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Ed Sheeran climbs to number one
Ed Sheehan gets his fourth number one as Perfect climbs to the top. Sam Smith goes back to number one in the albums chart.

Ed Sheeran gets his fourth number one single. Sam Smith returns to the top of the albums chart.

Nine months after entering the chart as a track on its parent album and in its 22nd week in the top forty, Ed Sheeran’s Perfect climbs to number one. When it entered the chart in March, it was one of nine Sheeran tracks in the top ten. All the other tracks from ÷ were also in the top twenty. That chart dominance persuaded the Official Charts Company to change the rules, restricting the number of songs by one artist in the chart to three. One of the casualties in the first week of this rule was Perfect.

The song returned to the top 100 in October and climbed back into the top forty the following month. It’s 22-week journey to the summit eclipses that of Sheeran’s second number one, Thinking Out Loud which took nineteen weeks to get there. Thinking Out Loud’s run remains the longest continuous run in the top forty before topping the chart.

With the song having been in the charts for so long with only Sheeran’s vocals Beyoncé has not been added to the songs credit. That means that she does not get a sixth solo number one to add to the two she had as a member of Destiny’s Child. Sheeran, on the other hand, does get his fourth number one single and has now spent eighteen weeks at the top of the singles chart, fifteen of them in 2017.

His latest number one single comes at the end of a good week for Sheeran. Yesterday (Thursday) he visited a big house in central London to receive his MBE.

For what seemed like an eternity but was, in fact, about a decade, each year’s list of breakthrough artists featured several who had made their name on X Factor. Such was the programme’s influence that bookmakers excluded the wining act from their Christmas Number One markets. In the last few years, due to a combination of the increasing influence of streaming and a decline in viewer numbers. the Christmas number one market has suddenly become competitive again. The show’s final has even been brought forward to the beginning of December, thereby making the attempted assault on the Christmas number one slot rather less blatant.

Whether this year’s winners fare any better than the last few remains to be seen. If in a few years’ time quiz contestants are asked to say whether Rak-Su is a martial art, the name of a pop band, one of Jamie Oliver’s children or a word tweeted by Donald Trump in the middle of the night, we will know they have joined the list of failures. On the other hand, maybe the members will be famous with Spice Girls-like nicknames - toast rak (the boozy one), tie rak (the dapper one), eye rak (the one in Specsavers ads) and spice rak (the one who loves curries) perhaps.

After many years of lame covers with exactly the same song structure each time, last year they decided to go for an original song. It didn’t work. Moreover, as the song in question was a Christmas song, it had a very short chart life. So, this year they have made further changes. It’s another original song, but not a festive one. Furthermore, Simon Cowell has thumbed through his contacts book and recruited some featured artists - Wyclif Jean and Naughty Boy.

Wyclif Jean made his chart debut as a member of The Fugees in 1996. He went on to enjoy solo success but hasn’t been seen in the chart since he featured on Shakira’s first number one Hips Don’t Lie in 2006, the year Naughty Boy made his first chart appearance. The song, Dimelo, enters at number two.

As expected, the chances of Anywhere becoming Rita Ora’s fifth number one single probably ended when she narrowly missed out last week. This week it slips to number three. Camila Cabello’s Havana falls to number four after five weeks at number one ,taking Young Thug with her.

If a song is ever to beat Perfect’s 22 weeks to climb to number one, it may well be a Christmas song that does it. Two of the potential contenders climb into this week’s top ten. Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You jumps seventeen places to number five in its 53rd week in the top forty. When sung at the beginning of the song, the title extends to approximately 368 syllables.

Wham’s Last Christmas is up 23 places to number six in its 46th week. It famously stalled at number two for five weeks when it was released in 1984, behind Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas. It returned to the top ten the following year, spending two weeks at number six.

Pink gets her 31st top forty hit in a 17-year chart career with Beautiful Trauma at number 29. It is only the second top forty hit with the word Trauma in the title, following Biffy Clyro’s Glitter And Trauma in 2004.

