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NEAR TRUTHS:
CHARTING THE TERRITORY

CHART FIGHTS: After an intense contest at Pop radio, Columbia’s Harry Styles beat The Weeknd to the #1 spot at Mediabase. This was a major win for Big Red promo chief Peter Gray and crew, who were widely viewed as the underdogs pitted against Gary Spangler’s notoriously fierce Republic squad.

Handicappers gave the edge to the Spanginator, who’s looked almost unstoppable this year, but Team Gray gave Ron Perry his first #1 at Pop for the year. Arizona Zervas, you’ll recall, was stopped at #2 by Warner RecordsDua Lipa, as Mike Chester and team kept her in the top spot for six weeks. Look for The Weeknd to hold the #1 spot for a few weeks, as there’s currently nothing behind him on the chart to pose a threat.

NO SOUL: When Republic’s hugely successful Weeknd album scored his second week at #1 on the Top 50 chart (he's now on his way to a possible fourth), it was after a similarly tight battle with Interscope’s 5 Seconds of Summer. 5SOS would have chalked up a chart #1 that week but for 10k in D2C sales that were mistakenly shipped early amid confusion about the band’s adjusted release date. Thus the product was recorded on the prior week’s chart by the Bible, after appeals by Interscope fell on deaf ears. The band’s fans were outraged and took to the socials to express their displeasure.

These are extraordinary times, as we’ve noted repeatedly. So why be doctrinaire about the chart rules when everyone is scrambling to make things work? Why embarrass the band, their Modest Management team and label crew, who are performing superbly amid a pandemic? Why put civilians in charge of a decision that’s of such consequence to the industry? It seems like the right thing to do would’ve been to give 5SOS and their Interscope team their well-earned chart victory. The decision to apply the rules so stringently now has left a bad taste in virtually everyone’s mouth. It’s time for the Bible’s brain trust to show some soul.

 

 

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