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A close race at the top of the singles chart
There was a tight race for the number one spot between Eurovision entrant Sam Ryder and Harry Styles. Who won? Read on.

UK Eurovision contestant Sam Ryder competes with Harry Styles for the number one single. Florence + The Machine top the albums chart.

After years of head-scratching about why the UK nearly always performs poorly in Eurovision, somebody this year suggested an idea so radical that some of the people involved in the selection process are still reeling from the shock. Why not try sending a good song? Why not send a song that won’t be competing with a batch of very similar songs? All too predictably, it worked. Sam Ryder’s Space Man came second, behind only the inevitably victorious Ukrainian entry.

After that performance, hopes were high that Space Man could become the first UK Eurovision entry to reach the top ten since Scooch in 2007 and the first even to make the top forty since Molly’s Children Of The Universe in 2014. These facts alone highlight one of the major issues with our entries - why do we expect to do well when we keep entering songs that aren’t even popular in the UK? The message seems finally to have got through. Maybe we will even see an established act (and not one that last had a hit decades ago) representing the UK next year.

The first chart update, on Sunday, made a top ten finish seem almost certain. With all collected data covering the time before the Eurovision result was announced, Sam Ryder was already at number seven. By Tuesday Space Man was just behind Harry Styles and in Wednesday’s update it was narrowly ahead at number one. A first UK Eurovision number one since Gina G’s Ooh Ah Just A Little Bit in 1996. That dates from a time when the eastern European countries were beginning to enter the contest and when “typical Eurovision” songs could still do reasonably well (Gina G came eighth).

Fans of Blur’s Song 2 and, in particular, its two-related statistics will appreciate the next bit. Space Man was released on 22/2/22. In the Eurovision final, it was number 22 in the running order. He is at number 22 in the Irish singles chart this week. With that in mind, it is quite fitting for it to have emulated Song 2 by peaking at number two. On the other hand, if it had got to number one, that might have added further encouragement to artists considering the possibility of getting involved next year.

Previous songs about spacemen (as one word) include one-hit-wonder Babylon Zoo’s Spaceman and the gloriously daft I’m The Urban Spaceman by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. There are also songs about specific spacemen such as Public Service Broadcasting’s Gagarin and even spacedogs as in Arcade Fire’s Laika. Then there is the fictional Major Tom from David Bowie’s Space Oddity and Ashes To Ashes who also featured in Peter Schilling’s brilliant Major Tom (Coming Home), a song which was used as the theme tune for the UK broadcast of the Deutschland ‘83, ‘86 and ‘89 saga.

What, then. Of the song that beat Space Man? It has been inevitable for weeks that the only way Ukraine could fail to win would be to enter a song so utterly dreadful that jury voters would award it nul points and even the most sympathetic of viewers would struggle to justify voting for it. Thankfully, the song they did enter, Stefania by Kalush Orchestra, was pretty decent. The band come from the Ukrainian town of Kalush (hence the name) and the song is a tribute to the singer's mother Stefania. It did well in the jury voter but owes its win to the fact that it won the jury vote by a country mile, coming closer than any song is likely ever to do again to getting maximum points from all participating countries. The UK jury was one of the few not to rate the song, giving it nul points. The UK public, having given it plenty of support on Saturday have bought and streamed it in sufficient numbers to get it to number 38.

After all that excitement about Sam Ryder, it would be all too easy to forget the song that is at number one this week. As for the last six weeks, Harry Styles tops the chart with As It Was. With his new album released today (Friday), it looks likely to be there for a few more weeks yet.

Cat Power’s Go is at number three and About Damn Time by Lizzo is at four. Jack Harlow’s far from first class First Class is at number five.

The new song from Kendrick Lamar in last week’s chart came ahead of the release of a new album last Friday (13 May). It is, therefore, no surprise that three songs from that album are in this week’s top forty. N95 is at number six, Die Hard is at seven and United In Grief is at fourteen. They have all outperformed The Heart - Part V which means that, thanks to the rule setting a limit of three songs per artist in the chart at any one time, that song crashes straight back out of the chart.

Post Malone and Roddy Ricch enter at number 25 with Cooped Up. Given the lack of quality of this effort, it has to be hoped that they don’t go on to record Lidled Up, Aldied Up or even Waitrosed Up.

Tion Wayne is the latest artist to take a decent song and turn it into something truly awful. La Roux had a number two hit with In For The Kill in 2009 (was it really that long ago?). Tion Wayne’s IFTK, which samples that song very heavily, is at number sixteen.

The lack of rock songs in the chart has been mentioned here one or two times over the years, normally when a rock song actually does make it in. Guess what? We have a new rock song in the chart in the form of The Foundations Of Decay by My Chemical Romance at number 37. It is their first top forty hit since Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) reached number 31 in 2010. I suppose if any band is going to have a hit with a song about sodium, it might as well be one called My Chemical Romance.

As well as a lack of rock songs in the charts, one of the common themes of these commentaries has been the number of songs with a particular title or those mentioning a particular word. I can’t say I ever expected to mention the arrival of a second top forty hit called Black Beatles. That, however, is where we are and it is time to announce that a song called Black Beatles gives the reliably dreadful D-Block Europe a new entry at number 35 just five-and-a-half years after Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane had a hit with a song of the same name.

After three top ten hits last year (including two collaborations), Tom Grennan gets his first top forty hit of 2022 with Remind Me at number 40. Let’s hope it goes a lot higher in the coming weeks.


Until the announcement of Kendrick Lamar’s new album, it looked like Florence + The Machine would have no problem in topping the chart with their new album Dance Fever. When the first albums chart update was announced on Monday, it was something of a surprise that Dance Fever had opened up a very healthy lead, one that was unlikely to be eroded by Lamar’s expected stronger performance on streaming sites as the week progressed. That proved to be the case and Florence Welch duly gets her fourth number one album. While it never quite lives up to the promise of the brilliant opening track King, Dance Fever is still a good album, well worthy of a number one spot.

That, then, leaves Kendrick Lamar at number two with Mr Morale And The Big Steppers, matching his last release, Damn, five years ago. Ah well, never mind.

Ed Sheeran is at number three with =. Little Mix’s Between Us climbs to number four following what may yet come to be known as their first farewell gig.

Black Keys get their fifth successive top ten album with Dropout Boogie at number five. That run of success follows six albums that did significantly less well, two of them not entering the chart at all.

The Smile enter at number 19 with A Light For Attracting Attention. This is not a very late entry for the pre-Queen band featuring Brian May and Roger Taylor. Instead, it is a band formed by two people already well established in the music industry - Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood.

Folk-rock band Bear’s Den, named after an area of East Dunbartonshire, are at number six with Blue Hours, not to be confused with Suede’s The Blue Hour album.
Published on: 2022-05-20 by BuzzJack.com Suedehead2 || 862 Views
Comments (2)
 
Popchartfreak
20 May 2022 - 18:20
BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Ooh you tease keeping us waiting to find out Sam didnt get to number one! biggrin.gif

Na. Sodium. laugh.gif

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Suedehead2
20 May 2022 - 19:11
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Never let it be said that I shy away from geeky jokes.
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