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George Ezra spends a second week at number one.
George Ezra tops the singles chart for a second week, beating off competition from Drake, Drake and Drake. Drake's consolation is to have a number one album.

George Ezra spends a second week at the top of the singles chart with Shotgun. Drake gets a second number one album.

As mentioned last week this week’s chart has been compiled under a new set of revised rules. This is becoming a common occurrence for the first chart in July. There are two key changes. First, streams of videos from sites such as Youtube will also count as well as the audio streams which have been included for a few years. Only official videos will count; streams of videos of kittens with an Ed Sheeran song in the background will not be included.

Second, there will now be a distinction between streams by subscribers to sites such as Spotify and Youtube and streams by people using the free, advertising-funded service. This tackles a common complaint made since streams were fist included. Streams (audio and video) by paying subscribers will count as 1/100th of a sale (returning ot the original streams to sales ratio); streams by skinflints (such as myself) will only count as 1/600th of a sale. When a song goes on to the Accelerated Chart Ratio (as happens after sales have declined for three successive weeks and the song has been in the chart for at least ten weeks) the figures will be 1/200th and 1/1,200th of a sale respectively.

The original announcement from the Official Charts Company omitted another significant change. Until now a song on the Accelerated Chart Ratio (ACR) could return to the standard ratio (SCR) if combined sales and streams increased in one week by the change in the overall singles market plus 50 percentage points. That rule will now only to apply to songs that are up to three years old. The change is likely to be most noticeable at Christmas as all the old Christmas songs will be on the accelerated ratio. It is also almost certain to scupper attempts to get Green Day’s American Idiot into next week’s chart in time for Donald Trump’s visit - and would have done so even if the campaigners had heeded the advice that they needed to get the song off ACR first.

Unless record companies are still able to request a manual reset back to SCR it is highly unlikely that we will ever again see classic hits belatedly reach number one after being used in a film or advert as has happened with songs such as Ben E King’s Stand By Me and The Righteous Brothers’ version of Unchained Melody.

The albums chart is not affected by any of these changes but it is likely that there are further changes to come. These regular changes are an inevitable consequence of the move away from a pure sales chart.

The first number one single under the new rules is the same as the last one under the old ones as George Ezra gets a second week at the top with Shotgun. It brings to an end a short run of single-week chart-toppers.

The release of a new Drake album gives some people another opportunity to state how baffled they are by his continuing success. It also gives us a reason to think that the limit on the number of songs by a single artist that can make the chart isn’t such a bad idea after all. Of course, it also highlights the absurdity by which a stream of the whole album (or most of it) counts towards the singles chart as a stream of each individual song as well as contributing to the albums chart.

One of the Drake tracks to be allowed to chart is Don’t Matter To Me. This includes a sample from Michael Jackson recorded three years before Drake was born. As a new entry at number two it becomes Drake’s thirteenth top ten hit and Jackson’s 44th a little under two months before he would have turned sixty.

Drake’s fourteenth and fifteenth top ten hits come courtesy of Nonstop at number four and Emotionless at number five. The three-song limit means that Nice For What, last week’s number 25, has dropped out of the top 100.

The top five is completed by Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato’s Solo at number three.

The new “three-year rule” has been applied retrospectively to songs already in the chart. One of those, having been gaining in popularity since England’s World Cup victory over the mighty footballing nation of Panama, is Three Lions by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds. After that increase in sales it had been put back on to the standard ratio but it has now returned to ACR. England’s victory over Colombia on Tuesday saw a further increase in sales, taking it to the top of the iTunes chart.

The song was initially released ahead of the European Championships held in England in 1996. The song initially spent a week at number one before the tournament got under way. It returned to the summit after an absence of four weeks as England started to do rather well and stayed in the top forty for the rest of the summer. One of the abiding memories of that tournament (apart from penalty shoot-outs) is of Baddiel and Skinner joining the Wembley crowd in a rendition of the song.

A slightly revised version of Three Lions was released two years later for the World Cup in France and it spent three weeks at the top before falling away rapidly after yet another penalty shoot-out failure. The original version has returned to the chart several times since then as England supporters build up their hopes at another tournament. Skinner now hosts Room 101, a programme where guests are invited to try to consign things they hate to metaphorical oblivion. The existence of Three Lions, a re-entry at number 24 this week, is a good reason why it would be wrong to consign all football songs to Room 101.

Despite releasing some glorious songs, the Lightning Seeds (in reality Ian Broudie and a succession of session musicians) only had one other top ten hit. That was You Showed me which most people will have forgotten. Classics such as Pure and The Life Of Riley were relatively minor hits.

With three albums by big name artists released last Friday (29 June) it was almost certain that we would have a new number one this week. We do, and it is Drake’s Scorpion. Many Spotify users, particularly those who thought their subscription meant they were able to avoid advertising, thought that the promotion of this album was somewhat excessive. Nevertheless, it seems to have worked and the Canadian gets his second number one album.

For many critics Drake epitomises much that is wrong with the music industry today, in particular the bewildering array of songwriters. The number of credited writers on some of the songs goes into double figures.

