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Ariana Grande stays in the same position
Ariana Grande bags a fifth week at number one with Positions. Michael Ball and Alfie Boe have their third number one album together.

Ariana Grande remains in pole position in the singles chart for a fifth week. Michale Ball and Alfie Boe get back together for their third chart-topping album.

Ariana Grande gets a fifth week at number one with Positions. The only song to get a longer unbroken run at the top this year is Joel Corry and MNEK’s Head And Heart which had spent six consecutive weeks at number one in the summer.

Billie Eilish stays at number two with Therefore I Am and Little Mix complete an unchanged top three with another week in third place. Wes Nelson and Hardy Caprio rebound to number three with See Nobody. Dua Lipa’s Levitating reaches a new peak of number five in its fifteenth week in the top forty.

Sometimes life can get very confusing. Earlier this year, Dua Lipa had a number three hit with Physical. Now, accompanied by Miley Cyrus, she has recorded a song called Prisoner which has a hook that sounds very much like Oivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit Physical. Fans of cult 1970s television might be hoping that the song peaks at number six. For now, it is at number eight.

The next new entry also sees two of the biggest names in current pop join forces, this time both male. Monster, a new entry at number nine, brings together the combined talents (feel free to dispute the use of that word) of Justin Bieber and his fellow Canadian Shawn Mendes. It is Mendes’ twelfth top forty hit in a six-year chart career and Bieber’s 51st in a decade.

New entry number three is from the biggest name (in the UK at least) in Korean pop and one of the most successful septets in chart history. Yes, BTS are back again. With Dynamite, their first top ten hit and first single entirely in English, returning to the top forty at number 37, they enter at number ten with Life Goes On. Noah And The Whale’s L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. is far better although I shouldn’t need to spell that out.

The number of Freestyle hits this year increases by one this week although the number of good Freestyle hits remains stubbornly stuck at zero. A92 & Fumez The Engineer (I know not whether the latter is the sort of engineer who is involved in building roads) enter at number 39 with the diabolical Plugged In Freestyle. I might just need to listen to Muse’s Plug In Baby to help me recover. In the interests of sharing the blame, it should also be noted that an Irishman called Offica also contributed to Plugged In Freestyle.

We are steadily making progress on the annual Christmas bingo card. There are plenty of boxes left to be ticked off such as the complaints about the number of repeats on television or that Mrs Brown’s Boys is still going, changes in the contents of a tin of Quality Street or how the Official Charts Company has rigged the chart so Mariah Carey doesn’t get to number one. Last week, another one of those was ticked off when we got the obligatory row over the lyrics of Fairytale Of New York.

This year’s solution could be seen as a typical BBC fudge. Radio 1 listeners, being younger, are considered to be more likely to take offence at the use of a word used more as a homophobic slur than its altrnative meaning as a type of meatball. Radio 2’s older listeners are considered to be more likely to see it in its 1980s context while individual presenters on 6Music can make up their own minds. No solution will satisfy everybody and this compromise is probably about as close as they can get. The song returned to the top 100 last week (its 100th week in the full chart) and this week it moves into the top forty at number 26 to make it 69 weeks (or 34+35 as Ariana Grande would have it) in the broadcast chart.

Fairytale Of New York is one of five Christmas songs to re-enter the top forty this week. Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas is at number 38 while the song whose release was delayed for a year to avoid competing with that, Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone, is at number 33. Michael Buble is at number 35 with It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas. Wham’s Last Christmas, the best-selling song not to get to number one thanks to Band Aid, is at number twenty. They are all behind Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You which is at number fourteen, roughly matching the number of syllables she uses to sing the word Is.

Looking beyond the Christmas songs (and BTS), Central Cee is back at number 34 with Loaded and Post Malone’s Sunflower, a top ten hit in late 2018 / early 2019, is at number 30.

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe first joined forces for the album Together in 2016. Following the success of that album - it spent two weeks at number one - they reunited to record Together Again a year later. That collection also topped the chart. They narrowly missed out on a hat trick two years later when Back Together peaked at number two. This year, they have recorded an album of festive songs. I suspect the discussion on what to call it hadn’t been going on for long before they settled on Together At Christmas. Anyone expecting them to add to the cover versions of Fairytale Of New York will be disappointed but the album does contain the 908,645th recorded version of White Christmas as well as renditions of It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas and the Cliff Richard favourite Mistletoe And Wine. It goes straight to number one making it three chart-toppers from four releases for the duo.

