Charts analysis: Sheeran and Bieber pass 500,000 sales

No.1 for the sixth week in a row, Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber’s I Don’t Care was helped by the release of a Loud Luxury remix, slowing its decline in consumption to 3.70% week-on-week at 65,420 units, including 57,689 from ...

Charts analysis: Springsteen triumphs in chart battle with Madonna

Battle of the sexagenarians: Only nine acts in chart history have had 10 or more albums in UK chart history, and two of them, both in their 60s, went head-to-head to increase their tallies this week, namely Madonna and Bruce Springsteen. Already No.1 among women, with 12 No.1s, Madonna had far more publicity ahead of the event, releasing five tracks from her new set as singles/preview tracks, performing at Eurovision and chatting on The Graham Norton Show. However, it is The Boss – Springsteen - who wins the battle at a canter with Western Stars. His first regular studio album since High Hopes, it surpasses that set’s initial tally of 48,620 sales, with an opening tally of 52,290 – the third highest of the year for an artist album – including 2,101 from sales-equivalent streams. Springsteen’s 19th regular studio album, Western Stars is his 34th Top 75 album, his 21st Top 10 album and his 11th No.1 – a total surpassed among male soloists only by Elvis Presley (13) and Robbie Williams (12). Springsteen, who wrote all of the songs on Western Stars and co-produced the album with Ron Aniello, turns 70 in September and is the fourth oldest male soloist to have a No.1 album, behind Paul Simon (at 74, in 2016), Rod Stewart (73, in 2018), Bob Dylan (73, in 2015). Her 14th studio album and 27th Top 75 entry, Madame X aspired to be Madonna’s 13th No.1 but ends up being her sixth No.2, matching the debut/peak of her last studio album, Rebel Heart. Runner-up to Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour, Rebel Heart had first week sales of 37,245 copies: Madame X makes a 26.90% slower start, with consumption of 27,227 units, the highest for a No.2 album thus far in 2019. Although their first two full-length albums both opened at No.1, Bastille never looked like making it a hat trick with their third, Doom Days, which debuts at No.4 (16,185 sales). Bastille’s first album, Bad Blood, sold 56,572 copies debuting atop the chart in March 2013, while follow-up Wild World sold 36,039 copies opening at the summit in September 2016.      Unknown Pleasures was the first of only two studio albums released by Joy Division – who disbanded ahead of the release of their second, Closer, following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis, and went on to found New Order. It achieved a very modest peak of No.71 on its only chart appearance, also following Curtis’ death. To mark its 40th birthday, the album – which the NME described as “simply one of the best records ever made” – has been made available on ‘ruby red’ vinyl. It finally makes its Top 40 debut, soaring to No.5 on sales of 8,531 copies, of which 7,795 are on vinyl, in which format chart it is No.1. After four weeks at No.1, Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, is relegated to No.3, on consumption of 24,055 copies, of which more than half (13,110) is accounted for by sales-equivalent streams, in which regard it registers higher than any two other titles in the chart combined. Drifting 6-8 on its 77th straight week in the Top 10, The Greatest Showman soundtrack – which was released in December 2017 – reaches a notable milestone, with consumption in the week of 7,246 units raising its all-time (80 weeks) tally to 2,003,465. It is the 12th album to reach 2m in the 2010s, and the 53rd in the 21st century. It is likely only a week away from its millionth physical sale too – its to-date tally of 995,914 is made up of 955,178 CD and 40,736 12-inch vinyl sales, with the balance comprising 303,403 paid-for downloads and 704,148 from sales-equivalent streams. It will be the 26th album to sell a million physically in the 2010s, and the 204th in the 21st century.   With two sell-out gigs at Wembley sparking interest, Fleetwood Mac’s 50 Years: Don’t Stop compilation hits a 20-week high, surging 19-10 (6,167 sales).   The rest of the Top 10: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (4-6, 8,200 sales) by Billie Eilish, Diamonds (8-7, 8,182 sales) by Elton John and Bohemian Rhapsody (10-9, 6,329 sales) by Queen. Five albums depart the Top 10: Stacko (3-13, 5,398 sales) by MoStack, Ignorance Is Bliss (9-20, 3,764 sales) by Skepta, Tim (7-23, 3,380 sales) by Avicii, Happiness Begins (2-29, 3,147 sales) by The Jonas Brothers and Office Politics (5-79, 1,467 sales) by The Divine Comedy. Roy Orbison’s posthumous No.2 2017 album A Love So Beautiful and No.3 2018 album Unchained Melodies – which were given orchestral makeovers by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – have been bundled together, in which configuration they make their Top 75 bow at No.22 (3,392 sales).  Kate Tempest’s third album, The Book Of Traps And Lessons – like its predecessors – combines rap and poetry, and debuts at No.30 (3,113 sales). Her 2014 debut, Everybody Down, which reached No.94, and 2016 follow-up, Let Them Eat Chaos, which also reached No. 30 – were both nominated for the Mercury Prize. Everybody Down shades in on to-date sales of 24,764 compared to Let Them Eat Chaos’ 21,901. Also new to the chart: Junior (No.33, 3,077 sales), the third album by Scottish alternative band The LaFontaines, following Class (No.98, 2015) and Common Problem (No.133, 2017); Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest (No.37, 2,458 sales), the 16th studio album by 53-year-old US singer/songwriter Bill Callahan (including 12 as Smog) and the second to make The Top 75, following Dream River (No.44, 2013); and Gold & Grey (No.64, 1,656 sales), the first Top 75 album by US hard rock band Baroness, following similarly colourful but uncharted releases, Red Album, Blue Record, Yellow & Green and Purple. Vinyl had its second biggest week of the year, and cassettes their fourth biggest, with new availability in the former format largely responsible for Top 75 returns of Greatest Hits by Queen (160-31, 3,102 total consumption, 2,155 vinyl) and In Time: The Best Of 1988-2003 (No.58, 1,783 total consumption, 1,421 on vinyl). It was also boosted by Springsteen’s Western Stars (6,053 sales), Madonna’s Madame X (4,628 sales) and Bastille’s Doom Days (2,107 sales). Madame X also sold 1,993 on cassette, grabbing a 72.47% share of sales in that format. Vinyl sales growth has slowed, with a to-date tally of 1,900,549 being up just 1.47% year-on-year, while cassettes have registered more spectacular growth of 79.34%, although selling only 31,043 units thus far in 2019.    Now 100 Hits: Forgotten 80s is No.1 compilation (10,351 sales) for the third week in a row. Overall album sales are up 6.08% week-on-week at 1,915,149, 7.03% above same week 2018 sales of 1,789,316. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for 1,179,448 sales, 61.59% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are up 15.60% week-on-week at 735,701 – a 24 week high but 15.05% below same week 2018 sales of 866,018.