There has been a welcome trend recently for people to be more open about mental illness with musicians prominent among them. On Florence + The Machine’s new album, High As Hope, Florence Welch addresses her own struggles with mental health. The tracks include Hunger (which just misses the top forty singles chart this week), a song about her problems with anorexia. Florence + The Machine’s debut album, Lungs, spent five weeks at number two behind Michael Jackson immediately after his death although it did eventually top the chart six months later. They are unlucky with their timing again as they enter at number two. Lungs re-enters at number 38.

After spending 21 of the last 25 weeks at number one (and all 25 in the top two) The Greatest Showman soundtrack falls to number three. George Ezra’s Staying At Tamara’s falls one place to number four.

The third of the big name releases, Gorillaz’ The Now Now, ended up never being in contention for the number one spot and enters at number five. Gorillaz were formed in 2001 by Blur’s Damon Albarn as a one-off project but have now released six studio albums. Only one of them, 2006’s Demon Days, has topped the chart.

Welsh rock band Bullet For My Valentine formed in 1998 but didn’t release their first album until 2005. Their chart record reads like that of many other metal bands. Their albums have tended to have a fairly high peak but none of them have had an extended run in the chart. There is no reason to suppose that Gravity, a new entry at number thirteen, will buck that trend.

Two of this week’s new entries are from artists who are no longer with us. Indeed, one of them is by a jazz saxophonist who died almost exactly 51 years ago. Just one week after a new entry from a current jazz saxophonist entered the chart John Coltrane enters at number fifteen with Both Directions, an album recorded in 1963 but not released until now. Although Coltrane is one of the biggest names in jazz (that is not meant to be a reference to the size of his acting namesake Robbie) this is his first appearance in the UK charts.

The other posthumous release to enter the chart this week is by David Bowie who died two-and-a-half years ago. Welcome To The Blackout is a live album recorded at Earl’s Court in London in 1978. The album was released on vinyl in April for Record Store Day and has now had a full release. It enters at number sixteen.

A further two new entries are by veteran acts who are still with us. Graham Nash enjoyed his first chart success in the 1960s with The Hollies. He was partly responsible for recruiting a young Reg Dwight to their record label and to play on some Hollies records. Dwight later changed his name to Elton John and the rest, as they say, is history.

After the Hollies, Nash teamed up with Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Neil Young to form Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young. who first reached the UK chart in 1971. He had his first solo hit album later the same year. This week he gets his second solo top forty album with Over The Years at number 27.

Paul Rodgers’ first taste of chart success was as a member of Free and Bad Company in the 1960s and ‘70s. In the middle of the last decade he performed some live dates with teo members of Queen under the name Queen + Paul Rodgers. They released a live album featuring songs by Queen and Rodgers’ two previous bands. Rodgers enters at number thirty with Free Spirit, his first solo top forty album since Now in 1997.

There have been many different ways in which bands have arrived at their name. The most obvious is to use the name of one or more members of the band. Others have taken their inspiration from films, television programmes or characters therefrom. Rather fewer bands have turned to a phrase commonly used to illustrate a grammatical point. A frequent example of the importance of the comma in English is the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” (a declaration of intent to commit cannibalism) and “Let’s eat, Grandma” (a suggestion that it might be time for some food).

Let’s Eat Grandma’s debut album, released in 2016, fell short of the top forty by over one hundred places. They do rather better with their second release as I’m All Ears enters at number 28.

The comma’s previous contributions to music history include the Vampire Weekend song Oxford Comma. If the Oxford comma had been deployed, one of the bands mentioned above would have been known as Crosby, Stills, Nash, And Young with the extra comma before the “and”. Never let it be said that these ramblings are not educational.

According to one article found online, I am not a fan of UK drill as I had no idea who K Trip was before finding said article. That fact casts doubt on the assertion in the next entence that he has received high praise across the board - unless the writer was referring to a very small and exclusive board. Regardless, he enters at number 37 with The Re-Up, whatever a Re-Up is.

In November this year it will be 100 years since the end of the First World War. It might have been thought that that centenary would have been the logical time for the Military Wives Choir to release their new album, Remember. Whether logical or not, they actually chose to release it last week. The album contains songs associated with wartime such as Pack Up Your Troubles, Abide With Me and Keep The Hoe Fires Burning as well as a version of Christina Perri’s rather more recent A Thousand Years. It enters at number forty.

It is almost obligatory these days for the albums chart to include at least one revamped version of a classic album. They used to be released for a specific anniversary but these reissues have been becoming rather more arbitrary. In that spirit, this week we have a Super Deluxe edition of Guns ‘n’ Roses debut album Appetite For Destruction, released just ahead of its 31st anniversary.

The album was originally something of a flop in the UK, not entering the top forty until over a year later. It eventually had an extended run in the top ten, peaking at number five in time for its second birthday. Perhaps, then, the reissue is to mark the 29th anniversary of that peak. The reissue of the album, which contains both Sweet Child O’ Mine and November Rain, enters at number six.
Published on: 2018-07-06 by Suedehead2 || 46574 Views
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6 Jul 2018 - 19:30
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Military Wives sing Keep The Hoe Fires Burning laugh.gif
6 Jul 2018 - 19:40
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And? When your hoe has worn out then you burn it tongue.gif
7 Jul 2018 - 12:53
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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This terrible Hoe-ism must end!:lol:
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