Gary Barlow climbs to the top of the singles chart and remains at number one in the albums chart
Gary Barlow and friends top both the singles and albums chart.
This week has been a good example of how much the music industry has changed over the last decade or so. These changes have led to some singles being rush-released because of the success of fake versions and a decline in sales of Greatest Hits sets. We have also seen songs being catapulted into the charts after a performance on television and modest performances for some greatest hits sets.
At the beginning of the week Gary Barlow’s slush, a new entry last week at number 11, opened up a commanding lead over all other releases. The new Flo Rida single, Whistle, was nowhere as it hadn’t been released. However, a cover version by an outfit calling themselves Can You Blow My (hilarious, eh?) was selling. That led to the Flo Rida version being rushed out on Monday. It didn’t sell enough to make the top 40 on Wednesday’s update (although the other version did) but by Friday was at number two. It climbed to number one on iTunes by the end of the week but there was never any chance of it beating Barlow.
Gary Barlow thus gets to number one with a third outfit, adding to eleven with Take That and two solo singles (which nobody remembers). His partner in composing crime, Andrew Lloyd Webber has had number one hits with Don’t Cry For Me Argentina (Julie Covington) and Any Dream Will Do (Jason Donovan). The performers include Gareth Malone’s Military Wives Choir who topped the chart at Christmas.
As well as the Flo Rida version at number two, the fake version of Whistle is at number 38.
fun. and Janelle Monae slip one place to number three. They may only have spent a week at the top but they have currently notched up nine weeks in the top ten and look like clocking up several more before dropping out. Last week’s number one, from Rudimental, drops to number four after a single week at the summit.
Usher follows up Climax with another single word title, Scream, which enters at number five. The top five thus includes Sing, Whistle and Scream.
Dizzee Rascal’s last chart entry was another invitation to make some noise in the form of Shout For England - the England World Cup song - two years ago. Although the 2012 European Championship got under way on Friday there is currently no sign of any football songs. Even Three Lions is conspicuous by its absence. Mr Rascal enters this week at number six alongside DJ Fresh with The Power. No song called The Power will ever improve on the song of that name which appears on Suede’s greatest album (and, for that matter, the greatest album ever) Dog Man Star.
After nine weeks in the top five Carly Rae Jepsen drops to number seven. Coldplay & Rihanna climb into the top ten at number eight with Princess Of China. It is Coldplay’s 13th top ten hit and Rihanna’s 22nd. Rihanna was named this week as the 10th highest selling singles artist of all time in the UK, by far the youngest artist in the top ten. She would have been higher still if songs where she was the featured artist (notably Love The Way You Lie) had been added to her total. Coldplay, incidentally, were at number 60 but can expect to climb a few places in the next few weeks.
Nelly Furtado’s absence from the chart has been even longer than that of Dizzee Rascal. She featured on Timbaland’s Morning After Dark in late 2009 but hasn’t had a top 40 hit as the lead artist since Say It Right in February 2007. She returns this week at number 14 with Big Hoops (Bigger The Better). Whether she will ever perform it while swivelling a hula hoop round her hips remains to be seen.
One place below, at number 15, Dot Rotten (aka Joseph Ellis) has his first top 40 hit with Overload which samples Robert Miles’ 1996 hit Children.
Another week, another track from Justin Bieber’s forthcoming album. All Around The World (featuring Ludacris) enters at number 30. The title has been a hit in the past for The Jam and Oasis among others. Sadly they are not able to sue Justin for pinching the title of a great song and using it as a title for a rubbish one.
Talent show also-ran Aiden Grimshaw makes his top 40 debut at number 30 with Is This Love. That title too has been used for far better songs by Bob Marley (more of him later) and Alison Moyet.
There are a number of songs and albums whose reappearance or resurgence owes everything to a load of people performing for the queer old dean (thanks to the late, great Ronnie Barker) round her gaff. Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now returns at number 22, one place short of it original peak after being “performed” by Gary Barlow and Cheryl TweedyColeTweedy who now seems to be calling herself simply Cheryl.
After being performed on the final of The Voice Ed Sheeran’s Small Bump enters at number 25. I shall sneak in a quick dedication to my sister-in-law who has a small bump at the moment. Jessie J’s Domino was part of a medley performed by the coaches and that is back at number 32.
