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> Great chart mysteries..., ...can you think of any almost unexplainable huge hits/big flops?
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gooddelta
post Nov 24 2015, 09:44 PM
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I've just been listening to Atomic Kitten's Whole Again and every time I do so, one question nags me - just how on earth did it debut at No.1 as the fifth single from an album, following the fourth single, which had peaked at No.20?

I actually don't think I've ever found an answer to how they managed this, and wondered if anybody knew? Was the single more heavily promoted/did it receive more pre-release airplay than its predecessors, because if it did I don't recall that at all. I don't even know how 64,000 (I think that was the opening sale) people were even aware of the song at the time to get it to that No.1 debut!

Obviously over time it's become a classic and had an extended chart run once the public started to hear it and fell in love with it, but I always wonder how it didn't just debut at No.25 and then disappear from sight. I remember the No.1 debut coming as the biggest ever chart shock to me at the time, I was expecting top 20 at best and there was nothing to suggest it would do any better than this - unless anybody could inform me any different?

On the topic, can anybody think of any other hits that seemed so much bigger than their hype/pre-release buzz suggested, or similarly songs that flopped shockingly hard, with no real reason as to why?


This post has been edited by gooddelta: Nov 24 2015, 09:44 PM
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Jack
post Nov 24 2015, 09:51 PM
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I don't think anyone really foresaw how big Blurred Lines would be, unfortunately. Obviously before it came a hit in the US etc.
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Doctor Blind
post Nov 24 2015, 09:53 PM
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Similarly in 1992 Wet Wet Wet managed a massive #1 with “Goodnight Girl” after a series of seemingly doomed flops (#30, #37 and #56 respectively) - there seems to be a period in January/February in the new year where a band on the edge of total collapse can be given one final chance, or maybe just catch a break with a song just seems to strike a chord with the general public and runs away for no good reason.

They increased sales dramatically in week 2 and continued to increase further in week 3 which was sort of unheard of in the post-1995 chart hyping era.
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Joe ho ho!
post Nov 24 2015, 09:54 PM
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Whole again was quite heavily promoted. I remember them doing quite a lot of the weekend tv shows singing it. I didn't use to listen to the radio much beyond the chart show but I saw Whole Again being on all the Music channels. I think it just clicked with people as a good song, it's a bit cheesy now, looking back on it it but was very catchy at the time.

There was also the 'goodbye to Kerry aspect' I remember them doing their last performance of Whole Again with her on some tv show - and I THINK that was before it went to number 1.
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Jack
post Nov 24 2015, 09:54 PM
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Also, thinking about it, MNEK & Zara Larsson seems like it should have probably only done about Top 20 or so considering past success. I don't know how that became so big really other than just being a really decent song.
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Regina
post Nov 24 2015, 10:00 PM
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I always found it odd that Head Over Feet gave Alanis Morissette a top 10 when it was the 5th single from an already huge selling album and none of the other singles
made a huge impact (You Oughta Know only got to #22 and Ironic to #11 and they are her most recognisable hits)
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Winter Wombatlan...
post Nov 24 2015, 10:01 PM
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On to the topic of Wet Wet Wet, they had a top 10 hit in 2008 with Weightless, then it fell to something like #92 next week? They were never seen again in the charts so it did seem a bit random.

The only number 1 I've thought 'how on earth did that happen?' and still think it was Katie Melua & Eva Cassidy - What a Wonderful World in 2007. It seemed TOTALLY out of the blue and was a Tesco exclusive CD IIRC? I guess it had the charity tag, but a rather big mystery of a number 1 to me (and it wasn't even like it was a huge hit as it plummeted afterwards).


This post has been edited by Chez Wombat: Nov 24 2015, 10:03 PM
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Doctor Blind
post Nov 24 2015, 10:05 PM
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Cliff Richard “The Millennium Prayer” is also a mystery - just WHO was buying it?

27/11/1999 - #2 - 88,000
04/12/1999 - #1 - 143,000
11/12/1999 - #1 - 157,000
18/12/1999 - #1 - 159,000
25/12/1999 - #2 - 170,000

What??!
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gooddelta
post Nov 24 2015, 10:10 PM
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QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Nov 24 2015, 10:05 PM) *
Cliff Richard “The Millennium Prayer” is also a mystery - just WHO was buying it?

27/11/1999 - #2 - 88,000
04/12/1999 - #1 - 143,000
11/12/1999 - #1 - 157,000
18/12/1999 - #1 - 159,000
25/12/1999 - #2 - 170,000

What??!


