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> ThePensmith's Top 20 Singles Chart, Week ending 14th December 2018
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post Dec 14 2018, 05:14 PM
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Hello one, hello all! Just 11 more days until Christmas - and seven whole days until my Christmas personal chart for 2018 is revealed! So is George Ezra looking likely to contend for that title and make it seven weeks at number one this week? Here's your answer...

Week ending 14th December 2018

1. (2) JESS GLYNNE - Thursday
2. (3) LITTLE MIX - Think About Us
3. (1) GEORGE EZRA - Hold My Girl
4. (5) MICHAEL BUBLÉ - Love You Anymore
5. (19) THE POGUES & KIRSTY MACCOLL - Fairytale Of New York
6. (4) NOW UNITED - All Day
8. (7) TAKE THAT - Out Of Our Heads
10. (6) ALL SAINTS - Testament In Motion

11. (9) BACKSTREET BOYS - Chances
12. (11) BUSTED - Nineties
13. (14) JAMIE LAWSON - Testify
14. (12) JAMIE CULLUM - Love Is In The Picture
15. (13) RAE MORRIS - Dancing With Character
17. (NE) CLAIRE RICHARDS - My Heart Is Heading Home (This Christmas)
18. (RE) MICHAEL BUBLÉ - It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
19. (NE) RAK-SU - The Real Thing (Holidays Are Coming)
20. (16) KYLIE MINOGUE FEAT. JACK SAVORETTI - The Music's Too Sad Without You

Compiled from my own personal listening in the last seven days across streaming, digital and physical formats.


(1) - last week's position
(HNE) - highest new entry
(NE) - new entry
(RE) - re-entry


Christmas personal chart -T1. In just seven days' time, we'll know which record joins the list as my 20th Christmas number one single and writes itself into my chart record books for years to come. By definition, whoever is at the top of my chart now is in a strong position to still be there a week hence. And that particular honour goes not to George Ezra, but instead to Jess Glynne. After debuting at #3 two weeks ago, and climbing to #2 last week, she now notches up her third number one of the year, following her appearance on Rudimental's 'These Days' in April and her own 'I'll Be There' in May, meaning she now joins the aforementioned Mr Ezra in being the second artist inside this year to have as many as three chart toppers on my personal chart. The last time we had such a feat on my chart was 2009, when Little Boots and The Saturdays both notched up three number ones apiece in that calendar year. If she does retain her place next Friday, it means Ed Sheeran - one of the song's writers - will not only have his fifth number one in total as a writer and/or performer, but he'll also capture the festive summit for a second year running following his triumph with 'Perfect' in 2017. But back to this week for now.

It's good news for Little Mix, as following a round of promo (including a well received Graham Norton performance) for current single 'Think About Us', it moves up to #2 in it's second week on my chart. A sense of calm before the madness is very much a theme of my chart this week, partly because there's only three new entries, whilst the other new movements are actually re-entries from evergreen festive favourites of mine. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's timeless classic from 1987, 'Fairytale Of New York' - released a whole 12 years before my records began - has been a fixture of my personal chart at Christmas every year since it's re-release in 2005, despite never climbing higher than #3. It returned to the bottom end of my top 20 last week, and takes a fourteen place leap to #5 this week - higher in fact, than the #9 it managed last year.

Michael Bublé is the other traditional seasonal favourite of mine since the release of his 'Christmas' album in 2011, hence he's the only artist to have two singles inside my top 20 this week. Current hit 'Love You Anymore' is back up to #4, whilst 'It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas' returns to my chart at #18, after re-entering at #39 last week. It reached a new peak of #11 last December, so there's every chance we could see it scaling even bigger heights next week. There's also returns outside my top 20 for Christmas classics from John Lennon and Yoko Ono ('Happy Xmas (War Is Over)', #24), Chris Rea ('Driving Home For Christmas', #31), The Pretenders ('2000 Miles', #32) and The Waitresses ('Christmas Wrapping', #39).

