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MIDYEAR VINYL TOP 50
The world is turning at 33 RPM. (7/23a)
PAUL GETS BACK
Hit series doesn't let us down. (7/23a)
HITS LIST IN GLORIOUS
BLACK-AND-WHITE
The inner circle of Outer Limits (7/23a)
THE HITS INTERVIEW WITH JAY MARCIANO
AEG chief's shares his packed 2022 calendar. (7/21a)
2021 MIDYEAR MARKETSHARE
The winner and still champ (7/22a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS
From tender shoots to mighty oaks.
MARKETSHARE MANIA
Let's do the numbers.
DELTA VARIANT
It is not the name of a Henry Miller novel.
IS IT TIME FOR ANOTHER ROCK STORY?
Could be. Dunno.
Blighty Beat
U.K. CHARTS: INHALER DEBUT AT #1
7/16/21

Irish rock band Inhaler have hit #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with their debut, It Won’t Always Be Like This (Polydor), on 18k sales. Over on singles, Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” (Atlantic) has a third week on top.

Inhaler are the first Irish act to top the U.K. chart with their debut album in 13 years; The Script were the last to do so, back in 2008. The majority of their sales were physical—92%—and the album is this week’s best-seller on vinyl.

There are two more new entries in this week’s Top 10: Tom Odell’s fourth record, Monsters (Columbia), opens at #4; and Muse’s 2001 album Origin of Symmetry (Warner Music) is at #6 following a 20th anniversary reissue.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart, Sheeran's “Bad Habits” scored 101k sales this week to remain on top, including 11.1m streams. The track continues to better its performance week-on-week since its release.

Dave and Stormzy’s first collaboration, “Clash” (NBR), is new at #3 today as the highest new entry of the week. The Kid LAROI’s collab with Justin Bieber, “Stay” (RCA), is also new in at #5, and the new single from BTS, “Permission to Dance” (RCA), charts at #16. Billie Eilish’s “NDA” (Polydor) debuts at #23.

BIZ REACTS TO STREAMING REPORT
7/15/21

The U.K. music industry has responded to the Government’s damning report on the economics of streaming, with opinions divided on the various recommendations.

The report, released today, concluded that artists need a legal right to a fairer share of streaming revenues and called for a "complete reset." BPI Chief Geoff Taylor warned that the recommendations might result in “unintended consequences for investment into new talent” and urged the Government to avoid any policy proposals that “imperil this country's extraordinary global success in music.”

He concluded: "Labels are committed to ensuring that artists share fairly in the growth from streaming.”

…Read more

GOV'T: "RESET" STREAMING BIZ
7/15/21

The House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee released a new report on the economics of music streaming in which members of parliament concluded artists need a legal right to a fairer share of streaming revenues and called for a "complete reset." 

The DCMS committee, which includes MPs from the Conservative, Labor and Scottish National Parties, first began its investigation in October 2020 and delivered a report that extends beyond streaming, calling out the industry at large. 

The report identifies gross imbalances in the streaming marketplace, affecting even the biggest artists in the industry. "Successful artists see ‘pitiful returns’ from streaming while some performers are frozen out of payments altogether." These problems were naturally exacerbated and exposed during the pandemic when touring came to a halt. The imbalances, the report argues, extend to fundamental problems in the recorded music industry.

Read more..

U.K. REOPENING DATE CONFIRMED
7/14/21

The U.K. Government has confirmed that the 7/19 reopening plan will go ahead. PM Boris Johnson has advised venues and event organizers to ask for proof of a negative test or vaccination from attendees.

The proof would be shown in the form of a COVID passport via the National Health Service (NHS) app, which has been a source of contention in the U.K. Although Johnson’s advice isn’t mandatory, the Government said it “reserves the right” to enforce the recommendation at any point.

Greg Parmley, CEO of trade body LIVE, welcomed the reopening confirmation but raised three matters to be “urgently resolved” to help aid the live industry’s path to recovery. The first is Government-backed insurance that covers cancellation should restrictions return.

Parmley also pointed out that isolation rules shouldn’t apply to those who’ve been vaccinated or tested negative in order to ensure events have the staff and performers they need. “We are already seeing productions collapsing due to the need to isolate whole casts or crew when one person in a bubble contracts COVID,” he said.

In addition, international artists should be exempt from quarantine when arriving in the U.K.—an exemption that professional elite sports have obtained, Parmley noted.

"Today's announcement is a crucial step forward and we have worked day and night over the past year to ensure that live events can return safety," he said. "However, barriers still remain which will severely impede the recovery of this £4.6b industry."

U.K. MIDWEEKS: INHALER SNIFFS A #1
7/13/21

Irish rock band Inhaler are heading for #1 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart with their debut, It Won’t Always Be Like This (Polydor). Over on singles, Dave and Stormzy look set to claim this week’s highest new entry.

Inhaler leads today’s midweek update by more than 7k chart sales ahead of Olivia Rodrigo’s  SOUR (Polydor). The band lead by physical and download sales while Rodrigo has the most-streamed album of the week so far.

Origin of Symmetry (Warner Music) by Muse is a re-entry at #3 following the vinyl release of its XX Anniversary RemiXX edition.

Tom Odell is new at #5 with his first record in three years, Monsters (Columbia), while folk-rockers Turin Breaks start at #9 with a reissue of their 2001 debut, The Optimist (Two-Piers).

