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Ed Sheeran stays at number one
Ed Sheeran's Bad habits gets a second week at number one. Olivia Rodrigo returns to the top of the albums chart.

Ed Sheeran remains at the top of the singles chart for a second week. Olivia Rodrigo returns to number one to lead a top ten albums chart with no new entries.

After storming to the top of the singles chart last week, Ed Sheeran’s Bad Habits gets a second week at number one. Of his previous number ones, Only Thinking Out Loud has spent exactly two weeks at the summit although those weeks were not consecutive.

Olivia Rodrigo’s Good 4 U spends a second week at number two. England have made a habit of going out of major football tournaments in the semi-final when the title of the number one single refers to death, violence or something unsettling. The team has lost in the semi-finals when the number one has been Elton John’s Sacrifice (1990), The Fugees’ Killing Me Softly (1996) and George Ezra’s Shotgun (2018). It would be good to report that England’s only previous semi-final win was when the Kinks’ Sunny Afternoon topped the chart but it wouldn’t quite be true. Sunny Afternoon’s reign at the top was ended by Georgie Fame’s Get Away a few days before that match.

All of the above might have led England fans to feel that the change at the top of the chart from a song called Good 4 U with one called Bad Habits meant that England were doomed to lose again. However, this has been a tournament when England have broken various taboos and on Wednesday night they broke another. They won a semi-final despite a song with a downbeat title topping the chart. Even the presence in the top five of a Heartbreak Anthem and a song called Save Your Tears didn’t get in England’s way. Those two songs are at numbers three and six respectively.

Regardless of slightly tenuous links between the performance of the England football team and random singles, there is now a clear link between the fortunes of the national team and the chart performance of Three Lions. Three years ago, England’s progress to the semi-final of the World Cup saw Three Lions propelled back to the top of the chart only for it to crash out of the chart following the defeat to Croatia. This week, it climbs up to number four. England’s run to the final also prompts the return of Vindaloo by Fat Les at number 36. The song, which is largely a send-up of the standard football song, spent three weeks at number two behind a rewritten Three Lions at the time of the 1998 World Cup. Fat Les were Alex James of Blur, comedian Keith Allen (Lily’s father who also appeared in the World In Motion video with New Order in 1990) and artist Damien Hirst.

The new entries this week are led by American singer and producer Brent Faiyaz, if a new entry at number 34 can count as leading the way. He released his first single in 2014 but Wasting Time is the first to reach the top forty in the UK. That may owe something to the presence of Drake who has now appeared on 65 top forty singles in the UK.

While most of Drake’s singles have been awful, D-Block Europe have been more consistent with all fifteen of their top forty singles being diabolical. This week they make it sixteen out of sixteen with the predictably dire Kevin McCallister at number 40. They are joined on their latest offence against music by Lil Pino who joins a long list of Lils to have had a top forty hit.

Mabel re-enters at number 39 with Let Them Know.

The lack of any new albums from big names last week is reflected in this week’s chart with no new entries in the top ten. That lack of big new entries allows Olivia Rodrigo to grab herself another week at the top with Sour.

In 1970 Brian May and Roger Taylor left their band Smile (the name of a Lily Allen single which was at number one exactly fifteen years ago) and recruited a fan, Farokh Bulsara, to join a new band. Bulsara became Freddie Mercury and they added John Deacon to the band in February 1971. This year, then, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the classic line-up of Queen.

Two early Queen singles failed to make the chart before Seven Seas Of Rhye and Killer Queen, both from their second and third albums, went into the top ten. Then, in 1975, came the extraordinary song that was Bohemian Rhapsody that topped the chart for nine weeks in 1975/6. Their first Greatest Hits album was released in 1981 when it spent four weeks at number one.

As with Abba Gold (see last week), the inclusion of streams in the albums chart has made Queen’s Greatest Hits almost a permanent fixture in the top forty. Indeed, it has been in the top twenty all year so far. The re-release of the album to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the band sees it climb back to number two, just a few hundred copies short of a return to number one.

Doja Cat’s Planet Her stays at number three. Jack Savoretti falls to number four after a week at number one with Europiana. After three weeks at number six, Bo Burnham’s Inside (The Songs) makes it into the top five for the first time at number five.

What, then, of the new albums that have reached the chart this week? The first thing to note is that there are just two of them, a disappointing number even for July.

There should have been a close contest for my favourite new entry of the week but, unfortunately, the new album from Brighton’s The Go! Team didn’t make the top forty. That means it is a clear victory for Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth’s Utopian Ashes at number twelve.

After starting his musical career as the drummer for the Jesus And Mary Chain, Bobby Gillespie left the band just as they were achieving some success to devote his time to his other band, Primal Scream. For the next few years, it looked as if that move might have been a mistake as Primal Scream’s career failed to take off. That changed in 1990 when Loaded gave them their first hit single. The song came from their brilliant Screamadelica album, released the following year.

Primal Scream still exist as a band. Indeed, they appear on some of the tracks on Utopian Ashes. Gillespie is joined by French singer Jehnny Beth. Her main job is as singer for rock band Savages but she has collaborated with, inter alia, Noel Gallagher, Gorillaz and Tindersticks as well as Primal Scream.

Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth’s only competition for the highest new entry of the week came from Birmingham singer Laura Mvula who made her breakthrough with the brilliant single Green Garden from her debut album Sing To The Moon in 2013. She is at number 21 with her third album Pink Noise.

Whi8tney Houston’s Ultimate Collection re-enters at number 38, one place ahead of another re-entry in the shape of Juice Wrld’s Legends Never Die.
Published on: 2021-07-09 by Suedehead2 || 4086 Views
Comments (2)
King Rollo
9 Jul 2021 - 18:06
BuzzJack Platinum Member
Group: Members
Posts: 6,656
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Joined: 3 Jan 2017 - 17:10
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It's also worth mentioning that Kevin McCallister from Home Alone is not the first Kevin to have a top 40 single named after him. Manic Street Preachers had a top 10 hit in 1996 with the excellent Kevin Carter which was about the South African photographer.
9 Jul 2021 - 19:23
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Group: Veteran
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Kevin Carter is, of course, a far better song than Kevin McCallister!

And, if course, Kevin Carter is real.
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1 Ed Sheeran
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