So horrifying, such an awful song cry.gif

Another one I've just thought of is My Chemical Romance's Welcome To The Black Parade. I certainly expected to see it as a mid to low top ten hit but that vault to No.1 - and then to spend a second week there too - just seemed completely odd to me, I really had no idea it was shaping up to be so huge. It's not as if anything else from that genre had ever been to No.1 (unless you count Evanescence) or that MCR had ever had a major single beforehand.
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Joe ho ho!
post Nov 24 2015, 10:12 PM
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I always found 'Can't Fight The Moonlight' being number 1 a massive surprise at the time. I have no idea how much it was expected, I was very young at the time, but I bought it myself, and was expecting like top 15 I remember.
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JosephCarey
post Nov 24 2015, 10:12 PM
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Florence + The Machine's Spectrum is one for me. I didn't think it'd come close to #1, let alone spend three weeks there!
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gooddelta
post Nov 24 2015, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE(Joe. @ Nov 24 2015, 09:54 PM) *
Whole again was quite heavily promoted. I remember them doing quite a lot of the weekend tv shows singing it. I didn't use to listen to the radio much beyond the chart show but I saw Whole Again being on all the Music channels. I think it just clicked with people as a good song, it's a bit cheesy now, looking back on it it but was very catchy at the time.

There was also the 'goodbye to Kerry aspect' I remember them doing their last performance of Whole Again with her on some tv show - and I THINK that was before it went to number 1.


Interesting, perhaps it was a combination of a lot of seemingly small rumblings combining to make an unexpected huge hit. I'm sure even Woolies only had it at No.16 or something in their chart, and Woolies were usually good at detecting a huge smash/being paid by record companies to engineer hype.
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AcerBen
post Nov 24 2015, 10:16 PM
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QUOTE(gooddelta @ Nov 24 2015, 09:44 PM) *
I've just been listening to Atomic Kitten's Whole Again and every time I do so, one question nags me - just how on earth did it debut at No.1 as the fifth single from an album, following the fourth single, which had peaked at No.20?

I actually don't think I've ever found an answer to how they managed this, and wondered if anybody knew? Was the single more heavily promoted/did it receive more pre-release airplay than its predecessors, because if it did I don't recall that at all. I don't even know how 64,000 (I think that was the opening sale) people were even aware of the song at the time to get it to that No.1 debut!

Obviously over time it's become a classic and had an extended chart run once the public started to hear it and fell in love with it, but I always wonder how it didn't just debut at No.25 and then disappear from sight. I remember the No.1 debut coming as the biggest ever chart shock to me at the time, I was expecting top 20 at best and there was nothing to suggest it would do any better than this - unless anybody could inform me any different?

On the topic, can anybody think of any other hits that seemed so much bigger than their hype/pre-release buzz suggested, or similarly songs that flopped shockingly hard, with no real reason as to why?


It didn't matter that it was the fifth single off the album, because it was completely reworked from the album version and nobody had bought the album anyway.

It didn't have much pre-release airplay but they did a lot of TVs and they got a lot of press thanks to Kerry. And I suppose it was just one of those occasions where just having the right song at the right time was enough.
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JosephCarey
post Nov 24 2015, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE(AcerBen @ Nov 24 2015, 10:16 PM) *
It didn't matter that it was the fifth single off the album, because it was completely reworked from the album version and nobody had bought the album anyway.

It didn't have much pre-release airplay but they did a lot of TVs and they got a lot of press thanks to Kerry. And I suppose it was just one of those occasions where just having the right song at the right time was enough.


It was actually the same version from the album, it was Kerry's vocals on the single magic.gif but you're right, nobody bought the album so I don't think that hindered things. Quite impressive how it turned their fortunes round so drastically!
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dancember
post Nov 24 2015, 10:18 PM
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How Roll Deep followed up their 2 #1s in a row with a... #29. And it even featured Alesha Dixon who was semi-popular at the time.
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Ellsmere
post Nov 24 2015, 10:20 PM
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QUOTE(gooddelta @ Nov 24 2015, 10:10 PM) *
So horrifying, such an awful song cry.gif

Another one I've just thought of is My Chemical Romance's Welcome To The Black Parade. I certainly expected to see it as a mid to low top ten hit but that vault to No.1 - and then to spend a second week there too - just seemed completely odd to me, I really had no idea it was shaping up to be so huge. It's not as if anything else from that genre had ever been to No.1 (unless you count Evanescence) or that MCR had ever had a major single beforehand.


Actually i disagree with MCR 'welcome to the black parade' was just a big song on a big scale, we'll agree to disagree but I don't like MCR but that song is great!
Girls aloud 'promise this' is a shitty number 1 I reckon.
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AcerBen
post Nov 24 2015, 10:21 PM
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QUOTE(Chez Wombat @ Nov 24 2015, 10:01 PM) *
On to the topic of Wet Wet Wet, they had a top 10 hit in 2008 with Weightless, then it fell to something like #92 next week? They were never seen again in the charts so it did seem a bit random.

