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Nine weeks at the top for Despacito
Despacito continues its long reign at the top of the singles chart. Ed Sheehan also extends a long run at the top of the albums chart.

Depsacito continues its reign at the top of the singles chart and Ed Sheeran gets yet another week at number one in the albums chart.

The big hit of the early summer of 2017, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s Despacito with added Justin Bieber, gets a ninth non-consecutive week at number one. It is the fourth song since April last year to spend at least nine weeks at the top. Two of the others made it into double figures. Without the Grenfell Tower disaster Despacito would have joined them. The recent changes to the streaming ratio could prevent it from making it to t tenth week. Bieber had to wait nearly five years to get his first number one single in the UK. In less than two years since then he has now spent 28 weeks at the summit.

DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller spend another week in the runner-up opsition with Wild Thoughts. On Bastille Day (and, therefore, Dan Smith’s birthday) French Montana and Swae Lee complete a static top three with Unforgettable. Calvin Harris and co. climb two places to number four with Feels while Jason Blue and William Singe’s Mama slips one place to number five.

One of the justifications for the changes to the chart rules at the beginning of this month was that they would speed up the chart. That may have led some people to believe that we would have a flood of new entries every week. Perhaps that will happen some weeks but this week we get a mere trickle.

The highest of the three new entries, at number 26, sees another development in the solo careers of the former members of One Direction. While Harry Styles is busy promoting his nascent acting career, Liam Payne sticks to the day job as the featured artist on Zedd’s Get Low. It is the seventh top forty hit for the man born Anton Zaslavski and the second solo hit for Payne. The first, Strip That Down, is down two places to number seven this week.

Kesha made her UK chart debut as the featured artist on Flo Rida’s number one Right Round in 2009. She went on to have seven more top ten hits over the next five years, including two more number ones. Now, after a three-year absence (and having swapped the dollar sign for a more sensible s), she returns at number 30 with Praying.

Jax Jones enters at number 37 with instruction. He is joined by Demi Lovat and Stefflon Don whose name suggests a parallel career as a lecturer on saucepans. Jones had one hit in each of 2014, 2015 and 2016. This is his first (and, perhaps, only) hit of 2017.

Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You clocks up a 27th week in the top forty. Martin Jensen’s Solo Dance and Chainsmokers and Coldplay’s Something Just Like This have both been knocking around for 21 weeks.

Over in the albums chart Ed Sheeran gets a fourteenth week at number one with ÷. It has now overtaken × to become his longest-running number one album and lifts his career total to 30 weeks at the top of the albums chart.

American band Haim (comprising three Haim sisters and a couple other members) went straight to number one with their debut album Days Are Gone in October 2013. IT dropped out of the top forty after just five weeks but has returned several times since then to amass a total of 24 weeks. They may have hoped to get a second chart-topper with the follow-up but instead they become another victim of the Sheeran juggernaut. Something To Tell You enters at number two.

The release strategy for Jay-Z’s new album 4:44 has been somewhat unconventional. Maybe his new twins have had a strange effect on him. It was initially available only on two streaming sites. Nevertheless it picked up enough “sales” to land just outside the top 100 in last week’s chart. Now that it has received a full release it is at number three. Among the featured artists are Damian Marley, Stevie Wonder and Randy Newman. He has also found space for contributions from his mother and his wife. Given his success in the singles chart, it is perhaps surprising that this is only the third of his thirteen studio albums to make the top ten in the UK.

For many decades coal mining was one of the UK’s major industries. One of the heartlands of that industry was south Wales. In the Second World War such was the nation’s dependence on coal that some young men were conscripted to work as miners rather than join the military. They became known as the Bevin Boys, named after the Minister Of Labour Ernest Bevin.

However, by the 1980s the industry was in decline. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) claimed that the government of the day wanted to close most (if not all) of the industry and called for strike action. Even though the NUM’s leader Arthur Scargill was far from likeable it became almost de rigeur for anyone claiming to be on the left of centre politically to support the mineworkers.

By the start of the 21st century opinion had changed. Coal was seen as a nasty fossil fuel, a major contributor to climate change. The plan to close most of the coal industry came to be seen as the right policy for the wrong reasons.

The history of the coal industry, particularly in Wales, is the subject of Public Service Broadcasting’s third album Every Valley. Most of the album consists of the spoken word over the music of J Wilgoose Esq and co. However, in a departure from their usual formula, the album has a number of tracks with actual singers. In a sign of their increased status those singers include James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers as well as Wilgoose himself. Public Service Broadcasting supported the Manics on tour a few years ago.

The spoken word recordings include a contribution from one of Wales’ best known actors Richard Burton, last heard in the albums chart as the narrator on Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds. Burton changed his name from Jenkins as a tribute to a schoolteacher who did much to encourage him in his acting career. Other chart acts to have named themselves after a teacher include Lynyrd Skynyrd and the band McCluskey who took their name from Grange Hill’s best-known head teacher.

Public Service Broadcasting’s last album, The Race For Space, fell one place short of the top ten. They have made amends for that this time as Every Valley enters at number four. It is worth noting that, at a time of generally declining albums sales, it has also surpassed The Race For Space’s first week sales. The promotional tour for that album ended with a triumphant gig at the Brixton Academy. Selling out a 5,000-capacity venue was a far cry from the second time I saw them in front of a few dozen people (many of them somewhat bemused) when they were the support act at a small venue in Poole.

As well as the usual t-shirts Public Service Broadcasting’s merchandise includes a number of more unusual items including a tea towel depicting the shipping forecast areas. Surrey-born singer Lucy Rose has chosen an even more unusual item, her own blend of tea. As a further link to Wilgoose & chums, she performed backing vocals on Manic Street Preachers’ 2013 album Rewind The Film. Her third studio album, Something’s Changing, is a new entry at number 34.

While Lucy Rose has had her own brand of tea, Elbow have been know to promote their own beer. As their singer Guy Garvey is rarely seen on stage without a pint nearby, that is hardly a surprise. As well as his main job with Elbow, Garvey is also a presenter on BBC 6Music. He has used his show to promote the music of one Kate Stables who performs under the name This Is The Kit. You might even say that he has given her career some strong support. Her first three albums achieved precisely nothing in chart terms. Her new set, Moonshine Freeze has fallen short of the top forty but will at least be in the top 100. It still gets a mention as it forms part of a very Suedeheadian chain.

Elbow were one of the support acts for The Killers’ gig at Hyde Park last weekend (see what I mean?). The resultant publicity has seen The Killers’ Direct Hits compilation back in the chart at number 30.

U2’s Joshua Tree album returns to the top forty once again at number 28. They have been on a tour to showcase the 30th anniversary of the album, something that makes me feel very old. The original release dates from a time when it was still cool to like U2. On the tour they are playing the classic album in full, including the track Exit which was dropped from their live shows after a killer claimed to have been influenced by the song.

The Weeknd re-enters at number 36 with Starboy, one place ahead of another re-entry Eminem’s Curtain Call. Bruno Mars is back at number 40 with 24K Magic.
Published on: 2017-07-14 by Suedehead2 || 18400 Views
Comments (4)
14 Jul 2017 - 18:10
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Strong and Stables:lol:
14 Jul 2017 - 20:52
BuzzJack Legend
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I'm afraid I couldn't resist that one!
Eric Wade
27 Jul 2017 - 9:48
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I couldn't stop dancin' when Despacito rockin'. It's a really uplifting song. It turns my blood alive. Can't help it! w00t.gifyahoo.gifcheer.gif
16 Sep 2017 - 5:48
BuzzJack Climber
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Surely has to be worst song of 2017? Viral doesn't equal musical worth lol
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