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A fourth week at number one for Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande's Positions holds on at the top of the singles chart for a fourth week. AC/DC get their fourth number one album in a career spanning over 45 years.

Ariana Grande spends a fourth week at number one in the singles chart. Veteran rock band AC/DC finish well ahead of all opposition at the top of the albums chart.

The race to top the singles chart this week was a fairly close one but, in the end, the number one song is the same as it has been for the last three weeks - Ariana Grande’s Positions. It is now Grande’s joint second longest-running number one single alongside 7 Rings and is the fifth song to spend at least four weeks at number one this year, including Blinding Lights which didn’t manage four successive weeks in any of its three runs at the top.

Back in February, Billie Eilish became only the second artist to get a number one single with the theme song to a James Bond film. What we didn’t expect was that the film itself would still be unreleased at the end of November with no definite date for it finally to see the light of day. This week she gets her second top ten single since No Time To Die (and her sixth in total) with Therefore I Am at number two. The writing credits go only to Eilish and her brother Finneas meaning that Rene Descartes does not get a mention for his phrase “I think, therefore I am” which they have stolen. I prefer Marvin The Paranoid Android’s “I ache, therefore I am”.

Little Mix spend a second week at number three with their Sweet Melody and have a re-entry at number 36 with Holiday. A sweet drink, Lemonade, falls to number four for Internet Money and Gunna featuring Don Tolliver and the often-forgotten NAV. Wes Nelson and Hardy Caprio’s See Nobody slips one place to number five.

As with so many things, the BBC’s annual Children In Need show was rather different this year, not least because there was no live audience. Even the obligatory single breaks from the usual tradition. In most years, the song is recorded by a single act but this year, for the first time since 2014, it has been done by a collective. The song chosen is Oasis’s Stop Crying Your Heart Out which was the second single from their fifth album Heathen Chemistry. The name of the collective varies from site to site but I shall go with the simple BBC Children In Need, if only because it saves me having to list every one of the people involved. That list includes the positively ancient such as Cher and Bryan Adams as well as the somewhat younger Jess Glynne and Ella Eyre. Personally, I think it would have been better if they had just got Paloma Faith (one of the most distinctive voices included) to have performed the whole thing. Instead, it’s all a bit of a mess.

The original version reached number two in 2002; this version is a new entry at number seven. Meanwhile, it has been reported this week that the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon is closing down. Liam Gallagher chose to change the name of his band from The Rain to Oasis after seeing a poster for an Inspiral Carpets gig at the leisure centre. The poster belonged to a roadie for the Inspirals, brother Noel who became a member of the renamed band.

Irish producer and DJ Shane Codd has a new entry at number 30 with Get Out My Head, a song clearly influenced by late 1990s and early 2000s dance music. The title seems to be missing the word “of”, possibly because of the number of people who have commandeered it and insisted on using it as a verb.

Whether it is because people are looking for a distraction after an awful year or for some other reason, the Christmas songs have started to appear in the chart a little earlier than usual. Leading the way, as it has for the last several years, is Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You at number 31 for its 67th week in the top forty. Once again, the chances of a new Christmas song making much of an impact are probably fairly slim.

Rock band AC/DC, formed in 1973, are still generally described as Australian although drummer Phil Rudd is now the only member to have been born in Australia. Their biggest success came in 1980 with the release of Back To Black, their seventh studio album and the first to be recorded after the death of singer Bon Scott. That album went to number one and established the band as one of the biggest names in rock. It took them another 28 years to get a second number one album with Black Ice but now it has become a bit of a habit. Their soundtrack to the film Iron Man 2 topped the chart in 2010 and now they have a fourth number one with Power Up.

Two of last week’s album releases featured coaches from this year’s series of the junior version of The Voice, Danny Jones’ band McFly and Paloma Faith. For all the derision they have received over the years, McFly have still managed to hold on to a core of support. Given that they have always been labelled as a boyband and that many of their original fans will now be in their late twenties or early thirties, that is not to be sniffed at. Young Dumb Thrills, their sixth studio album and the first for ten years, enters at number two, their highest albums chart position since Wonderland went to number one in 2005.

While Danny Jones likes to project himself on The Voice as a serious musician with an undying love of Bruce Springsteen, Paloma Faith sticks to her usual endearing kooky persona. Sadly, she has now apparently joined the list of singers unable to get a hit single (excluding her part in the Children In Need song and the radio 1 Live Lounge single earlier this year)) but she has at least managed another top five album (her fourth) with Infinite Things at number four.

The Voice’s main gimmick is the initial “blind audition” stage where the contestants perform in front of the coaches who have their backs turned to them, forcing them to judge on the voice alone. It is, perhaps, fitting then that the McFly and Paloma Faith albums are separated by one from a blind singer, Andrea Bocelli. Most of his 21 top forty albums have entered the chart in November and his 22nd follows that tradition. Believe, which includes versions of Amazing Grace, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, enters at number three.

Kylie Minogue (another participant in the Children In Need single) falls to number five after a week at the summit with Disco.

