First, a fourth week for Clean Bandit, which matches the run of “Rather Be” two years ago. (When, admittedly, four-week runs were rather less common.) The midweeks have it on course for a fifth week.
3. The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk – “Starboy”
9. The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk – “I Feel It Coming”
17. The Weeknd – “Party Monster”
26. The Weeknd – “Rockin'”
30. The Weeknd featuring Kendrick Lamar – “Sidewalks”
39. The Weeknd – “Reminder”
Don’t worry, he hasn’t died. This is the result of the album “Starboy” coming out, and getting unusually heavy levels of streaming for an album. The result is that many of the individual tracks are registering enough streams to chart as singles – other Weeknd tracks can be found at number 43, 47, 51, 53, 55, 68, 73, 74, 76, 78, 79, and 81. Technically “Starboy” is the official single, and it rebounds this week, though it doesn’t quite recapture its number 2 peak from last month. “I Feel It Coming” and “Party Monster” charted last week after being released as promotional tracks and appearing in the “MANIA” album medley video above, but both climb this week. And then there’s another three tracks on top of that, which are evidently the ones getting the replays. I expect this will calm down next week, but who knows these days?
11. Rag’n’Bone Man – “Human”
Oh, now this is very good. This guy has been releasing records since 2012, and in fact the video above has been on YouTube since July, but the music industry has him pencilled in for his big breakthrough at the start of next year. The delivery is just fantastic, and it’s already been number 1 in several European countries. It’s angsty stuff, but seems to be more about buckling and going into denial under the pressure of responsibility – or, maybe, just resisting unjustified pressure and unreasonable expectations, depending on how you want to read it. There’s a nice ambiguity to that. I like it a lot.
This seemed to have peaked at number 19 three weeks ago, but it’s got a second wind. It’s acquired a video since we last saw it – I assume that’s Iceland in the video. The woman isn’t Raye, in case you were wondering.
29. Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
It’s the first chart of December, what did you think was going to happen? This is the tenth straight year that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has returned to the top 40 – it’s a mainstay of the digital era and now firmly canonised alongside the big guns of yesteryear. The midweeks show a load of other old faithfuls will probably be joining it on Sunday.
On the album chart… oh, and if you want a sense of the health of the albums market, last week saw more albums sold on vinyl than as digital downloads. Think about that for a minute. The Official Chart Company’s spin is “glorious resurgence of vinyl”. And vinyl has seen a resurgence in the last few years, but come on now. Think what this says about the health of the album download market.
“Glory Days” by Little Mix spends a surprising second week at number 1. Who knew they were an albums band?
“Before The Dawn” by Kate Bush at 4. This is the live album from her 2014 residency. (The chart seems to be following general consensus in crediting it as a Kate Bush album, even though the record sleeve actually says “The KT Fellowship Presents Before The Dawn”.) Top 5 remains the standard for a Kate Bush album this decade. Video: “And Dream Of Sheep”.
“Starboy” by The Weeknd 5. Surprisingly low given its streaming success, but apparently he has a lot of fans who stream instead of buying. Still, last year’s album “Beauty Behind The Madness” got to number 1, so this is slightly disappointing.
“Falling In Love” by Andre Rieu & His Johann Strauss Orchestra at 7. What shall we get Granny for Christmas? She likes proper music and reads the Daily Mail. Perhaps something by Rieu’s stadium-classical outfit regularly (though not consistently) get their albums this high up the chart. Here’s a highlight video from his recent concert, which he is “incredibly excited” to share with us.
“Chasing Dreams” by Bradley Walsh at 10. Or perhaps this collection of standards by the presenter of ITV’s The Chase? Here’s the advert.
“Night Driver” by Busted at 13. Yes, Busted. They only made two studio albums during their original run, and that was in 2002-3, but here they are with the obligatory middle age comeback. They now fancy themselves as disco, it seems. Single: “On What You’re On”.
“Classic House” by Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley at 16. Remember that Hacienda classical album? Well, now Pete Tong is having a go. Here’s a version of Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here Right Now”, which doesn’t sound that dissimilar to the original.
“A Wonderful World” by Susan Boyle at 22. This is her sixth studio album, though diminishing returns are setting in. It’s the usual collection of covers, with the title track, “Mull of Kintyre”, “When You Wish Upon A Star” and… “Like A Prayer”?
“4Ever” by Prince at 24. It’s a two-disc compilation, but I guess if you’re in the market for that, you probably have most of the tracks already. There is actually one previously unreleased (i.e., previously only available as a bootleg) track, “Moonbeam Levels” – and hey, it’s the first Prince compilation to include “Batdance”, if that excites you. Obviously, none of this is available anywhere to link to, because it’s Prince.
“One Voice At Christmas” by Aled Jones at 30. His non-Christmas album “One Voice” got to number 3 earlier in the year, so apparently Christmas is a sales-loser for Aled Jones. Includes a cover version of his own hit “Walking In The Air” where he duets with himself as a choirboy. You don’t know this stuff exists unless you start wading down to the bottom end of the album chart, and isn’t your life better for knowing it? Since people keep forgetting, a reminder that Jones’s original version is not the one you can hear on The Snowman – that was performed by an uncredited chorister called Peter Auty and it was recorded in 1982. Jones’s version was a re-recording made for an advert in 1985, by which time Auty’s voice had broken.