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Tones & I dances on for a ninth week
Dance Monkey gives Tones & I a ninth week at the top of the singles chart. Coldplay make it eight studio albums out of eight at number one.

Tones & I dances on at the top of the singles chart. Coldplay get their eighth number one album.

There’s still no change at the top of the singles chart as Tones & I’s Dance Monkey remains at the summit for a ninth week. It goes past Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber’s I Don’t Care to become the longest-running number one of 2019. The last song to spend nine weeks at the top (although it felt like a lot longer) was Drake’s God’s Plan at the beginning of last year.

Two clear contenders to be the next number one complete the top three. After entering at number nineteen last week, Lewis Capaldi’s Before You Go climbs to number two. The song that Dance Monkey replaced at the top was Ed Sheeran and Stormzy’s Take Me Back To London. The pair have got together again (along with Burna Boy) on Own It which enters at number three. Capaldi has spent seven weeks at the top of the singles chart this year; Ed Sheeran has occupied the summit for fourteen weeks.

Those two songs send last week’s numbers two and three down two places each. Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now is at number four while Billie Eilish’s Everything I Wanted slips to number three in only its second week in the chart.

Two of yours truly’s least favourite acts have a new entry this week. It might have been preferable for Drake and D-Block Europe to join forces and record a song together. At least that would have got all of the pain over in one go. Sadly, they each appear as the featured artist on separate songs.

D-Block Europe’s featured artist appearance comes on fellow Lewisham resident Digdat’s New Dior which enters at number sixteen. Digdat (born Daniel Amsley) had a short-lived top forty hit with Airforce late last year before returning to the chart in the spring of this year as featured artist on Hardy Caprio’s Guten Tag.

Drake helps out his Canadian compatriots Partynextdoor on Loyal, a new entry at number 31. Partynextdoor’s two previous top forty hits both came in 2017 as featured artists on songs by Major Lazer and Zayn Malik.

The bad news continues with a new entry at number 35 featuring Aitch, a 2019 newcomer who has yet to appear on anything remotely close to being almost quite good. This time he performs alongside rapper ZieZie on French Kisses. I think it is time to revisit Debbie Harry’s 1986 hit French Kissin’ In The USA.

When Jameela Jamil was hosting Radio 1’s Chart Show, she wasn’t afraid to let it be known that she hated certain songs in the chart. One of the songs she particularly loathed (and she was by no means alone) was Idina Menzel’s Let It Go from the film Frozen. That diabolical assault on the eardrums spent 45 weeks in the top forty without ever making it into the top ten. However, this was in the days when the whole of the top forty was played so it polluted the airwaves for every one of those weeks. Now Disney have released Frozen 2 and Idina Menzel is back. She is joined on Into The Unknown, a new entry at number 36, by Aurora whose last chart appearance was with her version of Half The World Away as used in an advertisement for a well-known High Street retailer.

That brings us seamlessly on to this year’s Christmas advert for that very same retailer. The song chosen this time is Can’t Stop This Feeling, originally recorded by American soft-rock band REO Speedwagon - REO is pronounced Are-ee-oh. The original version was the third of REO Speedwagon’s three top forty hits. This new version, by Bastille, is at number 39.

We have reached that time of year when the Christmas hits start to enter the chart. As has become as much part of the Christmas tradition as mince pies and family arguments, the first song to enter is Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, now celebrating its 25th birthday. A combination of that anniversary and the timing of Christmas Day this year may give the song its best chance of topping the chart at the end of the year. With 25 December falling on a Wednesday it will have its six biggest streaming days in one chart week.

For reasons which remain unexplained, the streaming companies are unable to provide data until 24 hours after the end of each day. This means that Thursday’s streams are always estimated based on the previous six days. It is unclear whether Boxing Day streams for Christmas songs will be calculated as the average of the previous six days or whether there will be a downward adjustment on the assumption that streams will have peaked on Christmas Day.

The battle at the top of the albums chart was between two acts who have topped the charts with almost every one of their studio albums. Coldplay were looking for an eighth number one album while Robbie Williams was aiming for a lucky thirteenth.

One of the difficulties for anyone seen as telling other people how to live their lives is that they open themselves to charges of hypocrisy. A few weeks ago, a number of people in the entertainment industry openly admitted that their lifestyle was somewhat at odds with their calls for people to reduce their carbon footprint. As part of their job, they have to travel rather more than most of us.

With this in mind, Coldplay announced last week that they would not be going on tour to promote their new album. They committed themselves to spend a couple years working on ways to make tours more environmentally sustainable (and, presumably, working on the next album). For a band as big as Coldplay, the carbon footprint involved in transporting the equipment around the world and the energy consumed in each concert is huge. However, because they play in only a small number of venues in each country, the carbon footprint of the audience travelling to and from each venue is even bigger.

It is, of course, relatively easy for a band like Coldplay to make this sort of gesture. In a world where live performances are now the main source of revenue for so many musicians, most will be unable to do the same. Nevertheless, many people will applaud this move and will welcome the statement from trip-hop band Massive Attack that they will be supporting research into making touring less environmentally damaging.