As well as the Andrea Boceli album, two other newcomers to the top ten have a classical link. The first comes from another artist with a habit of releasing albums at this time of year - Dutch conductor and violinist Andre Rieu with his Johann Strauss Orchestra. Jolly Holiday is mostly devoted to seasonal tunes such as Walking In The Air, Jingle Bells and Mary’s Boy Child but also includes another version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, albeit with only one H.

The third top ten entry with a classical theme is the latest to feature recordings of a major artist from the past accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and, like its predecessors, does not include a version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. After the success of albums featuring the work of Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, the latest singer to get this treatment is the Man In Black, Johnny Cash.

Although Johnny Cash was a much bigger name in the USA than in the UK, he did have big hits on this side of the Atlantic with A Boy Named Sue and A Thing Called Love. Shortly before his death in 2003, he recorded an album of cover versions which included Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus and a chillingly brilliant version of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt. Of those songs, A Thing Called Love is the only one to appear on the album. The others, along with the decidedly odd One Piece At A Time, would probably not have benefitted from being given an orchestral arrangement so their omission is understandable.

Any plans there may have been to get the NYPD choir to make a contribution to Galway Bay were scuppered by an insurmountable problem. There isn’t one. However, the album does contain contributions from Duane Eddy with his characteristic twangy guitar and Bob Dylan. The collection, which is well worth a listen, enters at number ten.

Duane Eddy is not the only act with a distinctive guitar sound to be involved with a new entry this week. There is also a compilation from the British kings of the twangy guitar, The Shadows. They started life as Cliff Richard’s backing band (originally known as The Drifters until the existence of an American group of the same name forced them to change) before combining that with a chart career of their own and, eventually, severing links with Cliff entirely. Their first hit, Apache, was the number one single on the day I was born in September 1960 as readers of my countdown of 60 birthday number ones will know.

The Shadows’ greatest success came with a string of original hits in the 1960s. After going their separate ways for a while, they returned in the 1970s when they recorded instrumental versions of various big hits. This new collection, Dreamboats And Petticoats - The First 60 Years - includes material from the whole of their career although their 1975 Eurovision entry Let Me Be The One is left out. It does, however, include the week’s second version of Walking In The Air.

Sophie Ellis Bextor enters at number eight with Songs From mThe kitchen Disco, an album which will presumably appeal to Jona Lewie who was always to be found in the kitchen at parties.

British rapper K-Trap is at number 31 with Starting Over. Forty years ago, a John Lennnon song of that name was in the charts. It went to number one a few weeks later in the aftermath of the former Beatle’s murder. American rappers Future and Lil Uzi Vert are at number 39 with Pluto X Baby Pluto.

Former Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell has a new entry at number 40 with We’re The bast*rds.

Dolly Parton’s Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, entered the chart when it was released last month. Now that we are getting closer to the festive season it is back at number seventeen, fifteen places higher than its previous peak. Parton was in the news this week as a result of her $1 million donation towards the research for a vaccine for Covid-19.
Published on: 2020-11-20 by Suedehead2 || 769 Views
Comments (4)
20 Nov 2020 - 17:50
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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I would say Get Out My Head is more late 00s and early 10s dance music sounding. wink.gif

I am glad Phil Campbell made top 40 in the albums chart so you get a chance to use the censor asterisk on the chart commentary.
20 Nov 2020 - 22:45
BuzzJack Legend
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I'm absolutely gutted that I didn't come up with the line about Dolly Parton's contribution ensuring that the Moderna vaccine was 9 to 5% effective sad.gif
21 Nov 2020 - 10:20
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Great news to hear that "positively ancient" starts at 61 (Bryan Adams is slightly younger than me, slightly older than you) - can we all wish you a positively ancient happy birthday next year? laugh.gif I must admit, I'm also not going to list the full itunes credits for Stop Crying Your Heart Out, which I rather like - Rebecca Ferguson's vocals also are quite the moment, along with Cher's bookending.

The new McFly stuff & Paloma stuff is amongst their best work, so it's galling they dont get hit singles these streaming-based days. hey ho! Thats life in the teen-based singles market...

Want a decent new Xmas single which, as you say, like all of the new ones has no chance of charting? The Raveonettes SNOWSTORM....

22 Nov 2020 - 14:16
BuzzJack Legend
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OK, so I’ve outed myself as almost positively ancient ohmy.gif

I haven’t heard the McFly album but the Paloma Faith one is good.
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Live iTunes Top 10
1 Liam Gallagher
All You're Dreaming Of
2 Mariah Carey
All I Want For Christmas Is You
3 Shane Codd
Get Out My Head
4 Little Mix
Sweet Melody
5 Miley Cyrus
Prisoner (feat. Dua Lipa)
6 The Weeknd
Blinding Lights
7 Michael Bublé
It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas
8 Nathan Dawe x Little Mix
No Time For Tears
9 Becky Hill
Forever Young (From The McDonald's Christmas Advert 2020)
10 Miley Cyrus
Midnight Sky

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