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Little Mix go straight to number one
Little Mix get a fourth number one single with a late release. Kings Of Leon top the albums chart for a fifth time.

Little mix get their fourth number one single. Kings Of Leon head another long list of album chart new entries with their fifth number one.

At the start of the week James Arthur seemed to be heading for a fourth week at number one. However, that changed on Sunday with the release of a new single from Little Mix. It soon established a big lead at the top of the iTunes chart and held it for the rest of the week. In the days when sales were the only thing that counted towards the chart, it would have been a shoo-in for number one. However, since the inclusion of streaming, things have got more complicated.

Most songs take time to build support on streaming sites. As Drake’s One Dance demonstrated, they can also take a long time to lose that support. By contrast Little Mix’s Shout Out To my Ex gained in popularity as the week went on and ended it just behind James Arthur on Spotify, the most popular streaming site. That was enough to see the song enter the overall chart at number one.

Since the inclusion of streaming and the move towards synchronising releasing a song for radio play and making it available to buy (known as on-air, on-sale), new entries at number one have become relatively rare. For a song to enter at the top despite being released two days after the start of the chart week is even more impressive.

After winning X Factor in 2011 Little Mix went straight to number one with Cannonball. However, they were knocked off the top the following week and left the top forty after a run of just five weeks. Their next single, Wings, also flew to the top of the chart, but they then had a run of less successful singles before Black Magic saw them back at number one last year. They now get the fourth number one of their career making them, by that criterion, the most successful X Factor winners.

It is the first female-fronted number one of the year and only the third by a British act although an uninformed listener may find it difficult to detect any Britishness. Like the previous two it is by an act that owes their success to X Factor.

After three weeks at the top, James Arthur falls to number two with Say You Won’t Let Go. Chainsmokers and Halsey are down to number three with Closer; Weeknd and Daft Punk also fall one place, to number four, with Starboy. Hailee Steinfeld, Grey and Zedd climb twelve places to number five with Starving. It is Zedd’s second top five hit following Stay The Night (2014) which featured vocals from Hayley Williams.

By current standards there is almost a flood of new entries this week with a comparatively massive five. In a further break from what has become the norm, two of them go straight into the top twenty. As well as Little Mix, this week also sees the return of Maroon 5 who do at least have a legitimate excuse for sounding American. That said, Adam Levine’s vocal on Don’t Wanna Know sounds more British than anything on Shout Out To My Ex.

The song, new at number sixteen, features Kendrick Lamar who now has two entries in the top twenty. It is Maroon 5’s 18th top forty hit and Lamar’s seventh.

Simon Cowell’s bank balance and ego get a further boost this week with a new entry from Fifth Harmony who came together on the American version of X Factor. That’s My Girl, at number 31, is the girl band’s fifth UK top forty hit and is just as awful as its four predecessors. If any other artists were involved, they have clearly (and wisely) chosen not to be identified on the credits.

Galantis enter at number 37 with Love On Me. The duo’s three previous hits have all reached the top ten. Time will tell whether this makes it four out of four. They are joined by Australian Anthony Maniscalo who goes by the name Hook ‘n’ Sling. Whether that is because his parents kept telling him in no uncertain terms to go away, I know not.

Shawn Mendes gets his third hit of the year as Mercy enters at number 40 after spending several weeks just outside the top forty.

Sia’s Cheap Thrills holds on for a 35th week in the chart. Drake’s One Dance has now lasted for 29 weeks so he, Wizkid and Kyla should be pretty exhausted by now. At least One Dance has finally dropped out of the top twenty so perhaps it will be out of the chart altogether by Christmas. Which Christmas is a matter for speculation.

It has been noted here before that the concentration of major releases in the last quarter of the year seems to have become even more pronounced in recent years. One previously unmentioned possible reason for delaying releases until the autumn (for certain types of act anyway) is the promotional opportunity of an appearance on Jools Holland’s Later programme. The list of new entries in each of the last few weeks has included a number of acts who have appeared in the current series. The same applies this week, starting with the very top of the chart.

When people think of Nashville and music, they are likely to think immediately of country music. The city prides itself on being almost synonymous with the genre. However, the most successful Nashville act in the UK are, arguably, rock band Kings Of Leon. They reached number three with their debut album, Youth & Young Manhood, in 2003 and have since seen all five of their subsequent studio sets reach the top three. They now get their fifth successive number one album as WALLS (which apparently stands for We Are Like Love Songs) goes straight to the to of the chart.

Phil Collins’ publicists have had a busy week with the launch of an autobiography, the release of a new compilation album and the announcement of his first solo tour for over a decade to promote.

Collins started his career in show business as a child actor, appearing in a London stage production of Oliver! He went on to become the drummer with Genesis before taking over as vocalist when Peter Gabriel left. His interest in Motown has been reflected in much of his solo material and gradually also became more of an influence on Genesis, much to the disgust of many Gabriel-era fans.

His solo hits included I MIssed Again, a cover of You Can’t Hurry Love and In The Air Tonight, complete with one of the most famous drum solos in pop history. Two previous compilations have reached the top ten. This latest one, The Singles, now joins them as a new entry at number two.

One of the standard cliches of the music world is the well-worn phrase “second album syndrome”, referring to the difficulty of following up a successful debut album. In many cases the songs for that debut set will have been written over a lengthy period. In that time the act will have tried out other songs before discarding them. The resultant album will therefore represent what they consider to be their best songs to date.

