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Tones & I dances to number one
Australian teenager Tones & I climbs to number one with Dance Monkey. The Beatles' Abbey Road album tops the chart for its fiftieth anniversary.

Tones & I’s Dance Monkey climbs to the top of the singles chart. The Beatles top the albums chart with the 50th anniversary edition of Abbey Road.

Anyone familiar with the chart rules would have known last week that we were due for a change at the top of the chart this week. Streams of Ed Sheeran and Stormzy’s Take Me Back To London were declining which, coupled with the fact that it had been in the chart for ten weeks, meant that it would be moved on to the dreaded Accelerated Chart Ratio under which the value of streams are reduced by 50%. As streams now account for the vast majority of most songs’ “sales” figure, that meant that its “sales” would effectively be almost halved, leaving it with no chance of continuing its reign at the top. That hefty, albeit artificial, drop in “sales” sees it slump to number thirteen after a five-week run at number one. It’s not all bad news for Sheeran though. He enters at number 40 with South Of The Border, a song that features Camila Cabello and Cardi B.

If the existence of a new number one was predictable, the identity of that new number one was a good deal less obvious with several realistic contenders. The eventual winner was the lowest placed of the contenders in last week’s chart, Dance Monkey by Tones & I which climbs six places to the summit, At just nineteen, Tones & I (born Toni Watson) becomes the first teenage female Australian solo artist to top the UK chart since Kylie Minogue in 1988. If she can emulate Minogue in taking her chart career into a fourth decade, she will have done better than most singers who have a number one before they are twenty. Tones & I also becomes the first artist in history to have a number one song with the word monkey in its title.

This week’s Music Week contained an article about the length of number one singles, an article that was picked up by the national press. Dance Monkey continues this year’s run of number one singles all being under four minutes long, in some cases well under four minutes. The subject of the length of songs was also explored briefly here a few weeks ago when Tool’s new album entered the top five despite its streaming figures being harmed by the length of the tracks and the consequent small number of tracks. Put simply, if somebody streams an album comprised of six ten-minute epics, that is not worth as much as somebody streaming an album of twelve three-and-a-half-minute songs.

Regard’s Ride It climbs three palces to number two. AJ Tracey’s Ladbroke Grove climbs one place to number three. Aitch’s Taste (Make It Shake) falls two places to number four. Kygo and Whitney Houston also fall two places, to number five with Higher Love.

As if the chart rules were not complicated enough, record companies can ask the Official Charts Company to reset a song from the Accelerated Chart Ratio (ACR) back to the standard ratio. Typically this would happen if a song that had charted for some time as an album track was being promoted as a single or an old, relatively unsuccessful, single gained what in the old days we would have called a re-release. The concept of a re-release doesn’t really exist when songs effectively remain on sale for ever, but an old song can still be given a new promotional push.

Lewis Capaldi released a song called Bruises back in May 2017. At the time it flopped but it eventually entered the lower reaches of the chart at the beginning of the year when Capaldi achieved success with Grace and Someone You Loved. It even entered the top forty briefly following the release of his album. However, its run in the lower part of the chart meant that it was on ACR which would have made it unlikely to be a big hit. The record company have, therefore, asked for a reset to the standard ratio to coincide with renewed promotion of the song as an official single. As a result it enters at number eleven.

At any one time there are always artists who can be relied on to release singles that range in quality from good to brilliant. Unfortunately, others can be relied on to release material that varies between mediocre and diabolical. D Block Europe fit into the latter category and their latest release is no exception. Playing For Keeps, featuring Dave who can also be almost guaranteed to produce rubbish, enters at number 21.

Two things can be said about the chart career of Henry Smithson, better known as Riton. First, it is slightly unusual. He had his first hit over three years ago and has had to wait until now (having had his fortieth birthday in the intervening period) to have his second. The second thing of note is that the title of each of those hits - Rinse And Repeat and Turn Me On - could be said to be related to a washing machine. Turn Me On, which features Oliver Heldens and Vula, enters at number 37. It features a sample from Yazoo’s brilliant Don’t Go which wasn’t about a washing machine at all.

