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Jack Harlow gets a third week at number one
Jack Harlow remains at the top of the singles chart. Take That have a ninth number one album.

Jack Harlow continues his run at the top of the singles chart. What’s left of Take That gain the highest first-week sales of the year with their new album.

Jack Harlow gets a third week at the top of the singles chart with Lovin On Me. The length of his reign is almost certainly dependent on how long it takes for a Christmas song to make its way to number one.

At any other time of year, Noah Kahan's Stick Season might be considered a strong contender to replace Jack Harlow at number one. As it is, Kahan is likely to have to wait until next month to have any chance of topping the chart. For now, he is at number two. Casso, Raye and D-Block Europe slip to number three with Prada. Tate McCrae is at number four with Greedy. It’s the first of December and there is already an old Christmas song in the top five. Wham’s Last Christmas climbs to number five.

Before the continuing flood of Christmas re-entries, there are a couple new festive songs this week. That said, one is a cover version of a song that isn’t actually about Christmas. Tim Mortimer wrote Stay Another Day as a tribute to his late brother but the addition of some jingle bells and a video showing East 17 in festive apparel means that it has forever been associated with Christmas. Jorja Smith has recorded a cover of the song and it enters this week at number 38. Sadly, as is often the case with cover versions, all the emotion of the original is missing from this version. As I’ve said pf other singers, she can sing the notes but not the words.

As well as more re-entries, the brand new Christmas song comes from the hero of Eurovision, Sam Ryder. Ryder released a version of Jingle Bells last year, but it missed the top forty by one place. This year he has released an original song, You’re Christmas To Me, and he has already been rewarded; it is a new entry at number 23. It’s rather good.

On, then, to the re-entries. Dean Martin, one of many veteran (mostly American) artists to benefit from a presence on umpteen Spotify Christmas playlists) is at number 36 with his version Of Let It Snow Let It Snow. The song was released in 1959 but didn’t reach the top forty until 60 years later. Another veteran etc. is responsible for the re-entry at number 29 - Andy Williams with It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. Bobby Helms is back at number twenty with Jingle Bell Rock.

A rather younger American, Kelly Clarkson, is at number 27 with Underneath The Tree. Even she hasn’t had a non-festive hit since 2016. Welsh veteran Shakin’ Stevens is at number 25 with Merry Christmas Everyone. His last new hit was in 1991. A rather newer Christmas song, Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s Merry Christmas, is at number seventeen.

Band Aid’s 1984 megahit Do They Know It’s Christmas is at number 35. Given the poor performance of the thirtieth anniversary version in 2014, it remains to be seen whether the fortieth anniversary will be marked next year. Sia’s Snowman is back at number 40.

Yesterday (Thursday), Shane McGowan of The Pogues died at the age of 65. The Pogues had their first top forty hit in 1986 with the Elvis Costello-produced Poguetry In Motion EP which included A Rainy Night In Soho. However, the song they will always be most associated with was written by McGowasn as the result of a bet with Costello. In 1986 Costello bet McGowan that he couldn’t write a successful Christmas song. There was no time limit so, despite the fact that Fairytale Of New York wasn’t completed until the following year, it became one of the best-loved and best-selling Christmas songs of all time in the UK.

When it was released in 1987 it peaked at number two, behind the Pet Shop Boys’ version of Always On My Mind in one of the best Chroistmas top twos in chart history. {Slight digression - Sleaford Mods have recorded a version of the Pet Shop Boys’ debut hit West End Girls to raise money for Shelter in the run-up to Christmas].

Shane McGowan’s death came nineteen days before the 23rd anniversary of the tragic death of Kirsty MacColl, co-vocalist on Fairytale Of New York, at just 41. That happened in the pre-download era, so it was too close to Christmas for it to have any real impact on the charts. Now, the impact can be more instant. However, most additional streams will not have been counted as most streaming sites are unable to report their data in time for them to be included in Friday’s chart. Any additional copies downloaded on Thursday will have been included.

It is not inevitable that a Christmas song will gain extra sales if the singer dies just before Christmas. Greg Lake died in early December 2016 but his magnificent I Believe In Father Christmas didn’t even make the top 100 that year.

Fairytale Of New York was already set to enter the top forty based on the midweek updates, the nineteenth successive year that it has done so. It is back at number eighteen. Whether it finally makes it to number one this year may be dependent on whether the Official Charts Company (OCC) allow it to be restored to the Standard Chart Ratio following this week's sad news.

It’s been a while since they had a hit single, but the remains of Take That can still sell albums by the truckload. By the time of Monday’s first chart update, This Life had already beaten the first week sales of every album this year. It is the ninth number one album for the one-time boyband whose members are now in their fifties. It finished the week with 116,000 copies. The OCC have reported that 97% of its 116,000 sales come from actual physical sales meaning that it has sold approximately 113,000 real copies.

Taylor Swift’s rerecorded 1989 remains at number two. The Rolling Stones’ Hackney Diamonds is back up to number three in its sixth week in the top ten. Michael Buble’s perennial Christmas album is up to number four. Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts returns to the top five at number five.

The Take That album is the only collection of new material to enter the chart this week. Kylie Minogue’s debut album (produced by the horror show that is Stock Aitken and Waterman) has had a 35th anniversary reissue, including a version on pink vinyl. The original album reached number one. This new version is at number 30.

Anna Mae Bullock, better known as Tina Turner, died in May this year. That has given her record company an excuse to release a new compilation album, Queen Of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Unsurprisingly, her bullying ex-husband Ike is not featured although the album does include a live version of River Deep Mountain High. There is also a version of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. It enters at number sixteen.
Published on: 2023-12-01 by Suedehead2 || 1090 Views
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