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Lil Nas X goes to number one
Lil Nas X goes straight to the top of the chart with a weird suggestion of calling someone by your own name. Ben Howard has his second number one album.

Lil Nas X gets his second chart-topping single. Ben Howard gets his second number one album.

After starting his chart career with a massive number one in Old Town Road, Lil Nas X has struggled to make much impact with subsequent singles. Both Panini and Holiday fell just short of the top twenty. Now, almost exactly two years after Old Town Road entered the chart, he has his second major hit with Montero (Call Me By Your Name). It goes straight to the top of the chart, beating Nathan Evans’ Wellerman by a narrow margin. Despite the success of the song, I’m not convinced that the idea of calling someone by your own name will catch on. It sounds like a recipe for a lot of confusion.

Justin Bieber’s Peaches is at number three. Featured artist Giveon has a new entry of his own at number 39 with Heartbreak Anniversary. A1 × J1 fall two places to number four with Latest Trends and Riton’s Friday falls to number five.

If all solo artists recorded under their own name then Webb would feature as one of the more successful surnames with Harry’s huge success under the name Cliff Richard being supplemented by the more modest - but still significant - success of Gary (Numan). As it is, Marti Webb has spent the last 41 years as the only singer to have a top forty hit using the name Webb. This week, she finally gets some company as Mimi (Amelia) Webb enters at number seventeen with Good Without. Oh what a tangled webb we weave.

While TikTok has (almost inevitably in 2021) helped Mimi Webb achieve chart success, her musical talent enabled her to enrol as a student at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) in Brighton. Other graduates of various branches of BIMM include James Bay, George Ezra, Black Honey (whose album was in the top ten last week) and Fontaines DC.

Some people who choose not to record under their own name then spend time not quite able to decide what moniker to use instead. Shylo Milwood, for example, has recorded under the names Russ Millions, Russ Splash or just plain old Russ. Dennis Odunwo, on the other hand, settled on Tion Wayne and has stuck with it. Having previously charted together with the song Keisha & Becky in 2019 (as Russ and Tion Wayne), they are now back together again, with Russ’s added Millions, on Body which enters at number 21.

One of the features of watching the Top Of The Pops repeats on BBC4, particularly as each year of programmes is condensed into roughly six months, is that it highlights how rapidly some acts became absolutely huge and how some of them dropped out of favour almost as rapidly. One such act is Boney M, the project of German producer Frank Farian. They were hugely successful in 1977 and then topped it the following year with two million-selling singles (measured by actual physical sales). They had two lower-key top ten hits in 1979 but never came close to matching those first two phenomenal years.

Sandwiched between those two million-sellers was Rasputin, a gloriously daft song based (not necessarily entirely accurately) on the life of an advisor to Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II. Now, British producer Kevin Christie, performing as majestic, has mixed a new version of the track and it is a new entry at number 38. Very sensibly, he has used a Boney M performance for the video meaning that a whole new audience can see sort-of singer Bobby Farrell’s marvelously camp antics. Why “sort-of” singer? While Farrell did a lot of miming, he actually contributed very little to the actual songs with Farian providing most of the male vocals. Farrell’s main talent was as a dancer. The main problem with this remix is that, inexplicably, the “Oh, those Russians” line at the end is missing.

Justin Bieber’s Anyone returns at number 25. It would have been in last week’s top forty but was excluded because chart rules limit the number of songs by a single artist to three. Tom Grennan gets his first top ten hit with A Little Bit Of Love at number ten. His duet with Ella Henderson, Let’s Go Home Together, climbs to number thirteen, the position occupied by A Little Bit Of Love for the last two weeks.

Lower down the chart, Mr Brightside shows no sign of dropping out of the top 100 any time soon. The Killers’ classic famously had a very short top forty run (peaking at number ten) but it has now spent 261 weeks in the top 100. Allowing for a leap year, that means it has spent the equivalent of five years in the top 100. It is nearly 100 weeks ahead of its two nearest rivals Ed Sheeran’s Perfect and Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.

