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Lil Dicky climbs to number one.
Lil Dicky and Chris Brown win a tight three-way race to the top of the singles chart. The Greatest Showman soundtrack resumes its tenure at the top of the albums chart.

A close three-way race at the top of the single chart but the Greatest Showman soundtrack eases back into first place in the albums chart.

The last two weeks have demonstrated some of the perils of aiming to publish a review of the week’s charts within seconds of the number two song (and, by implication, the number one) being announced. Last week I confidently stated that Drake’s God’s Plan would have been toppled from the number one spot even without its streams being downgraded. Shortly afterwards it was revealed that Drake would have held on to the top spot by a narrow margin.

That potential photo-finish raises its own issue. Over the years that the chart was compiled purely from sales data the proportion of sales that was actually counted rose steadily. In the early years a small sample of shops was used. Advances in technology meant that eventually almost all sales - whether physical copies or downloads - were counted. It was, therefore, possible to state with little fear of contradiction that the song proclaimed number one was genuinely the best-selling song of the week.

The introduction of streaming should have meant that the only difference was that “best-selling” was replaced with “most popular” even if attempting to combine two distinct things (sales and streams) meant that the definition of “most popular” was subjective. Unfortunately, for reasons which remain undisclosed, streaming companies are unable to supply data immediately after the end of each 24-hour period. As a result the Official Charts Company has to estimate Thursday’s streams using the previous six days’ data. It is not hard to see that, in a close race, the estimate may provide a different result from the one that would have been produced if the full data had been available.

That brings us on to the second of the perils mentioned above. In most weeks I can be reasonably sure what will be number one and can write my remarks accordingly. This week there was a close race between not just two but three songs. This raises the possibility that the above scenario - the “wrong” song being proclaimed number one because the streaming estimates were wrong - may have happened this week. In any event, I have to find a cunning way of writing as much as possible in advance before adding the final touches immediately before publication.

The first contender for this week’s number one was the song that ascended to the summit last week, Rudimental’s These Days (with assistance from Macklemore, Jess Glynne and the frequently overlooked Dan Caplen). After spending seven weeks at number two before finally claiming the top spot, its spell at the top could be ended after just seven days.

The second contender represented a bid to return dross to the top of the chart. After Drake’s nine-week run finally ended last week Lil Dicky and Chris Brown launched a strong challenge with the inexplicably popular Freaky Friday. Could the former jailbird Brown be about to claim only his second UK number one single in a twelve-year career and his first since Turn Up The Music almost exactly six years ago?

The third song in contention was a bit of a surprise. Keala Settle’s This Is Me gained a surge in popularity after being used in a fund-raising show on ITV. That took it to the top of the iTunes chart and was enough to put it in the lead - albeit by a wafer-thin margin - in the first chart update on Tuesday.

Even by recent standards This Is Me has a decidedly weird chart run. Before this week it had spent ten weeks in the top ten. Nine of those weeks have been spent at numbers six, seven and eight with a solitary week at number three in the middle of February.

When all the sales and streams were counted (and estimated) the winner was Lil Dicky and the loser was good taste. Rudimental slip back to number two, Keala Settle climbed back up five places to match her previous peak with This Is Me at number three. Its upturn in “sales” mean that its streams won’t be downgraded for at least another three weeks.

Last week’s number two, George Ezra’s Paradise, falls to number four. Portugal. The Man’s Feel It Still is also down two places, to number five.

There are just three new entries this week and all three of them are by the same artist - Canadian singer-songwriter Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd. He released a new album last week and three of the tracks duly enter the singles chart. As a result of the three song limit the single that was at number 23 last week (Pray For Me, featuring Kendrick Lamar) has dropped out of the chart altogether as the three new tracks have all finished ahead of it. If the popularity of one or more of the new tracks proves short-lived, Pray For Me may make a return next week.

The most popular of The Weeknd’s new tracks is Call Out My Name which goes straight in at number seven. It gives him a first top ten entry since the Daft Punk-assisted I Feel It Coming in December 2016. Try Me enters at number seventeen with Wasted Times one place behind at number eighteen.

Jason Derulo and French Montana re-enter at number 40 with Tip Toe. Dua Lipa’s New Rules is back at number 37.

Normality 2018-style is restored at the top of the albums chart this week as The Greatest Showman soundtrack returns to number one after the indignity of being at number two last week. It has now accumulated twelve weeks at the summit.

