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Stormzy and Ed Sheeran still own the singles chart
Stormzy and Ed Sheeran (plus Burna Boy) get a third week atop the singles chart with Own It. Lewis Capaldi returns to the top of the albums chart again.

Stormzy and Ed Sheeran continue to own the top of the singles chart. Stormzy is denied a second week of a chart double as Lewis Capaldi reclaims the albums chart crown.

Stormzy and Ed Sheeran get a third week at the top of the singles chart with Own It as, of course, does Burna Boy. Sheeran has now spent 41 weeks at the top of the singles chart to match his 41 weeks at the albums chart summit.

Stormzy continues to have the maximum number of entries now allowed in the top forty (three) but the identity of the third one has changed. Audacity crashes out from last week’s number 26 and is replaced by Still Disappointed at number 21. The limit only applies to the lead artist so Ed Sheeran has three other songs in the chart in addition to Own It.

The top forty has been a blissfully Drake-free zone for over a month which will have come as a blessed relief to many people. However, all good things must come to an end and the Canadian is back to bore us again, this time as featured artist alongside Future whose last top forty appearance was back in 2017. Life Is Good is just as dull as just about everything else released with Drake’s name attached but it still enters at number three. It is the third top 100 single involving both Future and Drake but the first to break into the top forty.

Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now is down one place to number four. Roddy Ricch climbs eleven places to number five with his dismal single The Box.

In the week that Sandi Toksvig has announced that she will be leaving Bake Off, we have a new entry from someone whose surname is something that can be used in baking. Ashley Frangipane, however, chooses to use an anagram of her forename and records under the name Halsey. Maybe finding an anagram of frangipane (perafaning?) proved to be too much of a challenge. Halsey enters at number 37 with You Should Be Sad, her tenth top forty hit.

The top of the albums chart continues to be occupied by one of last year’s releases as we await the first album to enter at number one this year. This week it is the turn of Lewis Capaldi once again as Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent returns to the summit to get an eighth week at number one.

Selena Gomez released six studio albums in the 2010s, three of them as part of Selena Gomez and The Scene. All of them reached the top twenty but none of them managed to get into the top ten. Just a few weeks into the 2020s she finally breaks that duck as Rare enters at number two. The title track is new at number 28 in the singles chart. As is so often the case nowadays, each track is credited to several writers with a total of around three dozen people being involved with writing the album.

Stormzy’s Heavy Is The Head slips to number three after a week at the top. Ed Sheeran is at number four with No 6 Collaborations Project and Harry Styles’ Fine Lines is at number five.

Leicester band Easy Life have spent the last couple years trying to achieve success the old-fashioned way - playing lots of live gigs, including at festivals, and releasing a steady stream of new material. Clearly there is at least one person who doesn’t like the band as he/she has a habit of adding “manufactured” to their description on Wikipedia until the editors reverse the change.

Their approach has the advantage of satisfying the purists but it is rarely a recipe for instant success. Up to now Easy Life have released two mixtapes and a string of singles without making any impression on the charts. This week their patience and hard work pays off as their third mixtape, Junk Food, enters the albums chart at number seven. It is the week’s best-selling album on vinyl and continues a great start to their year after they were named as runners-up in the BBC’s Sound of 2020 list last week.

Much has been written recently about the dominance of male artists in the charts at the moment. That came to a head this week when the nominations for this year’s Brit Awards were announced with the five nominations for Best British Album being by the five men nominated for Best British Male Solo Artist. This week, though, we have some strong new entries for British female artists as well as Selena Gomez’s effort from across the pond.

The number of female-fronted indie bands has always been fairly low. All-female indie bands are even more of a rarity but The Big Moon are one of the exceptions. Like Easy Life, they have risen by the traditional route of touring and building up a steady following. After supporting acts such as The Maccabees they got a major break last year when they were chosen to support the mighty Pixies giving them the opportunity to play at some large venues. Their debut album Love In The 4th Dimension, released in 2017, fell a long way short of the top forty. Their second release, Walking Like We Do, is at number nineteen.

While The Big Moon’s album is good, the other new entry from a British female act is better. Georgia Barnes is the daughter of Neil Barnes, a member of Leftfield who had a big hit with Open Up featuring John Lydon’s vocals, She released the brilliant singles Never Let You Go and About Work The Dancefloor (whatever that title is supposed to mean) last year but they failed to reach the charts. Perhaps the idea of a woman who wrote, sang, produced and played drums was too much for people to cope with. Nevertheless, that lack of chart success (and the fact that her debut album also failed to chart in 2015) meant that Georgia, as she styles herself, qualified for the BBC’s Sound Of 2020 list. She was on the longlist of ten names announced last month but didn’t make the final five. Her album, Seeking Thrills, has done well enough to enter at number 24.

In last week’s commentary, when discussing the lack of new entries in the albums chart, I referred to the fact that recordings of works by Brahms and Beethoven released the previous week had failed to make any impact on the chart. There is, however, one way of getting an album of classical music to sell in reasonable numbers - get somebody reasonable well-known involved and credit the album to them. That tactic has led to various pieces of opera getting into the chart simply because they were recorded by popular singers such as Luciano Pavarotti.

That same ploy has now been used to get some more classical tunes into the higher reaches of the chart. The record company have relegated the 115-year-old London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle, probably the UK’s most eminent conductor, to second and third billing behind Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the twenty-year-old cellist who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2016. Although the album is entitled Elgar, it is not wholly devoted to pieces composed by Edward of that ilk. It also includes works by Gabriel Fauré, Ernest Bloch and others. It is a new entry at number eight making it the highest-charting album in UK chart history for a cellist.

The final new entry of the week is another Gold collection, this time by Andy Williams. He enjoyed hits in the 1960s and ‘70s with songs such as Solitaire and Where Do I Begin but is now perhaps better known for It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year which has entered the top forty each Christmas since 2016. The collection enters at number 29.
Published on: 2020-01-17 by Suedehead2 || 3415 Views
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Edward Frost
23 Jan 2020 - 6:20
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