Meanwhile, the biggest new hit of the week - and the only one to debut inside the top 10 - comes from a band who are no strangers to a festive chart topper. Two years ago of course, Clean Bandit took 2016's title with their Sean Paul collaboration 'Rockabye' whilst on its fifth week inside my personal chart. I suspect that reclaiming the festive throne this year with 'Baby', their collaboration with Marina and the Diamonds and Luis Fonsi may be a tall order at this late stage of the game, but it still makes a respectable #7 entry this week with the potential to climb even higher into the new year. It actually also marks Marina's biggest hit to date, surpassing the #12 peak of her previous biggest hit, 'Primadonna', from March 2012, and for Luis Fonsi, his second top 10 hit following the massive 'Despacito' that was a top 5 hit in the summer of 2017.

As for the other two totally new entries - i.e. not festive favourites? Well, both of those are actually also Christmas related as it turns out, but both make extremely disappointing showings than would otherwise be expected of the artists behind them. Claire Richards has been a fixture of my festive rundowns twice before with her Steps bandmates, hitting the top 5 in 1999 with 'Say You'll Be Mine / Better The Devil You Know', whilst their swansong single in 2001, 'Words Are Not Enough / I Know Him So Well' was also in my top 10 that year. However, after the stellar top 5 performances of her first two solo singles 'On My Own' and 'End Before We Start', 'My Heart Is Heading Home (This Christmas)' stalls at #17 and is unlikely to go further.

Your sympathies also, to Rak-Su, who haven't had an easy ride of late, following both their recent shifting of labels from SyCo to RCA as a result of being caught in the crossfire of the Little Mix vs. Simon Cowell dispute with their management company we mentioned last week, and the consequential delay of their debut album release until next year. The Watford lads were #2 at Christmas last year with their X Factor coronation single 'Dimelo', then followed that up with another #2 hit 'Pyro Ting' in July, before their last single, 'I Want You To Freak' (still on my chart this week at #28) gave them their first number one in October. But their decision to record and appear in a rejigged version of the famous Coca Cola adverts that are a quintessential part of British Yuletide telly viewing has been a rude awakening for them, with many universally lampooning it online, hence the #19 turkey of a showing for 'The Real Thing (Holidays Are Coming)'.

They'll more than likely bounce back to their usual top 3 ways come 2019, but for now they have an unfortunate coda to their otherwise flawless chart record. But they should at least be thankful they're having it comparatively easier than the new X Factor champ. Dalton Harrison was crowned as the latest series' winner two weeks ago. His debut single, a duet with James Arthur on a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 1984 seasonal hit 'The Power Of Love' failed to make my chart at all last week, and is still nowhere to be seen this week.

Now all that's left to do is sit back and see what happens seven days hence in my Christmas chart for 2018. Will Jess Glynne cling on for a second week? Could Little Mix overtake her? Could George Ezra reclaim the top spot? Maybe one of the returning seasonal favourites? Or maybe one of the clutch of new singles still to make an impact on my chart? Watch this space...

Your chance to see how my personal top 10 was looking on this week in the last 20 years. This week in 2010: Ellie Goulding's take on Elton John spends a second week at the top, plus new entries from Black Eyed Peas and Alexandra Burke

1. (1) ELLIE GOULDING - Your Song

2. (HNE) BLACK EYED PEAS - The Time (Dirty Bit)
3. (2) OLLY MURS - Thinking Of Me
4. (3) JLS - Love You More
5. (5) RIHANNA - Only Girl In The World
6. (4) RIHANNA FEAT. DRAKE - What's My Name
7. (14) THE POGUES & KIRSTY MACCOLL - Fairytale Of New York
8. (6) DAVID GUETTA FEAT. RIHANNA - Who's That Chick?
9. (7) MCFLY FEAT. TAIO CRUZ - Shine A Light
10. (NE) ALEXANDRA BURKE - The Silence
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