Heldens’ first hit was the number one song Gecko (Overdrive) which featured vocals from Becky Hill. She released an album comprising her various collaborations last week. That album is a new entry at number 33.

The last few years have seen a string of anniversary editions of classic albums being released. Many of those albums were originally released in the 1990s but the most successful of these re-releases have been the fiftieth anniversary versions of the later Beatles albums. Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band topped the chart and the White Album also returned to the top ten. This week it has been the turn of the Fab Four’s eleventh studio release Abbey Road.

One of the album’s big contributions to British culture is, of course, not musical at all. It is the album sleeve that features the members of the band walking across a pedestrian crossing in Abbey Road near the recording studio of that name. The crossing has now been granted Grade II listed status (a grading usually applied to buildings) and thousands of Beatles fans visit Abbey Road specifically to walk across it every year.

When the White Album was reissued last year, I commented that it was not a particularly coherent album. It sounded like a collection of songs thrown together in a random order. Abbey Road, by contrast, is a proper album again, even including a climactic end to what was side 1 on the original vinyl release with the song I Want You (She’s So Heavy). The second side opens with Here Comes The Sun, a George Harrison-penned track that has, for no obvious reason, become the most streamed of all the Beatles’ songs.

The album initially went straight to the top of the chart and spent eleven weeks there. After a week at number two (behind the Rolling Stones), it returned to the top for another six weeks. This reissue also goes straight to number one and brings the Beatles’ tally to 176 weeks at the top of the albums chart.

After a week at the top, Liam Gallagher’s Why Me Why Not slips to number two. To return, briefly, to the subject of the length of songs, the longest number one single in UK chart history is still Oasis’s All Around The World which clocked in at over nine minutes. Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent climbs back up to number three.

D-Block Europe demonstrate that there is no accounting for taste by entering at number four with their third album PTSD. It is their second top ten album of the year following Home Alone in February.

Post Malone falls to number five with Hollywood’s Bleeding. That means that Ed Sheeran’s No 6 Collaborations Project is out of the top five. It falls two places to number six.

There are two new entries from veteran rock bands. Swedish band Opeth enter at number thirteen with Cauda Venenum, whoever she may be, Opeth released their first album, Orchid, in 1995 some six years after they formed. They entered the UK charts for the first time with their eighth album Ghost Reveries in 2005 and finally broke into the top forty three years later with album number nine, Watershed.

Home-grown rock is represented this week by Saxon, formed in Barnsley in 1977. Undeterred by having only five top forty singles, none of which entered the top ten, they have released a Greatest Hits album which is at number 35.

American singer Beth Hart is perhaps best known to UK chart watchers for her collaborations with the prolific Joe Bonamassa. However, she has also released solo albums and the ninth of them, War In My Mind, is at number nineteen.

This weeks “Oh, are they still going?” award is won by indie-pop band Scouting For Girls. They had three top ten hits in 2007 and ‘08 before topping the chart with This Ain’t A Love Song in 2010. Since then, they have had very little success but they are indeed still going. Their fifth album, The Trouble With Boys, is at number 25. As far as I am aware, the original scouting manual, Scouting For Boys, does not include a chapter called The Trouble With Girls.

American rapper DaBaby makes his UK chart debut with his second album Kirk at number 24. The album title is a reference to his surname rather than any association with a Scottish church.
Published on: 2019-10-04 by Suedehead2 || 10433 Views
Comments (3)
5 Oct 2019 - 19:21
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Dance Monkey is such a 'marmite' song on Buzzjack, I see you are taking a neutral opinion on it and its vocal! Very good #1 though in my opinion.
6 Oct 2019 - 20:06
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I wasn’t deliberately being neutral! I rather like its quirkiness.
9 Oct 2019 - 9:20
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This is a good information.
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