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Apr 22

Charts – 20 March 2014

Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Paul in Music

Another batch of dance records!  Oh, and Elyar Fox.

38.  DJ Snake & Lil Jon – “Turn Down For What”

Well, that video certainly isn’t making MTV UK’s daytime top 40 rundown.  This track has gone platinum in the USA, and it’s been climbing from the lower reaches for a few weeks now.  DJ Snake is a French producer, getting his first UK hit (if 38 counts as a hit).  Lil Jon has had quite a few hits in America, but his only previous UK appearance was as a guest rapper on Jay Sean’s “Do You Remember”, which made number 10 four years ago.

29.  Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma – “Cannonball (Earthquake)”

Third hit for the Dutch brothers Showtek, following last year’s top 5 hit “Booyah” and the current David Guetta collaboration “Bad”.  They do a lot of collaborating; this one, with Justin Prime, another Dutch DJ, started out as an instrumental back in 2012.  But for this release, it’s had vocals added from Matthew Koma, who was previously the featured vocalist on Hardwell’s “Dare You” – a number 18 flash in the pan in January.

13.  Meridian Dan featuring Big H & JME – “German Whip”

A crossover grime hit – well, kind of.  It was number 6 in the midweeks, so sales must have been pretty front loaded.  JME was one of the guest rappers on Wiley’s “Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya)”, which made number 3 in 2012, but the others are chart newcomers.

Supposedly, a “whip” is an early motoring term which has been dusted off and repurposed as meaning “car”.  Originally (if you believe the internet) it actually meant a steering wheel, on the logic that it was equivalent to the coachwhip.  But close enough.

11.  Elyar Fox – “A Billion Girls”

Follow-up to “Do It All Over Again”, which made number 5 in January.  Diminishing returns are already in evidence.  At time of writing, it’s at 34 on iTunes, so this looks like another front loaded pop song selling predominantly in first-day fan purchases.  Actually, it’s not a horrible record, but the window for achieving any sort of crossover looks small.

3.  Shift K3y – “Touch”

UK garage – we haven’t had that in a while.  Shift K3y is 20-year-old producer Lewis Jankel, who has a few high profile remix assignments under his belt.  Unusually in this day and age, he’s doing his own vocals on this track.  He’s got a good voice, though I can’t help thinking the video director could have done him a few more favours.

1.  Kiesza – “Hideaway”

Debut hit for house singer Kiesa Rae Ellestad.  She’s from Calgary, but that’s Brooklyn in the video.  She’s a trained ballerina, which might explain why somebody decided to try a one-shot video like this.  Apparently she’s got a broken rib in this video, which can’t have been fun.

This sold 136,000 copies, though that does include several weeks of pre-order sales.  It’s the ninth straight week to see a change of number 1, and that’ll be continuing next week.  Admittedly one of those weeks was “Happy” returning to the top.  But otherwise, we seem to be back in a pattern of records entering at the top after advance promotion.  Interestingly, most of the artists in question have been relative newcomers rather than established fan base acts – Sam Smith, Route 94, Duke Dumont, 5 Seconds of Summer, Aloe Blacc, Sigma and now Kiesza.  Still, it’d be nice to see something break from the pack and stay at the top a bit longer.

On the album chart:

  • “Caustic Love” by Paolo Nutini at 1.  It’s the fastest selling album of the year, not that that’s a huge achievement these days.  The single “Scream” rebounds to 22 this week.
  • “Meet the Vamps” by the Vamps at 2.  A pretty solid debut for a teen pop band.  The single “Last Night” predictably drops 2-14 on the singles chart.
  • “Homo Erraticus” by Ian Anderson at 14.  The sixth solo studio album from the front man of Jethro Tull.  Again, it speaks volumes about the state of the album market that he’s now getting to number 14, when none of his previous releases got above 35.  Single: “Enter the Uninvited”.
  • “One Day Like This” by Rhydian at 19.  Yes, the guy who came second in the 2007 season of X Factor is still recording.  It’s the expected selection of classical crossover covers.  With this release, he apparently becomes only the second X Factor alumnus to make it to five albums (the other being JLS).  Admittedly, one of his five albums was a low-selling Welsh language release, but still, five albums.  Single: “Nights in White Satin”.  It’s in Italian, so as to be extra classy.
  • “Do The Beast” by the Afghan Whigs at 40.  Astonishingly, the first time the indie veterans have actually made the albums top 40 – 1996′s “Black Love” only got to 41.  Single: “Algiers”.  (I still think their 1993 single “Debonair” was inexplicably overlooked.)
Apr 14

Charts – 13 March 2014

Posted on Monday, April 14, 2014 by Paul in Music

Hey, I haven’t reminded you about our live show for a couple of posts!  Buy tickets here!  May 31!  It’s for charity!