Sales of George Ezra’s Staying At Tamara’s remain respectable as the album slips to number two. Tamara is the name of a Spanish woman whose flat Ezra stayed in while he was writing the album. He found her on the internet but that’s not weird at all. Sadly, it is unlikely that her surname is Day so I cannot say Tamara’s just another Day.

As stated above The Weeknd released a new album last week, albeit for download only at the moment. My Dear Melancholy will not be released on CD until next Friday (13 April, unlucky for some). That physical release may yet give him a second number one album but, for the time being, he is at number three.

While some people dislike the idea of there being “singles artists” and “albums artists” it cannot be denied that certain types of act rarely have hit singles these days. One example is the London-based indie band The Vaccines. In the 1990s a similar band would have expected one or two decent-sized hit singles from each album. By contrast The Vaccines have had four top forty singles but none of them has broken into the top thirty. By contrast each of their albums has reached the top five. That trend continues with the release of their fourth album Combat Sports. Neither of the singles has so much has dented the top 100 (except in Belgium) but the album enters at number four.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ crashes two whole places to number five.

American country singer Kacey Musgraves reaches the UK albums chart for the third time with Golden Hour at number six giving her a first taste of the top ten on this side of the Atlantic.

Musgraves reportedly met the man who is now her husband at the Iconic Bluebird cafe in Nashville. That brings us neatly on the The Levellers who are based in Brighton, home to a branch of the Bluebird Tea Company famed for selling all sorts of strange types of tea. The band - named after supporters of greater democracy in the English Civil War - have been regulars on the festivals circuit for many years and enjoyed their greatest chart success in the mid-1990s. They enter at number twelve with their eleventh studio album We The Collective. It is their highest charting studio album since Mouth To Mouth reached number five in 1997.

There is a scene in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy which comprises the thoughts of a sperm whale as he falls to the ground. This poor, doomed whale is desperately trying to think of names for the things he experiences, including a thing he can thrash around which he calls a tail. It decides to call the whistling roaring sound going past its head the wind although it hopes it might find a better name for it later when he works out what it is for. There are times when it is easy to believe that a band thought of a temporary name while hoping they’d think of a better one later. Such a band are Cabbage.

The band have a tenuous link with the Madchester days of the 1990s and acloser link with the music scene of the following decade.. Their bassist used to be in a band with Mary and Will Coogan whose father is Martin Coogan of The Mock Turtles. None of them are as well known as Martin’s brother Steve Coogan. Much of their work has been produced by James Skelly of The Coral who had a number of hit singles at the beginning of this century.

So, having chosen a rather frivolous name, are Cabbage’s song titles any more sensible. A clue to the answer to that question is given by the name of their debut album Nihilistic Glamour Shots. Look a little further and you find tracks called Molotov Alcopop, Arms Of Pleonexia and Perdurabo. If any of those song titles have been used before, I missed them. None of them are likely to feature on any radio show fronted by Alan Partridge. Nonetheless, the album enters at number 21.

Sadly, the poor innocent whale had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.

Alongside embarking on a singing career Haley Kiyoko has had a number of acting roles, including appearing as Velma in two of the Scooby-Doo films. She was a member of a group modestly called The Stunners alongside Tinashe who featured on Tinie Tempah’s Text From Your Ex last year. Kiyoko’s first solo album, Expectations, enters at number 24. Some people may think Expectations is a great album; others may exclaim “What the Dickens is this rubbish?”.

One of Midge Ure’s early incarnations - before joining Visage and Ultravox, and helping to form Band Aid - was with a punk band called the Rich Kids. That has precisely nothing to do with Dimitri Roger who performs under the moniker Rich The Kid. His debut album, The World Is Yours, enters at number 25.

In the pantheon of talent shows The Voice should perhaps stand out as a mark of quality. It eschews the gimmick of contestants with less talent than a stick of celery, only allowing people to compete if they can actually sing. However, it has famously failed to produce a major star in all the years it has been on British television. Versions of the show in other countries across the world have suffered from the same general failure. Some UK winners have had a moderately successful album but none have come close to a number one. The winner of last year’s series - the first since it moved to ITV - has failed to buck that trend, Mo Jamil’s debut set Evolve enters at number 36.
Published on: 2018-04-06 by Suedehead2 || 37220 Views
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King Rollo
6 Apr 2018 - 17:05
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I can think of two no.1 singles with a day of the week in the title. I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats and Saturday Night by Whigfield. Are there any others?
6 Apr 2018 - 17:08
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Sunday Girl - Blondie
22 Apr 2018 - 15:40
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