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Sep 29

Charts – 28 September 2014

Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 by Paul in Music, Uncategorized

It’s another very quiet week for new releases.  But we do have a genuine moment of chart history that will live on pub quizzes for years to come.  And here it is now.

33.  Meghan Trainor – “All About That Bass”

What’s so important about a Meghan Trainor single entering at 33?  Simple – it only came out yesterday.  Which is outside the chart window.  There’s been extended promotion for this one, it’s going to be a massive hit, and it will leapfrog to number 1 on Sunday.  (Which is not a record, before you ask.)

No, the important thing is that this record was released to streaming services several weeks before it went on sale.  It’s currently at number 4 on the streaming charts, and thanks to the recent change in chart rules, that counts towards its chart position.

Which makes this the very first record to reach the top 40 on streaming data alone, with sales of zero.

The record, then.  It is, obviously, a vaguely doo wop thing about body confidence.  It’s already been number one in the US and it’s done well across Europe.  Meghan Trainor is a songwriter who’s previously written for various Nashville acts, though she’s actually from Massachusetts.  This is her debut major label release, but she self-released a couple of albums in 2011.  You can find them on YouTube if you really want; from a quick skim, they’re pretty much major label songwriter demos, so you can see how she got into that.

We aren’t finished with this song.  But first…

25.  Shift K3Y – “I Know”

The follow-up to “Touch”, which made number 3 in April.  As before, Shift K3y is an unusual case of a producer who does his own vocals, so for once there’s a reason for the track having no featured artist credit.  The video is… vaguely creepy, if you ask me, and I’m pretty sure that isn’t what they were going for.  It was 13 in the midweeks, so it’ll be gone quickly.

13.  Power Music Workout – “All About That Bass”

It’s been a while since we had one of these.  If you hype a record for long enough before its UK release – and also release it elsewhere in the European Union, at which point your publisher will apparently start licensing cover versions – then people will produce knock-off covers to either take advantage of the demand or just hope for confusion purchases.  Hence the appearance at number 13 of Power Music Workout.

In fact, Power Music Workout are among the least objectionable practitioners in this area, since this is not a clone version; it’s a cover designed for use in workout classes.  It might pass for a rather uninspired dance mix, but it’s not a straight copy; it can claim with a reasonably straight face to be a genuine cover version, and I can genuinely imagine people buying it to use in exercise classes.  It’s actually still in the iTunes top 40 right now, so some people really do seem to be buying it because they want it.  (Unsurprisingly, Power Music Workout are not on YouTube, but if you really want to hear it, it’s the soundtrack on this video.)

Another cover of the song is sitting at number 70, credited to Meghan Tonjes – which may well be a case of confusion purchases.  But Tonjes is a YouTuber who’s been releasing records for a while; the name is a genuine coincidence, and hers is an acoustic version that again bears very little resemblance to the original arrangement.

Obviously, when a song has enough anticipation to get into the charts in three versions in the week before it’s released, you can figure it’s going to be big.

1.  Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

This was released in America a while back to promote a reissue of Ariana Grande’s album.  That reissue hasn’t come out yet in the UK, so instead it’s being used here as the lead single from Jessie J’s next album.  It’s a Max Martin song, and the chorus is pretty strong, but…

The thing about Jessie J is there’s something terribly contrived sounding about her – she always sounds to me like she’s imitating mannerisms she’s picked up somewhere else.  She’s a collection of tics picked up from stage school and a record collection, basically.  And when you put her next to Nicki Minaj, who is phoning it in but can out-charisma Jessie J even while mostly thinking about what she’s going to have for dinner… well, that’s not good either.

But hey.  Number 1.  And it’s a third number 1 for Jessie J, following “Price Tag” and “Domino” – both of which were in 2011, so it’s been a while.  Ariana Grande gets her second number 1 following “Problem” from July.  Appallingly, this is the first Nicki Minaj single to make number 1 in the UK – though since her previous biggest UK hit was the number 2 single “Starships”, it’s not as though the British have ever shown tremendously good taste in their Nicki Minaj selections.

On the albums chart, a busier week.

