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Sgt Pepper returns to the top of the albums chart
The best-selling album of all time in the UK is back at the top of the chart after 49 years. Despacito is the number one single for a fourth week.

Despacito gets a fourth week at number one in the singles chart. A new repacked version of one of the best-selling albums in history is back at the top of the albums chart.

Luis Fonsi, Daady Yankee and Justin Bieber get a fourth week at number one with Despacito. It is the first foreign language song to spend four weeks at the top of the chart. There are currently no obvious contenders to replace it at number one. However, there could be a release of a song performed at Sunday night’s benefit concert for the victims and families of victims of last week’s terrorist attack in Manchester.

Bieber’s other top five contribution, as one of the featured artists - alongside Quavo and Chance The Rapper - on DJ Khaled’s I’m The One is still at number two. Quavo’s other top five contribution, as featured artist on Liam Payne’s Strip That Down remains at number three. After seven weeks in the top ten Payne’s former (and maybe future) bandmate Harry Styles drops to number nineteen with Sign Of The Times.

There has been a lot of talk on social media about how the highest new entry of the week was set to be “banned” by the BBC. However, it is not the BBC who set the rules. They have a legal obligation to be impartial, an obligation that is even more important in an election period. Anybody who wants to try and sneak a political song onto the airwaves in an election period has to come up with something a lot more subtle than Captain Ska’s Liar Liar which features snippets of Theresa May’s speeches and chants of “Liar liar”.

On the other hand, the people behind the song have succeeded in using their political opponents’ tactics against them. They have generated lots of publicity over a non-story. The song had a few brief spells at the top of the iTunes chart which gave the Official Charts Company the opportunity to put out a press release claiming that there was a chance that it could get to number one. See what I mean about generating publicity? A lack of streams meant that there was never any chance of it getting to number one, but it is a new entry at number four.

Shawn Mendes falls one place to number five with Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.

Clean Bandit’s Symphony falls one place to number seven. Tis would not normally merit a mention here but the song has now spent at least a week in each of the top seven positions.

After notching up a string of hits following her debut in 2012, Rita Ora has been absent from the chart since early last year. She returns this week at number thirteen with her fourteenth top forty hit Your Song. Three versions of the more famous Elton John song of that name have reached the top forty, most recently one by Ellie Goulding.

Little Mix get their second new hit of 2017 as Power enters at number 27. The song features a contribution from Stormzy who polluted the top forty with several songs from his new album earlier in the year. The standard is exactly what would be expected from a Little Mix and Stormzy collaboration.

It was fifty years ago today, Sergeant Pepper hit the USA. It’s been in and out out of every shop but it’s guaranteed to reach the top. So let me introduce to you the album everybody knows, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

One of the most over-used phrases by watchers of quiz shows is “Surely everybody knows that”. It simply isn’t true that anywhere near “everybody” can name all the members of One Direction or the British Health Secretary. However, there are some things where the phrase is more or less justified. A comfortable majority of people who have never read a Harry Potter book or seen any of the films can probably say who wrote the books. Even most people with zero interest in popular music should be able to say who recorded Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Put simply, Sgt Pepper is one of the most famous albums ever recorded. It is also the best-selling studio album of all time in the UK. It achieved a high profile from the very start. By the time it was released in May 1967 The Beatles were indisputably the biggest name in popular music. Even six-year-olds who had yet to develop much of an interest in music knew that The Beatles had a new album out.

As well as being one of the most innovative albums in history Sgt Pepper was something of a work of art in itself. The Peter Blake-designed sleeve is one of the most recognisable pieces of sleeve art, Blake used the opportunities presented by 12 inches of vinyl to create a whole package complete with the lyrics to all the songs (another first for The Beatles) and some cardboard cut-outs. That cannot be done so effectively with a CD and is impossible with a download.

Each time the Beatles catalogue is repackaged (the CD releases in the 1980s, the remastered versions in the 2009, the download versions), Sgt Pepper proves to be the most popular even though many Beatles fans would name Revolver or Rubber Soul as their finest work. On the other hand, it does contain A Day In The Life, one of their greatest songs.

Now we have yet another repackaged version of the album to mark its 50th anniversary. It has been put together by Giles Martin, son of the late George Martin who produced the original work. The full version includes alternative versions of the songs, the original mono mix, some out-takes and a book.

The band spent five months in the studio recording the album. In 2017 that is not uncommon. In 1967 it was an extraordinarily long time and a massive contrast with their debut album which was recorded in a single day. It was also arguably one of the first albums to be much more than just a collection of songs. The fact that many of the tracks ran into each other without a gap made it clear that it was meant to be heard in its entirety and in the prescribed order.

