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There's a Sweet Melody at number one
Little Mix get their fifth number one single with Sweet Melody. Taylor Swift returns to the top of the albums chart.

Little Mix climb to the top of the singles chart. Taylor Swift returns to number one in the albums chart.

As people pick over the bones of the year that was 2020, the year that for most people missed a bright side, it’s time to start looking at the charts of 2021.

Before concentrating on this week’s chart, though, it is worth reflecting on last week’s top forty. In the singles chart, Wham’s Last Christmas lost one record and gained another. For over thirty years, it has been the answer to the question “In the UK, what is the biggest-selling single never to have got to number one?”. It was a big hit when it was released in 1984 - a time when Wham were one of the biggest names in British music - but that release coincided with Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas which had swiftly become the best-selling single in UK history. It returned to the top five the following year (as did Band Aid) and has spent further weeks at number two since the addition of streaming figures to the chart.

Last week, just three weeks after Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You had completed a 26-year climb to the summit, Last Christmas climbed to the top of a chart which, despite the chart week starting on Christmas Day, was still dominated by festive tunes with 28 of them in the top forty. Its 36-year climb to the top comfortably beat the record previously held by Tony Christie’s (Is This The Way To) Amarillo.

The best-selling song not to reach number one (based only on actual sales) is now Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera’s Moves Like Jagger. That song famously spent seven weeks at number two behind six different number ones in 2011. Oasis’s Wonderwall and New Order’s Blue Monday complete the top three in that list. Both of those songs were at the bottom end of the top forty all-time best-sellers list issued by the Official Charts Company in February of last year as somebody told me.

For a time, Christina Aguilera had held the unwanted record for the biggest drop from the top of the albums chart when Bionic crashed to number 29 in2010. A new record for that was set in 2020 when The Vamps’ Cherry Blossom slumped to number 72. Whenever an album (or single) looked to be heading for a massive fall from the summit, people start to ask whether anything had ever dropped out of the chart altogether from number one. The answer had always been No in both cases. Now, it is Yes in both cases with both of last week’s chart-toppers nowhere to be seen in the top 100 this week. That, therefore, means another new record for Wham while Michael Buble’s Christmas album suffers the same fate.

On, then, to this week’s charts. Inevitably, all 28 festive songs in last week’s top forty have gone, leaving plenty of room for new entries and re-entries. With last week’s top eight all dropping out, that left the way open for some new (-ish) blood at the top. The first update, issued on Sunday, showed Little Mix climbing to number one with Sweet melody, the highest-placed non-Christmas song in last week’s chart. However, their lead was a slim one and it remains the case that, for reasons unknown, most streaming figures are reported one day late so Sunday's update is always heavily weighted towards actual sales.

The prospect of Little Mix getting their fifth number one single prompted their record company and publicists to throw caution to the wind and do everything within their control to make it happen. At one point, the top three places on iTunes were occupied by various remixes of Sweet Melody. That all serve to consolidate their lead at the top and they duly end the week on top of the pile. It is no longer particularly unusual for a song to climb to number one after falling down the chart at some point in its chart run but few have suffered a reverse as sharp as Sweet Melody’s twelve-place drop last month as the Christmas onslaught gathered pace.

Little Mix’s fifth number one single comes at what could be the beginning of the end for the group formed in the 2010 Series of X Factor. The departure of a member of a pop group rarely leads to an instant decision to call it a day but, very often, that decision comes within a year or so. Jesy Nelson’s decision to quit the band at the end of last year was made to protect her mental health, a decision made necessary, as all too often, by trolls on (anti-) social media showing human nature at its worst. Such is the world we live in.

Little Mix also feature on one of this week’s new entries, Nathan Dawe’s No Time For Tears. Some people might see the title as a piece of advice for Little Mix fans anxious about the future of their faves. Alternatively, those fans could just be told “Smile like you mean it and move on”.

Ed Sheeran’s Afterglow climbs eleven places to number two and CJ’s unbelievably terrible Whoopty is at number three, also climbing eleven places.

The strongest threat to Ed Sheeran or CJ’s chances of climbing to the top next week comes from Justin Bieber. Three years after he filled the whole of the top three singles, he enters at number four (the position he occupied last week with Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree) with Anyone, his 53rd top forty hit and the nineteenth to make the top five. The week’s highest new entry finishes one place above the highest re-entry of the week. Dua Lipa’s Levitating shoots straight back in at number five.

Five years ago - and five years after Little Mix’s spell on the show - Louisa Johnson won X Factor and her version of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young went to number nine. Since then she seems to have disappeared without trace and the programme itself has vanished from the schedules. The Voice, though, continues although none of the winners of the show has become a household name. The most successful alumnus of the show continues to be Becky Hill who took part in the first series but did not win. She has a new entry at number 35 with her version of another song called Forever Young, the one that was recorded by German band Alphaville in 1984.

Becky Hill featured on Tiesto’s single Nothing Really Matters last year but the song could only reach number 76. The Dutch producer does slightly better than Hill this week as he lands at number 31 with The Business.

One of the noticeable features of the top forty last year was the number of times the same song title provided a hit for two different artists. There was one very near miss and it brings us back, yet again, to Little Mix. They had a top twenty hit last summer and autumn with a song called Holiday. Later in the year, Lil Nas X released a song of the same name but it just missed out on the top forty, spending four weeks oscillating between numbers 41 and 42. This week the Lil Nas X effort climbs into the top forty at number 23.

