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A third week at the top for Ariana Grande
Ariana Grade's Thank U, Next is the number one single for a third week. Michale Bublé heads the albums chart.

Ariana Grande gets a third week at the top of the singles chart. Michael Bublé tops the albums chart.

Ariana Grande spends a third week at number one in the singles chart with Thank U, Next. This week she joined one of the world’s least exclusive clubs - people who have had a public spat with Piers Morgan.

Little Mix also joined the same club this week. They and Nicki Minaj climb back up one place to number two with Woman Like Me, swapping places with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Shallow, a word that has often been used to describe Piers Morgan.

A female-heavy top five is completed by Jess Glynne, up three places to number four with Thursday, and Rita Ora, down one to number five with Let You Love Me, and

Covers (or reimagined versions to use the record company’s preferred phrase) of songs from The Greatest Showman continue to advance. The album itself qualifies for the compilations chart, but all tracks are eligible for the singles chart.

For the time being, we have to be content with three-and-a-half songs from the album. The half song is that 2018 chart favourite, This Is Me. It is the only song on the reimagined album to feature the original vocalist. Sales (and streams) of both versions have been combined which means that Keala Settle re-enters at number 34.

The first of the reimagined versions to enter the chart, Pink’s take on A Million Dreams, soars 25 places to number eleven after two weeks in the lower reaches of the top forty. It has now easily outpeaked the original version which climbed no higher than number 22.

Hot on Pink’s heels are X Factor alumnus James Arthur and Anne-Marie. Their revamp of Rewrite The Stars enters at number sixteen. The original version, featuring Zac Efron and Zendaya, reached number sixteen. Panic! At The Disco land at number 39 with The Greatest Show, a song taken to number twenty by Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Keala Settle and Zendaya. It is the first time Panic! At The Disco have managed two top forty hits in a calendar year since 2006.

One issue that got Piers Morgan wound up this week was a photograph of Little Mix sans clothes (all in the best possible taste, of course). The stated intention was to promote a positive body image, but it also just happened to coincide with the release of their new album which, in turn, just happens to include a song called Strip. The song features Sharaya Howell who, for some reason, records as Sharaya J. Perhaps somebody mis-typed Sharaya H and it just stuck. The song is a new entry at number 25.

One of the artists who can look back on 2018 with satisfaction is George Ezra. He has had a second number one album (which has rarely left the top ten since its release in February) and his first number one single. That album, Staying At Tamara’s, now delivers its third top forty single as Hold My Girl enters at number 33.

This week’s “Cast of thousands” entry comes from the combined talents (I use the word in its loosest sense) of The Plug, Nafe Smallz and M Huncho featuring Gunna. The only one of the collective to have reached the top forty before is Gunna who featured on the equally abysmal Drip Too Hard. Broken Homes enters at number 38.

Challenging Broken Homes for the title of worst new entry of the week is Mo Bamba by Sheck Wes at number 37. Wikipedia insists that the unknown artist “made his name with hostile wildcard rhymes”, whatever they may be.

Rather better than those two new entries is Tom Walker’s Leave A Light On which re-enters at number 26.

As we enter the final weeks before Christmas (yes, already), album sales are finally picking up, helped by three major new releases this week from acts with six number one albums between them. They make up the top three in the albums chart, giving us the first top three without a soundtrack album since the first chart of the year.

Michael Bublé’s new album doesn’t actually carry a title. It just has a heart sign. Officially it is called Love although he has suggested that it might just as well be called Aubergine. Its release at this time of year will come as a relief to many fans; they may avoid having to feign delight at receiving his Christmas album for the eighth year in row. The album goes straight to the top of the chart to give him a fourth number one album. It is his first new chart-topper since To Be Loved in April 2013.

Mumford and Sons’ debut album Sigh No More proved to be a bit of a slow burner. It entered the chart just outside the top ten in October 2009 but didn’t reach its peak (number two) until February 2011. As so often in such cases, the second album went straight to number one. Album number three followed suit but it is still Sigh No More which contains their best-known songs. Now, after a three-and-a-half year gap (during which they released a collaboration album with Senegalese singer Baaba maal) they return with Delta. It fails to be a match for La Bublé and enters at number two.

The band have described the tour to promote Delta as particularly ambitious. The downside of that is that they could run into technical problems. That happened this week, leading to several tour dates being postponed. Some reviews suggest that fans who have missed out may want to take the opportunity to get a refund rather than wait for the rearranged dates.

In common with many X Factor alumni Little Mix (winners of the show in 2011) have made a habit of releasing albums in November. That means a likely appearance on the latest series of the show as well as tapping into the higher sales period in the run-up to Christmas. However, it also means being up against some stiff opposition, making a number one harder to achieve. Indeed, Little Mix’s only number one album to date has been 2016’s Glory Days. Their fifth album, unimaginatively titled LM5, enters at number three.

The Greatest Showman soundtrack slips to number four with the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack climbing back up to number five. The title track of that album has become a major victim of the latest chart rules which state that - apart from exceptional circumstances - songs over three years old will be moved permanently on to the Accelerated Chart Ratio whereby its sales are only half as valuable as those of songs on the standard ratio. If it had been reset to the standard ratio (as would have happened under the rules in operation before the summer), the song would have been in the top forty for the last few weeks.

