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Billie Eilish has her first number one single
Billie Eilish tops the singles chart with No Time To Die. Justin Bieber gets his second number one album by a very narrow margin.

Billie Eilish’s Bond theme gives her a first number one single. Justin Bieber wins a three-horse race at the top of the albums chart.

Film studios have always employed a team of publicists to ensure their big releases get as much press coverage as possible. Some franchises manage to make even the most trivial announcement into a news story. It sometimes seems as if it would be headline news if someone had tweaked the design of the comma to be used in the script for the 473rd Star Wars film or the 695th Bond (or whatever numbers we are up to by now).

One of the regular Bond-related stories is the announcement of who will be recording the theme song for the latest film in the never-ending series. The singer chosen for No Time To Die was Billie Eilish who wasn’t born until almost 40 years after Dr No started the whole franchise in 1962. At just eighteen she is the youngest person to perform a Bond theme. Tsong, co-written with her brother Finneas O’Connell was heading for number one even before she performed it at the Brit Awards ceremony on Tuesday night. By topping the chart it becomes only the second Bond theme to do so and also gives Eilish her first number one single.

Last week’s top four all fall one place. The Weeknd drops to number two after a fortnight at number one with Blinding Lights. Roddy Ricch is at number three with The Box. Lewis Capaldi’s Before You Go is at number four and Dua Lipa is at number five with Don’t Start Now.

The first Bond Theme to top the singles chart was Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall in 2015. By a neat piece of timing, the very same Sam Smith has a new entry at number twenty with To Die For, the seventeenth top forty single of a career that started with Latch (alongside Disclosure) in 2012.

The release of Justin Bieber’s new album has, predictably enough, led to a third song to join Yummy and Intentions in the top forty. Had the three-song limit not been in place, there would have been more. Forever enters at number 29. It features Post Malone and someone who modestly styles himself Clever.

There are many stories about people who have mentioned a brand name on television and have been rewarded with a supply of that company’s products a few days later. Typically, that leads to them mentioning a name such as Porsche the next time they are on the telly. B Young may have had that in mind when he released a song called Gucci Mane. He has now tried to branch out by hoping that calling a song Wine might lead to some freebies from a number of suppliers. If it works, he can drink to a new entry at number 35.

When download sales were first added to the singles chart, one of the most interesting consequences was the effect of various television programmes on the chart. With physical sales, any effect tended to be relatively minor as people had to make the effort to go out and buy a single. With downloads, people could buy the song while the programme was still on. Songs could benefit not just from a music-related programme but also because they had been used in, for example, a drama programme. For a time people could be forgiven for thinking that it was a legal requirement for Chasing Cars to be featured in a programme at some point.

The addition of streaming has slowed the chart down considerably and that includes the impact even of shows such as the Brit Awards on the singles chart. The one exception is Harry Styles’ Falling, the track he chose to perform on the night. After two weeks in the lower reaches of the chart, it had dropped out of the top 100 altogether in Monday’s update. It was back in Wednesday’s update on the strength of just a few hours of additional sales and streams and it finishes the week just outside the top forty at number 41. The impact of shows such as this on the albums chart is now much more significant as we shall soon see.

One song does re-enter the top forty after featuring in Tuesday night’s show. Mabel is back at number 34 with Don’t Call Me Up. Ed Sheeran was nowhere to be seen but he still re-enters at number 36 with Perfect nearly three years after it first charted.

At the start of the chart week last Friday, the assumption was that two new albums would be competing for the number one slot in this week’s chart. They were the contrasting releases from Justin Bieber Australian producer Tame Impala. Monday’s update showed Tame Impala narrowly ahead of Bieber but with both albums on surprisingly low sales. With Lewis Capaldi set to perform at the Brit Awards, his Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent posed a threat to their chances of topping the chart. By Thursday, Bieber had pulled ahead of Tame Impala by a tiny margin but Capaldi was closing the gap significantly.

There are not many acts whose albums can expect to sell (and be streamed) in big numbers on the strength of their name alone. Untl this week, Justin Bieber would have been thought to be one of them. However, the fact that there was even a possibility that his new album, Changes, would be outsold by one that has been in the top ten for nine months already suggests that even he has to go to the trouble of releasing something half decent to achieve big sales. He showed with songs such as Sorry and What Do You Mean that he is capable of coming up with good material. His latest output seems to represent a big step backwards. Nevertheless, he held on at the top by the skin of his teeth to get a second number one from his eighth charting album (including an acoustic version of Believe and a digital-only compilation album. It comes almost eight years after Believe gave him a first number one album.