On the U.K.’s Official Singles midweeks, Dave and Stormzy’s first collaboration, “aClash” (NBR), is new at #4 today. The track is taken from Dave’s upcoming album, We’re All Alone In This Together.

Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” (Atlantic) is on course for a third week at #1; its more than 10k sales ahead of Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” at #2.

Following England’s success in the Euros, which culminated in loss to Italy on Sunday, 1996 football anthem “Three Lions” (Epic) by Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds sits at #3.

The new single from BTS, “Permission To Dance” (RCA), is new at #5 today, while The Kid Laroi’s collab with Justin Bieber, “Stay” (RCA), starts at #7.

Billie Eilish’s “NDA” (Polydor) is just outside the midweek Top 20 at #21.

U.K. CHARTS — H1 2021
7/7/21

Olivia Rodrigo has claimed the biggest song and album of 2021 in the U.K., sitting at the top of the H1 Official Albums Chart with SOUR (Polydor) while “drivers license” tops singles. Releases from UMG rule both Top 10 lists.

Six weeks after release, SOUR has racked up 170k chart sales in the U.K. with 79% of that figure coming from streams. “drivers license” has now topped the 1m sales mark (1.03m), including 123m streams.

The two releases help make up a majority tally for Universal Music Group on the charts—Universal claims four singles and six albums in the Top 10s. Warner has three in each and Sony has three albums and one single.

There are four singles from U.K. acts in the Top 10, three of which were released this year (“Wellerman,” “Friday” and “Body”). New albums from British acts don’t fare so well: Of the five (and a half, counting Fleetwood Mac) homegrown releases in the Top 10, none arrived this year.

Official Singles Chart 2021 H1

  1. “drivers license” - Olivia Rodrigo (Polydor)
  2. “Wellerman” - Nathan Evans, 220 Kid, Billen Ted (Polydor)
  3. “The Business” - Tiesto (Atlantic)
  4. “Montero (Call Me By Your Name” - Lil Nas X (RCA)
  5. “Save Your Tears” - The Weeknd (Island)
  6. “Levitating” - Dua Lipa (Warner Records)
  7. “Friday” - Riton, Nightcrawlers & Mufasa (Ministry of Sound)
  8. “Body” - Tion Wayne & Russ Millions (Atlantic)
  9. “Without You” – The Kid Laroi (RCA)
    10. “good 4 u” - Olivia Rodrigo (Polydor)

Official Albums Chart 2021 H1

  1. SOUR - Olivia Rodrigo (Polydor)
  2. Future Nostalgia - Dua Lipa (Warner Records)
  3. Fine Line - Harry Styles (Columbia)
  4. Greatest Hits - Queen (EMI)
  5. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon - Pop Smoke (Polydor)
  6. 50 Years—Don’t Stop - Fleetwood Mac (Rhino)
  7. The Highlights - The Weeknd (Island)
  8. Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent - Lewis Capaldi (EMI)
  9. Diamonds - Elton John (UMC)
    10. Divide - Ed Sheeran (Atlantic)
GRASSROOTS GIGS GET £1M FUND
7/7/21

The touring and production costs for more than 300 gigs in the U.K. this summer will be covered by a £1m investment fund thanks to a partnership between The National Lottery and Music Venue Trust.

The gigs will form part of The National Lottery’s Revive Live Tour, which will see artists such as Olivia Dean (pictured), Twin Atlantic, The Magic Gang and The Futureheads perform at hundreds of grassroots music venues throughout the U.K.

More than 20 tours will be taking place, once venues are able to open (which should begin 7/19, should all go to plan), in line with government guidance. Up to 30k tickets, or around half the capacity of these shows, will be gifted to National Lottery players.

Special one-off shows by Sir Tom Jones, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Mahalia, James Arthur, Frank Turner, Sam Fender and Fontaines D.C. will also be part of the tour.

Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Dayvd called the tour “a fantastic initiative which will kickstart the return of great events across the country.”

Over the last 14 months, MVT research says that 83% of venues have faced closure and are emerging from lockdown burdened with a collective debt of £45m.

U.K. CHARTS: SHEERAN'S 10TH #1
7/2/21

Ed Sheeran becomes the ninth act in Official Chart history to rack up 10 or more #1s as "Bad Habits" (Atlantic) tops the Official Singles Chart on 92k sales. Over on albums, Jack Savoretti claims his second #1 with Europiana (EMI).

"Bad Habits" was streamed 8.7m streams times since 6/25. Last week’s #1, Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” (Polydor), drops to #2 today, while Måneskin continue to climb the Top 10 with two songs: “I Wanna Be Your Slave” (RCA), which is up one to #5, and their cover of “Beggin,’” up three spots to #7.

Doja Cat has two new entries this week following the arrival of Planet Her (Ministry of Sound). “You Right” with The Weeknd opens at #9 and “Ain’t S**t” starts at #29.

On the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart, Savoretti’s Europiana opens on 21k chart sales, with 82% of those on CD and vinyl. Rodrigo’s SOUR (Polydor) declines to #2 but is still the most-streamed album in the U.K. Doja Cat is new at #3 with Planet Her, followed by Tyler, The Creator’s CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST (Columbia) at #4.

John Grant’s latest, Boy From Michigan (Bella Union), charts at #8 and is the best-seller on vinyl this week.