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Ed Sheeran has the Christmas number one
Ed Sheehan has his first Christmas number one single but is beaten to the top of the albums chart by Eminem.

Ed Sheeran has the Christmas number one. Eminem beats Sheeran to claim an eighth number one album.

This week saw a chart battle that was unusual for any time of year, Christmas or not. The week began with two artists aiming to score a chart double by securing the number one single and the number one album. Just to make it even more unusual one of the artists, Ed Sheeran, was the featured artist on the single by the other contender, Eminem. That meant that Sheeran could score a chart double in successive weeks, not only with two different songs but also with a song that wasn’t on the album.

The singles chart battle was won by Ed Sheeran who gets his first Christmas number one single as Perfect stays ahead of the pack for a third week. As reported last week there is now a third version of the song available. The solo version and the one with Beyoncé have been joined by one featuring Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

As far as the official credit goes this makes things even more complicated than they were already. Rather than crediting both guest singers, thereby giving the impression that there was a version with both Beyoncé and Bocelli, the Official Charts Company still credits the song to Sheeran alone. Officially, therefore, Bocelli has not added to the two top forty singles he had in the last years of the 20th century and his last singles chart appearance remains a four week run, peaking at number 69, with Con Te Partiro in 2007.

The release of a new album from Eminem was, as mentioned above, accompanied by the simultaneous release of a single with Ed Sheeran adding his vocal talents to the mix. In a chart career that began in 1999 Eminem has had eight number one hits - the last of them in 2013 - and a further twenty songs reaching the top ten. River brings his total of top ten his to 29 by entering at number two. His hits have featured many different vocalists but Sheeran is only the second Briton after Dido.

One other track from Eminem’s album appears in the top forty. The Beyoncé-featuring Walk On Water, which reached number seven last month, re-enters at number 21 while In Your Head is at number nineteen. The latter song borrows from The Cranberries’ 1994 hit Zombie and ruins it. Still, I suppose it could be said to be a good time for a song with a Cranberries‘ source to enter the chart. Other tracks from the album may also have entered without the rule prohibiting more than three songs by a single artist to qualify for the chart.

Much has been said and written about how difficult it is for older artists to have a hit single nowadays. Despite the presence of so many old Christmas songs in the chart this week there are also current songs from (or featuring) Beyoncé, Eminem, Craig David and Pink.all of whom made their first chart appearance (as part of a group in Beyoncé’s case) in the twentieth century.

The campaign to get Wham’s Last Christmas to number one didn’t really start to get much publicity until well into the chart week by which time it was too late. It’s tempting to suggest that the news media haven’t realised that the chart is now announced on Friday. The song therefore retains its place in chart history as the best selling song (excluding made up sales from streams) not to reach number one. Of course, with all Christmas songs likely to be streamed a lot over the next few days, it could yet become the first Christmas song to climb to the top after the day itself. For this week it is at number three, its highest position since its original peak of number two in 1984. It breaks the long-standing duopoly of All I Want For Christmas Is You and Fairytale Of New York as the highest placed seasonal song in the Christmas chart.

The Wham campaign means that Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You spends Christmas Day as the second highest festive song this year as it slips two places to number four. Rita Ora’s Anywhere isn’t going anywhere; it stays at number five.

For a number of years the Christmas chart contained several novelty hits, many of them succeeding as a result of some sort of campaign. Thankfully those days seem to be behind us and the closest we have to a novelty hit - Big Shaq’s Man’s Not Hot - has been polluting the chart for a while.

No more Christmas songs have joined the seventeen in last week’s chart and most of those seventeen haven’t moved much. Inside the top ten, The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale Of New York stays at number seven for a second week.

Outside the top ten Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody climbs one place to number 29, its best position for ten years. The other 1973 classic, Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (with its sesquipedalian official credit) slides one place to number 23. Completing the 1973 trinity Elton John’s Step Into Christmas climbs one place to number eighteen, its highest ever position. Step Into Christmas was his eighth top forty hit and only the second - after Honky Cat - not to make the top ten.

Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas climbs three places to enter the top twenty for the first time, at number twenty, 29 years after failing to reach the top forty. Two other festive tunes reach their highest position since their original release Brenda Lee’s Rocking Around The Christmas Tree (a number six hit in 1962) is at number fourteen and Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone (number one, 1985) is at number fifteen.

Fairytale Of New York now has a total of 59 weeks in the top forty with All I Want For Christmas Is You just four weeks behind. Both of those songs have been covered by other artists for Radio 1’s Live Lounge over the years. Bastille have tackled All I Want For Christmas Is You with additional bits of Bruce Hornsby’s piano banger The Way It Is and R Kelly’s dreary I Believe I Can Fly. Ed Sheeran - is there no escape from this man? - has teamed up with Anne-Marie on Fairytale Of New York with some Jingle Bells thrown in as well.

With Ed Sheeran looking certain to have the number one single the question became whether he would score a chart double for the second consecutive week. Eminem was ahead in the published updates but his lead narrowed as the week went on.

The decision to release Eminem’s new album in the middle of December was an unusual one. Most of the albums aimed at the Christmas market are released in November or even October. The release date did, however, mean that Revival was the only new studio album of the week by a major artist. The title follows the pattern of previous releases such as Encore, Relapse and Recovery.

Eminem’s first album, The Slim Shady LP, only had a brief top forty run when it was released in 1999. It made a few brief returns to the top forty but didn’t reach its peak position of number ten until July 2000. The next seven albums - including a Greatest Hits collection, all topped the chart. If Revival had been released a week earlier it is likely that it would have topped the chart with ease. By leaving it until last week that string of number ones was put in jeopardy.

In the event though, Eminem held on to get his eighth successive number one album. His hits collection, Curtain Call, returns at number 35.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ falls back to number two, continuing the sequence of one-week number ones dating back to when ÷ ended a three week run at the top in August.

The remainder of the top five comprises three more of the ten best-selling albums of the year. Ed Sheeran’s ÷ is, of course, a long way ahead at the top of the list with over 2 1/2 million sales. The only other album even to be close to one million sales this year is Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s Human. That album is at number five this week.

Sam Smith’s The Thrill Of It All, the year’s fourth best-seller after just six weeks on sale, is at number three with Pink’s Beautiful Trauma, the seventh best-seller of the year so far, is at number four. In a sign of how poor album sales have been this year Eminem’s Revival will at least be close to the year’s top forty this week and is likely to be among the twenty best-selling albums of 2017 when the list is published next week.

This week Linkin Park ruled out the possibility of follwoing a recent trend and touring with a hologram of their late singer Chester Bennington. That statement came in an interview coinciding with the release of One More Light Live, a live album recorded on the tour to promote their One More Light album earlier this year. The album enters at number 32.

The career of composer John Williams (not to be confused with the classical guitarist of the same name) was marked in the summer by a Promenade concert devoted to his film soundtracks. Among his most famous compositions was the music for the original Star Wars film in 1977 and he has continued to write for one of cinema’s biggest franchises ever since. He has also compose music for another massive franchise, the Harry Potter films.

Every sentient being will have been aware that yet another Star Wars film has been released. The Williams-composed soundtrack to that film, The Last Jedi, is at number 39.

The fiftieth anniversary edition of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band topped the chart earlier this year. In a move that is definitely not any sort of cash-in another new edition of the album has been released, this time on a vinyl picture disc. Picture discs were briefly popular in the 1970s and ‘80s before people realised that the sound quality was generally awful. However, enough people were attracted by the idea of a collector’s item to see Sgt Pepper back in the top forty in the midweek updates although it didn’t sell enough to stay there by the end of the week.

There will be no Suedehead chart commentary next week. It will return on Friday 5 January 2018. In the meantime…

Happy Christmas
Feliĉan Kristnaskon
Joyeux Noel
Fröhe Weinachten
Hyvää Joulua
Häid Jõule
Nollaig Shona
Su Kalėdomis
Feliz Natal
Vesel Božič
Весела Коледа
Crăciun fericit
Καλή Χριστούγεννα
Счастливые Рождество
Linksmų Kalėdų
Boldog Karácsonyt
Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Published on: 2017-12-22 by Suedehead2 || 43590 Views
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