Lewis Capaldi’s late challenge proved not to be quite enough to give Divinely Uninspired… a ninth week at number one. It stays at number two. Having started the week with ambitions to get a first number one album, Tame Impala, known to his folks as Kevin Parker, finishes at number three with The Slow Rush. Billie Eilish climbs back up to number four with When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

The hype surrounding the ultra-tight race at the very top of the albums chart meant that the week’s third big new entry will have passed many people by. New Hope Club are a British pop band formed by George Smith and Blake Richardson before they were joined by a third member who had previously been part of a band in X Factor. That band, Stereo Kicks had a number 31 hit in 2015 but they broke up just a month later. New Hope Club have released a string of singles since 2017, including a cover version of Mud’s Tiger Feet, but have made precisely no impact on the charts. Their eponymous debut album gives them a first taste of chart success by entering at number five.

Green Day’s Mother Of All Something-or-other drops to number seventeen after topping the chart last week.

When the Dubose family were deciding what to call their new-born baby boy in December 1995, they came up with the bright idea of calling him Artist. He later decided that was a stupid name so chose to pursue a music career under the inconspicuous moniker A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. He reached the singles chart with six different songs last year but none of them got into the top forty although his album, Hoodie Szn, reached number 23. He enters at number eleven this week with his album Artist 2.0 suggesting that he doesn’t think his given name is quite so sill after all.

When looking for an example of a singer who had a slow start to his career before having a massive album and then failing to come anywhere near matching its success, you could do a lot worse than citing David Gray. He released three albums between 1993 and ‘96 without any significant success. He released his fourth album, White Ladder, in November 1998 with similar results. However, when it was re-released in May 2000, people suddenly started to take notice. It still got off to a slow start but eventually climbed to number two in July following the release of the single Babylon.

Following the success of further singles, White Ladder finally climbed to number one in August 2001, nearly three years after its initial release. Naturally, that led to his record company re-promoting some of his old material with some success. It also meant that his next two new albums both topped the chart but without coming anywhere near to matching the success of White Ladder. In order to mark the 20th anniversary of the re-issue, it has been re-re-issued and it returns to the chart at number 22.

Like David Gray, Ash took a little time to achieve chart success before they started to put their home town of Downpatrick in Northern Ireland on the map. Their debut album, Trailer, failed to register in the charts although one track, Jack Names The Planets, did give a hint of their obsession with science fiction. Album number two 1977, released while the band members were still in their teens, gave them a first hit single, Girl From Mars, and went straight to number one.

An Ash singles collection reached number three in 2002 with a fourth top ten studio album following two years later. While they have continued to release music since then, they have, sadly, not achieved the same level of success. A new compilation, Teenage Wildlife - 25 Years of Ash, enters at number 26.

It has been a good week for Dave. He was the unexpected winner of Best British Male Solo Artist at the Brit Awards and his performance at the ceremony (where he was less than polite about our Prime Minister) was one of the most spoken about of the night. All that, however, has to be overshadowed by his appearance in a question on Only Connect on Monday - surely the height of anyone’s career. His Mercury Prize-winning album, Psychodrama gets a hefty boost and re-enters at number fourteen.

Lizzo also benefits from her exposure on the Brit Awards show as her album, Cuz I Love You, re-enters at number 35. Sam Fender’s Hypersonic Missiles returns at number 32 and The Script are back at number 40 with Sunsets And Full Moons. James Blunt’s Once Upon A Mind re-enters again at number 33.

A number of minor chart-related events in the past few weeks have gone unmentioned here so I shall take the opportunity to mention at least some of them now. Two weeks ago Tones & I entered at number 99 with Never Seen The Rain. Last week it fell one place. However, that run (modest though it is) has relieved Tones & I of her one-hit-wonder tag if we apply the strictest interpretation of the rules. It also means that The Archies resume their place as the one-hit-wonder to have spent the longest at number one - Sugar Sugar topped the chart for eight weeks in 1969.

In the albums chart, Queen’s Greatest Hits notched up its 200th week in the top forty last week. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours passed the same milestone three weeks earlier.

The last few weeks have also seen the latest developments in the post-One Direction saga. Two weeks ago Louis Tomlinson’s first solo album Walls entered at number four, putting him ahead of erstwhile bandmate Harry Styles. Last week things didn’t go quite so well for Tomlinson as his album crashed to number 78. This week it has left the top 100 and it seems likely that it will never return. Styles, on the other hand, continues to do well with his second album Fine Lines. It remains in the top ten at number eight.
Published on: 2020-02-21 by Suedehead2 || 4366 Views
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