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Drivers Licence gets six weeks at number one
Olivia Rodrigo's Drivers Licence holds on for a sixth week at the top of the singles chart. Slowthai gets his first number one album and, just, his first top forty single.

Olivia Rodrigo still rules the roost in the singles chart. Slowthai tops the albums chart.

For the first time since Drivers Licence came seemingly from nowhere to top the chart, Olivia Rodrigo faced some serious opposition this week. The early updates showed her lagging behind but by Wednesday she was back in her customary spot and has duly held on for a sixth week at number one. It is the fourth song to spend at least six weeks at number one in the 2020s (including Blinding Lights whose weeks at the top came in three different spells).

The song that threatened to depose Drivers Licence is Calling My Phone by Lil Tjay and 6lack. Lil Tjay (born Tione Merritt) made his top forty debut last year as the featured artist on Pop Smoke’s Mood Swings. Singer and rapper 6lack had three top 100 hits in 2018, each of which reached a peak position with a 6 in it. Calling My Phone sees him break into the top forty for the first time and, as a new entry at number two, guarantees him a peak position without a 6 in it. He was born Ricardo Valentine but perhaps decided against calling himself Dickie Valentine for fear of being confused with the singer of that name who had eight top ten hits in the 1950s.

Nathan Evans’ Wellerman slips one place to number three. Anne-Marie’s Don’t Play stays at number four and Kid Laroi falls two places to number five with Without You.

In recent years, Taylor Swift has been very vocal in promoting the rights of artists to have ownership of their own music. While she clearly does not really need the extra cash herself, she has drawn attention to the deals that young artists often feel pressured into signing at the start of their career.

For every artist as successful as Taylor Swift, there is a long list of other artists who achieve little or no success. Some of them will have been the subject of an expensive marketing campaign which left the record company substantially out of pocket. It is, therefore, perfectly reasonable that they will aim to cover those losses with profits made from successful acts. There is, however, still a widely shared view that some deals are exploitative, particularly those signed with artists still in their teenage years.

The exact details of how Taylor Swift came to lose control over the masters of her early recordings are still a matter of some debate. However, the indisputable fact is that she does not own those masters and feels that she has lost control of them unfairly. Swift’s chosen solution is to re-record her early albums.

The first re-recording to see the light of day is of her 2009 debut single Love Story. The Official Charts Company are treating it as a new release - under the full title Love Story (Taylor’s Version) - which means that it does not suffer from the dreaded Accelerated Chart Ratio (ACR). It remains to be seen whether other artists see this as a cunning way of avoiding ACR. The original version of Love Story reached number two; Taylor’s Version enters at number twelve.

It’s a case of one out and one in for rapper Central Cee. His debut hit Loading drops out of the top forty this week after being switched to ACR. It is replaced by his second top forty hit Commitment Issues at number 23. The best thing about it is that it is only just over two-and-a-half minutes long.

Last week Dua Lipa released an expanded version of her Future Nostalgia album with eight tracks added to the original version. They included her hit duet with Miley Cyrus, Prisoner, and a new single We’re Good. It is a new entry (the best of the week) at number 25 and becomes the sixth top forty hit from the album (including Prisoner). Four of the previous five have reached the top ten.

The cast of the new series of Drag Race UK, using the collective name United Kingdolls, have a new entry at number 27 with something called UK Hun? If that sentence leads you to expect it to be terrible, be prepared for a shock. It is far worse than that.

The makers of the United Kingdolls effort can at least claim that their product is not meant to be taken seriously. Headie One cannot use that excuse for the dismal quality of his output. Nevertheless, he gets his tenth top forty hit at number 33 with Siberia. The song features Burna Boy whose four previous top forty hits all reached the top eleven. For a much better song about part of Russia, listen to Billy Joel’s Leningrad.

Saweetie and Doja Cat’s Best friend sneaks back in at number 40.

When a new album by a rapper goes straight to number one, there is generally an expectation these days that two or three tracks from it will appear in the singles chart that week. Slowthai bucks the trend by having just one entry in the singles chart. Even so, Cancelled (which features Skepta) is his first top forty hit, entering at number 39. The album, Tyron (after his real first name), beats the number nine peak achieved by Nothing Great About Britain by eight places.

Last week’s chart-topper, Foo Fighters’ Medicine At Midnight, falls just one place to number two. Dua Lipa’s revamped Future Nostalgia climbs seven places to number four. Her eponymous debut album re-enters at number 40. The Weeknd’s Highlights collection is down three places to number five.

Completing the top five, at number three, is a new entry from Pale Waves. Who Am I is the Manchester band’s second album following 2018’s My Mind Makes Noises which reached number eight.

Representing American rock, at number six, are The Pretty Reckless with their fourth album Death By Rock And Roll. In chart terms it marks a return to form after their previous release could only get as far as number 23 following top ten positions for their first two albums.

The plundering of the David Bowie archives continues apace. This week we get a new live album recorded at the Phoenix Festival in 1997. Look At The Moon includes hit singles such as Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), Under Pressure and Fashion as well as a cover version of Laurie Anderson’s brilliant O Superman. It is a new entry at number sixteen.

The highest re-entry of the week is Oasis’s (What’s The Story) Morning Glory at number 28. Originally released in 2005, it has now clocked up 157 weeks in the top forty, ten of them at number one.

Also re-entering the top forty are Whitney Houston’s Ultimate Collection at number 37 and The Beatles’ 1 compilation at 39.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ is at number twelve in its 200th week in the top forty. Twenty of those weeks were spent at number one and it has been out of the top forty for just seven weeks since it entered the chart in March 2017.
Published on: 2021-02-19 by Suedehead2 || 377 Views
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