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Nov 23

Charts – 23 November 2018

Posted on Friday, November 23, 2018 by Paul in Music

People still really like The Greatest Showman.

1.  Ariana Grande – “Thank U, Next”

But first, Ariana Grande gets a third week at number one.  It has a comfortable 24,000 sales-equivalent lead over the number two single.  Not much more to say about that, really, so…

16.  James Arthur & Anne-Marie – “Rewrite The Stars”

If you were sick of The Greatest Showman earlier in the year, then good news, because here’s an entire album of pop covers of the songs.  Or at least, arrangements that are more conventionally pop-radio friendly; it’s not like there’s anything radically different going on here.  As I said last week, this sort of thing often happens with Disney movies, and usually the “pop” versions sink without trace.  That emphatically doesn’t happen here with The Greatest Showman: Reimagined.  Pink’s version of “A Million Dreams” climbs 36-11 this week, and here’s a completely straight take on “Rewrite the Stars” by Zac Efron & Zendaya, the original of which also reached number 16 at the start of the year.  It gives James Arthur, the 2012 X Factor winner, his highest placing single of the year, sailing gently past his own current single “Empty Space” (still at 26).

There’s another track from this album still to come, plus Keala Settle’s original of “This Is Me” re-enters at 34.  The original Greatest Showman soundtrack album is still on the album chart at number 4; the Reimagined version can’t be passed off as an “original cast recording”, so it’s banished to the wilderness of the compilation album chart.  It’s number 1 on that chart, but who really cares about a chart where half of the top ten is Now albums?

25.  Little Mix featuring Sharaya J – “Strip”

Little Mix already have a single at number 2 – “Woman Like Me” – but that’s been out for over a month and it’s time for one last push for the album “LM5”, which also came out this week.  Technically this isn’t actually a single, it’s an album track with a video.  But what’s the difference at this point?  “Strip” is a pretty standard body-positive lyric, but I like the song, the spoken intro works.

The album enters at number three, which isn’t bad – all of their albums have placed in the top 4, and there was competition this week, it being the run up to Christmas and all.

33.  George Ezra – “Hold My Girl”

She’s not a beer, George.  Good video, though.  This is the fourth official single from his album “Staying At Tamara’s”… which came out in March, so the fact that they can actually promote another track from it into the singles chart at all, this far down the line, is pretty respectable.  His previous single “Shotgun” still hasn’t left the top 40, twelve weeks after it left number one; it rebounds to 27 this week.

37.  Sheck Wes – “Mo Bamba”

Ah, this week’s viral track.  This came out over a year ago, and it’s, er, certainly a loop.  Mind you, I can’t deny it sticks in the brain.

38.  The Plug featuring Nafe Smallz, M Huncho & Gunna – “Broken Homes”

Well, that’s the credit listed on the chart, and on Spotify, though “The Plug” is actually the label, and it doesn’t claim credit on the video, so… *shrug*.  It might be something to do with this being the lead single from a compilation.  Gunna is the only artist here who’s appeared in the singles chart before – he was on “Drip Too Hard”, which reached number 28 in October.  It’s better than I was expecting; we’re very much at the melodic end of UK rap here.

39.  Panic! At The Disco – “The Greatest Show”

You wait a decade for Panic! At The Disco to have another top 40 hit, and two come along at once.  The original of this track reached number 20 at the start of the year for (deep breath) Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson and Keala Settle.  It lends itself well enough to Panic! At The Disco’s style, but then they’re fairly theatrical to start with; I’m struggling to see what any of this is adding to the original soundtrack album, but clearly there’s a market.

