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Clean Bandit have their second number one
Clean Bandit climb to the top of the chart to get their second number one single. Robbie Williams takes his tally of number one albums to twelve.

Clean Bandit get their second number one single. Robbie Williams scores another chart-topping album.

Classical / dance crossover band Clean Bandit get their second number one single as Rockabye climbs to the top of the chart. It follows Rather Be which spent four weeks at the summit in 2014. It is the first number one this year by a British act never to have been a contestant on X Factor.

The Official Charts Company credit the song to Clean Bandit alone, ignoring the contributions of Sean Paul and Anne-Marie. Officially, therefore, Paul misses out on a third chart-topping single. His first number one was back in 2003 alongside Blu Cantrell on Breathe. Ten years later he helped The Saturdays to number one with What About Us.

After three weeks at the top (matching Black Magic), Little Mix drop to number two with Shout Out To My Ex. James Arthur falls to number three with Say You Won’t Let Go. Bruno Mar climbs one place to number five with 24K Magic and The Weeknd and Daft Punk are still at number four with Starboy.

Elsewhere, normal service continues with the standard lack of new entries. The Vamps enter at number 24 with All Night. They are joined by Norwegian DJ and producer Tom Stræte Lagergren, performing under the name Matoma, The Vamps’ first four hits all reached the top ten. They don’t look like revisiting those heights any time soon. Never mind.

New entry number two lands at number 36. It is a song called Black Beatles by American hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd with additional contributions from one Gucci Mane. For a better song name-checking the Fab Four, listen to Beatles And The Stones by House Of Love.

The other new entry, at number 40, plumbs new depths of awfulness. Let’s face it, a title like Juju On That Beat (TZ Anthem) doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that the song is going to be a classic. In that sense, it doesn’t disappoint. In any other sense, Zay Hiligeyrr and Zayion McCall should be forced to eat nothing but beetroot for the next five years. Despite appearances, I didn’t just hit keys at random to create the names responsible fro two of this week’s newcomers.

One inevitable consequence of a lack of new entries is, of course, a corresponding lack of departures. Therefore, Sia’s Cheap Thrills remains in the top forty for a 38th week. Drake’s One Dance has been boring people senseless for 32 weeks.

Any list of acts whose career was saved by one song has to include Robbie Williams. When he left Take That, at the time the UK’s biggest boyband, in 1996, many people thought that his personality would ensure a successful solo career. However, while his early singles did well, his career was starting to flag by the time he released South Of The Border as the last pre-album single. The album itself, Life Thru A Lens, flopped initially. It failed to reach the top ten and soon left the chart altogether. His first solo tour was also not an overwhelming success. I bought a ticket to see him in Southampton just days before the gig. On the night the 1,700-capacity venue wasn’t even full.

Everything changed (if I can almost quote a Take That song title) with the release of Angels in December 1997. It famously never reached number one (peaking at number four), but spent twelve weeks in the top ten at a time when even number one singles often managed only a few weeks in the top ten. The album soon returned to the chart and eventually, in April 1998, spent two weeks at the top.

Since then Williams’ career has maintained an impressive level of success. Even when interest in his work appears to be flagging, he has returned with a number one album, topping the chart with every studio release apart from 2009’s Reality Killed The Video Star which stalled at number two behind JLS.

This week he has done it again as The Heavy Entertainment Show becomes his twelfth number one album. A few weeks ago that would have put him level with Elvis Presley, but he, of course, reached number one last month. It is worth pointing out that Williams is now 42, the age at which Presley died. At that time he had “only” managed nine chart-topping albums.

The whole top five is rather devoid of young acts. Fifty-four year old actor and singer Michael Ball has teamed up with 43-year-old Alfie Boe to record a duets album, Together. It must have taken them ages to come up with that name. The album includes a version of A Thousand Years and what is believed to be the 134,709th recording of Over The Rainbow. They could at least have revamped it as Over The Rainboe. It is a new entry at number two.

Elvis Presley avoids being the oldest person in the top five simply by having been dead for nearly forty years. His latest collection with the RPO, The Wonder Of You, is at number three.