At the time of Sgt Pepper’s original release albums came out part of the way through the chart week. There were no mail order options so people had to go to a record shop to get a copy. As a result it was rare for an album to enter the chart at number one. Even an album as eagerly anticipated as Sgt Pepper could only enter at number eight. However, once it climbed to the top the following week, it proved hard to shift. It spent the next twenty-three weeks at number one before finally being toppled when the Sound Of Music soundtrack got a 65th week at the top in November. Sgt Pepper had further spells at number one before finally retiring in January 1968 having accumulated 27 weeks at the summit.

Now, in 2017, the album is back in the chart once again and it even returns to the top of the pile over 49 years since it was last in that position. The Beatles have now accumulated 175 weeks at number one in the albums chart. or almost three-and-a-half years.

The album was released almost exactly ten years after a 16-year-old John Lennon met a 15 year old boy called Paul McCartney at a fête on 6 July 1957. Exactly one week earlier, on a scorching hot day in Southend, two people got married. Those people later became my parents and they will be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary in a few weeks’ time.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ falls back down to number two after another week at the summit. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s residency at number three with Human continues for another week. Harry Style’s debut solo album falls three places to number five.

The two cities of Liverpool and Manchester, just 35 miles apart, have a long history of producing successful bands. We have already seen an album from a Liverpool band enter the chart this week; now it’s time for a band associated with Manchester. The Charlatans were formed in the Midlands but singer Tim Burgess hails from Salford and the band had moved to the Manchester area by the time they released their first album, Some Friendly, in 1990. That album reached number one as did Charlatans (1995) and Tellin’ Stories (1997). Three other albums reached the top five. Later releases have generally been less successful although they did reach the top ten in 2015 with Modern Nature. This week they are back in the top ten again with their thirteenth studio album Different Days at number four.

The most famous band whose name suggests an association with a bookseller are another Manchester band, The Smiths. If they are to stand any chance of being a rival for that title Reading-based The Amazons have a lot to do, The band were included in the BBC’s Sound Of 2017 list and this week their debut album, unimaginatively called The Amazons, enters at number eight.

According to his Wikipedia entry one of Bryson Tiller’s first jobs after leaving school was with package delivery company UPS who have probably delivered more than a few books in their time. His debut album Trapsoul, released in 2015, missed the top forty by one place. He has better luck with the follow-up True To Self which lands at number eleven.

The book theme continues at number fourteen with the arrival of a new collection from Elkie Brooks, born Elaine Bookbinder. She began her career in the early 1970s as a member of Vinegar Joe along with Robert Palmer who had a number of solo hit singles in the 1980s. Brooks’ own solo career began in 1977 with the release of Pearl’s A Singer. Subsequent hits included Lilac Wine (a song also recorded by Jeff Buckley who dies 20 years ago this week) and Sunshine After The Rain. Those three songs all appear on her nest of compilation, Pearls. It should not be confused with an earlier Pearls collection (or indeed Pearls II and Pearls III).

As well as the most famous English band of all time, this week also sees a new entry from the most famous German band of all time, Kraftwerk. They made their UK chart debut in 1975 with the futuristic-sounding song Autobahn from the album of the same name. It confused those of us studying German at the time with the line “Fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn”. Surely it should have been auf dem Autobahn we thought. Live performances of that album and seven others have been gathered together to form a new collection, 3-D The Catalogue. Despite its inevitably high price, it is a new entry at number 24.

The latest classic album to be re-released on vinyl is David Bowie’s Hunky Dory. The album was originally released in December 1971 when Bowie was still little-known. Consequently, it didn’t reach the chart at all until following autumn when it reached the dizzy heights of number 44. It finally became a major hit in autumn 1973 when it entered the top ten for the first time following the success of Aladdin Sane. This re-issue enters at number 25.

Ariana Grande’s My Everything re-enters at number 35 for all the wrong reasons. Oasis’s (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, another one of the best-selling albums of all time in the UK and another one from a Manchester band, re-enters at number 37. The albums tracks include Don’t Look Back In Anger which has been much played following the Manchester attack last week. It was not included in Liam Gallagher’s set for his first solo gig this week but that didn’t stop the crowd singing it for themselves.

Kings Of Leon’s Walls completes the list of re-entries at number 39.
Published on: 2017-06-02 by Suedehead2 || 23548 Views
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