You amaze me. That’s five weeks, and “Castle on the Hill” remains at number 2. This is a new record for the longest run at numbers 1 and 2 for a single artist… but it’s one of those records which is going to be broken more routinely as the digital era allows for multiple tracks to be available at once, and as the charts slow down. The previous record holder was Justin Bieber, who managed four straight weeks at the tail end of 2015 (and was only stopped by Christmas); before that, the record had been stuck at three since the Beatles.
8. Stormzy – “Big For Your Boots”
Highest new entry. This matches his previous peak of number 8 for “Shut Up” in December 2015, but that was the result of a download campaign for the Christmas chart – this is a legit top ten hit. It’s his first new material in nine months and it’s promoting an imminent album, “Gang Signs & Prayer”. Good video, too – straightforward but very well shot.
Up ten, so this is finally getting some momentum after a sluggish start.
25. Train – “Play That Song”
Huh, really? Because the album was out last week. And… boy, that’s a video that kills my goodwill in the first twenty seconds, if ever there was one. Toxically twee.
Train have had a reasonably consistent album career in the US, but their appearance on the UK singles chart have been few and far between – their only previous hits were “Drops of Jupiter” (number 10 in 2001), “Hey Soul Sister” (18 in 2010) and “Drive By” (6 in 2012). This song, of course, is a semi-cover of “Heart & Soul”, a Hoagy Carmichael song originally recorded by Larry Clinton & His Orchestra with Bea Wain, which was a US number 1 in 1939. And hey, it has a video!
That version of “Heart & Soul” has never charted in the UK, largely because the UK singles chart didn’t exist until the fifties. The song was, however, a number 24 hit for Jan and Dean in 1961 in a version that’s… well, it’s vaguely surf-y, I guess.
29. Snakehips & MØ – “Don’t Leave”
This entered at 33 five weeks ago, but it didn’t have a video then, and it’s now making a comeback.
34. James Arthur – “Safe Inside”
A slow start for the follow-up to last year’s number 1 “Say You Won’t Let Go”, but it’s only been out two weeks, so this is still well within the parameters of modern hits.
On the album chart, the new entries are top-heavy.
“Little Fictions” by Elbow enters at 1. That’s their second number 1 album, following 2014’s “The Take Off And Landing Of Everything”. Single: “Gentle Storm”.
“Heavy Fire” by Black Star Riders at 6. That’s the name currently used by what was previously the final (2012) incarnation of Thin Lizzy. It’s their third album under that name, and the highest position to date. Single: “Testify Or Say Goodbye”.