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Dance Monkey tops the chart for a tenth week
Dance Monkey's reign at the top of the singles chart extends to a tenth week. Robbie Williams gets a thirteenth number one album with his Christmas Present.

Tones & I stretches her run at the top of the singles chart to ten weeks. Robbie Williams climbs to number one in the albums chart.

One of the hazards of writing a weekly chart commentary is that some songs will hang around at the top of the chart for a long time, making it hard to think of new things to say. I am, therefore, grateful to paulgilb at Haven for his comments following last week’s ramblings which still apply this week. Tones & I’s long run at number one has seen her break a record that dates back to 1969, a record she will hope to be able to give back to The Archies very soon. The fictional band climbed to number one with their song Sugar Sugar in October 1969 and stayed there for eight weeks. That song remains their only hit of any description, qualifying them as “one-hit wonders” under the strictest definition of the term. Of all the one-hit wonders, their spell at the top was the longest until last week. As soon as Tones & I gets another song in the chart, even if it only spends a week at number 100, The Archies will reclaim their fifty-year-old title.

Many readers will have noticed Colin’s comments last week listing other long-running number ones by a female artist. The only other songs by a female solo artist (excluding features) to have spent ten weeks at the summit are Whitney Houston’s version of I Will Always Love You and Rihanna’s Umbrella.

The rest of the top four is also unchanged from last week. Lewis Capaldi’s Before You Go is at number two, Own It by Ed Sheeran, Stormzy and Burna Boy is at number three and Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now is at four. Arizona Zervas climbs to number five with Roxanne.

News of two new entries from a Canadian artist frequently elicits groans of “Oh no, not more Drake” from many people. The good news is that this week’s Canadian new entries are not by Darke - or even Justin Bieber. It marks the return of The Weeknd for his first hits since the first half of last year. As with most of The Weeknd’s output Blinding Lights, a new entry at number twelve, and Heartless at number ten are far more listenable than anything Drake has come up with so far.

Texan Trevor Daniel enters at number 40 with Falling.

At this time of year it has become customary to lament the lack of new Christmas singles being released. This year, Ellie Goulding has at least gone half-way their with her festive offering. While River is a Christmas song, it is not exactly new. It was written by Joni Mitchell in 1971 and is one of her most-recorded songs. While Mitchell has not been a presence in the charts for many years, she is known for writing songs such as Woodstock (a hit for Matthews’ Southern Comfort in 1970 - their only hit, making them another one-hit wonder), Both Sides Now (recorded by many vocalists) and Chelsea Morning. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s love for Chelsea Morning inspired them to name their daughter Chelsea. She must be mightily relieved they didn’t name her after Big Yellow Taxi. Ellie Goulding’s rendition of River is at number fourteen.

Now that we are in December the flood of old Christmas songs into the chart begins in earnest. After Mariah Carey’s return last week (All I Want For Christmas Is You climbs to number eight this week), she is joined by more of the usual suspects. Leading the way is Wham’s Last Christmas, given added impetus by a new film based around the song, at number thirteen.

Following behind Mariah Carey and Wham we have The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s ever-brilliant Fairytale Of New York at number 22 and Band Aid’s Do The Know It’s Christmas at number 23. The latter is, of course, the song that kept Last Christmas off the top spot in 1984 and is, therefore, responsible for the Wham song being the best-selling song not to reach number one.

The Christmas songs continue with It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Michael Buble at number 32 and Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin’ Stevens at number 26. The latter song was due to be released in 1984 but got held back because of Band Aid. It was finally released the following year and duly went to number one.

A more recent Christmas song. Ariana Grande’s version of Santa Tell Me, is at number 33. Elton John steps in at number 39 with Step Into Christmas.

As anticipated last week, Robbie Williams’ failure to go straight to the top of the chart with his Christmas Present album has not prevented him scoring a thirteenth number one with it as it climbs to the summit this week. It gives him a 36th week at the top of the albums chart as a solo artist, a figure bettered by just seven other acts. He is now six weeks ahead of Take That, 32 weeks ahead of Gary Barlow and 36 weeks ahead of the combined total achieved by Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald. Elvis Presley is the only other solo artist to have had as many as thirteen number one albums.

Rod Stewart’s You’re In My Heart climbs one place to number two and Coldplay’s Everyday Lives falls to number three after a week at number one. Lewis Capaldi remains at number four with Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent while Michael Ball and Alfie Boe stick at number five with Back Together.

Anyone looking for an example of a musician whose best work came in the early years of his career could do a lot worse than studying the output of Cliff Richard. Long before he tortured us with ghastly rubbish like Millenium Prayer he was being promoted as the British answer to Elvis Presley with hits such as Living Doll, Move It and The Young Ones. All these and many more appear on The Best Of The Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneers, a new compilation credited to Cliff Richard and the Shadows (his backing band were still called The Drifters on some of the tracks). It enters at number eleven meaning he just misses out on a 46th top ten album (unless it sells well as a Christmas present in the next couple weeks).

Two more new Christmas albums enter the top forty. The first comes from actor and singer John Barrowman, a man who contributes almost as much to the hair dye industry as Cliff Richard. A Fabulous Christmas, new at number 23, includes old classics such as Sleigh Ride, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and When A Child Is Born.

When A Child Is Born also appears on the other new Christmas album, this time with the more familiar voice of Johnny Mathis who took the song to number one in 1976. He is one of the stars in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s collection Christmas With The Stars. Yes, having played second fiddle to the likes of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly in recent years, the RPO have grabbed top billing for themselves. The orchestra have also added their backing to Harry Belafonte’s original hit version of Mary’s Boy Child, White Christmas (by Dean Martin, not Bing Crosby), Eartha Kitt’s classic version of Santa Baby and many more. It enters at number 21.

The next new entry is also a collection of recordings by an orchestra with a selection of vocalists. Chilled Classics is the latest release from Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra, here billed as HER-O. The vocalists include Boy George, Zara Larsson and MNEK and the album lands at number twenty.

While the members of Pink Floyd have often voiced their opposition to their tracks being heard out of the context of the album (they famously refused to allow their albums to appear on download sites for many years for this reason), they have allowed the release of a few compilation albums. Now we have a new one, The Later Years 1987-2019 comprising material from those years in the form of live recordings and remixes. The compilation is a new entry at number 32.

By contrast, for the time being at least, JME’s new album Grime MC is only available in physical formats. The lack of downloads or a streaming option may be remedied later. For now, it is at number 26.

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is back in the top forty once again at number 35.
Published on: 2019-12-06 by BuzzJack.com Suedehead2 || 5214 Views
Comments (1)
 
Crazy Chris
7 Dec 2019 - 16:25
BuzzJack Platinum Member
Group: Members
Posts: 16,676
Member No.: 53
Joined: 7 Mar 2006 - 18:22
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Thanks Suedy. Must just say that I don't think The Millenium Prayer was "ghastly rubbish" but each to their own as they say.
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