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Lewis Capaldi storms to the top of the albums chart
Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding continue their run at the top of the singles chart. Lewis Capaldi racks up the best first-week sales for an album so far this year.

No change at the top of the singles chart. Lewis Capaldi replaces his fellow ginger singer-songwriter at the top of the albums chart.

There is a familiar look at the top of the singles chart as Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding remain at the top of the pile with Miracle. The song has now spent seven of the last eight weeks at the top, interrupted only by Harris’s fellow Scot who will be mentioned more extensively later. For now, I’ll just say that the chart-topping Wish You The Best is at number three this week.

David Kushner’s Daylight returns to number two to get a fourth week in the runner-up spot. Loreen’s Eurovision winner Tattoo slips two places to number four. Rema’s Calm Down climbs back up to number five in its 23rd week in the top ten.

Chart history is full of stories of artists having one massive hit single, being proclaimed as a major star of the future and then struggling to have any more hits. Lana Del Rey isn’t quite in that category (particularly as her albums generally perform well) but her debut hit Video Games (from 2011) is probably still her best-known song. She enters at number nine with Say Yes To Heaven, giving her a sixth top ten hit, a first as lead artist since Summertime Sadness in 2013.

Many people might think that the song title America Has A Problem is a bit of an understatement. A song of that title performed by Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar is at number 24. It’s not very good.

I have commented before on the longevity of Pink’s singles chart career. However, that is dwarfed by that of Kylie Minogue who had already had nearly 30 top forty hits by the time Pink had her first. She started her career in 1988 and continued to pump out (mostly awful) Stock Aitken and Waterman (SAW) produced hits for a few years. Her first seven singles all reached the top two. Since breaking away from SAW the quality of her output has varied which at least means that she has had several hits which are a lot better than the early material. She enters at number 26 with her 52nd top forty hit Padam Padam, whatever a Padam is. She has now had at least one top forty hit in five successive decades.

Post Malone scores his 21st top forty hit with Mourning at number 35. He reached number eleven with Chemical earlier this year but hasn’t had a top ten hit since Circles in 2019.

Becky Hill and Lewis Thompson enter at number 40 with Side Effects. It is the 17th top forty hit in a decade for Hill and a chart debut for Leeds-based Thompson.

Harry Styles’ Late Night Talking re-enters at number 37. Exactly a year ago it was at number two, sandwiched between two other Styles tracks - As It Was and Music For A Sushi Restaurant. As It Was is at number ten this week. Two years ago Glass Animals’ Heat Wave was in the top forty. It was also in the chart one year ago and this week (with temperatures slightly above average for the time of year) it climbs ten places to number 29.

The four Eurovision songs that entered last week’s top ten all survive for a second week in the top forty. Alessandra’s Queen Of Kings is at 23, Mae Muller’s I Wrote A Song falls to number eighteen and Käärijä’s gloriously daft Cha Cha Cha is at number fifteen. Viewers of last week’s Have I Got News For You were treated to a hilarious clip of the British Sign Language version of the song.

Two weeks ago it would have been difficult to find anyone willing to bet against Ed Sheeran topping the albums chart with the highest first-week sales of the year to date. It was more difficult to predict whether that record would last more than two weeks with the release of Lewis Capaldi’s new album promising to rack up healthy sales. In the event it wasn’t even close as Capaldi’s second album, Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent, had already beaten Sheeran’s first week sales with two days to spare. Its eventual sales this week were more than the rest of the top ten combined. Haven’t You Ever Been In Love Before, a track from the album, enters the singles chart at number 28.

Ed Sheeran, the, falls to number two with - after two weeks at the top.

Two rock albums complete the top four, one from a band formed in 2016 and one from a band formed somewhat earlier. London band Sleep Token comfortably get their highest-charting album in the UK at number three with Take Me Back To Eden. Sheffield’s Def Leppard (who made their chart debut in 1979) become one of the more unlikely acts to record an album with an orchestra. Drastic Symphonies, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, is at four.

Boosted by his current tour, Harry Styles climbs back up to number five with Harry’s House. This means we have an all British top five, including the three biggest solo male singers of the day.

Two more veteran acts have new entries this week. Paul Simon, now 81, is at number 28 with Seven Psalms, his 22nd top forty album. Despite its title, Spotify lists the album as just one 33-minute track, encouraging listeners to hear it all. Because of the way album streams contribute to the chart, that decision will probably have led to the album charting lower than it would have done if the songs were listed separately.

Any list of bands epitomising 1970s prog rock would be certain to include Yes. Their early albums featured all the essential ingredients including long songs. They still exist, albeit without any of the original members, and their twenty-third studio album Mirror To The Sky is at number 30.

Swedish rock band Ghost are at number eight with Phantomime (see what they did there?) and Steel banglez is at number 29 with The Playlist, a title slightly more original than The Album.

The Smiths were one of the leading indie bands of the 1980s with their distinctive miserablist sound. Although the Morrissey / Marr songwriting partnership became one of the most celebrated since Lennon / McCartney it was still Steven Patrick Morrisey who gained the most attention.

Morrissey’s vegetarianism was, initially, not an issue. It only became so when he started to get increasingly vitriolic about people who chose to eat meat. When he started making comments that could easily be interpreted as racist, his reputation suffered further.

The upside of that was that the other band members started to gain more recognition with Johnny Marr finally enjoying solo success. Last week one of the other members, drummer Andy Rourke, died aged 59. The band’s The Sound Of The Smiths returns at number 39.

If Morrissey is one of the classic examples of “Great musician, awful person”, the early career of Tina Turner, who has died aged 83, provides two more. Her early hits were with her then husband Ike who is now known to have been violent towards her. Her most famous early hit with Ike, the classic River Deep Mountain High, was produced by convicted murderer Phil Spector, perhaps the epitome of “Great musician, terrible person”. After her last hit with Ike, another classic Nutbush City Limits, she had to wait a full decade before returning to the UK charts in 1984. She then continued to have hot singles for another twenty years.

For completeness, it is perhaps also worth mentioning Rolf Harris although very few people would have called his music “great” even before his crimes were uncovered. Many people of my generation had fond memories of his television work until it became evident that he had seriously abused his position as a popular entertainer.
Published on: 2023-05-26 by Suedehead2 || 783 Views
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