The only number 1 I've thought 'how on earth did that happen?' and still think it was Katie Melua & Eva Cassidy - What a Wonderful World in 2007. It seemed TOTALLY out of the blue and was a Tesco exclusive CD IIRC? I guess it had the charity tag, but a rather big mystery of a number 1 to me (and it wasn't even like it was a huge hit as it plummeted afterwards).


James Masterton has the answers!

QUOTE
It seems to be quite the week for intriguing chart tales, and none are more startling than that of the highest new entry of the week, 'Weightless' by Wet Wet Wet which makes a quite unexpected debut at Number 10. The Scottish soulmen had been inactive since the late 90s following an acrimonious breakup and the descent of lead singer Marti Pellow into drug addiction. Cleaned up and reconciled, they reunited for a Greatest Hits collection and tour in 2004 and were rewarded with a Number 14 comeback hit 'All I Want'. After the tour they promised a brand new album, but it was slow arriving, finally released at the back end of last year. They also released a single, but 'Too Many People' struggled for airplay and audience and bombed out of the chart after just one week at Number 46 in November last year.

So what on earth has caused the turnaround? Well of course tireless promotion and the loyalty of their fans goes without saying, but 'Weightless' has also benefitted a clever exploitation of chart rules which allow multiple download versions of the same song to all count for its chart position. Thus during the week it was possible to buy the track in its full length album version, a shorter single edit, an acoustic version, a demo version and in live performances from London, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff and Birmingham. Needless to say the cumulative effect of dedicated collectors shelling out for several different renditions will have contributed enormously to this elevated chart placing, the first Top 10 hit for Wet Wet Wet in almost 11 years, their 1997 Number 4 cover of 'Yesterday' being their final single release before they split.
QUOTE

First a short lesson in consumer economics. A major factor in the astounding sales levels that music, and CD singles in particular, were achieving around ten years ago was the presence of industry product on the shelves of major supermarkets. Having been persuaded that there was a ready market for them, the likes of Asda and Tesco were only too happy to devote shelf space to the latest music releases, and they were rewarded with healthy sales - buoyed of course by the presence at the time of kid-friendly acts such as the Spice Girls and Steps. The CD single was a mass-market, mainstream consumer product and arranged in such a way that it was an impulse buy, something cheap to grab hold of when it happened to catch your eye.

It is no coincidence that the near overnight drop-off in music sales happened to coincide with a change in policy by the big shopping chains who decided that the shelf space set aside for music would be more profitably deployed elsewhere, the CD single in particular something that was no longer worth stocking. Ever since the record industry has been flailing around dealing with the demise of their biggest marketing tool as a mass market product and waiting for the digital download to somehow take its place.

So under normal circumstances the one-off release of a new Katie Melua single would not have been all that significant, despite the novelty of having her vocals expertly spliced with those of the late Eva Cassidy to create a dream duet that would otherwise never have been possible. However this was no ordinary single release. Instead the charity single (all proceeds to the Red Cross) was signed as an exclusive release through Tesco stores. Shops such as HMV and Zavvi and even iTunes and Napster were shut out of the loop completely. The only way to purchase 'What A Wonderful World' was to either go to your local Tesco (where it was arranged prominently in racks the moment you stepped through the door) or purchase it via the Tesco Direct website. What might ordinarily have been the kind of restriction that would have limited sales of the single instead became the most inspired marketing decision of the year, the track outselling the competition to become the most unexpected out of the blue Number One single for, well, decades.
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AcerBen
post Nov 24 2015, 10:23 PM
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QUOTE(JosephStyles @ Nov 24 2015, 10:17 PM) *
It was actually the same version from the album, it was Kerry's vocals on the single magic.gif but you're right, nobody bought the album so I don't think that hindered things. Quite impressive how it turned their fortunes round so drastically!


I meant the talky verses version - I thougt it was on the first release, but I just checked, it was only on the Japanese one
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AcerBen
post Nov 24 2015, 10:26 PM
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QUOTE(gooddelta @ Nov 24 2015, 10:10 PM) *
So horrifying, such an awful song cry.gif

Another one I've just thought of is My Chemical Romance's Welcome To The Black Parade. I certainly expected to see it as a mid to low top ten hit but that vault to No.1 - and then to spend a second week there too - just seemed completely odd to me, I really had no idea it was shaping up to be so huge. It's not as if anything else from that genre had ever been to No.1 (unless you count Evanescence) or that MCR had ever had a major single beforehand.


I saw that one coming - it was just so refreshing and different and IIRC it got a heck of a lot of video airplay before the release. Also they'd been steadily growing a fanbase since the release of the first album.
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scratchy23
post Nov 24 2015, 10:28 PM
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Cover Drive - Twilight going to #1. Baffling.
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