Moving, briefly, away from Little Mix, we have a second mention of the week for Maroon 5. Seven years after their massive hit with Moves Like Jagger, they were the vehicle for a chart debut for Sza when she was the featured vocalist on What Lovers Do. Her chart career since then has been less than spectacular with just one further top forty hit. This week she gets a third with Good Days at number 28.

The unexpected comeback of the year was arguably that of Jason Derulo who topped the chart five years after his previous number one single. That 2015 chart-topper was, incidentally, followed up by a featured artist appearance on a Little Mix single. He continues his renewed success with Love Not War (The Tampa Beat) at number 30. Once again, he has teamed up with a young musician. In this case, it is nineteen-year-old producer Nuka who now features in the very short list of acts from New Caledonia to have had a hit in the UK.

There is also a UK chart debut this week for Spanish producer Hvme who is at number 37
With Goosebumps. It is only the second ever song with the word Goose in its title to reach the top forty following Johnny And The Hurricanes’ Rocking Goose in 1960.

It is a good week for The Kid Laroi. His song Without You jumps into the top ten for the first time at number seven. He also gets a second entry in the top forty with So Done at number 40.

The re-entries include the two best-selling songs of 2020, both of which were released in 2019. The Weeknd’s excellent Blinding Lights, unsurprisingly, was the best-seller of the year after eight weeks at number one and re-enters at number thirteen. It remains on the Accelerated Chart Ratio meaning that its streams are worth only half as much as songs on the Standard Ratio. Otherwise, it would not have been far off a return to number one.

Tones & I’s brilliantly quirky Dance Monkey spent eleven weeks at number one in 2019 but was still streamed enough in 2020 to finish as the second most popular song of the year. It re-enters at number 38.

This week’s albums chart says a lot about the 2020s so far. Back in the last century, the first few weeks of January were a good time for album sales. There may not have been many new releases, but lots of young people went out and spent the record tokens they had received as Christmas presents. As these tokens had to be spent in full (no change could be given), they were mostly spent on albums rather than singles.

The advent of downloads started the shift away from that habit. Record tokens were gradually replaced by e-vouchers which allowed the recipient to spend the money over several purchases. Suddenly, sales of singles in January, which had historically been fairly low, went through the roof.

The dawn of streaming, and the consequent collapse in sales of both albums and singles changed things again and January became one of the worst months for album sales. This year, things are even worse with record shops forced to close. The first update for this week’s albums chart indicated that whatever album finished the week at number one would probably do so with the lowest weekly sales ever recorded for a chart-topper. Acts with a small, but dedicated, fanbase must have been left wondering whether they should have released an album last week and bagged themselves a top ten hit or even a number one. Even if an aspiring singer-songwriter had hurriedly put together an album of everything released so far and called it All These Things That I’ve Done, they could have done well just by selling a few thousand copies.

The album which did make it to the top is Taylor Swift’s Evermore which debuted at the top of the charts last month. It even avoided having the lowest sales for a number one album by a tiny margin. Swift is also at number twelve with her other 2020 release, Folklore. Harry Styles’ Fine Lines continues to be one of the most successful albums of recent years, outselling almost all of the albums which topped the chart last year. Fine Lines could only reach number three when it was released in late 2019. This week it climbs to a brand new peak of number two. Golden from the album re-enters the singles chart at number 26, one place above its previous peak.

Little Mix (this is the last time they will be mentioned this week, I promise) miss out on an unlikely chart double as Confetti climbs one place to number three. Pop Smoke is also up one place, to number four, with Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon. Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia slips two places to number five.

There are no new entries in the top forty albums this week. Among the re-entries is David Bowie's Legacy compilation which returns at number 31 on what would have been his 74th birthday (Friday).

Come back next week for another look at the charts, including some more killer facts.
Published on: 2021-01-08 by BuzzJack.com Suedehead2 || 860 Views
Comments (12)
 
Popchartfreak
8 Jan 2021 - 20:36
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So exactly how many Killers titles are hidden in the text......? laugh.gif

(I counted 5....)
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Suedehead2
8 Jan 2021 - 21:13
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I think you've missed two biggrin.gif
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Suedehead2
8 Jan 2021 - 21:22
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Sorry, three laugh.gif
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Popchartfreak
9 Jan 2021 - 9:54
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Bones
Missed a Bright Side (arf!)
Somebody Told Me
Smile Like You Mean It
All These Things That I've Done
Caution

Over to more eagle-eyed Killers fans for the other 2....laugh.gif
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Suedehead2
9 Jan 2021 - 10:20
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After another recount, there are actually nine laugh.gif
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Popchartfreak
9 Jan 2021 - 15:27
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Human
The World We Live In

This is obsessing me now laugh.gif
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Suedehead2
9 Jan 2021 - 16:39
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You're nearly there biggrin.gif

A Haven poster pointed out that I had missed a trick. I could have lamented the fact that A Spaceman Came Travelling was not one of the Christmas songs in the top 40 last week. That would have made for a tenth Killers song (Spaceman).
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Popchartfreak
10 Jan 2021 - 11:21
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On Top! Oh that was hard....biggrin.gif
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Suedehead2
10 Jan 2021 - 12:21
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On Top wasn't deliberate so I hadn't counted that one laugh.gif
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xajnipi
10 Jan 2021 - 15:37
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For Reasons Unknown biggrin.gif
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Popchartfreak
10 Jan 2021 - 16:12
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Doh!:o
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Suedehead2
10 Jan 2021 - 17:18
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Got there in the end!
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