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Sheeran and Bieber still top the chart
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber get a third week at number one in the singles chart. Lewis Capaldi still has the number one album.

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber win a tight race at the top of the singles chart. Lewis Capaldi comfortably gets a second week at number one in the albums chart.

Two songs were engaged in a close battle to top the singles chart this week - the Ed Sheeran / Justin Bieber duet I Don’t Care which has spent the last two weeks at the top and the former number one for Lil Nas X, Old Town Road, which has held the runner-up spot for the last four weeks.

Sheeran and Bieber held a narrow lead at the start of the week and pulled further ahead as the week went on, but by Thursday the gap was still very small. They held on to that lead for the only chart that really counts and so get a third week at number one, Lil Nas X (with uncredited Billy Ray Cyrus) spends a fifth week at number two

When Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber went straight to number one two weeks ago, it looked like they would enjoy an extended run at the top. This commentary was one of many places you could have read a confident prediction to that effect. Even with them getting a third week ate the top this week, that prediction isn’t looking quite so safe now.

Lewis Capaldi stays at number three with Someone You Loved. Stormzy’s Vossi Bop also holds steady, at number four. Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy is back up one place to number five.

In last week’s commentary I suggested that the only way Lewis Capaldi could have been denied a number one album would have been a surprise release from someone like Adele or Ed Sheeran. Right on cue, within hours of me writing that, Sheeran announced a new release for July. It is often forgotten that Sheeran released a number of EPs and mixtapes before he started releasing mega-selling albums. His new release is officially billed as a mixtape and, ahead of its release, comes a single, Cross Me featuring Chance The Rapper and PnB Rock.

PnB Rock, born Rakim Allen, wrote his first mixtape while in prison for drug offences. This came at the end of a childhood marred by the murder of his father when young Rakim was just three. Sometime people with a troubled background can turn things round thanks to someone helping them to get a break, It remains to be seen whether Sheeran will be that man. Allen’s stage name comes from Pastorius and Baynton, a street corner near where he grew up in Philadelphia.

Last week’s list of new entries featured several people who had worked with Justin Bieber. Ed Sheeran, of course, continues that trend and so does Chance The Rapper whose first appearance in the UK charts was alongside Bieber on Confident. Cross Me is a new entry at number nine.

Hackney rappers NSG had a top ten hit earlier this year with Options, a feat that one website insists propelled them to superstardom. The same site claims that the song was on every playlist in the country. That would be every playlist apart from all the ones I look at. The contention that it was on the pulse of every radio station would probably be disputed by listeners to Radio 3. Nevertheless, their profile (which is not quite as high as some would have you believe) will be raised by the arrival of their second top forty hit. OT Bop enters at number seventeen. With Vossi Bop already hitting number one for Stormzy, perhaps 2019 will become the year of the bop.

After a long string of unsuccessful releases, Young Thug got his big break when he featured on the hit single Heatstroke, sharing the billing with heavyweights Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams and Ariana Grande. He followed that by featuring on Camila Cabello’s chart-topping Havana. For his third hit, and his first as lead artist, he returns to the theme of capital cities with The London at number eighteen. The song features J Cole and Travis Scott who has also worked with Camila Cabello as well as - surprise, surprise - Justin Bieber.

The cricket World Cup got under way yesterday (Thursday) with a comfortable win for the hosts over South Africa. As it is being held in England, many people will be hoping we get more than 5 Seconds Of Summer. The band of that name, from Australia where they are quite keen on cricket, get their second hit of the year with Easier at number 29.

Last year Jess Glynne made a little bit of chart history by becoming the first British female solo artist to have seven number one singles when I’ll Be There hit the top. Her latest attempt to get an eighth chart-topper, One Touch, arrives at number 31 this week.

The live semi-finals of the latest series of Britain’s Got Talent provides the usual opportunity for Simon Cowell to give airtime to alumni of his talent shows, even those who are no longer signed to his label. James Arthur was a beneficiary of that policy this week and, as a result, Falling Like The Stars re-enters at number 35. Strangely, none of the acrobatic acts used the song as backing music.

The poor cousin of talent shows, measured by chart success of contestants, remains The Voice. That show has still failed to produce a major star, either in the UK or any other country that broadcasts a version of it. The closest the UK version has remains Becky Hill who took part in the first series although she didn’t win. She gets her fifth top forty hit at number 39 as the featured vocalist on Sigala’s Wish You Well. Both artists have had a string of hits with other acts but there is no crossover between the collaborators. Neither of them appears to have worked with Justin Bieber.

Fifteen years ago this week The Killers were at number ten with Mr Brightside. Although it was to be the song’s only week in the top ten, it has spent at least one week in the top 100 in almost every year since then. It has even managed a place in the year-end top 100 for at least the last two years. Changes to the chart rules limit its chances of getting into the top forty again, although the band’s headline appearance at Glastonbury next month (June) may well see it at least get close. As for the nine songs above it this week, they have mostly disappeared without trace.

To no great surprise, Lewis Capaldi gets a second week at number one with his debut album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent. Last year, just two non-soundtrack albums spent more than a week at number one. This year, we have already had four with Capaldi the first male artist and the first Briton to achieve the feat in 2019.

