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Dec 2

Charts – 1 December 2017

Posted on Saturday, December 2, 2017 by Paul in Music

Yup, we’re definitely in the dead period before Christmas…

1.  Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug – “Havana”

That’s five weeks, the longest run since “Despacito” back in the summer.  It’s very close – a mere 1,000 notional sales ahead of Rita Ora – but it’s a fifth week for all that.

“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran edges up 4-3, finally beating the peak of its first run from the spring; the “Perfect Duet” version with a weirdly miscast Beyonce came out on Friday, so he’s clearly angling for the Christmas number one.  “Man’s Not Hot” by Big Shaq moves 6-5, and “I Miss You” by Clean Bandit featuring Julia Michaels jumps 11-6 to restore Clean Bandit’s top 10 strike rate and become Michaels’ biggest hit (her own “Issues” only got to 10).  “17” by MK moves 16-10, technically becoming his biggest hit too.  In theory that used to be “Always”, which reached number 12 in 1995, but this does require you to ignore “Push The Feeling On” by the Nightcrawlers, which was basically his record by the time it was remixed for mass consumption.

11.  James Arthur – “Naked”

The 2012 X Factor winner looked to have imploded disastrously in 2013, but with hindsight things have turned out okay for him since his comeback last year; he seems to be back to making the top 20 reliably.  The single is middle of the road stuff, but at the better end of its genre.

“Naked” charts just in time for the 2017 X Factor final tonight, which the show will regard as a welcome reminder for the public that X Factor acts are still mainstays.  After all, Little Mix and the members of One Direction still show up on a regular basis.  But they were on the show a while ago now.  And as you can tell from the fact that the final is taking place on December 2nd, the show has completely given up on trying to get the Christmas Number One position – in fact, it’s moved far enough away to avoid any perception of trying and failing.

This is partly a realistic response to the streaming era.  Winners singles used to make number one because lots of people bought them as a symbolic end of the series-long story.  Actually listening to them was decidedly secondary, and that’s a problem, because to get to number one these days you need streaming.  It’s virtually impossible to do it by sales alone.  That’s why the 2016 Christmas number one was “Rockabye” by Clean Bandit – the first regular single (not a charity record, not a download campaign, not a reality TV tie-in, not a novelty record) to be Christmas number one in over a decade.

But X Factor‘s problems go beyond that.  The 2016 winner was Matt Terry; his contractual obligation album “Trouble” enters the album chart this week at 29.  Both of the singles stalled out at number 51.  The 2015 winner was Louisa Johnson; her album has yet to appear.  2014 was Ben Haenow; he released two singles and his contractual album (which got to number 10) before being quietly dropped.  2013 was Sam Bailey, who’s a one-hit wonder on the singles chart and again got dropped after her contractual album.  And before that it’s James Arthur.  So if you’re judging X Factor by its ability to create a star, that’s four consecutive misses.

“Let You Down” by NF moves 19-6, and “Cola” by Camelphat & Elderbrook goes 20-18.  “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey continues its annual march by moving 34-22.

25.  Craig David featuring Bastille – “I Know You”

The third single from Craig David’s next album is a seemingly unlikely collaboration.  I’m assuming this is mainly a team-up with Dan Smith, who has a co-writer credit on the track, and it does sound more like a Bastille song than a recent Craig David track.  Of course, Bastille tracks are pretty receptive to a more soul-type arrangement.  It’s not bad, this, but you wonder if it would have been better served as a Bastille single.

29.  Wham! – “Last Christmas”

Welcome to December in the digital era.  Originally a number 2 hit in 1984 as a double A-side with “Everything She Wants” (it had the misfortune to get stuck behind Band Aid).  Brace yourself for a lot more of this in the coming weeks when people start playing the Spotify Christmas playlists on repeat…

31.  Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Holy Mountain”

Unexpectedly, I like this a lot.  It’s the token single from the album “Who Built The Moon”, which enters the album chart this week at number 1 (the third time Noel’s post-Oasis group have been number one on the album chart).  The track is a glam stomper which sounds surprisingly unlike the Beatles.

34.  Raye featuring Mr Eazi – “Decline”

That’s the same Raye who sang on Jonas Blue’s “By Your Side” and Jax Jones’s “You Don’t Know me” last year; it’s her debut solo hit.  It’s a re-working of “Always On Time” by Ja Rule & Ashanti, which made number 6 in 2002.  Mr Eazi is an Afrobeats artist from Nigeria.

On the album chart:

  • “Who Built The Moon” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at 1.  We’ve had them.
  • “Glory Days” by Little Mix re-enters at 3 because they’ve released the “Platinum Edition”.
  • “Christmas With Elvis & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” re-enters at 6, after previously managing a week at 22 on its inexplicable October release.
  • “Amore” by Andre Rieu at 7 continues the light pop-classics theme.  Here is the promotional trailer, which really does speak for itself.

  • “The Best of Elbow” is at 11, because they’ve got the John Lewis advert out, so why not?  Elbow’s biggest hit single was “One Day Like This”, which made number 4 in 2008.
  • “Christmas With Daniel O’Donnell” is 19.  A live album recorded in Dublin last year.  Here’s “Silent Night”.
  • “From The Top” by Anton Du Beke at 21.  Yes, the dancer from Strictly Come Dancing.  Yes, singing.  There doesn’t seem to be anything on YouTube promoting this release, but it is on Spotify, and it’s pretty much the collection of jazz standards you’d expect, plus a big band version of the Arctic Monkeys’ “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”.
  • “Utopia” by Björk at 25.  I know she appeals to a more select audience these days, but I can’t quite get my head around the fact that a new Björk album has charted below Anton Du Beke.  Single: “Blissing Me”.
  • “In A Winter Light” by Alexander Armstrong at 26.  And back to Christmas with the light entertainers.  Here’s “Winter Wonderland” (and at least it’s an interesting arrangement).
  • “Trouble” by Matt Terry at 29.  We’ve covered this too.  Single: “Sucker For You”.
  • “Songbook” by Frank Turner at 36.  It’s a retrospective collection.  Sample track: “There She Is”.

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