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Miley Cyrus makes it eight weeks at the top
Miley Cyrus just about gets an eighth week at number one with Flowers. The Lathums narrowly beat Slowthai to get a second number one album.

Tight races at the top of both charts this week with the outcome in doubt until the final charts were announced.

There were close battles at the top of both charts this week with Miley Cyrus facing a bigger threat to her place at the summit in the singles chart since she got there seven weeks ago. That competition came from Pinkantheress whose single Boy’s A Liar climbed to number two last week. Cyrus’s Flowers topped each of the week’s three updates but her lead was always a narrow one.

In the event Miley Cyrus just about held on, beating PinkPantheress by just over 1,000 copies to extend her run to eight weeks. It is now the longest-running number one single by a female solo artist since Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License spent nine weeks at the top in 2021. This week’s narrow winning margin means Cyrus may well fail to match Rodrigo’s run.

The Weeknd’s Die For You climbs one place to number three, swapping places with Sza’s Kill Bill. Kill Bill therefore returns to its second home where it has now spent three weeks. It has spent seven weeks in its main home at number three. Miguel’s Sure Thing is still at number five.

There are five new entries this week, most of them of exceptionally low quality. Having already managed 40 dismal top 40 hits since 2010 Nicki Minaj has clearly seen no reason to change anything for her 41st, despite now being in her fifth decade. Even the title, Red Ruby Da Sleeze, is awful. What is it supposed to mean? Better minds than mine will struggle to explain why this is at number 30.

The one new entry that rises above the awful level is from Jax Jones and Callum Scott. That’s not to say that Whistle is particularly good, just that it is OK. It lands at number 34 to give Jones a fifteenth top forty hit and Scott a third. At the beginning of 2012 there had never been a top forty hit called Whistle in nearly sixty years of chart history. Now there have been three.

The song that probably manages the unlikely feat of being even worse than the Nicki Minaj effort is by J-Hope and J Cole. While Cole’s previous releases haven’t exactly been great, none of them are quite as dreadful as On The Street whi9ch enters at number 37. It is Hope’s first top forty hit (although he has previously enjoyed chart success as a member of BTS) and Cole’s eleventh. Is it too much to hope that it will be the last we hear from either of them?

Also plumbing the depths quality-wise is Oh Baby, put together by Nathan Dawe and Bru-C featuring bshp and Issey Cross. It takes a lot of people to make something this bad. Cross was previously heard on Wilkinson’s Used To This last year while bshp hsnt pprd n th tp 40 bfr.

Some songs aren’t exactly terrible, just dreadfully, dreadfully dull (epizeuxis intentional). One such is 22 by Jayo which enters at number 32. It even makes some Drake songs seem positively lively. The man responsible is a rapper from Tottenham, former home of Adele. That’s about all I can tell you.

Libianca makes a little bit of chart history this week. She becomes the first Cameroonian act to get a top ten hit in the UK as her high-quality single People climbs to number eight.

Like the Roman soldier in Monty Python who fights on despite losing a succession of limbs, Tom Odell’s Another Love cannot be held off for long. It re-enters this week at number 40.

There were two new releases competing to top the albums chart this week and the nature of the contest underlined the differences in music consumption by fans of different genres. When sales were the only factor, an album that led another new release in midweek would be expected to finish on top. Things, however, are more complicated now.

Fans of rock-oriented acts still tend to believe in the old-fashioned idea of buying albums, whether in physical or download form. Rap fans, by contrast, rely more on streaming. Furthermore, sales tend to be concentrated in the first couple days of the chart week (Friday and Saturday) while streams are spread out more across the week. To add to the complication, streaming companies are still incapable, despite the existence of 21st century technology, of producing their figures in a timely manner. Therefore, a lot of streaming data is missing from the early updates while sales data is up-to-date.

All of this meant that the narrow lead Wigan indie band The Lathums held over Slowthai was not enough to assume they would finish the week at number one. The Lathums’s first album, How Beautiful Life Can Be, topped the chart in October 2021, beating Public Service Broadcasting into second place. So chuffed were they at their achievement that they carried their trophy with them on their tour. The new album, From Nothing To A Little Bit More, is not as consistently good as their debut, perhaps in part due to the relatively short gap between the two. Nevertheless, many of us were hoping that they would bet a second number one.

The Lathums’ competition came from Northampton rapper Slowthai, born Tyron Frampton. Like The Lathums, his last album topped the chart although, in his case, it was his second release. His debut, Nothing Great About Britain, reached number nine in 2019.

In the end, the margin between the top two was just 700 “sales” withThe Lathums emerging triumphant. In another reflection of the state of the charts today, the band have yet to spend as much as a week in the singles charts despite some very catchy releases. Slowthai finishes at number two with Ugly.

In Contrast to The Lathums, singer-songwriter Mimi Webb has had several hit singles, including Red Flags in the current top forty. On the other hand, until now, she hasn’t troubled the albums chart. Given that she hadn’t actually released an album until last week, that isn’t particularly surprising. She now makes her albums chart debut with Amelia at number four. The title, as with Slowthai’s second album, comes from her real name.

The Weeknd’s Highlights climbs one place to number five. Pink falls thre places to number five with Trustfall. Gorillaz’ Cracker Island falls to number eleven after a week at the top.

One of the most extraordinary posthumous careers is that of Eva Cassidy. When she died in 1996, it was not considered newsworthy as almost nobody had ever heard of her. However, two years later Terry Wogan started playing her music on his Radio 2 show and the album Songbird topped the chart. Eight further albums have followed it into the top forty. In the presumed absence of any more suitable archive material, her record company has added an orchestral backing to some of her recordings to produce another new album I Can Only Be Me which enters this week at number nine.

Glaswegian indie band Tide Lines enter at number thirteen with An Ocean Full Of Islands. Genesis are at number 23 with a collection of recordings by the BBC over many years. The recordings date back to the early 1970s when Peter Gabriel as the singer of a prog rock band up to the 1990s by which time Phil Collins had turned them into a pop band, albeit one which still played a lot of their old material live. To my surprise, it includes a recording of the only Genesis gig I went to in May 1980.

De La Soul’s debut album 3 Feet High and Rising entered the chart at number 33 in 1989 before eventually climbing to number thirteen ten months later. Following the death of band member David Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove) last month, a re-issue has reached a new peak of number twelve.

Although Elvis Costello started his career as part of the punk era in the 1970s, he has always had huge admiration for American songwriter Burt Bacharach who died last month. Even some of his early songs such as Alison clearly owe a debt to Bacharach’s way with a melody. In his later years Costello even had the opportunity to collaborate with Bacharach. They released their first album together in 1998.

A full quarter-century after that collaboration we now have the four-disc set The Songs Of Bacharach and Costello. The album was scheduled to be released last week some time ago; the recent death of Bacharach simply adds to interest in it. Much of the album comprises songs Bacharach and Costello wrote together but the final disc is made up of versions of some of the best-known songs from Bacharach’s amazing back catalogue. It includes two live versions of I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself (one with his post-Attractions band The Imposters, one with Bacharach himself) as well as Anyone Who Had A Heart and Make It Easy On Yourself.

The newer songs still have the lush melodies that were Bacharach’s forte with the addition of Costello’s distinctive voice. Sadly the album hasn’t even made the top 100 but it is still worth mentioning the late Burt Bacharach again.
Published on: 2023-03-10 by Suedehead2 || 791 Views
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