Miss You has been the title of hit singles by two of the biggest names in chart history. Jimmy Young is now remembered more as a Radio 2 disc jockey but he was also a rgualr visitor to the charts in the early years. He had two number ones including being the first singer to top the charts with a version of Unchained Melody in 1955. Apart from a reissue of that song, Miss You was his last chart hit in 1963.

While the Rolling Stones have returned to the singles chart many times since Miss You was a hit in 1978, only two of those singles have reached the top ten and neither of those got as high as Miss You’s number three peak. Louis Tomlinson will be hoping that his song of that name does not also signal a decline in his fortunes. It enters at number 39.

More news of Unchained Melody and the Rolling Stones later.

Judging by this week’s singles chart there are a lot of people who do not allow themselves to buy or download Christmas music until December 1. Once that date arrives, the shackles are off, the Santa hats are on and it’s jingle all the way. Last week’s two vintage festive songs have been joined by a further four.

Leading the list of re-entries at number ten, and charting for the thirteenth successive year, is the wonderful Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. The song is now thirty years old and reaches the top ten for the first time since 2007. It has now racked up 57 varieties of top forty week. Defying all the odds, the heavy drinking Pogues singer Shane McGowan will be sixty on Christmas Day. The occasion will be marked by a special concert in Dublin featuring, among others, Johnny Depp, Cerys Matthews and Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream). Sounds like great craic.

Next in line, at number sixteen, is the biggest-selling Christmas song of all-time and the song that kept Last Christmas off the top, Do They Know It’s Christmas. The ultimate charity ensemble song spent five weeks at number one in 1984 and into 1985, raising huge sums for famine relief. Its success inspired the Live Aid concert in the summer of 1985, an event that has had many successors but none on quite the same scale. The song returned to the top ten for Christmas 1985, reaching number three, and has been returning to the top forty regularly since downloads were included in the chart. It has now spent 26 weeks in the top forty and makes its first appearance in the top twenty since 1985.

The Christmas number one in 1985 was Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone. The song was originally due to be released in 1984, but was held back because of the Band Aid song. It gave the man dubbed the Welsh Elvis his fourth, and final, number one. It returns this week at number 21.

The annual flood of Christmas songs does, of course, mean that it’s time to roll out one of the longest credits for a hit single. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday is usually just credited to Wizzard but the official credit is Roy Wood And Wizzard - Vocal backing by The Suedettes, plus the Stockland Green Bilateral School First Year Choir, Additional noises: Miss Snob and Class 3C. Despite this column’s best efforts it is still not known what happened to Miss Snob. If she gets performance royalties, the enduring popularity of the song should have given her a nice little bonus early in each new year. It is back for another year at number 24.

The batch of returning Christmas hits means, of course, that several songs have left the chart. Among them is Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You which drops out after spending 46 of the last 47 weeks in the top forty.

Despite the release of a new U2 album the battle for supremacy in the albums chart was between Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. The eventual winner was Smith’s The Thrill Of It All which gets a second week at the top four weeks after its first.

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe’s Together Again climbs two places to number three. After television appearances last weekend Pink climbs six places back up to number four with Beautiful Trauma.

Having been formed in 1976 by Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton, U2 can lay claim to be the longest-lasting chart band with an unchanged line-up. More than forty years on, they are still together. Success was not immediate. Their early singles didn’t exactly set the charts alight and their debut album, Boy (1980) missed the chart altogether on its original release before eventually climbing to the dizzy heights of number 52.

They recovered from that faltering start to become one of the biggest bands in the world by the mid-1980s. They even did the UK a favour by displacing Bryan Adams at the top of the singles chart in October 1991 with The Fly, one of their seven number one singles.

Ten of their albums also toped the chart, including five in a row from Zooropa (1993) to No Line On The Horizon (2009). A Best Of collection also topped the chart in that period. The run of number ones was ended with the release of Songs Of Innocence in 2014. That album’s chances of topping the chart were effectively ended even before it was officially released with the band’s decision to send a free copy to iTunes users whether they wanted it or not.

