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Saint Jhn still flourishes at number one
Saint Jhn gets a second week at the top of the singles chart with Roses. The Weeknd's Bling Lights stays at number two while the album, After Hours, goes straight to number one.

Saint Jhn gets a second week at number one with Roses. The Weeknd tops the albums chart.

After climbing to the top of the chart last week, Saint Jhn holds on to the number one spot for a second week with Roses. While he could be said to have topped the chart fair and square last week, this week he benefits from the convoluted chart rules.

Streams of The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights fell for a third consecutive week last week so the song was put onto the Accelerated Chart Ratio (ACR) for this week. With its streams now only half as valuable as those of Roses, it still manages to get a second week at number two. Had its streams still had the standard value (under the Standard Chart Ratio - SCR), Blinding Lights would have returned to the top of the chart again. WIth its streams gaining again following the release of The Weeknd’s album, it looks like being restored to SCR. This happens automatically if a song’s streams increase by at least 25% as long as it is not over three years old.

The release of The Weeknd’s album has, unsurprisingly, led to two further songs joining Blinding Lights in the top forty. In Your Eyes is at number seventeen and After Hours is at number 23. The former song isn’t quite as good as the Peter Gabriel song of the same name but it comes closer to matching it than I expected anyone to manage. After Hours reached number twenty last month.

Roddy Ricch climbs back up to number three with The Box and Joel Corry climbs to number four with Lonely. Dua Lipa occupied numbers six and seven in the singles chart last week. This week Physical finally pulls ahead of Don’t Start Now, climbing to number five while the latter song remains at number six. Don’t Start Now thereby notches up a twentieth week in the top ten.

With Roses at the top of the singles chart, the floral theme continues at number 34 where we find Flowers, a new entry from Nathan Dawe featuring Jaykae. It is a first top forty appearance both for Burton-upon-Trent-born Nathan Dawe and Brummie rapper Janum Khan. The latter has, presumably, spelt his stage name with an e to avoid any confusion with the front-man of Jamiroquai. He has worked with Mike Skinner (aka The Streets) and appeared on a remix of Ed Sheeran and Stormzy’s Take Me Back To London.

From flowers to the rather less romantic Scorpion, the title of the new entry at number 37 for Fredo. Fredo’s last hit was Netflix and Chill last year, a title which sums up what many people will have been trying to do this week. It is the first hit single to have the name of this particular arachnid in its title although it is the title of Drake’s latest album and the band Scorpions had a big hit with Wind Of Change in 1991.

The information out there on the internet about Surfaces is somewhat confusing. The fact that they come from Texas seems to be uncontested as is the fact that Forrest Frand and Colin Padalecki are members. Some sites say that Alexa Padalecki is also a member although there is disagreement over whether she is Colin’s cousin or sister. Perhaps she left because she got tired of hearing people saying things along the lines of “Alexa, play some Surfaces music”.

Regardless of the number of members and exactly where Alexa fits into the Padalecki family tree, Surfaces have a new entry at number 36 with Sunday Best. The track comes from their second album Where The Light Is which was released in January last year, not that many people noticed.

The competition for worst new entry of the week has been depressingly fierce on many occasions so far this year. This week, thankfully, sees a clear winner in the shape of War by Mastermind featuring Bandokay. This awful piece of rubbish enters at number 39 to give both protagonists a debut hit. We can only hope that it goes no further as that will reduce the chances of this particular rapper qualifying to appear on Celebrity Mastermind and blowing the minds of a number of viewers. Originating from Somaliland with a mother with mixed Welsh and Yemeni heritage, he can also claim this week’s prize for the most multicultural new entry.

We have had a few good contests at the top of the albums charts in recent weeks but not this week. The Weeknd was always going to be the clear favourite and he duly finishes the week at number one, well clear of the rest of the field. After Hours is Abel Tesfaye’s second number one album following Beauty Behind The Madness in 2015.

The Weeknd owes much of his success to his ability to appeal to a wide range of music lovers. While his music is generally regarded as being some sort of combination of R&B and hip-hop, his audience extends to people who usually don’t particularly like either genre. Moreover, he has done so without losing what might be considered to be his target audience. While, for me, the album sags a bit in the middle, the first four tracks and everything from Blinding Lights onwards are very good.

Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent spends another week at number two. It has now had fourteen weeks in the runner-up spot to add to its nine weeks at the summit.

One way of measuring a celebrity’s standing and influence is to look at the demands they can make and get away with it. Comic Peter Cook used to be one of the few people (perhaps the only one) to be allowed to smoke on a television chat show long after broadcasters had tried to ban guests from doing so. He was considered to be such good value as a guest that his habit was tolerated.

In the world of music, many singers are reputed to make eccentric demands such as insisting on a specific colour scheme for their dressing room. These demands are likely to be granted if the venue can charge high enough prices to cover the cost. Long before he started spouting some inflammatory views on issues such as race, Steven Patrick Morrissey was already known for his militant vegetarianism. As his standing in the music industry rose, he was able to insist that venues only sold vegetarian food before he would agree to play there. For as long as that remained his only hint of extremism, most people (whether they were meat-eaters or not) were able to overlook it and just concentrate on the music.

