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Ariana Grande makes it 6 weeks at number one
Ariana Grande still rules the singles chart with Thank U, Next at number one for a sixth week. The Greatest Showman soundtrack returns to the top of the albums chart for the first time since summer.

Ariana Grande extends her run at the top of the singles chart to six weeks. The Greatest Showman soundtrack is back at the top of the albums chart.

Ariana Grande holds on to the number one spot with her single Thank U, Next for a sixth week. She is now the clear favourite to get the Christmas number one next week. Barring any new releases (one of which is by Ariana Grande herself), the strongest competition for next week’s chart comes from Ava Max’s Sweet But Psycho. The song has been climbing for the last few weeks; this week it holds steady at number two.

The other song with momentum in its favour is Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus’s Nothing Breaks Like A Heart. After entering at number ten last week, it climbs to number four. Halsey’s Without Me remains at number three.

The big change to December’s charts came when the rules for downloads were relaxed so that all downloads counted, regardless of whether a physical version of the song was available. Before that, old Christmas songs would only get into the chart if they had been officially re-released.

The general trend was for a few old Christmas songs to enter the chart at the beginning of December before falling back over the next couple weeks. They would then get a second lease of life in the Christmas chart when, typically, a few more old songs would also appear. The inclusion of streams started to change that pattern. Now that most chart sales are derived from streams the Christmas songs tend to climb the chart throughout December as more and more people turn to the Christmas playlists on streaming sites.

All this means that we now have three Christmas songs in the top ten and some more festive re-entries in the top forty. It also means that one of the longest artist credits in chart history gets its annual airing.

Mariah Carey still has the highest-placed Christmas song as All I Want For Christmas Is You climbs to number five. She is joined in the top ten by Wham’s Last Christmas at number seven and The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale Of New York at ten. To the relief of music lovers everywhere, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker’s karaoke version of Fairytale Of New York has not been released. There is another chance to see the documentary on the making of The Pogues song on BBC4 tonight (Friday).

Most of last week’s other re-entries have big climbs this week. Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? Climbs to number fifteen, Shakin Stevens is at number 21 with Merry Christmas Everyone and Michael Bublê’s It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas is at number sixteen. Brenda Lee (who celebrated her 74th birthday earlier this week) is Rockin Around The Christmas Tree at number 26. The song was recorded in 1958 when she was just thirteen.

And so we come to one of the great Christmas traditions - the annual outing for Wizzard featuring Vocal Backing by the Suedettes plus the Stockland Green Bilateral School First Year Choir with Additional Noises By Miss Snob and Class 3C as Roy Wood and co. enter at number 33 with their Christmas classic I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. When the song was first released in 1973 it was in direct competition with Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade, their glamrock rivals. At the time Slade won the day by getting the Christmas number one with Wizzard languishing at number four. In recent years Wizzard have generally managed to outperform Slade although both songs still generate a tidy little income for their writers.

In the last few years a number of Christmas songs have climbed higher in the chart than they did when they were first released. Among those songs are Elton John’s Step Into Christmas, Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas and Leona Lewis’s One More Sleep. All three songs re-enter the chart this week. Elton John is at number 22, Chris Rea is at 36 and Leona Lewis’s only decent song is at number 28.

If anything could sum up the singles chart this year, it might be the fact that this week’s only new entry comes from someone who started the year with a longer criminal record than their record of chart success and who ends the year dead. Last Friday saw the release of XXXTentacion’s third studio album, an album that was still a work in progress at the time of his death. Whoa (Mind In Awe) from the album is at number 37. The album, Skins, enters the chart at number 29.

There is one non-festive re-entry this week. George Ezra’s Shotgun is back at number 39. Most songs that take a tumble within the top forty do so because the value of their streams has been halved. There is no such excuse for this year’s X Factor winner Dalton Harris who crashes fifteen places to number nineteen in only his second week in the chart with The Power Of Love. The power of X Factor is definitely not what it was.

That terrible shark thing gets a twelfth week in the top forty without ever climbing any higher than number 32.

As is normal for December, there is a distinct lack of new entries in the albums chart. Even so, it says something for the state of the albums market at the moment that the album that climbs back to the summit has been in the chart all year. Yes, The Greatest Showman soundtrack is back on top, getting a 22nd week at number one.

The Greatest Showman is, of course, the best-selling album of the year so far by a very long way. Its sales for the year (including “sales” from streams) are around 1.5 million. Those sales give it a lead of some 900,000 over the second-best seller, George Ezra’s Staying At Tamara’s. That album climbs back up to number two in this week’s chart.

Michael Bublê’s Love is at number three. Roy Orbison and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Unchained Melodies compilation climbs to number four. Take That’s Odyssey stays at number five.

While there is a distinct lack of new entries this week, the number of people involved is rather high with two of the entries including an orchestra.

The first of the new entries sees the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra take their number of albums in the current chart to three. The Roy Orbison collection has already been mentioned and the Buddy Holly compilation, True Love Ways, is at number seventeen. They also have a new entry at number five with a collection of Carpenters songs. As it is likely that none of the recordings for these albums take very long, they are probably a fairly easy source of income for the RPO. Perhaps the real surprise is that other orchestras have not joined in. Maybe one of them would like to record some instrumentation for I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday so that the artist credit can get even longer.

The Carpenters were initially written off by many critics as the epitome of an American easy-listening act. The fact that their first UK chart hit was the distinctly saccharine (They Long To Be) Close To You played a major part in that reputation.

Their career was brought to an abrupt end in 1983 with the death of singer Karen Carpenter at the age of just 32. In the years since then their music has been reassessed with the recognition that their previous image was a little unfair. As their songs often included some lush strings, their back catalogue was perhaps a logical choice for receiving the RPO treatment. The fact that Richard Carpenter is still very much alive meant that he was able to provide the orchestration for this collection to add to his sister’s vocals. The album enters at number eight.

The other orchestral offering comes from Dutchman Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra with Romantic Moments II. Someone seems to have confused Christmas with Valentine’s Day. Romantic Moments I didn’t get into the chart; this latest piece of slush is at number 22.

Andre Rieu didn’t make his UK top forty debut until he was sixty although he has made up for it since with Romantic Moments II being his fifteenth top forty album since that 2010 debut. By contrast, the Kidz Bop Kids are somewhat younger. Their latest collection, a new entry at number 28, includes their versions of No Tears Left To Cry, One Kiss and God’s Plan. I’m sure they are all delightful.

Coldplay’s first live album, Live 2003, was released, obviously, in 2008. The album sold rather less well than their concert tickets and only reached number 46 in the chart. Ten years on, they have released another live album, A Head Full Of Dreams - Live In Buenos Aires. It is more than just a live version of their 2015 chart-topping album A Head Full Of Dreams; it also includes old favourites such as Clocks, The Scientist and Yellow. It enters at number fifteen.

And what of last week’s number one? That has become the third album in recent weeks to suffer a hefty fall from the summit. The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Dating crashes to number 33. It just about avoids the ignominy of breaking the all-time record. That continues to be held by The Vamps’ Night And Day which collapsed all the way to number 35 in 2017.

Van Morrison gets his fortieth top forty album with The Prophet Speaks at number 40. What a neat way to end this week.
Published on: 2018-12-14 by BuzzJack.com Suedehead2 || 8154 Views
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