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Ariana Grande is still at number one
Ariana Grande's Thank U Next gets a second week at number one. Muse get a sixth number one album.

Ariana Grande gets a second week at the top of the singles chart. Muse score a sixth number one album.

After entering at number one last week, Ariana Grande easily holds on for a second week at the top with Thank U, Next. It is the first of her four number ones to spend more than seven days at the top.

Numbers two and three also remain unchanged. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are still at number two with Shallow while Little Mix and Nicki Minaj remain at number three with Woman Like Me, Rita Ora’s Let You Love Me climbs one place to a new peak of number four, ending a six-week period oscillating between numbers six and five. Dave and Fredo’s Funky Friday climbs back up to number five.

After many years as one of the UK’s leading collectors of surnames, the woman born Cheryl Tweedy has now abandoned them altogether and wishes to be known simply as Cheryl. At least it makes it easier to keep up. She ends a four-year chart absence by entering at number nineteen with Love Made Me Do It.

Perhaps the most famous song whose title is a year is Prince’s 1999. That song looked ahead to the penultimate year of the twentieth century. Charli XCX and Troye Sivan’s song is able to look back on the year and make references to the music of the time. The song enters at number seventeen to become the biggest of Sivan’s three top forty singles. Neither of the previous two got any higher than number 38. He should break another personal record next week by staying in the top forty.

After having a hit with a song called Sad! earlier in the year (while he was still alive), XXXTentacion enters at number 23 with Bad. It is his sixth posthumous top forty hit.

Following his part in the inexplicably popular Freaky Friday, Fredo gets a top forty hit as lead artist with BMT at number 25. Is this a new sandwich filling - bacon, melon and tomato perhaps? Or maybe he wants our timezone renamed as Brighton Mean Time. Whatever the title means, the song is terrible.

Despite (or, perhaps, because of) its association with one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous films, the word psycho has been an unlucky word to include in a song title. Ten acts have reached the top 75 with such a song but, until this week, only Fields Of The Nephilim and Post Malone had got the word into a top forty hit. Ava Max now takes that total up to three with the strangely-titled Sweet But Psycho at number 32. The song has already been a hit in the Nordic countries, topping the chart in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Possibly the most famous song to include the word psycho in its title is Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer which, sadly, has not graced the UK charts at all.

That awful Baby Shark thing re-enters the chart again, at number 33.

Three of the top four albums are all new (or re-) entries and none of them are soundtracks.

While the number of successful bands with Devonian roots is fairly low, two of them - Coldplay and Muse - have been among the most successful bands of the last twenty years or so. By the time Muse released their first album, 1999’s Showbiz, they had seen two singles enter the top 75 but fall well short of the top forty. The album also failed to set the chart world alight, spending a solitary week at number 69. Their fortunes took a turn for the better in March 2000 when Sunburn became a modest hit and the album entered the top forty for the first time.

The release of their second album, Origin Of Symmetry in 2001, was preceded by two modest hit singles, Plug In Baby and Newborn. That helped the album become a more instant success, entering at number three. They steadily built a reputation and became known as one of the country’s best live bands. They had their first number one album with Absolution in 2003 and all but one of their subsequent studio albums has also topped the chart.

Their eighth studio album, Simulation Theory, has received rather lukewarm reviews but that hasn’t stopped them grabbing a sixth number one.

One regular feature of the last few months of the year since the early part of this century has been the release of albums by X Factor alumni to coincide with the live shows in the latest series. That trend has continues even as audiences for the show have steadily fallen, reaching a new low earlier this month.

Olly Murs was a contestant in the 2009 series, finishing as runner-up to Joe McElderry. As with so many acts, failure to win the show did not prevent him having a successful chart career. His first single, Please Don’t Let Me Go, became the first of four number ones and four of his five albums have also topped the chart. This week, however, he proves no match for Muse, even with the inclusion of a Greatest Hits package on a second CD. You Know I Know enters at number two. I assume the title is not a homage to fellow Essex boys Kursaal Flyers whose big hit single started with the words “Little does she know that I know that she knows that I know she’s two-timing me”.

