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Nothing But Thieves Top Alternative Songs, Extend U.K. Bands’ Streak at No. 1

The band follows in the freshly worn footsteps of Coldplay and Foals.

England’s Nothing But Thieves swipe an airplay chart No. 1 with its first U.S.-charting single, as “Trip Switch” rises 3-1 on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs chart (dated March 26).

The quintet’s song is the third consecutive new No. 1 on the tally by a British band, as it dethrones Foals‘ “Mountain at My Gates,” down 1-2 after a week at the summit. Coldplay‘s two-week topper “Adventure of a Lifetime” preceded Foals’ No. 1. (After Coldplay’s chart command, Cage the Elephant‘s “Mess Around,” which had led for a week before “Adventure,” returned for two more weeks on top prior to Foals’ coronation.)

The last time three straight new Alternative Songs No. 1s were by non-American acts? That run began exactly 20 years ago today, on the March 16, 1996, chart, when Canadian Alanis Morissette reigned for three weeks with “Ironic” and was followed by a five-week run at No. 1 for Britain’s Oasis, with “Champagne Supernova,” and four weeks for Irish band The Cranberries‘ “Salvation.”

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Lately, American acts’ taking a back seat to foreign talent on Alternative Songs mirrors the domination of global hits on the Billboard Hot 100, where a record nine consecutive No. 1s by non-U.S. acts have held the top spot for an also-record 36 straight weeks.

On Alternative Songs, however, three leaders in a row by non-Americans isn’t even close to the record. The mark? A whopping 14 straight from Nov. 11, 1989, through July 7, 1990 (for a grand total of 35 straight weeks):

Artist, Title, Weeks at No. 1, Country
Ian McCulloch, “Proud to Fall” (four weeks) (England)
Kate Bush, “Love and Anger” (three) (England)
The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Blues from a Gun” (three) (Scotland)
The Psychedelic Furs, “House” (three) (England)
Peter Murphy, “Cuts You Up” (seven) (England)
Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (one) (Ireland)
Midnight Oil, “Blue Sky Mine” (one) (Australia)
The Church, “Metropolis” (one) (Australia)
Depeche Mode, “Enjoy the Silence (three) (England)
Sinead O’Connor, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (one) (Ireland)
Midnight Oil, “Forgotten Years” (one) (Australia)
The Sundays, “Here’s Where the Story Ends” (one) (England)
Depeche Mode, “Policy of Truth” (one) (England)
World Party, “Way Down Now” (five) (England)

The U.S. reclaimed the chart’s top soil when Concrete Blonde, from Los Angeles, led with “Joey” for four weeks beginning July 14, 1990.

Back in 2016, “Switch” concurrently hits new peaks of No. 6 on Rock Airplay (7.5 million in weekly audience, up 14 percent, according to Nielsen Music) and No. 22 on Hot Rock Songs. It also re-enters Mainstream Rock Songs at its No. 37 peak.

Signed to RCA Records, Nothing But Thieves released their self-titled debut album on Feb. 5 in the U.S. The set has reached No. 11 on Alternative Albums and No. 15 on Top Rock Albums.