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Taylor Swift stays at number one
Taylor Swift remains at the top of the singles chart. The Script get their fourth number one album.

Taylor Swift gets a second week at number one in the singles chart. The Script have their fourth number one album.

After grabbing her first number one single in the UK last week Taylor Swift holds on to the top spot for a second week with Look What You Made Me Do. She also has the highest new entry of the week for the second successive week as she enters at number seven with Ready For It. Whether the “it” in question is what she was made to do is uncertain. What is certain is that she now has an eleventh top ten single to her name.

Swift heads a static top three with Dua Lipa’s New Rules staying at number two and Pink’s What Abut Us remaining at number three.

Justin Bieber is the highest placed male in the chart as Friends, with added Bloodpop, moves back up to number four. J Balvin and Willy William climb four places to number five with Mi Gente.

It was noted here last week that most chart acts get their first number one single with an early hit or they never top the chart. It took Taylor Swift eight-and-a-half years to get a number one single in the UK, almost exactly the same time that elapsed between Maroon 5 making their singles chart debut with Harder To Breathe and the band topping the chart with Payphone. This week they get their second top forty single of the year with What Lovers Do at number 23. The featured artist goes by the name of SZA which probably does not stand for Selling Zebras Again.

While we normally think of maroon as a reddish colour or a verb, Maroons are also the second largest ethnic group in Suriname. That is this week’s random fact.

I am sure I am not alone in sometimes thinking “If I’m lucky I’ll never hear another Jaon Derulo song”. That feeling was enhanced by the existence of Swalla, possibly his worst effort yet. Those hopes are dashed this week as he enters at number 32 with If I’m Lucky, his 17th top forty hit. Still, at least it is a better song than Swalla.

Some songs with the word silence in the title make me think that a period of silence would be preferable. Others, Sound Of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel), Silence Is Golden (The Tremeloes) and Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode) don’t. The recording of the two minutes’ silence that reached number 20 in 2010 is in a category of its own. The song that enters at number 38, Silence by Marshmello featuring Khalid, falls firmly into the first category. Both artists make their top forty debut this week. I can only hope that their top forty career is a short one unless something dramatic happens.

This week’s major casualty of the change in the way sales are calculated is Calvin Harris with his pals Pharrell Williams and Katy Perry. Oh, and Big Sean as well. Mustn’t forget him. After Feels spent a week at the summit it had fallen one place each week, reaching number four last week. This week the revised streaming ratio has been applied and it crashes to number eighteen. If past experience is any guide, it will now go back to falling one or two places each week.

While some bands wear the label boyband with pride, others dislike it and attempt to shake it off. That might be by trying to indulge in “rock ‘n’ roll behaviour” or it could be by trying to record “serious songs”. The Script have chosen the latter route by tackling subjects such as terrorism on their fifth album Freedom Child (which may, or may not, be called French Child in the USA). Three of their previous four albums reached number one, the exception being the uninspiringly-titled third album Number 3. They now make it four out of five as Freedom Child goes straight to the top of the chart.

Three of this week’s new entries are from bands who have split up and then re-formed. The highest of the three is American Dream, LCD Soundsystem’s first album for seven years. They split up after the release of their third album, This Is Happening, an album that saw them reach the top ten in the UK for the first time. This week they enter at number three, a new peak for them.

College friends Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys formed their first band, The Id, in September ’77 - not in Port Elizabeth and weather conditions unknown. Younger readers may need to look up the lyrics of Peter Gabriel’s Biko at this point. They later went on to form a new band with the rather longer name of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, understandably frequently referred to simply as OMD. That band had a string of hits in the 1980s including Messages, Enola Gay and the sublime Maid Of Orleans (The Waltz Joan Of Arc).

In 1989 Humphreys left the band citing the age-old excuse of “musical differences”. McCluskey continued to use the band name for what was essentially a solo career before retiring in 1996. Ten years later, Humphreys and McCluskey, along with two other former members, reunited to perform their classic 1981 album Architecture & Morality on tour, thereby giving McCluskey a renewed opportunity to demonstrate his “dad dancing”. They went on to release a new album, The History Of Modern in 2010.

