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Blinding Lights shines on at number one
The Weeknd gets a fourth non-consecutive week at number one in the singles chart. Lewis Capaldi returns to the top of the albums chart.

The Weeknd remains at number one in the singles chart. Lewis Capaldi returns to the top of the albums chart once again.

After returning to the top of the singles chart last week The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights holds on to the top spot bringing its total time at the summit to four weeks.

Saint Jhn’s Roses has been singled out by many in recent weeks as a potential future chart-topper. It continues its climb up the chart this week, rising two places to number two. The threat that Roddy Ricch’s The Box might top the chart is now receding. It stays at number three this week.

Billie Eilish’s No Time To Die falls two places to number four. When it fell from the top after just a week there, many people thought it stood a good chance of returning to number one as soon as the film came out. That was already beginning to look less likely at the start of this week as it fell further from the summit in the first midweek update. It now looks even less likely as the film’s premiere has been put back to November due to fears over the coronavirus.

The music business tends to be very unforgiving. Once an artist’s career appears to be going into decline, it can be very hard for that trend to be reversed. It generally requires either the release of material so good that it cannot be ignored, or a complete change of direction. In Lady Gaga’s case, that change of direction was a move into acting and a starring role in the latest version of A Star Is Born. It worked spectacularly with a number one single (her fifth) and a hugely successful soundtrack album.

The real test for Lady Gaga comes with the release of new material without the advantage of a big budget film. That has happened this week with the arrival of a new single, Stupid Love. It gets off to a decent start as a new entry at number five.

The other newcomer into the top ten is Doja Cat’s Say So which climbs nine places to number ten in its fifth week in the top forty. At the other end of the scale, Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved is at number eight in its thirtieth week in the top ten.

At the beginning of 2006, the total number of songs called Boyfriend that had appeared in the UK singles chart was precisely zero. Artists have been making up for lost time since then and this week sees the fifth top forty appearance for the title. The last two songs called Boyfriend - by Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande both reached the top five. The two previous ones - by Ashlee Simpson and Alphabeat - made the top twenty. For now, the latest chart entry of that name stands at number 28 for Mabel.

The number of chart hits called Boyfriend is still behind the number of Girlfriends. If we extend the search to songs with either Girlfriend or Boyfriend somewhere in the title, we can also include The Smiths’ Girlfriend In A Coma.

In a similar vein, the new entry at number 35 is a song called Death Bed by Powfu, a Canadian rapper making his UK chart debut. He is joined by Filipino-British singer Beatrice Laus, also known by the glorious moniker Beadadoobee. She was nominated for the Rising Star award at the Brits this year and also appeared on the BBC Sound Of 2020 list. She is currently on tour supporting The 1975, a fact that says more about her musical style than does the fact that she makes her chart debut on a rapper’s single. Beadadoobee’s vocals are the best thing about the song which is now one of three songs in the top forty with a death-related title.

Various fruit-related songs have made the top forty over the years with Harry Styles’ Watermelon Sugar being a recent example. In nearly 70 years of UK charts, just one song mentioning Blueberry has charted although it is, at least, a very famous one - Blueberry Hill. The definitive version by Fats Domino reached the top ten back in 1956 and a version by the John Barry Orchestra (an outfit generally more associated with the Bond films) made the lower reaches of the chart just weeks before I was born.

Now, after a very long wait, there is another Blueberry song in the chart as Lil Mosey enters at number 40 with Blueberry Faygo, the first ever chart entry with Faygo in its title. Eighteen-year-old Lathan Echols from Washington state thereby becomes another in a long line of Lils to have hits in the last few years. He has already released two albums, the second of which got to number 67 in the UK charts last year. Faygo is a brand of soft drink. What else did you think it might be?

It was noted here last week that there were two songs called Falling in the top forty which just happened to be in adjacent positions. The one by Trevor Daniel has left the chart this week but Ballin’ by Mustard (featuring Roddy Ricch) re-enters at number 37. There are also re-entries for Mabel’s Don’t Call Me Up at 38 and Anne-Marie’s Birthday at 36.

At any time there tends to be an album that returns to the top of the chart whenever there isn’t a new album strong enough to get to number one. In recent years that function has been fulfilled by, among others, albums by Ed Sheeran and Adele as well as the Greatest Showman soundtrack. The current default number one is Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent which duly climbs back to the summit this week to get a ninth week at number one.

This week there isn’t even a new album able to go straight in at number two so that spot is occupied by Billie Eilish’s When We All Go To Sleep, Where Do We Go which climbs back up two places. Last week’s runaway number one, BTS’s Map Of The Soul - 7 falls to number three. Harry Styles’ Fine Line returns to the top five at number four and Stormzy remains becalmed at number five with Heavy Is The Head.

The appearance of 18-year-old Lil Mosey in the singles chart makes 26-year-old Lil Baby seem positively ancient and definitely ill-named. He had a brief spell in the top forty singles chart in 2018 before featuring on two further top forty singles last year. His debut full-length album, Harder Than Ever, failed to reach the chart in the UK but a mixtape, Drip Harder, got into the top twenty in the albums chart in 2018. He enters this week at number six with his second full album, My Turn.

Let’s introduce the next new entry with a question. Five Finger Death Punch are

a) An easy-listening group formed in 1964
b) A boyband specialising in insipid cover versions
c) A string quartet
d) A heavy metal band from Las Vegas?

Don’t expect that to be the million pound question in the next series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. With a name like that, they couldn’t be anything but a rock band of some description. They get their third consecutive top ten album with their eighth studio release F8 at number seven.

Although James Taylor has written many songs of his own, his biggest hit in the UK was with a cover of Carole King’s classic song You’ve Got A Friend (later also recorded by McFly) in 1971. He has now become the latest veteran singer to record an album of classic American songs including, in his case, Ol’ Man River, Moon River and Pennies From Heaven. The album, American Standard, enters at number eleven.

Dr Dan Snaith was awarded his doctorate for a paper on overconvergent Siegel modular symbols, a subject which was somehow absent from my maths-based degree. Away from mathematics he has pursued a music career under various pseudonyms including Caribou. Our Love, his fourth album under that name, reached the top ten in 2014. He enters at number thirteen this week with Suddenly.

This chart commentary started on the now defunct ChC forums site in December 2008. By that time, Alan Jones had been writing commentaries - and being paid for it - for nearly 30 years. Most recently his notes - accompanied by a wealth of sales information - have been published in Music Week but last week he announced his retirement from the post. I wish him well in his retirement and would also like to extend my best wishes to his successor, James Masterton who has also been writing chart commentaries for far longer than I have.
Published on: 2020-03-06 by Suedehead2 || 2181 Views
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Live iTunes Top 10
1 The Weeknd
Blinding Lights
Roses (Imanbek Remix)
3 Dua Lipa
4 Little Mix
Break Up Song
5 Tones And I
Dance Monkey
6 Harry Styles
7 Joel Corry
8 JP Saxe
If the World Was Ending (feat. Julia Michaels)
9 Lady Gaga
Stupid Love
10 Mabel

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