It’s another exceptionally quiet week, with a bare handful of new releases, and some older records making a resurgence further down the chart. Mercifully, Chris Brown’s sales flare out after a single week, and he drops to number five. He is replaced by a much better pop single.
1. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
No less than two “tribute” cover versions of this song were floating around outside the top 40 last week, which should have been a tip-off that it was going to sell rather well. It takes thirty seconds or so to get going, but then it launches into the chorus and pretty much stays there for the rest of the track. Well, okay, there’s a second verse. But it’s not very long. It’s a very good pop single, and it looks like it’s got a decent shot of staying on top for a second week.
This is Jepsen’s debut international release. Previously her claim to fame was that she came third in Canadian Idol five years ago. That led to an album called “Tug of War” which doesn’t seem to have done very well even in Canada. With her second album, however, she has an international recording deal and the endorsement of Justin Bieber (who roped in some Disney starlets to promote the track with a video of them, well, running around a house somewhere). That said, Bieber’s avid fan base have never got him above number 3 in the UK – though that might change with the release of his new single this week – so it’s fair to say people really like this track. And rightly so.
15. Alex Day – “Lady Godiva”
I know what you’re thinking. ”What the hell was that?”
Alex Day is a YouTube songwriter and – do people still use the word vlogger? He’s one of them, anyway. You may remember his previous single “Forever Yours”, which he successfully hyped to number 4 in Christmas week. This is basically the same deal with somewhat diminished returns. Day is what you might call a creator-owned musician; he’s building a following online and releasing his own singles. Somehow or other he has also wangled a deal with Universal where they’re distributing the physical release of his CDs for a relatively modest 15% cut. I can only assume there’s an album on the way, as this can’t be worth their effort for the sake of a few CD singles. Whatever you think of Day’s records, the quality of which is somewhat patchy, he’s an interesting model for other acts to follow.
For reasons best known to himself, Day has decided to launch his relationship with Universal by putting out a cover version of a largely forgotten song by Peter & Gordon which reached number 16 in 1966.
Ah, videos of the sixties. The days when they’d broadcast anything as long as it moved a bit.
18. The Script – “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”
This was a number 2 hit in 2008, and I can only assume it’s back because singer Danny O’Donoghue is now a judge on the BBC’s version of The Voice. His inclusion raised a few eyebrows, given that the other three judges are Jessie J, Tom Jones and will.i.am, and he’s, well, he’s the bloke from The Script. But he’s there to provide the genre balance, and Chris Martin was probably busy.
At any rate, he’s clearly the judge who had the most to gain from The Voice if it did well, and thus far it’s performed pretty respectably. The BBC don’t have a great track record of singing competitions – there’s an institutional reluctance to commit to the production excesses of the X-Factor let alone its casual mockery of the mentally ill – but The Voice is the sort of gimmick they seem to have a better handle on. The Voice is currently locked in a ratings battle with Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent. And it’s unexpectedly close. BGT is getting the higher peak audience, but The Voice is slaughtering it in the overlap, and (presumably as a result) is also getting the higher average audience over its running time. ITV might want to think again about that overlap, which was their decision, and mainly seems to be rebounding on them.
Your random re-entries for the week. ”Good Feeling” was the theme music for Wrestlemania and I guess might have picked up a few belated sales from that. ”Lego House”… no idea.
39. Beyonce, “End of Time”
This is the next single from Beyonce’s current album, starting to sell a few downloads thanks to the advance promotion. One of her better singles in quite a while, and I’m surprised they’ve left it this far into the album’s promotion. Probably a safe bet that it will climb.