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Sep 3

Charts – 1 September 2017

Posted on Sunday, September 3, 2017 by Paul in Music

Hopefully I’ll start catching up on reviews over the next week – currently stuck in the queue are the “Weapons of Mutant Destruction crossover between Weapon X and Totally Awesome Hulk (which finished a few weeks back now), a couple of issues of Generation X, and the first arc of Jean Grey.  We’ll get to them.  Meanwhile…

1.  Taylor Swift – “Look What You Made Me Do”

Judged as a song, Taylor Swift’s first UK number one is pretty mediocre.  But it’s not a song, so much as the latest event in her personal brand-building – something which the video makes increasingly explicit as it goes on.  The middle eight references her personality change, the lyrics are basically the continuation of an ongoing feud with an unspecified celebrity… it’s a record which exists primarily as a narrative incident in her tabloid storylines.  If you wanted to be generous, you could make the case that at least it sounds different from most chart pop of 2017, I guess.

Swift’s previous best was number 2, for her debut hit “Love Story” in 2009, “I Knew You Were Trouble” in 2012,  and “Shake It Off” in 2012.  One reason why she hasn’t had a number one before now is that she was a streaming holdout in an era where streaming was increasing essential to the charts.  That’s no longer the case, and it is indeed number one on both the sales and streaming charts.

Strangely, Right Said Fred are credited as co-writers, supposedly on the basis that it incorporates elements of “I’m Too Sexy”.  Quite how is less than obvious, to put it politely.  As best I can figure, the idea is meant to be that the chorus of “Look What You Made Me Do” has the same rhythm as the melody of the verse of “I’m Too Sexy”, which feels like either it’s very generous or it’s a publicity stunt.

Not much else going on in the top half of the chart.  “What About Us” by Pink climbs another place to 3.  “More Than Friends” by James Hype featuring Kelli-Leigh moves 10-8.  “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato moves 14-12, which gives it a higher peak than “Instruction”, for reasons I can’t fathom.  It’s her biggest hit since “Cool For the Summer” made the top 10 in 2015.  “Questions” by Chris Brown edges up 21-19.  “Glorious” by Macklemore featuring Skylar Grey makes a respectable 36-23 climb, and “Havana” by Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug manages 37-24.  “XO Tour Llife3” by Lil Uzi Vert, which has been on the top 40 for ten weeks, reaches a new peak of 25 upon the release of the parent album.

29.  Katy Perry featuring Nicki Minaj – “Swish Swish”

If this is a feud with Taylor Swift – and this is basically another feud single – then Taylor Swift is winning.  But to be fair, this is an album track in the course of being promoted to a single, so while it leaps back into the chart on the release of its video (having spent a single week at number 40 at the start of June), it’s got a good shot of going further.  It’s the one that samples “Star 69” by Fatboy Slim (“They know what is what but they don’t know what is what…” – you know, that one).  It’s a house track and frankly Nicki Minaj sounds a lot more at home with it than Perry ever does.  Fortunately, the single version has a lot of Nicki Minaj.  The video… is trying too hard.  Still, the previous single from this album, “Bon Appetit”, stalled at number 37, so you can see why they’re trying to make this a bigger deal.

“More Than You Know” by Axwell & Ingrosso, or “Axwell /\ Ingrosso” if you’re willing to indulge that sort of thing, climbs 33-30.

37.  Avicii featuring Rita Ora – “Lonely Together”

Here’s one for the annals of insanely over-budgeted “lyric videos”.  It’s another of Avicii’s dance/country crossover anthems, though the country influence isn’t quite so glaring (or so gimmicky) in this one.  It’s from the same EP that produced “Without You”, which reached number 32 a couple of weeks ago.  Every track on the EP has a “lyric video” in similar style, except for “Without You”, which is also in similar style, but in higher res, and is officially a proper video.  Don’t look at me.  Maybe the others are rough cuts or something.  Ora’s own current single “Your Song” falls 13-14.

39.  J Hus – “Spirit”

A third single from the album “Common Sense”.  Lead single “Did You See” made the top 10 in the spring; the title track also has a video, so I guess it was promoted as a single to some extent, but it could get past 55.

On the album chart (and ignoring a few discount-driven rebounds)

  • “Villains” by Queens of the Stone Age is the latest album to temporarily displace Ed Sheeran from number 1.  It’s their first number one, though their previous album, 2013’s “Like Clockwork”, managed number 2.  Single: “The Evil Has Landed”.
  • “A Deeper Understanding” by War On Drugs is 3.  Indie.  It’s their second album and a much higher position (the first got to 18).  Single: “Pain”.
  • “All We Know Of Heaven All We Need Of Hell” by Pvris is 4.  It’s pronounced “Paris” and used to be spelt that way until 2013, when they claimed there were “legal reasons” to start spelling it this way – whether they were worried about the 70s rock band or the 90s rapper, I can’t tell you.  Their debut “White Noise” missed the top 40 in 2015, so this is a major leap.  Single: “Anyone Else”.
  • “Love Always” by Shane Filan is 5.  A third solo album from the former Westlife member.  Single: “Unbreakable”.
  • “Fifth Harmony” by Fifth Harmony is 10.  Their third album, and the second to make the top 10.  The lead single “Down” missed the top 40 in June, which is canary-in-mineshaft stuff.
  • “17” by XXXtentacion is 12.  A lo-fi rapper from Soundcloud, making his chart debut.  The entire album is on YouTube, but “Jocelyn Flores” is the one getting most streams.
  • “Luv is Rage 2” by Lil Uzi Vert is 14.  We’ve mentioned the single already.
  • “Legacy” by Cadillac Three is 16.  Southern rock, and a big step up from the previous album, which made 33.  Single: “American Slang”.

Bring on the comments

  1. Joseph says:

    FYI looks like a typo but “Shake it off” was 2014

  2. JCG says:

    What’s this feud about and how does the new songs tie into it?

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