In more recent years, Morrisssey has seemed determined to see how far he can go before even the most diehard of his fans abandon him. That point hasn’t been reached yet and his latest solo album, I Am Not A Dog On A Chain, enters at number three to give him a fifteenth top ten album since launching his solo career (with the single Suedehead) in 1988.

Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go climbs back up to number four while Harry Styles climbs two places to number five with Fine Lines. Styles thereby regains his crown as the highest-placed former One Directioner after just one week as Niall Horan’s Heartbreak Weather falls from the top spot to number twelve.

Last weekend started with news (once all the latest on the coronavirus crisis had been covered) of the death of Kenny Rogers at the age of 81. If The Weeknd has managed to appeal to a wide range of music fans without losing the respect of followers of R&B and hip-hop, Rogers could be said to have done the same with country music. That wider appeal led to him having two number ones in the UK with Lucille (1977) and Coward Of The County (1980).

He was less successful in the albums market with just two of his 28 studio albums reaching the top forty in the UK. His most recent appearance in the top forty was with a compilation, All The Hits & New Love Songs, in 1999. That album, which peaked at number fourteen on its initial release, returns to the chart this week at number six.

Fans of Editors (the band) patiently waiting for something new from them could do a lot worse than listening to the new album from another band with a book-related name, Slow Readers Club. Indeed, The Joy Of The Return is rather better than anything Editors have released recently.

Unlike Editors, Manchester band Slow Readers Club’s chart performance has been steadily improving with each release. Their first two releases missed the chart entirely before album number three, Build A Tower, went to number eighteen in 2018. They have outdone that with The Joy Of The Return which enters at number nine.

Four years after the untimely death of the man born David Jones, the release of archive material by David Bowie continues. The latest release, a six-song EP called Is It Any Wonder, has only been made available for streaming but has still accumulated enough pretend sales to enter at number ten to give him a 34th top ten album. The EP includes a previously unavailable version of The Man Who Sold The World; the song was a number three hit for Lulu in 1974.

It is a good rule of thumb to be very wary of claims that includes the words “one of the most”, particularly if they come from a source whose sole purpose is that of promotion. Therefore, the claim in Conan Gray’s Wikipedia entry that he is one of the most streamed artists on Spotify (despite not exactly being a household name) made me a little sceptical. The claim can be traced to a Twitter account with the handle @ConanGray Updating which claims that he is the 396th most-streamed artist. There is no information on whether that is just for 2020 or indeed whether it is worldwide or in the USA. Let’s just accept that some of his fans got very excited at the news. They may be even more excited that his album, Kid Krow, is at number thirty in the UK.

This week’s new entries are completed by Childish Gambino at number twenty with 3.15.20 and Young T & Bugsey’s Plead The 5th at number 25. Both album titles are very American with Childish Gambino using the illogical numerical representation of a date and Young T & Bugsy referring to the Fifth Amendment to the American Constitution relating to giving self-incriminating evidence in court.

Two phenomenally successful compilations return to the top forty yet again. Abba Gold is at number 39 and Bob Marley’s Legend is at number 40. Abba Gold gets a 303rd week in the top forty while Legend has notched up “a mere” 218 weeks.

With severe restrictions on movement and public gatherings, it has become almost impossible for acts to promote new material in any of the major world markets. The enforced closure of record shops in the UK this week has also severely limited to outlets for selling physical copies of albums. These measures have already led to the postponement of some new releases and we can expect more in the coming weeks and months. In addition, some companies are looking at ways to switch production from CDs to parts for ventilators which are urgently required at the moment.

The long-term effects of the coronavirus on the music industry can only be guessed at for the moment. Will it lead to a further collapse in sales of physical releases, despite the increase in sales of vinyl in recent years? How many of the small venues which have been forced to close temporarily will never open again?

In the short term, there is bound to be an impact on the charts. A reduction in the number of new releases will mean a lack of new entries. We may, therefore, see even more old material re-entering as people spend their enforced time at home listening to long-forgotten albums and songs. THat said, the early indications are that people are turning to radio rather than streaming. Perhaps they need the reassurance provided by a friendly voice in between the songs. In the meantime, those of us who try to find something to write about each week may need to look beyond mentioning just the new entries.
Published on: 2020-03-27 by Suedehead2 || 12882 Views
Comments (3)
28 Mar 2020 - 10:13
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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I have total faith in you Simon, you manage to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear whenever called upon despite a less-than-sparkling chart..... smile.gif
28 Mar 2020 - 14:00
BuzzJack Legend
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Thanks laugh.gif
1 Apr 2020 - 12:28
Dan in the Piano
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Four years after the untimely death of the man born David Jones, the release of archive material by David Bowie continues. The latest release, a six-song EP called Is It Any Wonder, has only been made available for streaming but has still accumulated enough pretend sales to enter at number ten to give him a 34th top ten album. The EP includes a previously unavailable version of The Man Who Sold The World; the song was a number three hit for Lulu in 1974.

That new David Bowie 'album' isn't anywhere to be seen in the streaming chart (as I suspected), I believe the vast majority of its sales are physicals.
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