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Nov 10

Charts – 9 November 2018

Posted on Saturday, November 10, 2018 by Paul in Music

We’ve got a tenth anniversary podcast coming up this weekend, but first, here’s the chart post…

1.  Ariana Grande – “thank u next”

This was released two days into the chart week, but still beats the incumbent number one (“Shallow”) by 50%  or so.  It was a relatively low-selling number one, admittedly.  But even so, it’s an achievement for a midweek release to enter at the top.  Records do still enter at number one, but it’s no longer the norm, and it’s not particularly something we expect of Ariana Grande – her only previous UK number ones were “Problem” and “Bang Bang”, both in 2014.  This song probably benefits from name checking her actual ex-boyfriends, and thus making itself part of her personal narrative, but it’s a decent enough single on its own terms.

The timing is a little curious; her album “Sweetener” only came out at the end of August, but this is a completely new track already, as we’re apparently going straight into the promotional cycle for the next album.  But in the streaming era, it probably makes more sense for the pop album to take the form of a collection of already-released singles rather than to be mined for individual tracks subsequently.

16.  Jonas Blue featuring Liam Payne & Lennon Stella – “Polaroid”

This has taken its time – it’s been hovering outside the top 40 for three weeks – but presumably it’s been boosted by an appearance on X Factor.  That’s by no means a given in the way it used to be, but it probably does work if you’ve got a single by a member of One Direction that most people hadn’t noticed was out there.

Harry Styles may have been earmarked as the solo star from One Direction, but as a solo artist, he’s currently something of a one hit wonder – “Sign of the Times” was a number one last year, but there were no other official singles, and the first week album streaming didn’t get any tracks into the top 40.  Liam Payne, in contrast, has been more prolific at a rather lower level – something of the Mel C approach.  This is his sixth top 40 hit as a solo artist, and the first only came last June.  The song itself is pleasant yet forgettable, but that’s Jonas Blue for you.  He also appears on this week’s number 14, “Back & Forth”, with MK and Becky Hill.

Lennon Stella gets her first chart credit (either in her own right or with her sister as “Lennon & Maisy”).  Her background is in country music, but she’s probably best known for playing Maddie Conrad in Nashville.

27.  James Arthur – “Empty Space”

The 2012 X Factor winner, still scoring hits, even if they’re of a mumbled and self-pitying variety.  The show will be relieved by this, because his previous single “You Deserve Better” missed the top 40, and this track debuted at 43 before dipping to 66.  Again, X Factor promotion is probably helping in light of the connection.

As for last year’s winners Rak-Su, by the way, their follow up single “I Want You To Freak” only managed two weeks in the top 40, peaking at 39.  That’s clearly not great.

33.  Clean Bandit featuring Marina & The Diamonds and Luis Fonsi – “Baby”

The last single from the upcoming album, which is basically just a singles collection – so presumably they’ll be moving on to start a new collection with the next single.  Their tour of collaborators brings them, unexpectedly, to Marina “& The Diamonds” Diamandis, who hasn’t had a hit single since “Primadonna” in 2012.  This is Clean Bandit’s stab at Latin, and it’s not immediately convincing to me – they’re a bit too distant for this stuff.  But Clean Bandit singles have a tendency to enter low, climb, and hang around forever.

35.  Benny Blanco & Calvin Harris – “I Found You”

The follow-up to “Eastside”, the recent number one, still on the chart at 26.  It swiftly strikes Blanco off the one hit wonders list, giving him his second credited hit.  It’s got a good video – probably better if you don’t recognise the minor celebrity cameos, to be honest.  And it’s an increasingly rare example of Calvin Harris appearing on a track as a singer.

37.  Pink – “A Million Dreams”

This is from The Greatest Showman Reimagined, an album of songs from The Greatest Showman done in a more conventional pop style.  This sort of thing happens all the time – Disney regularly put out supposedly more commercial versions of songs from their albums – but they usually sink without trace on the singles chart, so it’s slightly odd to see one of these tracks actually make the chart.  Though only at number 37 (for now, at least).  The original, by Ziv Zaifman, Hugh Jackman & Michelle Williams, reached number 22 in March.  As for the Reimagined album, it’s ineligible for the album chart because it’s not by a single artist; the movie soundtrack qualified because the chart company is willing to treat “Original Cast” credits as a single artist for this purpose.

This week’s climbers:

  • “Thursday” by Jess Glynne moves 18-7.  That’s her twelfth top ten hit.
  • “Without Me” by Halsey climbs 22-9, for a third top ten hit.
  • “Back & Forth” by MK, Jonas Blue & Becky Hill climbs 15-14.
  • “Taki Taki” by DJ Snake featuring Selena Gomez, Cardi B and Ozuna climbs 20-17.
  • “Ruin My Life” by Zara Larsson climbs 28-22.
  • “Close To Me” by Ellie Goulding featuring Diplo & Swae Lee edges up 36-34.

Over on the album chart…

1.  The Prodigy – “No Tourists”

Yes, the Prodigy, in 2018.  This is their seventh number one album, completing a clean sweep that extends back to their second album “Music for the Jilted Generation” in 1994 (assuming you’re willing to turn a blind eye to their 2011 live album, and even that reached number 5).  They haven’t had a hit single since 2009.  If you couldn’t guess, the vocal sample in the track above is Loleatta Holloway – specifically, it’s from “Crash Goes Love”.

6.  Barbra Streisand – “Walls”

Her 36th studio album, and her 14th appearance in the album top 10.  It’s a political album; as you might expect, she’s not a huge fan of the incumbent President, and the track above is part of that.  The video would like to make sure you don’t fail to pick up on that.

9.  Bob Dylan – “More Blood More Tracks – The Bootleg Series Vol. 14”

Self-explanatory, really.  These are sessions from “Blood on the Tracks”, available either as a single CD of highlights, or as a six-CD deluxe version for the sort of people who want to own nine takes of “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”.

15.  Sheridan Smith – “A Northern Soul”

This is Sheridan Smith’s second album, following the self-titled one that reached number 9 last year.  Since she’s principally an actor, those are good chart positions.  The single above is actually quite decent, certainly by the standards of actor albums.

16.  Metro Boomin – “Not All Heroes Wear Capes”

Rap.  It’s his third album but the first time he’s appeared in either the singles or album charts.

17.  Michael Buble – “Christmas”

Oh, for ****’s sake.  It’s the start of November.  But here we go again, with the annual Michael Buble re-entry.

One point worth noting, though – the singles chart rules were changed earlier this year to downweight the streams of records that are long past their peak.  There’s provision in the rules for relatively recent songs to get a re-set if, for example, they’re promoted from an album track to an official single.  But the back catalogue is basically stuck with a permanent downweighting, which means that we probably shouldn’t expect the same deluge of Christmas singles clogging up the chart in December this year.  Whether that’s a good thing…

22.  Katie Melua – “The Ultimate Collection”

It’s a greatest hits album with the usual two new tracks.  Technically this came out a month ago, but only on vinyl; it’s only the full release that gets it into the chart.

29.  Metallica – “And Justice For All”

Finally, this remastered reissue.  The original reached number 4 in 1988.

Bring on the comments

  1. Joe S. Walker says:

    If permanent downweighting means “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” will never get into the charts again, I’m okay with it.

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