In 1968 The Beatles faced a bit of a challenge. With their 1967 release, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, they had redefined what a pop album could be. Until then, albums had basically been a collection of songs. As arguably the world’s first concept album Sgt Pepper changed all that. Following it up, therefore, was always going to be difficult.

The difficulty was exacerbated by the fact that relationships within the band were becoming increasingly tense. Of the album’s 30 tracks, only sixteen feature all four Beatles playing together. The result has divided Beatles fans with some loving it while others think it is a bit of a mess.

While undoubtedly a generally less coherent album that Sgt Pepper, the White Album (as it came to be called even though officially it had no title), the packaging was completely different. Sgt Pepper had its gatefold sleeve with the song lyrics printed inside (another first) and the famous Peter Blake montage. The White Album cover was precisely that, plain white with the words The Beatles embossed on it.

Two of its tracks have been major hit singles for other artists. Marmalade topped the chart with their version of Ob-La-D-Ob-La-Da in 1968/9 (alternating with Lily The Pink by The Scaffold, a band whose members included Paul McCartney’s brother) and Siouxsie and the Banshees took their brilliant version of Dear Prudence into the charts in 1983.

The full boxed set is full of various demos from the original recording sessions. The album spent eight weeks at the top of the chart at the end of 1968 and the beginning of 1969. The reissue enters at number four.

The Greatest Showman soundtrack climbs back up to number three, moving ahead of A Star Is Born which falls to number six. Queen’s Platinum Collection climbs two places to number five.

The Prodigy’s No Tourists crashes to number 24 after a week at number one. Oops.

Following three albums in which he has duetted with himself, Aled Jones has chosen to team up with Russel Watson for his latest release. The album is dominated by hymns and other religious songs, but also includes versions of Volare and You Raise Me Up. Watson’s debut album was called The Voice and Jones’ duet albums used the term One Voice, so it makes sense that their collaboration is called In Harmony. It enters at number eight.

By the general standards of guitar-based bands, Imagine Dragons have been rather prolific in the last few years. Their latest album, Origins, is their third release in under four years. Their first three albums (including 2012’s Night Visions) all made the top three. Origins enters at number nine.

If ever you wanted to provide a light-hearted example of why it might not be a terribly good idea to entrust major decisions to the great British public, some of the decisions made by the audience of Britain’s Got Talent might be a good place to start. The show has, after all, been won by a “magician” who didn’t actually perform any real tricks in the final but supposedly looked good in his army uniform (even though he was only a cook) and a performing dog who was actually two dogs. This year, with the hundredth anniversary of the 1918 Armistice in mind, a group of women with little noticeable talent performed distinctly average versions of wartime songs. Inevitably, they got a record contract and an album release to coincide with the Armistice anniversary itself. I’ll Remember You by D-Day Darlings lands at number fifteen.

The original line-up of Brighton’s Architects had twins Dan and Tom, two Tims and a Matt Johnson, not to be confused with the man behind The The. Of those members, only one of the twins remains. They enter at number eighteen with their eighth album, Holy Hell.

It has been noted here before that the singles chart has been the subject of a mini-invasion of Lils this year. The albums chart has remained relatively untouched, but this week Lil Peep enters at number nineteen with Come Over When You’re Sober Part 2. Part 1 was released last year but fell well short of the top forty. The release of Part 2 comes almost exactly a year after Lil Peep’s death. He died from a presumed drug overdose just two weeks after his 21st birthday.

Jeff Goldblum, one of the stars of the Jurassic Park films among other roles, has joined the list of actors to branch out into music. He, accompanied by the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra has released a jazz album entitled The Capitol Studios Sessions. It comes in at number 26.

Jonas Blue enters at number 33 with his debut album, Blue. Buyers of the CD are spared his ghastly cover of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car which is only available on the download edition. Yxng Bane is at number 36 with HBK and Triple Redd are at number 31 with A Love Letter To You 3.

The success of Billie Eilish’s single When The Party’s Over has helped her EP Don’t Smile At Me (originally released in August last year) to chart for the first time at number 37.

Following the announcement of their latest reunion cash-in / tour (delete as applicable) the Spice Girls Greatest Hits returns at number 25.
Published on: 2018-11-16 by Suedehead2 || 72019 Views
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