The number 1 single from September. It’s back because of the overspill of hype from their new single, which we’ll come to in a bit.
37. Example – “Close Enemies”
This is the follow-up to “Say Nothing”, which reached number 2 in September. Considering that it’s had over a month of promotion, number 37 is hugely weak (and since it was 31 in the midweeks, it’s a fair bet it won’t be going further).
Mind you, it’s a pretty weak single. Example laments that his ex-girlfriend was a bitch, without much in the way of a hook to back it up. Must try harder.
32. Lana Del Rey – “Ride”
“Ride” started as a track from Del Rey’s EP “Paradise”, but it’s now being used as a single to promote the special edition of her album.
Your eyes do not deceive you, the video really is ten minutes long. The song isn’t, but the video is. If you want to skip the rambling open monologue (“pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me…”) with the backing music that keeps threatening to turn into the New World Symphony, the actual song runs from 3:25 to 8:00.
There is an awful lot about this record to irritate. The grandiose video; the little-girl-lost biker chick persona. On the other hand, it’s really not a bad song, and taking Lana Del Rey videos at face value is somewhat missing the point. Theatrical self-mythologising is her thing; the element of contrivance isn’t a flaw in the act, it is the act, for better or worse.
21. Stooshe – “Waterfalls”
Yes, that “Waterfalls” – the TLC single from 1995. Seventeen years later, the statute of limitations for cover versions has emphatically expired, and you can see what they were thinking. Stooshe are good singers, it’s a good song that’s still relevant, and it helps move them beyond being Motown revivalists. The result is an entirely serviceable version of “Waterfalls”, but the original’s kind of a classic and I prefer its more laid back arrangement.
The original reached number 4, though TLC’s biggest UK hit was “No Scrubs”, a number 3 single in 1999.
This is a track from the soundtrack to Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, which reached number 32 on its initial release last November. It’s tempting to say that it must be back because Part 2 is out, except that it’s done a lot better this time, which seems odd. The other possible explanation is that it was exposed to a new audience when it was used on Strictly Come Dancing last week.
18. Ed Sheeran – “Give Me Love”
He played this on X Factor last week, so this is perhaps a slightly underwhelming entry. Then again, it’s yet another single from his album +, which has been out since last September, and still managed to be one of the top selling albums of 2012 – so you’d figure there can’t be that many potential buyers left out there by this point.
10. McFly – “Love Is Easy”
This is one of the new songs on their greatest hits album. In their heyday (2004-7) they had seven number ones, and that phase is clearly long gone – but they’re still capable of getting a single into the top ten. Even in their prime, though, McFly had an extreme case of frontloaded boy band sales, with their records being bought almost exclusively by hardcore fans, and then failing to cross over to a broader audience. By Sunday, this was already at 27 on iTunes. Nice video, though.
As predicted, it vaults 31 places now that it’s had a full week on sale.
3. Little Mix – “DNA”
The second proper single from last year’s X Factor winners (their coronation single doesn’t really count) continues the attempt to position them in the largely vacated Girls Aloud niche. Unfortunately, beneath a decent production job, this is really a pretty lousy song, which casts around for a novel image to jazz up the the lyrics, and then can’t think of anything to do with it. So the group end up more or less declaring that their man is awesome because he just is.
I don’t see this one hanging around for that long – it’s currently at 9 on iTunes – which is not a good sign with an act like this on their second single.
2. Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
The lead single from his second album and, well, somebody’s been listening to the Police, haven’t they? (Given the VHS effect on the video, the director was clearly thinking along similar lines.) Actually, there are six writers credited on this thing, including Mark Ronson, so who knows who decided to give the verses a Police arrangement. The sales look to have been frontloaded – this was number one on the midweeks, but iTunes already has it down at 8. Still, it’s kind of growing on me after a few listens, and it does stand out on the current radio playlists, so I wouldn’t be amazed if it found a broader audience after all.
1. One Direction – “Little Things”
Technically this is an album track, but it is scheduled as an upcoming single, hence the video, and they promoted it on the X Factor results show last week. Also, the album’s just come out, so there’s been a round of publicity for that.
Nonetheless, One Direction are not a band who are guaranteed number one hits – despite the hype, this is only their second number one, following their debut “What Makes You Beautiful” in 2011. (Well, they also had a featured artist credited on that year’s X-Factor charity single, but that doesn’t really count, does it?)
One Direction’s stock in trade, at least where their singles are concerned, is upbeat teen pop. This is obviously rather different, which is because it’s not a product of the usual songwriting suspects at all. Instead, it’s one of Ed Sheeran’s cast-offs – a song he wrote at 17 and has now offloaded onto the wide-eyed boy band. And it’s sappy – it’s one of those “I know you have body image problems, girl, but I think you’re adorable” numbers – but it is a better than average One Direction single. Unlike most boy band singles, this one is holding up on iTunes, which suggests it may well have a broader appeal than its initial target market. (Ed Sheeran fans, for example.)
Over on the album charts, it’s mainly Christmas presents, rock veterans, and Christina Aguilera’s record label weeping softly:-
One Direction, “Take Me Home” at number 1, naturally.
Rod Stewart, “Merry Christmas Baby” at number 2. And for the his and hers grandparent present set….
The Rolling Stones, “Grrr” at number 3.
Alfie Boe, “Storyteller” at number 6. Boe is a pop-classical tenor. He also sometimes crops up on records by the Clint Boon Experience, but that’s another story.
Green Day, “Dos” at 10. The middle album of a trilogy, obviously.
Soundgarden, “King Animal” at 21. The alt-rock band reformed in 2010. This is their first new album in 16 years.
Christina Aguilera, “Lotus” at 28. Her last album “Bionic” didn’t stick around for long, but it still managed a week at number 1. Number 28? That’s really, really bad.
The Deftones, “Koi No Yokan” at 30. That’s been about standard for a Deftones album in recent years, though they skirted mainstream success around 2000 or so.
Steps, “Light Up The World” at 32. No, it’s not a greatest hits album. It’s something far worse – an all-new collection of Christmas songs covered by Steps!
The Weeknd, “Trilogy” at 37. The Weeknd (sic) is a Canadian R&B singer, and this is a collection of his three earlier mixtapes with a bit of new material thrown in.
Foster & Allan, “The Ultimate Collection” at 38. Greatest hits album from the veteran Irish folk duo.