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Jun 4

Charts – 2 June 2017

Posted on Sunday, June 4, 2017 by Paul in Music

It’s election time.

1.  Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber – “Despacito”

That’s four weeks, which – assuming you’re prepared to turn a blind eye to Justin Bieber’s bits – makes it the longest running foreign language number one ever.  The previous record of three weeks is officially (i.e., in the eyes of the chart compilers) held by Manhattan Transfer’s “Chanson D’Amour”, from 1977, though that’s actually a mixture of English, French and “ra da da da da”.

4.  Captain Ska – “Liar Liar”

Now here’s something a bit more contentious than usual.

Obviously, this is a download campaign in connection with next week’s general election.  Captain Ska have been around since 2010, when the original version of this song was released.  It’s basically an anti-austerity side project by a group of session musicians; other releases include “What’s The Point of Nick Clegg” and the catchy-sounding “US Healthcare Explained”.  Musically, it’s better than you’re probably imagining – after all, it’s the work of actual professionals who understand the agitpop tradition – but it’s still primarily a badge-of-allegiance record.

Naturally, radio isn’t touching the thing.  There are rules about political balance in the run-up to elections which make that impossible.  Back in 1997, it was seen as a very borderline decision for Radio 1’s top 40 to play D:Ream’s “Things Can Only Get Better”, which made number 19 on re-issue after being used as Tony Blair’s campaign theme.  And that was a totally apolitical record which had made number 1 in its own right three years previously.

Simpler times.

Download campaigns have had a brutal time of it in the streaming era, because the charts now heavily favour records which get a lot of repeat listens on streaming services.  But “listen to it a lot on Spotify” doesn’t have anything near the instant badge-of-allegiance appeal of buying a copy, and frankly, a lot of charity / campaign releases are bought more as a gesture of support than as a source of audio entertainment.  “Liar Liar” hasn’t bucked that trend – it’s here on the strength of 42,000 downloads, which would have placed it at number 2 on an all-sales chart.  Its streams are minimal – 300,000 last week, compared to 59,000 sales and 10.6 million streams for “Desposito”.  (Yes, it has two million views on YouTube – but the Justin Bieber mix of “Despacito” has a quarter of a billion.)  It’s unusual for a record to get quite this far up the chart with minimal streams and, to be honest, it may have just hit a lucky week in order to do so.  Still, it shows that the download campaign is still viable – maybe not for number one, but at least to get passably high up the chart.

“Mama” by Jonas Blue featuring William Singe climbs 12-8 to give Blue his third top ten hit.

13.  Rita Ora – “Your Song”

Presumably the lead single from the next album.  Ora hasn’t actually released an album since 2012, and all of her singles since then have failed to result in an album.  She sued to get out of her contract with Roc Nation and that settled last year, since when she’s signed with Atlantic.

This is written by Ed Sheeran, because everything is.

“Pretty Girl” by Maggie Lindemann climbs 17-15; “Slow Hands” by Niall Horan climbs 23-21.

27.  Little Mix – “Power”

Well, that’s an awful cover, isn’t it?  This is the fourth single from last year’s album “Glory Days” – the single version has added vocals by Stormzy, but the chart company are still running with the album credit for now.  It’s… not their best.  The previous single, “No More Sad Songs”, is still at number 32.  It couldn’t get above 15, so a fourth single from the same album is pushing it.

On the album chart:

  • An anniversary reissue of “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band” is at number 1.  I think the only track from this album with an official video is “A Day in The Life”, which had some outtakes cobbled together for a 2015 compilation.
  • “Different Days” by the Charlatans at 4.  That’s as high as they’ve been since 2001, though the previous album also made the top 10.  Single: “Plastic Machinery”.
  • “The Amazons” by the Amazons at 8.  They’re a rock band who were on some of the start-of-year lists, and no, they’re not women.  Single: “Black Magic”.
  • “True to Self” by Bryson Tiller at 11.  R&B.  It’s his second album but the first to chart (the previous one got to 41).  Single: “Somethin Tells Me”.
  • “Pearls – The Very Best of Elkie Brooks” at 14.  Elkie Brooks hasn’t had a top 40 album since 1993, and a compilation released in 2007 missed the top 40.  So even allowing for the veteran-friendly changing nature of the album chart, she’s an unexpected name.  The title references her biggest hit, her solo debut “Pearl’s A Singer”, which reached number 8 in 1977.
  • “3-D The Catalogue” by Kraftwerk at 24.  It’s an eight-disc set of live performances of each of Kraftwerk’s albums.  There aren’t any single tracks on YouTube, so here’s the original video for “The Model”, their 1981 number 1.

Bring on the comments

  1. LiamKav says:

    I know it doesn’t bother lots of people, and I know that there are only so many combinations of words in the English language, but why oh why would you release a track called “Your Song”? Do you hope people will stumble across it by accident? Are you hoping that it’ll get played at weddings up and down the land when the DJ doesn’t understand what the bride and groom have requested for their first dance? Do you think you can actually REPLACE what people think of when they hear the phrase “Your Song”?

  2. Joe S. Walker says:

    I thought that Captain Ska record was going to be a version of the Castaways’ “Liar Liar”…

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