Meanwhile, on the charts: re-recorded remixes, film soundtracks, and somebody gets a hit single after The Voice UK final!

40.  Paolo Nutini – “Better Man”


Apr 9

Charts – 6 March 2014

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by Paul in Music

I’m late enough that the midweeks for next Sunday’s chart are out – it’s been a while since that’s happened, so let’s get this one done.

And don’t forget to buy tickets for our live show on 31 May – all details are at this post, including the online ordering details.

We kick off with something unexpected…

40.  Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn & Idina Menzel – “Do You Want To Build A Snowman”

This is not officially on YouTube, though Disney must be turning a blind eye, giving that there are versions with millions of views up there.  It’s presumably in the chart because of the Frozen DVD release.  ”Let It Go”, which is still hanging around the top 40 after all these weeks, climbs up to a new high of 17 this week.  ”Do You Want To Build A Snowman”, while a lovely scene, isn’t exactly the obvious track for people to be cherry picking – but here it is, and it’s actually climbing in the midweeks, which show a third Frozen song – “For The First Time in Forever” – set to join them.  It’s only at 38, though, so it might not be there on Sunday.  Obviously this wasn’t possible until the download era, but the download era has been going long enough that Frozen stands out as doing something truly odd.


Apr 1

Charts – 30 March 2014

Posted on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by Paul in Music

The parade of plugs continues – once again, I direct your attention to the post about the upcoming live show, and where to buy tickets!

Coming up sooner or later, a look at Marvel Knights: X-Men, but first…

33.  Haim – “If I Could Change Your Mind”


Mar 24

Charts – 23 March 2014

Posted on Monday, March 24, 2014 by Paul in Music

If you haven’t seen it already, cast your eyes one post down for the details of the special House to Astonish live episode, which will be taking place on 31 May!


37.  London Grammar – “Hey Now”


Mar 17

Charts – 16 March 2014

Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014 by Paul in Music

Since the UK music industry likes promoting records for weeks before they’re released, but doesn’t much care for promoting records over Christmas or the early new year, it’s round about this time that we start seeing a deluge of new releases.  And lo and behold, there’s a lot of very forgettable stuff out this week…

39.  One Direction – “Midnight Memories”


Mar 10

Charts – 9 March 2014

Posted on Monday, March 10, 2014 by Paul in Music

What you might call a quiet week.

36.  Avicii – “Addicted To You”


Mar 4

Charts – 2 March 2014

Posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 by Paul in Music

A quiet week for new releases, coupled with a surprise number 1 that breaks a few records…

35.  Kid Ink featuring Chris Brown – “Show Me” 

Rebounding from last week’s number 75 to get a third run in the top 40.  Not sure what’s going on here.  It’s certainly hung around a while for a song that never made it above 23.

26.  Starship – “We Built This City”


Feb 25

Charts – 23 February 2014

Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by Paul in Music

It’s time for the annual Brit Awards chart.  This has become a regular feature of the download era, as the primetime awards show reminds people of records they’d forgotten to buy, or actually allows them to download live performances that duly propel songs back into the chart.  Even though the ratings were the lowest in years, they’re still enough to have some impact on the lower half of the top 40.

For example…

39.  The Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know” 

Originally a number 11 hit last June.  The Arctic Monkeys won Best British Group.  Oddly, this isn’t the song they performed on the show – that was 2012′s “R U Mine?”, which re-enters at 55.


Feb 18

Charts – 16 February 2014

Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Paul in Music

An interesting day for the charts, as the BBC has just announced that streaming services are going to be incorporated into the top 40.  There are obvious questions of weighting here, but the basic idea of counting audiences on streaming services is plainly right.  Judging from the OCC’s existing streaming chart, the main impact will be to slow the charts down; it’ll be interesting to see how they do the weighting.

As for this week’s chart, we may be a first – a top 40 with two records deemed completely unbroadcastable by the Radio 1 chart show.

40.  Nina Nesbitt – “Selfies”