Now they have released their third album since re-forming, and their thirteenth overall, The Punishment Of Luxury. It enters at number four to give them a first top ten album since Sugar Tax, the first post-Humphreys album, in 1991. It happens at a time when the sugar tax has become a reality.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ gets another week in its second home, the number two position. Queens Of The Stone Age’s Villains drops to number five after a week at number one.

In their early days OMD enjoyed the support of John Peel. Among many other bands who owe the great man some gratitude are Scottish band Mogwai who recorded a total of seven sessions for his programme. They enter at number six with their ninth studio album Every Country’s Sun.

Jake Bugg made his mark with his highly acclaimed debut album. By a happy piece of timing, his song Lightning Bolt was released in good time for the 2012 Olympics in London where Usain Bolt was one of the big names. Sadly he has yet to build on the success of that album with his next two albums having fairly short chart runs. The decline in his fortunes continues with his fourth album, Hearts That Strain. Reviews have been lukewarm and the change to a more country-tinged style of music has not exactly been welcomed. The album enters at number seven Bugg is exactly one day older than another JB, Justin Bieber, but he is a good deal less rich.

Like that of his siblings Newton Faulkner’s full name includes Battenberg, a reference to his mother’s maiden name rather than a well-known cake. So far he is another singer largely know for just one song, in his case the 2007 hit Dream Catch Me. Nevertheless, he has four top ten albums to his name including two number ones. He now has a fifth top ten album as Hit The Ground Running lands at number thirteen.

Last year became known as a particularly bad year for music with the deaths of many major artists including David Bowie, Prince and George Michael. However, in a sense it began at the very end of 2015 with the death of Motörhead’s Lemmy. The badn recorded a number of cover versions in their long career and some of them have now been gathered together for an album called Under Cöver. The songs include Bowie’s Heroes as well as God Save Te Queen (Sex Pistols), Sympathy For The Devil (Rolling Stones) and Rockaway Beach (The Ramones). It enters at number nineteen.

Now it is back to the re-formed bands. As a British indie band formed in 2000, Starsailor were inevitably labelled as post-Britpop. Their first two albums reached number two but the next two releases were nowhere near as successful. When the band went their separate ways in 2009 not many people noticed or cared. Their re-formation in 2014 also failed to make headlines. Some people did at least notice that they have released a new album which means that All This Life is at number 23.

Northern Irish duo Bicep enter at number twenty with their eponymous debut album.

Steve Winwood was a member of a number of successful bands in the 1960s and ‘70s including Traffic, Blind Faith and The Spencer Davis Group. He also had a solo career with hits including Higher Love, When You See A Chance and Valerie (not the Zutons song later covered by Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse). He enters at number 34 with Greatest Hits Live.

Barely a week goes by these days without a new edition of a “classic” album. One album which definitely does deserve to be called a classic is The Verve’s Urban Hymns. The album was the band’s third release and became the one which saw them grow from a moderately successful indie band to a band that could fill stadiums. The two songs that did most to fuel that success were Bitter Sweet Symphony (see last week’s commentary) and The Drugs Don’t Work which topped the chart exactly twenty years ago. To mark the 20th anniversary of the album, guess what? There is a new deluxe version with remixes, extended versions, live recordings etc. The box set will set you back over fifty quid but it still manages to enter at number 33.

Harry Styles’ debut solo album re-enters at number 29. Abba Gold returns to the top forty at number 40. The album reached its 800th week in the top 100 last week, This week its top forty run extends to a total of 226 weeks accumulated over 25 years.

Published on: 2017-09-08 by Suedehead2 || 25898 Views
Comments (3)
The Pus 👽
8 Sep 2017 - 16:46
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There was also Silence by Delerium and Sarah McLachlan, one of the most famous songs called Silence, which category does that fall into for you Suedehead? biggrin.gif Certainly the second for me!

The Marshmello and Khalid one isn't great, production wise it is much weaker and more boring imo than a lot of Marshmello's other tracks.
15 Sep 2017 - 17:51
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"Look watch you make me do" is one of the best videos I watched.
16 Nov 2017 - 11:04
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