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Rudimental climb to number one
All change at the top of both the singles and albums chart this week.

New number ones in both charts at last as Rudimental finally make it to the top of the singles chart and George Ezra bags a second number one album.

After nine weeks with no change at the top of either the singles or albums chart we finally get new(-ish) blood at the top of both charts this week, The -ish part of that statement refers specifically to the singles chart as Rudimental (along with Macklemore, Jess Glynne and Dan Caplen) finally reach the summit with These Days in its tenth week in the chart. Its ascent to the top comes a week after it ended a six week run at the top of the sales-only chart.

For the last seven weeks These Days has been stuck at number two. It now becomes the first single to climb to number one after such a long continuous run in the runner-up position. In 1954 Kitty Kallen reached number one after a total of seven weeks at number two. However, she fell back to number three for a week after the first three of those weeks. She spent an eighth week at number two four weeks after her single week at the top.

Many thanks to Colin (zeuss at Buzzjack, orthon at Haven) for the information about long-running number two singles.

These Days also helps Jess Glynne to claim a new chart record. It is her sixth number one single, more than any other British solo female artist. Only two of the six are credited solely to Jess Glynne but her vocals were undoubtedly a significant contribution to the other four, including These Days. She still has a long way to go to match Madonna’s thirteen number ones. Glynne previously shared the British record with Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Tweedy-Arantxa-Sanchez-Vicario-Uncle-Tom-Cobley.

The other main contender for number one this week, George Ezra’s Paradise, climbs to number two beating the peak position reached by his debut hit Budapest. Paradise. He also has a new entry at number 35 with Shotgun. Portugal. The Man stay at number three with Feel It Still.

There have been times in recent years when there has seemed to be little variety in the songs in the upper reaches of the chart - and that is not just a reference to the time a year ago when Ed Sheeran occupied almost the whole of the top ten. This week’s top three seems relatively diverse at last. As an extra bonus, all three songs are good or better.

Marshmello and Anne-Marie stay at number four with Friends. Lil Dicky and Chris Brown spoil an otherwise decent top five by climbing eleven places to number five with Freaky Friday.

Sigala and Paloma Faith climb four places to number nine with Lullaby. It is Faith’s first top ten hit since she topped the chart in 2014 as featured artist on Sigma’s Changing.

After nine interminable weeks at number one Drake crashes to number ten with God’s Plan. The large drop from the summit for may seem strange to some people unfamiliar with the details of the current chart rules. For their benefit, here is a brief explanation. For most songs 150 streams are counted as the equivalent of one sale. However, if a song has been in the chart for at least ten weeks and chart sales (real sales plus streams) have declined for each of the last three weeks, it takes 300 streams to count as one sale. As most of Drake’s “sales” have been from streams this adjustment (in force from this week for God’s Plan) has resulted in a large cut in the week’s “sales”.

It should be pointed out that, even without the change to its streaming ratio, God’s Plan would still have been dethroned this week. It just wouldn’t have fallen as far. Similarly, most of the record drops from the top top of the singles chart have happened for reasons other than the song suddenly losing popularity. Most of them are Christmas songs, charity releases or limited editions. The glaring exception is McFly’s Baby’s Coming Back which crashed all the way to number 20 in 2007. As charity singles rely heavily on sales rather than streams, any future charity number ones may well see very large second week slumps.

Last week Drake became the first artist in UK chart history to have a second single spend nine or more weeks at number one following the fifteen-week run of One Dance in 2016. Old-fashioned chart watchers may wish to point out that One Dance’s first three weeks at number one were the only weeks when Drake had the best-selling song of the week. The remaining 21 weeks were all courtesy of heavy streaming.

The two highest new entries are both by Canadian teenager (for another six months) Shawn Mendes. He featured on The Vamps’ top ten single Oh Cecilia in 2014 before topping the chart on his lonesome the following year with Stitches. He stretched his record of one (and only one) top ten hit per year with Treat You Better in 2016 and There’s Nothing Holding Me Back last year. Whether he maintains that unusual record for another year remains to be seen. For the time being, In My Blood is a new entry at number thirteen while Lost In Japan is at number thirty. The latter song could almost have been a mash-up of Bonnie Tyler’s Lost In France and Alphaville’s Big In Japan but it isn’t.

East London’s Yxng Bane enters at number 40 with Vroom. If it goes no higher he will have achieved the unusual feat of having two successive top forty singles which have failed to advance beyond the anchor position following his song Rihanna last year. Rihanna has, so far, not reciprocated by recording a song called Yxng Bane, possibly because she doesn’t know how to pronounce it.

Of all the cliches in the musical lexicon that of “the difficult second album” is one of the most prominent. Like most cliches, there is a good deal of ruth in it. The songs on the fist album may have been developed over several years. Along the way a lot of songs will have been dumped because they are not good enough. After a successful debut album an act - particularly if they write their own material - will be faced with a number of conflicting demands. They will be expected to tour to promote the album but, at the same time, they will be under pressure to start work on the follow-up.

Some artists see their second album achieve even more success than a highly successful debut - Adele and Ed Sheeran are two obvious examples from recent years. Others, such as Duffy and Emeli Sande, see the second album sink without trace and are left to try to salvage their career.

