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Three Lions breaks chart record

David Baddiel and Frank SkinnerImage copyright
David Baddiel

Image caption

Baddiel (left) tweeted a photo of himself with Skinner earlier this week

After a heart-breaking week for English football fans, Three Lions is number one on this week’s official singles chart.

It’s the first time in chart history a song has scored four spells at number one with the same artist line-up.

The original 1996 version had two one-week stints whilst the 1998 re-work had a three-week spell.

With over 1.6 million copies sold since its release, the anthem is also one of the UK’s best-selling singles ever.

  • ‘It’s Coming Home’: The song that defines England
  • England World Cup defeat seen by 26.5m

Radio 1’s chart show host Scott Mills said: “England gave us everything at this World Cup. The whole country got swept away with it.

“Three Lions being the official number one shows how we really got behind our amazing team.”

Analysis by Mark Savage, BBC music reporter

“Three Lions killed off the football anthem quite conclusively,” David Baddiel told me two years ago.

“There were a few attempts after 1996 but no-one managed it. And that’s because it is the best football anthem of all time.”

But even the comedian was taken aback by the sheer success of Three Lions this week, 22 years after it first topped the charts.

And it’s hard to stress how difficult it was for the song to reach the summit again.

Recently-introduced chart rules penalise songs that are more than three years old; meaning they have to be streamed twice as many times to achieve the same “sales” as current hits.

But Three Lions smashed through those restrictions – a testament to how its message of hope-against-the-odds is reflected in every international England ever play.

Baddiel was right. We don’t need another football anthem… unless we win.

The song was written for Euro 96 by Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds together with comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner.

At the time, the pair hosted a popular football show together called Fantasy Football.

As a result of the surge in popularity of Three Lions, George Ezra’s Shotgun slipped down to Number two after two weeks at the top.

Solo by Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato remained at number three, while Drake completed the top five with In My Feelings and Don’t Matter To Me.

Top five singles
1) The Lightning Seeds, David Baddiel and Frank Skinner Three Lions
2) George Ezra Shotgun
3) Clean Bandit feat. Demi Lovato Solo
4) Drake In My Feelings
5) Drake feat. Michael Jackson Don’t Matter To Me

Green Day’s American Idiot entered at number 25 after a campaign to get it back into the charts to coincide with President Trump’s UK visit.

Over on the album chart, Drake celebrated a second week at the top with Scorpion.

Streaming has played a massive part in the album’s success – making up 90% of its total sales over the last week.

But although the Canadian rapper’s album broke streaming records on both Spotify and Apple Music, a lot of Spotify users complained the company promoted Drake too much.

The Greatest Showman moved up one place to number two and Years & Years’ sophomore album Palo Santo entered the charts at three.

Top five albums
1) Drake Scorpion
2) Motion Picture Cast Recording The Greatest Showman
3) Years & Years Palo Santo
4) George Ezra Staying at Tamara’s
5) Tom Grennan Lighting Matches

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