Rising Star: Never Fade Records' Orna Lyons

The biz's brightest new stars tell their stories. This week it's the turn of Orna Lyons, artist manager and label manager at Never Fade Records'. How did you break into the music business? My first job in the industry was in the digital section at Pivotal PR, a radio promotions company. It was a great introduction to the business and I got to meet lots of managers and work on campaigns with major labels for the first time. It was brilliant experience and I still work with some of the people I met there today, including James Barnes who I now work with. The music business can be tricky to break into, even more so if you are not from the UK and have zero contacts. This is why I recently started a music based podcast called What Do You Do, where I’ll be speaking to people in the industry about their roles and how to get started in music. What’s the best thing about your job? There are so many things! I love putting out music and every part of that process, from listening to demos, helping to create the assets and then putting a plan in place around a single, EP or album. We’re a small team at Never Fade and the way that the music industry has evolved over the past few years has really worked in our favour. We’re putting out more music every year and racking up hundreds of millions of streams across our roster in the process. I truly feel that there is no limit to what an indie label can achieve, which is exciting. Young people should push boundaries What’s your proudest achievement so far? My proudest achievement is running our monthly club night, The Never Fade Sessions, which is held at The Social in London. The night is now in its fourth year and has evolved into a really lovely space for both up-and-coming and established artists to perform to an audience that really listens and appreciates the music. Over the years we’ve hosted hundreds of acts and have had lots of very special guests perform for us like Newton Faulkner, Nina Nesbitt, Ward Thomas, Devin Dawson and Gabrielle Aplin. We’ve also brought The Never Fade Sessions to festivals such as The Great Escape and Barn On The Farm and this year we are hosting a stage at Boardmasters, which is a great partnership for us. What should young people do to make an impact in music? The best thing young people can do to make an impact is to push the boundaries and to challenge the traditional models of releasing music. Some of the most innovative campaigns I’m seeing are coming from young people who might not necessarily have tons of experience or even understand every aspect of the business, but are being clever with marketing techniques and taking advantage of the fact that there are now fewer barriers to entry. What’s your one wish for the music industry? I hope that albums continue to remain relevant in this playlist era and I’d also love to see more women in all areas of the music industry, particularly in leadership roles. 

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