The time allowed for a second album varies depending on the nature of the act. A band appealing to teenage girls will be expected to release as many albums as possible before their core audience moves on. Experience suggests that the next batch of teenagers will have their own favourites rather than listening to the same bands as their older sisters.

A singer-songwriter with a good proportion of older fans will generally be given more time to produce a new batch of songs. If they are lucky that means they can still exercise a decent amount of quality control and drop some songs considered inferior. They can work towards a quality target rather than a deadline.

Before an act can be mentioned in the same breath as “difficult second album” it is generally necessary for them to have had a successful debut. A standard marketing strategy for a debut album - particularly if the record label has high hopes for an artist - is to start with a sizeable hit single a few months before the album is released. They can then release a second single a week or two ahead of the album.

In George Ezra’s case that strategy didn’t really work out. Two attempts to promote the lead single Budapest failed. They could have tried promoting a different song ahead of the album but, presumably convinced that it deserved to be a big hit, promoted Budapest again at the end of June 2014. This time the music-buying public finally cottoned on to the fact that it was a great song and it entered the chart at number four, climbing to number three a couple weeks later. That helped to see the album enter at number three In July and spend its first 44 weeks in the top ten. It eventually reached number one for two weeks in October and returned to the summit for two further weeks the following January. It is now back in the chart and climbs three places this week to number fifteen.

The promotion of Ezra’s second album, Staying At Tamara’s, got off to an equally shaky start with the first single, Don’t Matter Now, bubbling along in the lower reaches of the chart for six weeks last summer. As reported above, Paradise has done rather better, helping the album go straight to number one.

After a marathon eleven-week run at number one the Greatest Showman soundtrack finally releases its hold and slips to number two. Ed Sheeran’s ÷ also falls one place, to number three.

The year 2016 was marked for many people by the deaths of three of the biggest names in music - David Bowie, Prince and George Michael. Those deaths rather overshadowed the departure of other names such as Glen Frey, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt. Art the time of Parfitt’s death he had been working on a solo album, his first solo release at the age of 68. That album, Over And Out (presumably not the original title) has now been released and it enters at number four.

It’s been a big seven days for Jack White. Last Friday he released a new solo album, Boarding House Reach, and then on Monday he had the ultimate accolade of featuring in a question on BBC2’s impossible quiz Only Connect. In an unusual move for someone of his standing the former White Stripe played a free gig in a London pub on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to sell a few more copies. As with The Fratellis last week White’s best known composition, the guitar riff in Seven Nation Army, can be heard regularly at football grounds. His first two solo albums, Blunderbuss (2012) and Lazaretto (2014) both reached the top five. Boarding House Reach maintains that record by entering at number five.

Those pesky Kidz Bop Kids have released another album. Kidz Bop Summer ’18, containing delights such as their versions of Havana, Perfect and Sorry Not Sorry, is at number eight. Expect it to be a lot lower next week.

Elisabeth Corrin Maurus, known professionally simply as Lissie, hails from the Illinois town of Rock Island. If she ever got a train to her home town she will have travelled on the Rock Island Line immortalised in song by Lonnie Donegan. She has had three top twenty albums in the UK without ever breaking into the top ten or having a hit single. This week she sees on of those records come to an end in a positive way as her fourth album, Castles, enters at number nine.

The string of Led Zeppelin reissues continues with their 2003 live album (recorded in 1972) How The West Was Won. As well as the inevitable Stairway To Heaven it also includes songs such as Whole Lotta Love (a cover of which - by CCS - was used as the Top of the Pops theme for many years) and Immigrant Song. On its original release the album entered at number five and spent three weeks in the top ten. This time round it lands at number eighteen.

Toni Braxton - best known for her 1996 single Unbreak My Heart - gets her first top forty album for eight years with Sex And Cigarettes at number 33.

Anyone looking at a list of influences cited by the band Sunflower Bean might detect the influence of a public relations advisor. They have included big names from the past such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Cure and Fleetwood Mac, acts with a certain cult status such as Neu! and the really obscure in the form of Tontstartssbandht (perhaps a Wiki contributor made that last one up). Their first album, Human Ceremony released in 2016, sunk without trace. The second, Twentytwo in Blue, enters at number 39.

As well as a reissue from Led Zeppelin another album from one of Sunflower Bean’s supposed influences re-enters this week. Fleetwood Mac’s best-known album Rumours is back yet again at number 31. Their Very Best Of collection climbs ten places to number seventeen.
Published on: 2018-03-30 by Suedehead2 || 38589 Views
Comments (3)
31 Mar 2018 - 4:40
Mr Jade Lauren Williams <333
Group: Moderator
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It should be pointed out that, even without the change to its streaming ratio, God’s Plan would still have been dethroned this week. It just wouldn’t have fallen as far.

Fake news!! Turns out it would in fact still have been #1. tongue.gif
31 Mar 2018 - 6:56
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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But falling to number 10 is all part of God's Plan, in fact These Days one could say it was Meant To Be, which leaves us in Paradise. I know I can Feel It Still, but then I can't resist an opportunity to Say Something laugh.gif
31 Mar 2018 - 9:47
BuzzJack Legend
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Yes, it appears that dirge would have held on by about 50 "sales". Of course there will be a time when the race really is that close which will then raise the question of whether the positions would have been reversed if Thursday's streaming data had been available
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