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Harris and Goulding still perform Miracles
Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding get an eighth week at number one with Miracles. Lewis Capaldi narrowly holds on at the top of the albums chart.

Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding remain at the top of the singles chart. Lewis Capaldi tops the albums chart for a second week.

Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding’s Miracle is at number one for a sixth consecutive week and an eighth week in total. Miracles and Miley Cyrus’s Flowers have spent eighteen of the 22 chart weeks so far this year at the top.

David Kushner’s Daylight looks increasingly likely to end up as a long-running number two denied a spell at the top by a juggernaut at number one. It has occupied the runner-up spot for five of the last six weeks.

Rema’s Calm Down climbs to number three, a new high in its 24th week in the top ten and 38th week in the top forty.

Harry Styles is at number four with As It Was, boosted by a series of live shows by the former One Directioner. Yes, that’s the song that was in its ninth week at number one this time last year. This just illustrates the problem with trying to produce a chart that can be considered to be an accurate representation of what songs are popular that week. As It Was is a good song but, based on chart performances before the inclusion of streaming, the idea that it is worth 33 weeks in the top ten (and counting) is ludicrous.

Harry Styles’ tour dates also lead to climbs for Late Night Talking (up six to 31) and Satellite, into the top forty for the first time at number 36.

Switch Disco and Ella Henderson’s React moves into the top five for the first time, at number five, in its twelfth week in the top forty. Loreen’s Eurovision-winning Tattoo gets a third week in the top ten, falling to number ten.

Taylor Swift released two “special” editions of her Midnights album last week. Two of the new tracks enter the top forty this week. Karma, featuring Ice Spice, enters at number twelve. Karma doesn’t appear in the title of many hit songs but three of them have reached the top ten - John Lennon’s Instant Karma, Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon and Radiohead’s Karma Police. Hits Different is at number eighteen. Snow On The Beach, featuring Lana Del Rey, re-enters at number 24. The latter song reached number four last year when the original version of the album was released. Del Rey has two songs in the top forty; after entering at number nine last week, Say Yes To Heaven falls to number 27.

J-Hus gains a thirteenth to forty hit with It’s Crazy at number fifteen. It’s not crazy, it’s terrible. Dua Lipa is at number twenty with Dance The Night from the soundtrack of a Barbie film. Unfortunately, it’s not one of her best but it is, at least, better than Barbie Girl.

Kylie Minogue’s infectious Padam Padam (the sound of a heartbeat apparently) climbs three places to number 23. If it can climb three more places Minogue will have had a top twenty hit in five different decades.

Over on the albums chart, it is no surprise that Lewis Capaldi’s Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly gets a second week at number one. It is the first time in four years that two successive new albums have spent more than a single week at number one. Coincidentally, the second album that time round was Capaldi’s debut Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent. Its four week run at the top (followed by further weeks later) was immediately preceded by a three-week run for Pink’s Hurts 2B Human.

The new editions of Taylor Swift’s Midnights see the album climb back up to number two. Harry’s House by Harry Styles is back up to number three. Those two old albums push Ed Sheeran’s - down to number four. The Weeknd is at number five with Highlights.

An act that starts out with a bit of a gimmick can face a bit of a dilemma if they achieve early success. That was a dilemma that faced Sparks back in 1974. Their first appearance on Top Of The Pops, performing This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us featured Russ Mael on vocals with his brother Ron on keyboards. So far, so unexceptional. However, what drew the attention of many viewers (and even some complaints to the BBC) was Ron’s Hitler-lime moustache and his distant stare. Nearly fifty years on, that remains part of their image.

That image, and the fact that This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us was very different from anything else in the chart at the time, led many people to write them off as a novelty act. Even a string of hit singles in the 1970s failed to change opinion.

The 1980s was not a particularly successful decade for them and the 1990s weren’t much better with a number of minor hits including a new version of This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us. Things started to look up with the release of Lil Beethoven in 2002. It was not a big commercial success (apart from, for some reason, in Scotland) but it was highly praised by critics and contained the characteristically bonkers Suburban Homeboy.

After a couple more albums, including the excellent Hello Young Lovers in 2006, they teamed up with Franz Ferdinand to perform FFS (a typically jokey name) which raised their profile among younger music fans and reminded others of their continued existence. Their next two albums saw them return to the top ten for the first time since 1974.

