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Wham are at number one again
Wham's Last Christmas is back at the top of the singles chart. Peter Gabriel's first album of original material for over twenty years top s the albums chart.

Wham get the year’s first festive number one. Peter Gabriel tops the albums chart.

The Christmas takeover steps up another gear this week, extending to the very top of the chart. Wham’s 1984 classic leads the way as it tops the chart for the third year out of the last four. Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You which, like Last Christmas topped the chart over the 2020 and 2022 festive periods, is at number two.

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl climb to number four with Fairytale Of New York. Shane McGowan’s funeral took place earlier today. Among those attending was the Irish president Michael D Higgins. Also present were Bono, Bob Geldof and Nick Cave who performed the Pogues song A Rainy Night In Soho. Earlier in the day there was also a commemorative event in Dublin where a large crowd chanted Fairytale Of New York.

Jack Harlow’s Lovin On Me falls to number three after three weeks at the top.Noah Kahan’s lovely Stick Season slips to number five. It is likely to fall dramatically over the next few weeks before bouncing back in January.

Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree climbs to number six. Earlier this week it climbed to number one for the first time in the USA, 65b years after its release. It is her third us number one, after I’m Sorry and I Want To Be Wanted, both in 1960.

There is a magnificent one brand new entry this week. It comes, almost inevitably, from Taylor Swift. Another of the bonus tracks on the new version of 1989, You’re Losing Me, enters at number twenty. Earlier this week Swift was named by American magazine Time as their person of the year. The annual award goes to somebody considered by the magazine to have dominated the news that year. They haven’t always been in the news for good reasons; Adolf Hitler is among the list of previous winners. Swift is the first person from the arts and entertainment world to win the award.

You can guess what comes next. Yes, it’s another batch of Christmas re-entries. That means that Wizzard featuring Vocal backing By The Suedettes Plus The Stockland Green Bilateral School Choir With Additional Noises By Miss snob And Class 3C get their annual mention. Yes, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day is back again at number thirty. The other perennial song with a long credit, Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir is at number nineteen. Today (Friday) is the 43rd anniversary of Lennon’s death at the hands of a gunman.

It is simpler to present the other re-entries as a list, so here goes -

21 Michael Buble - Holly Jolly Christmas
22 Chris Rea - Driving Home For Christmas
24 Elton John - Step Into Christmas
28 Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime
29 The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
32 Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad
35 Leona Lewis - One More Sleep
38 Justin Bieber - Mistletoe
39 Slade = Merry Xmas Everybody

Sia’s Snowman climbs to number 27, one place higher than last year’s peak. It will presumably continue to climb for the rest of the month. There is also a new peak for Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande’s Santa, Can You Hear Me. It was released in 2021 when it reached number 37. It got three places higher last year; this year it is already at number 23 as another re-entry.

Dean Martin’s bland version of Let It Snow Let It Snow is another ancient song to hit a new peak already. Released in 1959, it didn’t chart at all until 2007 and didn’t reach the top forty until 2019. It has hit a new peak each year since then and is now at number seventeen.

Sam Ryder’s new song You’re Christmas To Me climbs to number twelve.

Many chart enthusiasts were rather surprised when something called Ateez topped the albums chart in the week’s first update on Monday. Who or why or which or what is Ateez was the question on many lips. The answer is that they are another South Korean boyband. Oh joy. The album - or, rather, EP - in question is The World EP.Fin : Will which has just become their second number one album in their home country. Thankfully, good taste prevailed and a far better album finished the week at number one. Ateez have to make do with a number two album.

Peter Gabriel was the creative genius behind Genesis’s early albums. That, at least, is my view. Others will say that he was a pretentious poseur. Both sides of the argument might cite the 23-minute epic Supper’s Ready to support their case. What is undoubtedly true is that the Genesis sound gradually changed after Gabriel left while his solo material was influenced by sounds from beyond the usual US and UK sources. He worked with African musicians before Paul Simon’s excellent Graceland album made it fashionable.

While Genesis still made some good albums after Gabriel’s departure (particularly A Trick Of The Tail and Wind And Wuthering), they steadily moved in a more poppy direction ane ultimately became little more than a Phil Collins backing band.

Peter Gabriel’s last standard studio album was Up, released in 2002. That was his first album since Us ten years earlier. It was his third successive album with a two-letter title after his record label objected to his habit of calling all his solo albums Peter Gabriel.

Gabriel started work on i/o soon after the release of Up, anticipating a release around two years later. However, it has taken rather longer and was finally released last week. It should be added that he hasn’t been totally idle in that time, releasing Scratch My Back, a collection of cover versions (n album of covers of Peter Gabriel songs by many of the artists whose songs featured on Scratch My Back followed later), New Blood (rerecordings of his back catalogue) and film soundtracks in the meantime.

The new album comprises two versions of each of twelve tracks, a Bright Side version and a Dark Side version. As is to be expected it is a very good album with some songs reminiscent of his earliest solo material such as Here Comes The Flood from his first album released in 1977. Unusually, the two versions of each song are almost exactly the same length as each other with a single exception. i/o is Peter Gabriel’s third number one album after the third release titled Peter Gabriel (1980) and So (1986).

Michael Buble’s Christmas album is at number three. Taylor Swift’s revamped 1989 falls two places to number four. The Rolling Stones are at number five with Hackney Diamonds.

In 2019 a team of boffins used Artificial Intelligence to create a Eurovision song called Blue Jeans And Bloody Tears. It was a sign of how good AI already was although nobody predicted just how much it would advance in the next few years. That song seems to have been the inspiration for the song Cher (and auto-tune) performed on Graham Norton’s show last week. It came from her Christmas album which was released at the end of October. It fell just short of the top forty in its release week but lands at number eight.

Soft Cell released their debut album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret just before Christmas in 1981. It entered at number fifteen and hung around in roughly the same position for a while before rising to a more deserved peak of number five the following February. The increase in popularity followed the release of the third single from the album, Say Hello Wave Goodbye. A new edition of the album has now been released and it enters at number 31.

Two other reissues also enter the top forty. Pink’s Trustfall is at number fifteen and Travis Scott’s Utopia is at 33.
Published on: 2023-12-08 by Suedehead2 || 1346 Views
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