For the second week in a row, last week’s number one has taken a hefty tumble down the chart. This week it is the turn of Muse whose album Simulation Theory crashes to number 21.

The most welcome album title in this week’s list has to be Boyzone’s Thankyou and Goodnight, although many people had thought the blandest of the bland had called it a day long ago. Still, it seems that their days as “the Irish boyband who aren’t Westlife” are finally coming to a close. They bow out with the album entering at number six.

Paul Heaton enjoyed his first chart success as singer with The Housemartins and Beautiful South. The former band topped the chart in 1986 with an a capella version of The Isley Brothers’ song Caravan Of Love. After the latter band split he has pursued a solo career as well as recording albums with Jacqui Abbott, another former member of Beautiful South. Now he (or, more likely, his record company) has decided to release a compilation of material from his 30+ years in music featuring songs from all phases of his career, but not Caravan Of Love. The album, The Last King Of Pop, enters at number ten.

By early February 1959 Buddy Holly had become one of the most popular singers in the still young rock ‘n’ roll era just over a year after his first UK chart hit with Peggy Sue. Other songs included Oh Boy and Rave On. He had branched out with ballads such as Heartbeat and true Love Ways which may have been an indication of where his career was heading.

Tragically, the world never got to find out. On 2 February 1959 he and his band, The Crickets, were on a tour of the USA alongside the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. Severe winter weather meant that their tour bus suffered a number of breakdowns, so Holly chartered a plane to take him to the next venue. The plane crashed in the early hours of the morning of 3 February, killing 22-year-old Holly as well as Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The day became immortalised as “The day the music died” in Don McLean’s classic song American Pie. Holly left behind a pregnant widow (the “widowed bride” of the song; she later lost the baby) and a catalogue of great songs which influenced many future musicians including John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

That back catalogue has now been plundered to produce the latest album of old recordings given a new orchestral backing (from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) following successful releases featuring Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. The collection, under the title True Love Ways, enters at number fourteen. If it introduces a new audience to Holly’s music, it will be a very good thing.

The same treatment, this time, appropriately enough with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, has been given to some Cilla Black recordings. That collection, called simply With The Liverpool Philharmonic, is at number 26.

Mark Knopfler, still best-known as a former member of Dire Straits who for a time were responsible for the UK’s best-selling CD of all time, enters at number seventeen with his ninth solo studio album, Down The Road Wherever. While Dire Straits were formed in Newcastle and are thought of as a Geordie band, the two Knopfler brothers were born in Glasgow.

Veteran band Fleetwood Mac will be playing some dates in the UK next summer. Given the history of arguments within the band, it is open to speculation which members will actually be there. Although a previous compilation album still makes regular visits to the top forty, they have released another one with 50 songs to mark the band’s fiftieth anniversary. The tracks include hits such as Albatross and Go Your Own Way as well as The Chain whose guitar riff has long been used as the theme tune for television coverage of Formula 1 racing. This latest collection debuts at number fifteen.

Perhaps mindful of the criticism levelled at artists who release “deluxe” versions of albums some time after the original version, Paloma Faith has called the new edition of her 2017 album The Architect “The Zeitgeist Version”. Yeah, that’ll fool them. The new version comes in at number 22.

When Blur’s Damon Albarn formed a “supergroup” with Paul Simonon of The Clash, former member of The Verve Simon Tong and Nigerian musician Tony Allen, they initially didn’t have a name. Almost by accident they ended up being known by the title of one of their songs, The Good, The Bad & The Queen. It was originally assumed to be a one-off project (as was Gorillaz) and that assumption seemed even more likely as the years passed. It therefore comes as a welcome surprise to see them return nearly twelve years after their first album. Sadly, its chart performance is something of a disappointment. The debut reached number two, but Merrie Land can only make it to number 31.

Damon Albarn made his views on the direction the country is heading in fairly clear in drunken rant at the Brit Awards ceremony at the beginning of the year. It will, therefore, not be a surprise that Merrie Land is a fairly political album. The title of one track “The Last Man To Leave” is, presumably, a reference to a headline in a self-styled newspaper on the day of the 1992 General Election.

Any artist who has a hugely successful album then faces the challenge of following it up. Some succeed, but others don’t. While jean-Michel Jarre has continued to enjoy at least some success over the last forty years, he is still predominantly known for his 1976 album Oxygène. The fact that he has recorded a number of further albums with Oxygène in the title are, perhaps, an acknowledgement of that. The original follow-up to the album was Équinoxe, released in 1978. Forty years on he has released a sequel, Équinoxe Infinity, which enters at number 33.

Apart from the regular reappearances of All I Want For Christmas Is You (expected back in the chart in the next week or two), it is fair to say that Mariah Carey’s best days (measured by chart success) are behind her. Her latest album, Caution, limps in at number 40.

After years of using a cover version of an old song for their Christmas adverts, a certain department store has chosen to use Elton John’s original version of Your Song this year. This comes eight years after using Ellie Goulding’s version of the same song. While it has, so far, had no effect on the singles chart, John’s Diamonds collection re-enters at number 29.
Published on: 2018-11-23 by Suedehead2 || 58337 Views
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25 Nov 2018 - 12:19
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25 Nov 2018 - 14:04
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