This is where the problems can start. They will be under pressure to produce a follow-up but, at the same time, they will be on tour to promote the first album leaving them little time to write new material. This can lead to the release of an inferior second album.

Thankfully, some artists avoid second album syndrome in style. One of the most highly-acclaimed opening pair of albums is Oasis’s Definitely Maybe (1994) and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory (1996).

That, of course, left them with the risk of third album syndrome. As with a number of other bands at the time (OK, so this is the time to mention Suede), they had made their task even more difficult by using many of the songs that didn’t appear on the albums as b-sides. Many of those songs could have formed the heart of an excellent third album but, instead, they had to compose a new set.

The resultant album, Be Here Now, became on of the most highly-anticipated albums of the 1990s. They even moved the release date to a Thursday to avoid having to compete directly with the rest of the week’s new albums. First day sales set a new record of well over 400,000 copies and, obviously, it went to number one. However, even though it stayed at the top of the chart for five weeks, critics and fans alike soon started to grumble that the album hadn’t live up to the hype. With hindsight, it is now possible to see Be Here Now as the start of a downward slope for Oasis.

Nevertheless, to mark nineteen years and ten months since the album was released, it album has been reissued in a special edition. As well as a remastered version of the original album, the reissue includes some of the b-sides from the album’s singles, demo versions of various tracks and some live recordings. The new version is a new entry at number four. (What’s The Story) Morning Glory re-enters at number 40. The album spent a week at number one when it was released in October 1995 before returning to the top for a further nine weeks the following year.

The drug habits of Oasis’s Gallagher brothers have been well-documented and may be seen as the sort of behaviour almost expected from such a band. It came as rather more of a surprise when it was announced that Keane’s singer Tom Chaplin had been seeking treatment for drug addiction as the band were generally considered to be a bunch of clean-living posh boys from Sussex. Chaplin is currently taking time away from the band (whose four studio albums have all topped the chart) and has released his debut solo album, The Wave. It enters at number three.

The top five is completed by a fifth new entry, Gameshow, the third album from Irish band Two Door Cinema Club.

Last week’s number one is the highest survivor from that chart. It falls to number six.

As well as various X Factor alumnae entering the singles chart, there is also a new entry in the albums chart for Rebecca Ferguson who took part in the show in 2010. Her fourth album, Superwoman, is at number seven. Among the co-writers is Danny Gofffey, Supergrass’s drummer.

Not all of the acts who have appeared on Later are major names. One of the features of the programme is that it includes lesser-known acts, many of them making their British television debut. As well as the likes of Tom Chaplin, Kings Of Leon and Madness, the current series has also featured American country rock band Blackberry Smoke. Their fifth album, Like An Arrow, lands at number eight giving them a second top forty hit.

Katie Melua (born in Georgia as Ketevan Melua) enters at number nine with In Winter, an album recorded in her country of birth. The top ten is completed by Justin Bieber’s Purpose which climbs five places to number ten, aided by publicity surrounding his recent UK shows.

Last month we saw Joe Bonamassa get his eleventh top forty album in seven years. Two of those albums have been recorded with fellow American Beth Hart. This week she gets her second top forty album as a solo artist as Fire On The Floor, her eighth studio set, comes in at number 28.

Salford poet John Cooper Clarke has been introducing himself to a younger audience in recent years by appearing on shows such as Have I Got News For You and Pointless. The increased name recognition seems to have paid off as he enters at number 34 with This Time It’s Personal 36 years after his only other appearance in the top forty albums chart. The album was recorded with Hugh Cornwell, formerly of punk band The Stranglers. It contains covers of well-known songs such as MacArthur Park (a hit for the original Albus Dumbledore, Richard Harris), It’s Only Make Believe and Johnny Remember Me. I haven’t heard it, but it is probably either brilliant or terrible.

Churchy choir people enter at number 36 with Let There Be Light and The Game is at number 38 with 1992.

The new entries are completed by David Teie’s Music For Cats (shouldn’t that be Mewsic?) at number 33. The world really has gone mad. In a missed opportunity, the album does not contain anything by Cat Stevens, nor does it have versions of Cool For Cats or even Feline Good or, to be more up to date, Can’t Stop The Feline. Even so, some owners may decide it is a purrfect gift for their pet. Let’s just paws before the final paragraph (or the tail of this piece).

I mentioned last week that the long list of new entries in the higher reaches of the chart was totally devoid of debut albums. The same applies this week. What is more, none of this week’s top forty entries contain a 2016 top forty single. There have always been “album artists “ and “singles artists”. However, there have also been many artists who can have major hit singles and successful albums. These artists still exist - Adele and Justin Bieber spring to mind - but their numbers appear to be dwindling.
Published on: 2016-10-21 by Suedehead2 || 26562 Views
Comments (2)
21 Oct 2016 - 16:44
My mother said, to get things done, you better not mess with Maj
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Not only is the Be Here Now in the wrong month, but it's in the wrong year. It's 20th anniversary is next year!
21 Oct 2016 - 19:18
BuzzJack Legend
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Oops, you're right. It was a sill mistake to make as I can remember cycling into Bournemouth on my way into work to buy it. As I was living in Woking and working in London in 1996, that would have been a rather strange thing to do laugh.gif

It's corrected now.
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