Billie Eilish climbs back up to number two with When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? After crashing to number seven last week, The Greatest Showman soundtrack is back in more familiar territory at number three.

When a singer starts to get known more for their public pronouncements than for their music, it is frequently a sign that the quality of their music is in decline. In the case of Steven Patrick Morrissey, it is at least as much to do with the fact that his statements get increasingly idiotic. That said, he seems to have been relatively quiet in the lead up to the release of his latest album, California Son. The album is a collection of covers of songs originally recorded by Americans such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. It enters at number four.

Morrissey’s songwriting partnership with Johnny Marr for The Smiths became one of the most celebrated of British duos, ranking alongside Lennon & McCartney and Jagger & Richards. The pairing of Elton John and Bernie Taupin tends not to be mentioned in the same breath but has, nevertheless, proved to be an enduring and highly successful one. That partnership is documented in the biopic Rocketman which opened in UK cinemas last week. That, of course, means there has to be a soundtrack album. Unlike the Freddie Mercury film, Bohemian Rhapsody, the songs here are performed by the actor (Taron Egerton) rather than the original artist. The album lands at number five.

The release of Rocketman has helped to boost sales and streams of Elton John’s DIamonds collection. After a big climb last week, it climbs further to number six. There is no sign of Kate Bush’s cover of the film’s title track.

For a long time Elton John was a fixture on the list of artists with the most hit singles without ever reaching number one. He finally broke his duck with his 37th solo top forty single, Sacrifice, in 1990. Before that, in 1976, he and Kiki Dee topped the chart with their duet Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. A short version of that song is on the Rocketman soundtrack and the full version is on Diamonds. It also appears on a new Gold collection by Kiki Dee, released by an amazing coincidence last week. That timing hasn’t produced a top forty hit; Gold is at number 44.

While it now sells almost anything, Amazon started as a book retailer, THat may have made a band from Reading think it would be amusing to call themselves The Amazons. Regardless of the source of their name, they featured on the BBC’s Sound Of 2017 list and their debut album reached the top ten. Album number two, Future Dust, follows suit as a new entry at number nine.

Morrissey is not the only singer to have made the odd controversial comment. Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie was one of many people to criticise Madonna for agreeing to perform in Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest this month. If he had waited until after the event he could have criticised her for not performing very well. His pre-contest comments might have offended fewer people if he had used the phrase “prostituted herself” rather than the more misogynistic “total prostitute” to refer to her willingness to appear anywhere if the money is right.

Like Liam Gallagher, GIllespie’s first job in the music business was as a roadie - in his case with Scottish popsters Altered Images. He then became the drummer with the wonderful Jesus And Mary Chain before forming Primal Scream. After two underperforming albums, Primal Scream enjoyed massive success with their classic Screamadelica album, winner of the first Mercury Prize in 1992. To keep their fans guessing, their music has varied between the dance-influenced Screamadelica and a more Rolling Stones-type sound.

Their changes of style makes putting together a coherent Primal Scream compilation more of a challenge. That hasn’t stopped them trying, and Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Singles is the third attempt. It enters at number eighteen.

In most cases, a band’s signature song is one that became an instant hit. As with all generalisations, there are exceptions. When The Waterboys released The Whole Of The Moon in 1985, it was only a modest hit. Six years later they tried again, coinciding with the release of a compilation album, and the song spent four weeks in the top ten.

Singer Mike Scott is the only ever-present member of The Waterboys and the list of former members is even more extensive than that of The Fall, usually cited as the epitome of a band with an ever-changing line-up. With so many former members, it is perhaps almost inevitable that they once employed someone called Mark Smith. He is, however, not the same as the late singer of The Fall, Mark E Smith.

Scott insists that there should be no distinction between albums released under his name and those credited to The Waterboys. By that measure Where The Action Is, a new entry at number 21, is The Waterboys’ twelfth studio album.

American producer Flying Lotus (Steven Ellison) enters at number 25 with Flamagra. The list of writers on the album include funk legend George Clinton, the director of weird films (and equally weird television series Twin Peaks) David Lynch and veteran producer Herbie Hancock.

Sting is the latest artist to save himself the bother of writing new songs by re-recording some of his old songs, both from his solo career and his previous incarnation as singer with The Police. He is rewarded with the joint second lowest-charting album of his career as My Songs enters at number. The only album of his with a lower peak is 2010’s Symphonicities, another collection of revamped versions of his own songs.

The Spice Girls have bee raking in the cash this week with a revival tour. Early dates have been marred by complaints of sound problems which left some unlucky people able to hear everything. Their Greatest Hits album returns at number 24.
Published on: 2019-05-31 by Suedehead2 || 21499 Views
Comments (2)
1 Jun 2019 - 11:12
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Kate's already made the album chart this year with Rocket Man, she was ahead of the game:lol: Mind you, on sales Cloudbusting has gone top 40, one position ahead of....Elton John's Rocket Man.

I love a circular set of linked themes:lol:
1 Jun 2019 - 12:48
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