We live in an age where television programmes jump from channel to channel fairly regularly. Next year ITV will take over The Voice from the BBC. It seems that the BBC are now attempting to replace ITV as the Michael Buble (aged 41) promotional channel. They showed a one-hour Micky Bubble special on Thursday last week, just in time for the new chart week. His latest album, Nobody But Me, slips to number four while his Christmas album climbs into the top ten at number seven and it’s still only November.

Bon Jovi (fronted by 54-year-old Jon Bon Jovi) get their 17th top forty album as This House Is Not For Sale lands at number five. Only one of those chart albums, 7800 Fahrenheit (1985) failed to reach the top ten. They have had five number one albums and seven number twos.

After entering at number eleven last week, The Ultimate Roy Orbison Collection moves up a notch to reach the top ten.

When Alicia Keys reached number one with her album The Element Of Freedom, including the sublime Empire State Of Mind, it might have been thought that her career was well set for a sustained run of success. However, so far, she has failed to match the success of that album. The follow-up, Girl On Fire, peaked at number thirteen. Her latest set, Here, is at number 21.

The latest stage in the attempt to release everything Queen ever recorded is a collection of BBC Radio session recordings from the 1970s. On Air is available in various formats, including a six-CD set for the real diehard fans. The more modes two-CD version includes tracks such as Keep Yourself Alive, Now I’m Her and Tenement Funster. It enters at number 25.

British tenor Russell Watson (who turns 50 later this month) enters at number 30 with his latest offering, True Stories. it is his fourteenth top forty album, his first for three years.

On 3 November singer Kay Starr died at the age of 94. She topped the singles chart for a week with Comes A-Long-A-Love in January 1953, the third ever number one single in the UK. She also reached number one with her final UK hit, Rock And Roll Waltz in March 1956. The longest-surviving number one artist is now Doris Day, also 94, who had her first number one single (of two) in April 1954 with Secret Love. The song initially spent just a week at the summit before returning to the top a fortnight later for a further eight weeks.

As it is Armistice Day it is also worth mentioning another chart star who is still alive. Vera Lynn (who will be 100 next March) made her name in the second World War whereas the date of Armistice Day refers to the end of the first, but why worry about mere details? She had her only number one single in November 1954 making her the longest-surviving British artist to have had a number one single. In 2009 she became the oldest living artist to have a number one album, albeit with old recordings.

The news of Kay Starr’s death was followed on Monday (7 November) by news of the death of Jimmy Young. He was best known as a Radio 2 DJ but also had a successful career as a singer. His two number ones (both in 1955) included a version of Unchained Melody, making him the first of four acts to top the charts with that song. When he topped the chart again with The Man From Laramie he became the first British singer to reach number one with successive singles. He was the longest-surviving British male artist with a number one single to his name, a mantle that now passes to Tommy Steele (I think).

This morning (Friday) came news of the death of Leonard Cohen at the age of 82. Among the hundreds of songs written by the Canadian, the best-known is Hallelujah, the last song to occupy the top two places in the UK singles chart. The battle was between a version that stripped all the emotion from the song and turned it into a power ballad and one of the most emotional performances of a song you will ever hear. Sadly, the former version got to number one. His final album, You Want It Darker, falls to number 29 this week.
Published on: 2016-11-11 by Suedehead2 || 22507 Views
Comments (4)
The Snake 🐍
12 Nov 2016 - 0:21
Don't mess it up, talking that hiss
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Rockabye shows that following the now overused tropical house production still seems to be the route for the most chart success for established acts.

Disappointing considering how different and retro the Tears production was.
12 Nov 2016 - 11:49
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Actually Kyla was the first non-X Factor British act to get a #1 this year! (unless you're not counting features of course).

And poor Sean Paul missing out again!
12 Nov 2016 - 18:35
BuzzJack Legend
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Fair point, but I think it's reasonable to assume that not many people bought (or streamed) One Dance because of Kyla.
12 Nov 2016 - 21:42
Oh I may not be the best, but I'm far from the worst
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Looking forward to seeing Leonard Cohen back in the Albums Chart Top 20 next week
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