Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by Paul in Music
Another quiet week for new releases, this time for very good reason. This chart covers the week of the Brit Awards, the UK’s equivalent of the Grammies, which was always going to dominate the news cycle, and always spawns a few unlikely midweek hits thanks to re-entries from winners and people who performed on the show. Plus, the only genuine major release of the week is a high profile charity single, and nobody wants to go up against that. So, not much going on.
A re-entry because he performed it at the Brits. Originally a number one last year.
38. Tyler James (featuring Kano) – “Worry About You”
Tyler James is the closest The Voice UK came to discovering a star, which is to say that his previously comatose career has at least begun to stir again. These things are relative, though – “Worry About You” only just makes the top 40, even with the support of Radio 1 (who are kind of obliged). All that said, it’s an okay record and really did deserve to go higher.
Kano is a UK rapper who’s been around for years; his biggest hit was “This is the Girl”, which made the lower end of the top 20 in 2007 (though having Craig David on it probably helped).
Speaking of people associated with The Voice UK…
36. The Script – “If You Could See Me Now”
This is the third single from the current album, and while “Hall of Fame” made number 1, follow-up “Six Degrees of Separation” stalled at 32. The Script used to at least do a superficially passable impression of a vaguely alt-rock outfit, and the notionally FM-friendly direction of the current album doesn’t seem to be doing them any favours critically or commercially. On this track, for example, Danny O’Donoghue raps. It’s everything you’d expect from somebody who’s suffered long-term exposure to will.i.am.
This re-entered at number 39 last week, and now rebounds 14 places. It won Best British Single at the Brits, but I suspect the promotion for the DVD release of the movie probably has more to do with its resurgence.
23. Olly Murs – “Army of Two”
An actual new release! Sounds like it ought to be a love song but according to Wikipedia it’s actually a tribute to his fans. I’m sure you’ve got more than two, Olly. It’s a lot better than his previous single “Troublemaker”, but that still makes it something you might find filling out the second half of a Take That album.
12. Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”
Originally made number 12 last September, as the lead single from their current album. It’s back because they performed it on the Brit Awards, where they also won Best British Group. The other nominees were Muse, Alt-J, the xx… and One Direction. Well, it is a music industry ceremony.
And as a music industry ceremony, it serves its purpose when it generates something like this.
9. Ben Howard – “Only Love”
Britain, meet Ben Howard. You might remember when he released this single in May 2012, though since it reached number 37, you probably don’t. But you might also recognise the song from assorted television usage, and you might also (more realistically) remember his 2011 album “Every Kingdom”, which made the top five. Still, he’s very much more of a critical darling than a household name, and his 2012 was spent releasing EPs that made very little impact on the charts.
That didn’t stop the Brits giving him the award for Best British Male Solo Act and (rather oddly given that he already had that top 5 album in 2011) Breakthrough Artist. And he got to do the song on national TV. So here it is. Which is what award ceremonies are for, when you get down to it.
Also rebounding on the strength of a Brits appearance, though it had only just left the top ten. I’m not sure how much coverage this is getting in America, by the way, but Swift is currently working an angle in the tabloids undergoing a public break-up with one of One Direction. Hence doing the big break-up song which is also the current hit at the big awards show which he’s also at, you see.
What? Really? But it’s 150% too long and it only made number 28 in its week of release! But Justin was, again, on the Brits, plus he’s been doing a broader promotional tour of the UK media while he’s in town. And it’s paid off in a big way – this rockets up the charts and is currently on course to make number one next week.
1. One Direction – “One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks)”
This year’s Comic Relief fundraising single. For the benefit of overseas readers, Comic Relief is basically a comedy-oriented telethon which, in the unavoidable manner of such things, alternates between comedy skits and guilt-inducing films in which comedians look sincerely at the camera and implore you to donate. It’s been around for years and started off releasing actual comedy singles for as tie-ins; in recent years, they’ve just put out straight covers by pop acts and asked them if they wouldn’t mind knocking off alternative comedy-themed video. Last year’s Comic Relief single was a plain old Wanted song which happened to have a secondary video with lots of red noses, for example.
And that’s why this week’s number one is a single that isn’t even the best One Direction single on the chart this week. (That would be “Kiss You”.)
The original is by Blondie and was released as a non-album single in 1979. Or rather, released as a non-album single in America and Canada – it was never a single in the UK. That makes One Direction the first people to have a hit with it in this country. Which is just wrong.
For reasons best known to themselves, One Direction have opted to make it a medley with “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones, an acknowledged punk/new wave classic and John Peel’s favourite song, though it actually peaked at a mere number 31. Lead singer Feargal Sharkey, now in his 50s, pops up regularly as a talking head spokesman for the British music industry. #spiritofpunk
I’m not sure anyone wanted to hear a medley of “One Way Or Another” and “Teenage Kicks” to start with, let alone one by One Direction, and I can’t imagine that even their fans view this as anything other than a stopgap charity release. But still, number one.
Over on the album chart, it’s Brits fallout central.
“Our Version of Events” by Emeli Sande is back at number 1, after winning Best British Album.
“Push The Sky Away” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds is at 3, his highest position ever – though this follows a trend from his last few albums.
“Every Kingdom” by Ben Howard re-enters at 4, obviously.
“Red” by Taylor Swift rebound from 25 to 7 after the Brits exposure.
Ditto “An Awesome Wave” by Alt-J, from 33 to 13 – they weren’t actually on the show but they got enough nominations to benefit.
“Fire It Up” by Joe Cocker at 17. His albums don’t consistently sell, and I’m not quite sure what’s marked out this one.
“Channel Orange” by Frank Ocean re-enters at 19 after he won International Male Solo Artist.
“The 2nd Law” by Muse re-enters at 23 after they got to perform their new single on the show.
“#3” by The Script re-enters at 26, and I really do have no idea what’s going on there. Online discount?
“Born To Die” by Lana Del Rey re-enters at 31; she won International Female Solo Artist.
The “Ill Manors” OST by Plan B re-enters at 38, presumably thanks to his nominations.