  • “This Is All Yours” by Alt-J at 1.  The follow-up to their debut “An Awesome Wave”, which got to 12 in 2013 and won the Mercury Music Prize.  Single: “Hunger of the Pine”.  (Caution: contains scenes of symbolic archery.)
  • “Popular Problems” by Leonard Cohen at 5.  My mum used to listen to Leonard Cohen when she was a student.  And at the age of 80 he’s still going.  He seems to be having a late-career revival of sorts – his previous album also made the top 5, something he hadn’t done since 1969.  Single: “Almost Like The Blues”.
  • “Syro” by the Aphex Twin at 8.  His first album since 2001’s “Drukqs”, and the first time he’s made the top 10 – his previous peak was 11 with 1994’s “Selected Ambient Works Vol II”.  It’s still the Aphex Twin, not much has changed, but the reviews have been very positive.  Single: “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]”.
  • “Different Shades of Blue” by Joe Bonamassa at 9.  Blues rock guitarist.  He fairly churns out the albums these days – this is his sixth album in three years.  Single: “Different Shades of Blue”.
  • “Cheek to Cheek” by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga at 10.  Yes, really.  It’s an album of jazz standard covers, so if you want to hear Lady Gaga singing something completely different from normal, it’s got that.  Single: “Anything Goes”.
  • “Growing Up in Public” by Professor Green at 12.  That’s not hugely encouraging.  The single “Lullaby” is still at number 8, but a bit of rebuilding needing done here, I think.
  • “The Violet Flame” by Erasure at 20.  Their sixteenth studio album.  The last one missed the top 40 entirely, but then it was a Christmas record.  Single: “Elevation”.
  • “Strut” by Lenny Kravitz at 21.  Hey, he’s still going too!  Single: “The Chamber”.
  • “Miss Saigon – Original Cast Recording” at 25.  I’m assuming this in the charts because of a 25th anniversary show by the original cast.  Otherwise, bit random.

Bring on the comments

  1. BringTheNoise says:

    Part of me wants to believe that “Growing Up In Public” isn’t doing so well as the sales are being diverted to the Jimmy Nail album of the same name

  2. Leo says:

    Though “All About That Bass” seems at first like it has a positive message, beyond the surface it becomes sexist, shallow and bad!

    “I can shake it like i’m supposed to do”???
    “supposed to do”??
    nonne is forcing anyone to “shake it”! and personally, i have never liked all that twerking craze anyway.

    “cause i’ve got that boom boom that all the boys are chasing, all the right junk in all the right places” and “I’m bringing booty back” are contradictory and booty never went away. Also, the song urges a woman to value herself by her desirability. Newsflash, if you believe yourself as ugly, no matter how you look, you will be perceived as ugly. If you learn to love and like yourself no matter how you look, you will be desirable, it all comes from the inside. The only people who only care about looks are those who are only worth for a one night stand (which i don’t judge, to each their own).

    “Skinny bitches” that’s meant to be demeaning for thin people, why insult people because of their weight if the song was about acceptance of one’s weight? I know people who are activelly trying to gain weight and despite eating incredible amounts of food they can’t! Also, the word bitch has been a hot topic in this very blog in the past.

    If the song really wanted to give a positive message it would say to love yourself the way you are and if you have trouble with that, change the parts you hate. Change should be for yourself, not for the approval of others. If you approve yourself, others will approve you too. That would be a positive message, not to shake your ass to make it desirable, we aren’t monkeys!

    I could probably say more about that song but i already said far more than i planned to. Needless to say i don’t really like it. At least Nicki Minaj is more honest about what she’s doing, she is sexist and she likes it!

  3. errant says:

    What would be a Nicki Minaj selection made in good taste, exactly?

  4. Liam Tait says:

    Hey Arrant if you’re looking for a more classy Nicki Minaj song I’d suggest you listen to Marilyn Monroe or Pills and Potions. I’d say those are two of her more tasteful and less ‘ass’ orientated ditties.

    I still quite like the Megan Trainor song even if the lyrics are a little problematic, it’s better than Blurred Lines so that’s a start.

  5. errant says:

    I’m not looking, but thanks.

  6. Dazzler says:

    Your mum had great taste. Leonard Cohen is amazing.

  7. Lawrence says:


    I’m not sure if you’re intentionally quoting the song out of context to try to prove a point or if you just didn’t realize the full verse goes:

    “I’m bringing booty back
    Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
    No I’m just playing.
    I know you think you’re fat
    But I’m here to tell ya
    Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”

    The single line you were referencing is actually part of a verse that says exactly what you think the song “should” be about.

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