to No.1 last June, slumping 1-97.
Overall singles sales are down 14.22% week-on-week to 16,266,494, 14.08% above same week 2018 sales of 14,259,275. Paid-for sales are down 14.07% week-on-week at 840,593, and are 26.67% below same week 2018 sales of 1,146,313. They are below same-week, previous-year sales for the 283rd week in a row.
*Like the singles chart, the airplay charts undergo enormous upheaval. A week ago, the entire Top 10 of the radio airplay chart was, for the first time ever, made-up entirely of Christmas oldies, which also occupied nine of the Top 10 berths on the TV airplay chart. All have been swept away, and normal service has resumed with Mark Ronson’s Nothing Breaks Like A Heart (feat. Miley Cyrus), returning to No.1 (4,630 plays, 57.17m audience) from No.12 in a radio airplay chart where the top 102 songs are all climbers.
Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next similarly bounces 7-1 (477 plays) on the TV airplay chart to resume the reign it started before Christmas songs took a grip. The top 65 songs on the TV airplay chart are climbers, with The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale Of New York the first faller, slumping 3-66, although its tally of 108 plays in a post-Christmas week is surprisingly high, with MTV Hits playing it as recently as 11.31pm yesterday (3 January) – just 29 minutes before the end of this week’s chart eligibility period
© Music Week