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Apr 2

Charts – 30 March 2018

Posted on Monday, April 2, 2018 by Paul in Music

Apparently guitars are back in this week.

1.  Rudimental featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore & Dan Caplen – “These Days”

Number one with… well, with an asterisk, let’s be honest.  As foreshadowed in last week’s post, “God’s Plan” by Drake has now been around for ten weeks and is far enough past its peak to have its streams downweighted under the chart rules.  As a result, its nine week run at the top comes to a screeching halt with a drop directly to number 10.  How you feel about this depends on what weight you think the chart should be giving to repeat plays by the same people – but on any view there ought to be subtler ways of designing the rule to avoid such blatantly technicality-driven artefacts as a chart run of 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-10.

Without the rule, Drake would have clung on for a tenth week, but by a razor-thin margin, equivalent to fifty-one sales.  So we’d have had a change next week anyway.  And since “These Days” is actually still growing in sales, there’s a fair chance it will purge the asterisk with a less contentious second week at the top.

This is Rudimental’s third number one, after a long break – the other two were “Feel the Love” in 2012 and “Waiting All Night” in 2013.  As it happens, 2013 was also when Macklemore had his previous number one, “Thrift Shop”.  As for Jess Glynne, who is something of a trooper of the “featuring” credit, this is her sixth number one – Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” (2014), Route 94’s “My Love” (2014), her own “Hold My Hand”  (2015),  Tinie Tempah’s “Not Letting Go” (2015), and her own “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” (2015).  She’s had a very long break prepping the second album, so an immediate return to number one is a good sign.

13.  Shawn Mendes – “In My Blood”
30.  Shawn Mendes – “Lost in Japan”

An odd week for new entries, this – we start with two Shawn Mendes singles, both released in the same week.  Mendes is probably best known for his 2015 number 1 “Stitches”, though he also had top ten hits with “Treat You better” in 2016, and “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” in 2017 (the bonus track from the special edition of his previous album).  “In My Blood” is not especially out of line with what you’d expect from those tracks, though it’s definitely moving in the direction of rock.  “Lost in Japan” is more of a soft funk track; nothing ground breaking, but very much outside of Mendes’ established territory, though if you’re into that sort of thing you’re probably going to go with Bruno Mars instead.  As twin singles, they certainly seem intended to cover all the bases.

35.  George Ezra – “Shotgun”

Not only do we have two Shawn Mendes tracks, we also have a second George Ezra track.  This is being cherrypicked from his album “Staying at Tamara’s”, which enters the album chart at number 1.  The lead single “Paradise”, meanwhile, climbs 5-2 – overtaking “Budapest” to become his biggest hit.  This is all a lot more guitar-driven than we’ve been seeing on the chart of late.  Maybe it’s a quirk, maybe it’s a shift in tastes starting to feed through.  Coincidentally enough, “Shotgun” is also the slightly funkier second-tier hit single, though not to quite the same degree as “Lost in Japan”.

40.  Yxng Bane – “Vroom”

This is a bit more typical of the 2018 singles chart.  The high concept: Yxng Bane’s girl is a like a car and he’s going to go vroom.  Not quite sure this is a context where you want to play up your high speed, but I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.

This week’s climbers, aside from the aforementioned “Paradise”…

  • “Freaky Friday” by Lil Dicky featuring Chris Brown climbs 16-5, which is cause for deep sighing.    It’s Chris Brown’s highest position since “Five More Hours” (with Deorro) reached number 4 in 2015.
  • “Psycho” by Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla Sign climbs 8-6.
  • “The Middle” by Zedde, Maren Morris & Grey climbs 9-7.
  • “Lullaby” by Sigala & Paloma Faith climbs 13-9.
  • “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line edges 12-11.
  • “Jumanji” by B Young edges 15-14.
  • “Sad” by XXXTentacion edges 20-19.
  • “Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani climbs 24-21.

On the album chart, “Staying at Tamara’s” by George Ezra enters at number 1; his previous album “Waiting On Voyage” also managed four weeks at number 1 back in 2014-5.  And now, a selection of new albums which might be described as highly eclectic.

4.  Rick Parfitt – “Over and Out”

A posthumous solo album by the guitarist from Status Quo, who died at the end of 2016 leaving this collection unfinished; it’s been completed by collaborators like Brian May.  Status Quo have been around since the sixties and settled into a comfortable niche some decades ago from which they showed no inclination to move – and Parfitt’s solo project was not a vehicle for any suppressed experimentalist tendencies.  Still, the band retained a core audience to the last, who will doubtless appreciate this.

5.  Jack White – “Boarding House Reach”

The lowest-placing of White’s three studio solo albums, but hey, they all made the top five.  A cynic might say that Jack White is no more prone to radical departures than Rick Parfitt, but if you only watch one of the videos embedded this week, I’d certainly go with the one above.

8.  Kidz Bop Kids – “Kidz Bop Summer ’18”

“Welcome to our official UK KIDZ BOP YouTube channel!  KIDZ BOP is the #1 music brand for kids…”  Kidz Bop is indeed not so much a band as an international branding exercise in which kids perform unrelentingly smiley cover versions of contemporary hit pop songs, rewritten to be more-or-less suitable for kids to perform – as in the above rendition of “New Rules”, which has to tiptoe around such lines as, well, most of the chorus.  “You know you’re going to meet up with your friends in the morning”, indeed.  (See also their U-rated version of “Reggaetón Lento”, which changes “Your hands are on my waist / My lips you want to taste” to “Your hands are on your waist / A smile is on your face”.)  It all has a bit of the uncanny valley about it.

9.  Lissie – “Castles”

I confess to being slightly surprised to discover that this is Lissie’s fourth top ten album in eight years.  She’s a country rock singer from Illinois, and she seems to be getting airplay over on Radio 2, where I rarely venture unless I have a hire car and can’t figure out how to change the channel.

18.  Led Zeppelin – “How the West Was Won”

Remastered re-issue of the live album recorded in 1972 but originally released in 2003 (when it reached number 5).

33.  Toni Braxton – “Sex and Cigarettes”

Toni Braxton was last in the album top 40 in 2010; a collaboration with Babyface was released in 2014 but could only reach number 75.  She’s long past her nineties commercial peak, but this is still polished.

39.  Sunflower Bean – “Twentytwo In Blue”

New York indie band who are on their second album, but they’re registering on the album chart for the first time.  There’s some sort of cross-promotion here with Urban Outfitters which might help, but the single is driftily blissful.

Bring on the comments

  1. Taibak says:

    I’m still absolutely amazed at how big the Status Quo apparently we’re in the UK.

    They were most definitely one hit wondersover here.

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