So, last week the first series of the UK version of The Voice came to an end. The series started with a bang, attracting large audiences and comfortably beating Britain’s Got Talent. However, as the series went on, audiences tumbled and the ITV show trounced it in the ratings. For this viewer there were a number of possible reasons. First, the scheduling. An early evening start - to avoid clashing with BGT - is OK in poor weather. However, the semi-final coincided with a glorious weekend (remember that?) which would have left many people enjoying the evening sun rather than watching television. Then there was the knock-out round which saw half of the 40 selected contestants eliminated before viewers knew anything about them, much less cared. The competition attracted a good variety of singers but that wasn’t reflected in the coaches’ comments. For instance, all four described contestants such as the eventual winner Leanne Mitchell as having a “powerful” voice. For some viewers, that is just a polite way of describing shouting. Of course it would also help if one of the coaches didn’t think that saying “dope” all the time was the funniest thing ever shown on television anywhere in the word.
Mitchell’s first single was made available for download at midnight after the show although the presenters forgot to mention that it was the final song she performed, a version of Run To You, a song which was a hit Whitney Houston in 1993 and is not to be confused with the Bryan Adams song of the same name. The disappointing performance of the song - it hasn’t even made the top 40 - raises the question of how many of the people who voted for her are regular buyers of music. Clearly the answer is “not many” as it will have sold fewer than 10,000 copies this week.
The winning song may not have sold very well but The Voice has done wonders for most of the coaches. Danny O’Donoghue has been the biggest beneficiary with both of The Script’s albums re-entering the top 40 and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved returning to the singles chart. Jessie J has also seen a healthy increase in sales and will.i.am co-wrote Ordinary People which reappeared in the top 40 for John Legend. Tom Jones had a top ten album but first week sales were substantially lower than those for his previous album.
Drake and Rihanna’s Take Care leaves the top 40 this week so Titanium takes over as the longest runner on 24 weeks. Somebody That I Used To Know has been in the top 40 for 22 weeks and Domino’s return sees it reach the 20 week mark.
Gary Barlow and his partners in crime also remain at the top of the albums chart. Ed Sheeran’s appearance on television twice over the bank holiday weekend sees his + album move back up to number two. Paloma Faith slips to number three and, in the week of Robin Gibb’s funeral, the Bee Gees’ Number Ones collection is back up to number four. Coldplay are back up six places to number five. Jessie J climbs 13 places back up to number seven.
Two classic albums have been reissued this week to commemorate anniversaries. Paul Simon started his career as half of Simon and Garfunkel, at one time known as Tom And Jerry. He started his solo career with three top ten studio albums from 1972 to 1975 and a number of hit singles including Still Crazy After All These Years and 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. His Greatest Hits also made the top ten in 1977 but then things went relatively quiet. That was until he released Graceland in 1986, an album which spent a total of eight weeks at number one. A 25th anniversary edition was released last year but now a bigger deluxe edition has been released to coincide with the first performance of the album in full in Hyde Park next month.
The album was highly controversial at the time as Simon had travelled to South Africa to work with local musicians. The country was under the rule of the apartheid regime and there were no real signs of that ending. There was a cultural boycott in place which meant that artists were discouraged from performing there. When Simon eventually defended his decision he said that he thought the boycott only covered performances at venues such as Sun City (a sort of down market Las Vegas) in front of all-white audiences rather than performing in a studio with black musicians, none of whom were coerced into working with him. Nevertheless some anti-apartheid campaigners were reluctant to buy the album despite critical acclaim and the fact that they may have enjoyed the singles released from it. When he came to the UK to promote the album his Albert Hall concert was picketed by high profile musician-campaigners such as Paul Weller and Billy Bragg, the latter a proclaimed fan of Simon. Thankfully the apartheid regime is now history and there is no reason for anyone to boycott this rerelease - with additional material - which re-enters at number ten.
The other re-released album of the week is even older, dating back to 1972. Given his iconic status now, David Bowie’s career got off to a slow start. He had a top ten hit with Space Oddity in 1969 but didn’t return to the chart for three years when he released Starman from his fifth album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. Shortly after that album entered the charts its four predecessors all charted for the first time with Hunky Dory getting as high as number three, two places higher than Ziggy Stardust ever managed. The album, still regarded as one of the classics, is back at number 40.
Breaking News - Adele’s 21 has left the top ten! In its 72nd week it drops to number 12 this week. If it had remained in the top ten for one further week (a near certainty if she had performed for Mrs Windsor) it would have equalled the record for this century. However, unlike Lady Gaga’s The Fame, this run has been achieved in consecutive weeks and without releasing a deluxe edition. It seems highly probable that she will overtake Lady GaGa before long particularly if she performs at the opening or closing ceremony for the Olympic Games. It seems likely that Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will have to reappear before the Leveson Inquiry to explain how this has been allowed to happen. It can only add to the pressure on him to resign.