This week Sparks played at the Albert Hall in London (I was, of course, there to see Russ Mael looking very dapper in his red and black jacket and bright red shoes) to promote their 25th studio album The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte (another title that is very Sparks). I know I’m biassed but it is an extraordinary album from two people well into their seventies (plus supporting musicians). Sadly, they remain almost unheard of in their native USA. I think they’re just too weird to appeal to most Americans. Still, it means they can be described as the best British band in the USA.

Tracks on the album add to the long lists of songs about Kim Jong Un as a superstar DJ and those sung from the perspective of a baby who decides, after 22 hours, that he would like to go back where he came from because the real world is a bit rubbish. Those themes join others explored on previous albums such as a song in praise of the metaphor and one about another song. Their current albums chart form continues as they get a third consecutive number seven hit.

Simply Red have been putting out albums packed with Mick Hucknall’s whiny voice for nearly forty years. Somehow, people still keep buying and streaming them. Their latest release, Time, is at number eight.

Arlo Parks’ debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams reached number three in February 2021. Album number two, My Soft Machine, enters at number nine. I assume she is not claiming ownership of the Camnterbury band formed 34 years before she was born.

Lil Durk enters at number twelve with Almost Healed, a title that could describe my ears a few hours after hearing one of his “songs”.

While he is frequently intensely irritating, Richard Branson has made some notable contributions to British culture. When he launched his record label, Virgin Records, the first album release was a mostly-instrumental album recorded in his home studio by a 19-year-old. That album, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, was far from an instant success. It only started to sell in large numbers when a short extract was used in the soundtrack to The Exorcist. It subsequently did a Beatles in reverse. The Fab Four’s debut album’s run at number one was only ended with the release of the follow-up which replaced it at the top. Mike Oldfield’s second album, Hergest Ridge, beat Tubular Bells to number one but was eventually replaced by its more famous predecessor. Oldfield may, therefore, be the only artist whose first two albums topped the chart but in the “wrong” order. If I’m wrong, I’m sure somebody will let me know.

Over the years Oldfield has recorded a number of sequels to Tubular Bells while there have also been several re-recordings and re-issues. Among them was a new orchestral version, released last year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Oldfield’s first recording sessions. Oldfield himself is part of it but most of the music is played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The narrative parts feature the unmistakable tones of Mr Brian Blessed. Sadly, that version failed to reach the top forty.

Now, to mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark album’s release, there is another anniversary edition. Among the tracks on this edition is a recording of the performance of an extract from Tubular Bells (and other tunes) from the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. This new edition lands at number eighteen.

As mentioned last week, Tina Turner died last month at the age of 83. Inevitably, that has increased streams and sales of her albums and two of them are in the chart this week.. Simply The Best is at number seventeen and The Platinum Collection is at 32. She also returns to the singles chart with What’s Love Got To Do With It at number 35 and The Best ten places higher. The latter is, of course, one of those song titles that many people get wrong. It is called, simply, The Best. The name of the aforementioned compilation just confuses matters. The Best reached number five in the singles chart in 1989 and returned for a week at number nine in 2010.

Arctic Monkeys’ debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not returns at number 39 as the band tour their latest album The Car.
Published on: 2023-06-02 by Suedehead2 || 882 Views
Comments (3)
2 Jun 2023 - 18:42
BuzzJack Legend
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When Do I Get To Sing 'My Way' reference appreciated. The Sparks Brothers Edgar Wright documentary is on Netflix and says it all courtesy famous fans and The Maels. Sadly i couldnt get to the RAH but i watched their tour on YouTube and they are as good as they have ever been. Their influence has always outpaced their fame....

I also might be biased 😆
2 Jun 2023 - 20:01
BuzzJack Legend
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Pro-Sparks bias is perfectly acceptable laugh.gif They still are one of the very best live bands. They are playing at Glastonbury so I hope the BBC make their set available to watch.

I do0n't have Netflix so haven't seen the documentary. It's on a list of things I want to see if I subscribe for a month.
5 Jun 2023 - 7:29
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I appreciate your willingness to share.
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