If it had suffered the same fate as the rest of their debut album Hot Fuss, it might never have seen the light of day. The band had a track listing ready to go but scrapped all of it, except Mr Brightside, when they heard The Strokes’ This Is It album. Thankfully, it survived the mass cull and still gets streamed over a million times each week. It was initially released in a limited edition of 500 and so never had a chance of charting. It was re-released in a revised version after Somebody Told Me gave the band their first hit.

A new chart week brings us the almost inevitable sight of a new number one album. This week it is the turn of British singer-songwriter Ben Howard with his fourth album Collections From The Whiteout. His most successful album is his debut set Every Kingdom. That got off to a slow start but went as high as number four following the success (at the second time of asking) of the single Only Love. That delayed success helped the follow-up I Forget Where We Were to go straight to number one. His fourth album has now done the same.

The release (one week after the main album) of the deluxe version of Justin Bieber’s Justice helps it to stay at number two. Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia moves up one place to number three.

The city of Little Rock in Arkansas is probably best known as the former home of Bill and Hillary Clinton but some music fans may first think of the band Evanescence who hail from there. The band enjoyed success with their first three albums but 2017’s Synthesis did rather less well. They return to form with their new set, The Bitter Truth, which is a new entry at number four.

Central Cee’s Wild West slips two places to number five. The latest one-week number one, Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club, falls to number fourteen.

Those of us who always enjoyed maths at school can be forgiven for disappointment at how few acts named after a form of arithmetic have had any chart success. Wen should, therefore, be grateful for the arrival at number six of an album from Floating Points, aka producer Sam Shepherd. The album in question, Promises, also includes jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra.

A company planning to launch a new product will often pay good money to make sure that their chosen brand name won’t cause problems in any intended market. Rapper Nathan Feuerstein evidently didn’t do the same when he chose just to use his initials NF, unless he wasn’t planning to bother trying to break into the UK market.Nonetheless, he enters at number twelve with his album Clouds.

Talking of clouds and what they produce, Wet Wet Wet gained their place in chart history when their third number one single,. A version of The Troggs’ Love Is All Around, spent fourteen weeks at number one in 1994. The band’s singer Marti Pellow enters the top forty for the first time in ten years with his twelfth solo album Stargazer at number eighteen.

Wet Wet Wet made their chart debut in April 1987, almost exactly ten years after The Clash did the same. Much of the band’s success was due the brilliance of Joe Strummer who, sadly, died in 2002 at the age of just 50. Assembly is a new compilation of his post-Clash material and it enters at number 23.

Smith/Kotzen is a side-project featuring Richard Kotzen of Poison and Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden which should be enough to suggest that their album is probably not a collection of slushy ballads. It lands this week at number seventeen.

Neil Young enters at number 28 with a live album, Young Shakespeare, recorded in 1971. Amy Wadge is at number 37 with music from the first two series of the hit BBC drama Keeping Faith. The Dust Coda are at number 27 with Mojo Skyline.
Published on: 2021-04-02 by Suedehead2 || 748 Views
Comments (2)
2 Apr 2021 - 18:10
BuzzJack Platinum Member
Group: Moderator
Posts: 17,545
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Joined: 18 Jul 2012 - 10:05
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The Rasputin story is even weirder than you mention: Bobby Farrell made little money from Boney M so continued touring in countries where there was no copyright on the name - and he died on 30th December 2010 aged 61 after a live gig. The same day of the year that Rasputin died. In the same city. St Petersburg. Russia.

Oh Those Russians!

Or German music maestros with a penchant for getting good-looking mimers. See Milli Vanilli, another tragic story. Hi Frank Farian, still rich no doubt.

Oh What a tangled webb we weave? ohmy.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

2 Apr 2021 - 18:16
BuzzJack Legend
Group: Veteran
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I'd somehow missed the fact that Bobby Farrell died on the same date as Rasputin. It doesn't get mentioned as much as Kate Bush and Emily Bronte sharing the same birthday.
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