I’m rather surprised at the lack of Maximo Park and Roll Deep from the top 10 in the singles charts midweek predictions. Going Missing is a great song which I had expected to be the breakthrough single for Maximo Park – it already is in terms of being their biggest hit yet (a predicted no.15 compared to Graffiti’s no.23) and had loads of attention from Radio 1, but that combined with this week’s Mercury nomination would suggest at least a top 10 chart entry. With the Roll Deep Crew, I may not be a huge fan myself, but the song is on heavy rotation on the music channels and also receiving some Radio 1 play (not always a given for UK urban music as it is with British indie bands). The sample seems to be very popular (even I like that part of the song) and with Roll Deep being the origin of 2 of UK raps big stars, Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, and one of the main sources of the currently fashionable ‘grime’ style, you would think they would bring some more fans. Another song not charting as high as expected is the Daddy Yankee single, which has been huge across Europe, although it hasn’t had so much radio play (yet) as video play so perhaps it will be one to stick around the top end of the charts for several weeks. It does seem to be strong contender for a big summer hit.
One reason for these lower chart entires must be that big hit singles are staying around the top 10 for much longer. 2Pac feat. Elton John, Charlotte Church, MVP and Crazy Frog have been there for 5, 4, 5 and 9 weeks respectively and James Blunt is spending only his second week at no.1 after 8 weeks of release, which although not an unheard of pattern is clogging up the top 10, letting in less new entries. For this it seems the integration of the download chart is to blame. The download chart, probably due to the varied release dates (often earlier or later than the physical single release), seems to be much slower than the singles chart was when it was a separate entity. This could cause worrying problems for new acts, particularly pop acts who depend on chart success to retain their record deal. If a pop act’s last single was released before the download merger and reached the top 10 it is likely that they could sell just as much but miss the top 10, which would seem a failure to followers of the charts who, like me and most people it seems, don’t pay much attention to the actual sales numbers.