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Re-Scripting The Charts...

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:52 UK time, Saturday, 2 August 2008

Although you may not know it by looking around you, this has been a tense week. It has, in fact, been a week loaded with suspense, intrigue, and sudden revelations, and this excitement has (almost) justified the years of sacrifice and hard training involved in becoming a properly seasoned chart-watcher. Yes, it's THAT good!

The whole thing revolves around predictions and expectations, and one act being suddenly more successful than anyone expected, while another who everyone expected to be huge, appearing to stall before they got started.

Here's the Script, with their song 'We Cry', when they appeared on Sound.

At the beginning of the week, the song was sitting at No.30, where it had bellyflopped the previous week on downloads alone, and people in 'the biz' were starting to whisper about the song being over, the band not quite managing to translate their Chili Peppers-influenced potential into hot chart action, and generally taking a "better luck next time" approach to the situation.

That may sound like we're making a drama out of nothing, but it's true, people really thought that if the song wasn't happening, that was that.

Then suddenly a curious thing happened - CDs started flying out of shops. Not in a Harry Potter way, you understand, you would probably have heard about that, but anyone with access to those midweek charts you sometimes hear about noticed a sharp increase in the Script's chart position. Suddenly, from No,30, it shot up to the Top 10, past Madonna, past Usher, and on up towards the top slot. People stopped talking about the song in the past tense, and began paying attention again.

Now, it's important to take a couple of things into account. Firstly, the midweek charts don't really mean anything. They're very useful in working out what might be heading up the charts, but you can't rely on them. Many's the chartbound act who has spent the week their CD is out being told their song is definitely going to be a Top 5 smash, only to discover on the Sunday that Saturday's sales have wiped out their lead, and left them smarting and ashamed at No.12. Although they'd get no sympathy if they complained, particularly to the people at No.13.

The other thing to remember is that a lot of songs sell well at the beginning of the week that the CD is released, as fans rush to the shops. This can tail off, so you can't read too much into any sudden increase in sales at the beginning of the week. Unless it keeps going...

And THAT is why this week has been so much fun. Sales of 'We Cry' have just kept ticking over nicely. The song has continued to creep up and up the chart, and there is NO TELLING where it will end up by 7pm tomorrow night,

To make matters even more complicated, Katy Perry's song 'I Kissed A Girl' is at the top of the download charts on iTunes, but because of a technical glitch, she hasn't been included in the mid-week chart figures...yet. So, in theory, she could waltz up to the Script, Dizzee Rascal AND Kid Rock, barge them all down a notch, and take over. But we don't have a clue whether she WILL, because the figures aren't in yet.

We literally do not know what is going to happen. Kid Rock could still beat everyone, or Dizzee Rascal could hold on for another week. And the only way we're going to find out what is what, is to tune into the chart show, at 4pm this Sunday on Radio 1, and share the excitement with Fearne & Reggie.

Time to pick a favourite, make a scarf, badge or T-shirt, settle down by the radio and prepare to scream the house down!


  • Comment number 1.

    Your facts above are completely wrong.

    1) The name of The Script's current single is not "We Cry" but "The Man Who Can't Be Moved"

    2) Last week when it entered the chart at No 30 the song had only been available (on download only) since the Friday before so in fact went to No 30 on 2 days sold only.

    3) The insiders in the industry were actually very impressed as it charted so well against the rest of the chart who'd had all week to sell records

    4) The CD of the single "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" has not been selling extraordinarily well this week as you have implied, merely it has had a full weeks sales along with the download of the song being available for a full week and has continued to sell well - hence The Script's big jump in the charts

    5) Meanwhile such is the interest in The Script that the mistakenly aforementioned first single for the band "We Cry" which originally peaked at No 15 has recharted this week at No 58.

    6) The same applies to Katy Perry who has notably charted this week at No 4 - please note that her single was only made available to purchase on download since Wednesday

  • Comment number 2.

    You're quite right, I got the name of the songs muddled up. Sorry about that.

    But without naming any names, I was personally informed by a reputable source that the band's sales were a cause for concern at the beginning of the week. Then a cause for delight once the CD-plus-download figures started to come in.

    Maybe your insiders should have talked to my insiders? ;-)

    Also, Katy Perry's sales figures would have been counted in the Thursday and Friday midweek charts, giving chart-watchers like me a clue as to how well she is doing, but there was a technical problem getting them included until Sunday.

    So, all in all...it was still quite a fun week, and nice to have a bit of tension in the chart rundown.

    If you can somehow make all that into a slap in the face for the Script AND Katy Perry, good luck to you.


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