Those South Korean popsters BTS released their new album last week. As mentioned above, a song from that album is a new entry in the singles chart. It might have been expected that the album would challenge Ball and Boe for the top spot but a retail price of nearly fifty quid for a physical copy probably contributed to them failing (for now at least) to get a second number one album in 2020. BE is a new entry at number two.

Last week’s number one, AC/DC’s Power Up falls just two places to number three. Taylor Swift’s Folklore jumps back up to number four after the release of the album on vinyl.

Given the success of albums combining old recordings with a new orchestral backing, it is perhaps a little surprising that other orchestras have generally failed to follow the Royal Philharmonic’s lead. Perhaps even more surprising is the apparent reluctance of the London Symphony Orchestra, who enjoyed success with a number of Classic Rock collections in the 19770s and ‘80s to do so. Perhaps it is the lack of opportunities to ply their trade in the concert halls of the world this year that has led them to change their mind or maybe it is for some other reason, but they have now recorded an album of Neil Diamond songs. Furthermore, as Diamond is still alive, the vocals are new too. The album, Classic Diamonds, includes his big hits such as Song Sung Blue, Sweet Caroline and I Am I Said as well as I’m A Believer which was a big hit for The Monkees. This collection is at number five.

As a general rule, live albums tend not to perform very well in the charts. This year, though, two live albums - by Liam Gallagher and Queen - have gone to number one. This week, two more new live albums enter the chart although one of them has a clear 2020 twist to it. The standard live album is Iron Maiden’s Nights Of The Dead, Legacy Of The Beast recorded in Mexico City last year. It enters at number seven to give them an eleventh charting live album.

The live album with a 2020 twist was recorded by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at Alexandra Palace in London this year. In other words, there is no audience which makes it rather unlike your average live album. Idiot Prayer - Alone At Alexandra Palace is at number eighteen Whether live albums decline in popularity again when we are able to attend real gigs once more remains to be seen.

A third live album, Pink Floyd’s Delicate Sound Of Thunder, is a re-entry at number thirteen after a re-issue. Another re-issue, Coldplay’s debut album Parachutes, is at number 34.

Tim Minchin, born in Northampton and raised in Australia, originally made his name as a comedian but is also an accomplished musician. He has written successful stage musical versions of the film Groundhog Day and Roald Dahl’s book Matilda. This week he makes his UK chart debut with Alone Together at number 27.

Rock band Cribs are at number nineteen with Night Network. Jamie Cullum’s seasonal album The Pianoman At Christmas is at number 31, Josh Groban is at number 24 with Harmony and Music, Trial & Trauma by Loski is at 39.
Published on: 2020-11-27 by BuzzJack.com Suedehead2 || 2115 Views
Comments (4)
 
Popchartfreak
27 Nov 2020 - 19:51
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"L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. is far better although I shouldn’t need to spell that out.":lol:

RE Bieber & Mendes, I'll split the difference - Bieber has yet to impress me beyond a few singles written & produced by other people, but Mendes wowed me this week. The American Music Awards has had artists do some incredible Lockdown performances, including Shawn, sat at a piano in what looks like an old-fashioned living room (check it out), The Weeknd dodging fireworks across an empty massive bridge in a mask, and Dua Lipa doing a great stage performance of her best record (Levitating topped my charts months ago) with dancers - which ends with her ascending to the heavens. The Royal Albert Hall heavens. We can both chorus together "Been there!". I'd swear she's dangling not far from where we sat laugh.gif
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Suedehead2
27 Nov 2020 - 22:07
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Do you have a link? laugh.gif
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Popchartfreak
28 Nov 2020 - 17:09
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Suedehead2
28 Nov 2020 - 22:08
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Good stuff! I can almost see us there biggrin.gif

Her online show got a decent review in the Guardian after allowing for the circumstances. Dua Lipa seems to have worked out a way to put on a very good live performance without an audience which is very much to her credit.
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