Back in the dark ages of the last century there was still a market for Greatest Hits CDs. Anyone who wanted to compile their own set on cassette or, later, CD had to own a physical copy of each song and there was no fast way of recording them. Recording a four minute song took four minutes. Therefore, even people who already owned all the tracks might have been tempted to buy a CD which collected all the singles together in one place just for convenience. That no longer applies so there needs to be another reason why people might buy a hits package. For a long-established artist that can mean putting out a Best Of set which covers the whole of their career and hoping that there are sufficient new fans to buy it for the earlier songs. The only real option for a younger act is to add extra tracks although it is still cheaper for most people just to download those extra tracks.
Even the first of those options can be a problem if the artist has already released at least one Greatest Hits package. That may help to explain why the Best Of Kylie Minogue only makes it to number 11.
Kaiser Chiefs’ only option is to add some extra tracks. However, their biggest problem is that they haven’t had a top ten hit single since Never Miss A Beat in 2009 and their profile is now much lower. You have to go back even further for their best known songs such as I Predict A Riot, Oh My God and their only number one, Ruby. Souvenir - The Singles 2004 - 2012 bears all the hallmarks of a valedictory album. The fact that singer Ricky Wilson will be performing in this year’s Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds tour is a further indication that the Kaiser Chiefs may have reached the end of the road.
Two other acts with a long career behind them (and probably not much of a career ahead of them, at least in terms of new material) also have new compilations in the top 40. Bob Seger has only ever achieved fairly modest success in the UK. His only top 40 hit was with We’ve Got Tonight in 1995 after it had been released on two previous occasions with poorer spelling. Sadly a vastly inferior version by Ronan Keating and Lulu easily outperformed it in chart terms. Hollywood Nights and Night Moves are both fairly well known but were never big hits although the former made the top 75 on three separate occasions. Ultimate Hits: Rock & Roll Never Forgets is at number 30.
Black Sabbath hit on a reasonably successful formula with Paranoid in 1970 and have stuck with it ever since. Iron Man: The Best Of - at number 34 - is their 22nd top 40 album. The last three of them have now been compilations.
When Dexy’s Midnight Runners first emerged on the scene in 1980, commentators started talking about a new age of northern soul. As with so many predictions, it didn’t really happen. After 1983 they became increasingly irrelevant and singer Kevin Rowland became increasingly weird. They returned to the cahrts in 1986 when Because Of You was used as the theme tune for BBC sitcom Brush Strokes before disappearing completely. Now they have returned under the shorter name Dexy’s with a new album One Day I’m Going To Soar which is a new entry at number 13.
Dexy’s are not the only veteran act to return with new material. Two even older north American acts have released a new album this week. To mark their 50th anniversary in the business the surviving members of the Beach Boys have reunited to record a new album and to go on tour. The album That’s Why God Invented The Radio is a new entry at number 15. It is a shame that the band responsible for great summer sounds such as Good Vibrations, Wouldn’t It Be Nice and I Get Around should release a new album in one of the dreariest June weeks for years.
Any Canadian ridiculed for coming for the country that gave us Celine Dion and Justin Bieber can at least counter with the fact that they also gave us Neil Young. He has released his 34th studio album Americana this week and that enters at number 16. It is the first album to feature Crazy Horse since 2003’s Greendale.
Alexandra Burke’s debut album, Overcome, was released in October 2009 accompanied by a big hit single. Both were boosted by the fact that she was able to benefit from promotion on the show that launched her career. The second album, Heartbreak On Hold, has not had that benefit and the first single performed poorly. The album is also struggling so far and is new at number 18. Burke has recently revealed that she has been taking acting lessons. Looks like she might be needing an alternative career. Perhaps she can do a Billie Piper and prove to be a far better actor than she is a singer.
New Zealander Phillipa Brown, better known as Ladyhawke, enters at number 36 with her second album Anxiety. Her previous album reached number 16 and included the singles My Delirium and Paris Is Burning.
Bob Marley And The Wailers’ appropriately titled Legend re-enters at number 28. When it was released in May 1984 the album entered at number one and stayed there for 12 weeks. It was last in the top 40 as recently as June 2009 (the 25th anniversary) and is now back again at number 28. A film of Bob Marley’s life was released earlier this year.
As well as the returning classics there are re-entries for Alfie Boe (Bring Him Home at 26), Kelly Clarkson (27) and Alabama Shakes (39).
Published on: 2012-06-10 by BuzzJack.com Suedehead2
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