Coldplay become the second act in successive weeks to get their eighth number one album. However, unlike Westlife, a number of Coldplay’s albums have had extended runs at the top. THey have now enjoyed eighteen weeks at the summit, drawing level with Celine Dion who missed out on the top spot last week. The Spice Girls have also topped the albums chart for eighteen weeks. Twenty-six acts have spent longer at number one. Their single Orphans returns to the chart at number 27.

Robbie Williams, then, has to wait a while longer before he gets his thirteenth number one album. As his latest release, The Christmas Present, is a festive offering, he might yet see that happen in the next few weeks. For now, though, it is at number two.

At the weekend, the Official Charts Company stated that Williams’ albums sales to date amounted to 19,963,000. Sales of The Christmas Present will have taken him past the 20 million mark. If his sales as part of Take That are included, he will have passed that milestone some years ago.

As hinted at above, many acts who write their own music tend to take their time between albums. While touring to promote the current album there is limited time to write new songs and no opportunity to record anything. Williams’ solo career, by contrast, got off to a hectic start with five albums in five years. One of those five was a covers album while the other four were mostly written by Williams and Guy Chambers.

Williams’ album has somehow sold 10,000 copies on cassette making it the biggest-selling album in that antiquated format for nearly twenty years.

Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent stays at number four following the release of a deluxe edition. Michael Ball and Alfie Boe fall two places to number five with Back Together.

The third new entry of the week comes from a singer who was already an established chart artist by the time Robbie Williams and the members of Coldplay were born. Rod Stewart, for it is he, becomes the latest artist to see an orchestral backing (courtesy once again of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) added to a selection of his old hits. Despites the fact that, unlike artists such as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, Stewart is still very much alive, the vocals are still the original recordings. The collection, You’re In My Heart, is at number three. Stewart is one of a number of guests to appear on Williams’ album.

Another collection of songs with an added orchestral accompaniment (this time by the London Symphony Orchestra) takes the more traditional route by using songs recorded by a vocalist who has been dead for many years. Bing Crosby was one of a number of big names - along with Elvis Presley and Marc Bolan - to die within a period of a few months in 1977. Unlike the other two, most of Crosby’s success came before the first charts were published in the UK (he released his first albums in 1939 and his first US single in 1927) so his chart record is fairly modest. His best-known song, White Christmas, only charted after his death. This new collection, Bing At Christmas, is at number nine. As well as White Christmas, it also includes Let It Snow!, Let It Snow and The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire), both of which are also on the Robbie Williams collection.

Following comments about the number of albums Robbie Williams released at the start of his solo career, it is worth noting that Bing Crosby released no fewer than six albums in 1939 followed by another four in 1940. He also acted in three films in each of those years.

Still on the subject of orchestras, it’s time for the latest offering from Dutch conductor Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra. Happy Days, an ideal Christmas gift for people who like that sort of thing, is at number six.

If there was a competition to come up with the most unlikely title for an album by a given artist, some people would probably be tempted to suggest the word dance in the title of a Leonard Cohen album. Whatever the reasoning behind the title, Thanks For The Dance is an album Cohen was working on with his son when he died in 2016. The album includes contributions from producer Daniel Lanois (who has worked with Peter Gabriel, U2 and Brandon Flowers), Leslie Feist and Damien Rice. It enters at number seven.

Also contributing to the Leonard Cohen album was Beck who, coincidentally, has a new album of his own out. His last three albums have all reached the top ten but Hyperspace can only get to number 33. Beck has revealed that a large number of unreleased songs had been destroyed in a fire at Universal Studios in 2008. While the fire was over a decade ago, the extent of the damage and the number of unreleased recordings destroyed (many of them with no back-up) only became clear this year.

Martin Kemp made his name as a member of one of the quintessential 1980s bands Spandau Ballet along with his twin Gary. They branched out into acting when they played the Kray Twins in a 1990 film about London’s notorious gangsters and Martin went on to appear in Eastenders. He is married to Shirlie Holliman, one of the backing singers in Wham! who later had hits in their own right as Pepsi and Shirlie. The couple have now released an album together as Martin and Shirlie. The album, In The Swing, includes various standards such as Fly Me To The Moon and (Love Is) The Tender Trap as well as a version of It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas which is also one of the tracks on the Bing Crosby collection. It stands at number twelve.

For many years people in their millions have been wondering why actor Luke Evans hasn’t released an album. On the other hand, perhaps they haven’t and there is another reason why his debut album is called At Last. The long awaited (or not) album is at number eleven. It includes a version of U2’s With Or Without You. The U2 original appeared on their Joshua Tree album which was produced by Daniel Lanois.

Rapper Trippie Redd enters at number 32 with A Love Letter To You 4. Following her appearance on Graham Norton’s sofa, Kylir Minoge re-enters at number sixteen with her latest compilation, The Definitive Collection.
Published on: 2019-11-29 by Suedehead2 || 45551 Views
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