One difficulty for a band that has continued with the same personnel for so long is that the ideas can dry up. Some songwriters can continue to absorb new influences but others don’t find it so easy. That is a polite way of suggesting that Songs Of Experience sounds much the same as any other U2 album of the last 20 years. Apparently many of the band’s previously loyal fans share that opinion as it only enters at number five.

Last week’s number one, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ Who Built The Moon is down nine places to number ten.

As we enter another spell of cold weather what better time could there be to release an album of Ibiza Classics? Following the success of their Classic House album, Pete Tong, the Heritage Orchestra and Jules Buckley are back with another collection of orchestral remixes of various club favourites. The tracks on the album, a new entry at number seventeen, include Seal’s Killer and Candi Staton’s You Got The Love.

This week it is the turn of the Rolling Stones to put out a collection of recordings that have been kicking around in the vaults for years. As the title suggests, On Air is a collection of tracks recorded for various radio shows in their early years including some songs that have never been released before. The familiar songs include (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction and The Last Time while there are also covers of rock ‘n’ roll classics such as Roll Over Beethoven and Route 66. It lands at number 27.

Among Midge Ure’s many bands were the quintessentially eighties band Visage with the late Steve Strange. A few years ago, an album of orchestral versions of Visage songs was released but it did not sell well. Since then we have seen albums of orchestral versions of songs by dead singers but Midge Ure (who is, of course, the co-writer of Do They Know It’s Christmas) has now released one while still alive. The album, called simply Orchestrated, includes his solo number one If I Was plus Ultravox songs such as Hymn, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes and, obviously, Vienna. It means something to enough people to be a new entry at number 33.

Following last week’s album by Anton Du Beke, this week we have an album by someone called Tommy Blaize who is, apparently, a singer on Strictly Come Dancing. Who knew? For his album Life And Soul he has tackled standards such as Dock Of The Bay, Let’s Stay Together and I Get The Sweetest Feeling. It enters at number 34.

Just a couple months after releasing a new studio album, Van Morrison has now joined the ranks of songwriters to release an album dominated by cover versions. Anyone who can never hear enough versions of Unchained Melody can add a new one to their collection and will probably decide that the Righteous Brothers’ version remains unsurpassed. The album, Versatile, also includes versions of the Skye Boat Song and Bye Bye Blackbird. The latter song was the subject of one of many Tow Ronnies sketches to play with the English language. The premise was that songs had been translated from English to another language and then back to English, many years before we could all try the same thing with Google Translate. Bye Bye Blackbird came back as Bye Bye Negro Lady. Versatile is a new entry at number 38.
Published on: 2017-12-08 by Suedehead2 || 40649 Views
Comments (5)
8 Dec 2017 - 18:02
BuzzJack Gold Member
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A different song called Perfect was a no.1 single for Fairground Attraction in 1988. Excluding cover versions,does anyone know how many times two songs with the same title have got to no.1? The Power Of Love is the other one I can think of.
8 Dec 2017 - 20:59
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Hello (Lionel Richie and Adele). Unfortunately the band Hello didn't have a number one.
8 Dec 2017 - 21:44
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Forever and ever - midge ure again aka slik and Demis Roussos with the track that sold the ep Roussos phenomenon both 1976.
8 Dec 2017 - 22:25
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That Midge gets everywhere laugh.gif Then there was Demis Roussos, the singing tent.
15 Dec 2017 - 22:48
ACTUALLY, it's Dankenstein's Monster.
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Wyclif Jean made his chart debut as a member of The Fugees in 1996. He went on to enjoy solo success but hasn’t been seen in the chart since he featured on Shakira’s first number one Hips Don’t Lie in 2006, the year Naughty Boy made his first chart appearance. The song, Dimelo, enters at number two.

You're not the first to get confused, but the Naughty Boy that charted in 2006 is a completely unrelated dance act. The Naughty Boy we know today first charted in 2010. (/late)
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