This week’s climbers:

  • “Thursday” by Jess Glynne climbs 7-4.
  • “A Million Dreams” by Pink climbs 36-11, as already noted.
  • “Sweet But Psycho” by Ava Max climbs 32-11.  I realise now why it was growing on me: it’s “Bad Romance”.  Or the better half of it is, anyway.
  • “Close To Me” by Ellie Goulding x Diplo featuring Swae Lee climbs 30-21.  It has a video now.
  • “When The Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish climbs 29-24.
  • “Advice” by Cadet & Deno Driz climbs 37-30.
  • “Baby” by Clean Bandit featuring Marina & The Diamonds and Luis Fonsi climbs 38-32.  Slow burner, by their standards.

On the album chart…

1.  Michael Bublé – “Love”

At least it’s not the Christmas album.  (That’s at 16.)  Confusingly, although the official title is “Love”, all the publicity material and the cover just shows the title as a heart sign.  Doesn’t seem to have stopped people finding it, I guess.  This is his fourth number one album, following “Crazy Love” (2009), “Christmas” (2011), and “To Be Loved” (2013); his 2016 album reached number 2.

2.  Mumford & Sons – “Delta”

Their fourth album, their second number two.  The others got to number one, of course.  The single “Guiding Light” managed a week at number 40 in October.

3.  Little Mix – “LM5”

See above…

6.  Boyzone – “Thank You & Goodnight”

The farewell album from Boyzone, who have an average age of 43.  Not an unreasonable time for them to quit while they’re ahead.  They’ve only had one studio album miss the top 10 in a career that stretches back to 1995.

10.  Paul Heaton – “The Last King of Pop”

Hmm.  This is the first time a Paul Heaton solo album has made the top 10 – he released a couple in 2008 and 2010 which missed the top 40.  But he did release three albums with Jacqui Abbott in recent years, which all made the top 5, so he’s really following on from that.  And indeed, the single above features… Jacqui Abbott.  It’s also on an on-the-nose nostalgia celebration, by his standards; I think of him as being a bit darker than this.

14.  Buddy Holly & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – “True Love Ways”

Oh, so it’s spread beyond Elvis now, has it?  Still, at least now we can find out what “True Love Ways” would have sounded like with a different orchestra on it.  Because the original 1958 recording had the Dick Jacobs Orchestra on it already.  But they’ve taken that orchestra off and put a new one on.


15.  Fleetwood Mac – “50 Years – Don’t Stop”

Exactly what it sounds like – though strangely the version on Spotify doesn’t seem to include their number one single “Albatross”, even though the physical track listing doesn’t.  Weird.  Still, it’s got “Everywhere”, and I like “The Highwayman”.

17.  Mark Knopfler – “Down the Road Wherever”

That’s surprisingly low.  Mark Knopfler’s last album, in 2015, reached number 3, and he hasn’t missed the top 10 in over a decade.  Busy week for new releases, admittedly, but still.

22.  Paloma Faith – “The Architect”

Special edition of the album that was number one for a week about a year ago (though it did spend a respectable two months in the top ten).

26.  Cilla Black – “With The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic”

Oh come on, another one?  And the same point applies – didn’t Cilla Black’s version of “Anyone Who Had A Heart” have an orchestra on it to start with?  Yes.  Yes it bloody did.  (And what’s Rebecca Ferguson doing on this track?  It’s not as if Cilla didn’t record the whole thing!)

29.  Elton John – “Diamonds”

His 2017 greatest hits album, which has never actually left the top 100.  It’s back because he’s in this year’s John Lewis advert, which just uses the original of “Your Song”.

31.  The Good The Bad & The Queen – “Merrie Land”

The Damon Albarn side project that’s so side it barely gets promoted.  Number 31!  Then again, nobody could look at the video above and think that this was a particularly commercially-oriented release…

33.  Jean Michel Jarre – “Equinoxe Infinity”

A sequel to “Equinoxe”, released 40 years after the original.  The track above is called “Robots Don’t Cry (Movement 3)” and I can’t say it convinces me of a great need for more of this stuff.

40. Mariah Carey – “Caution”

…wow, really?  Her previous album, in 2015, made the top 10, and this has even had good reviews.  There has to be some reason for this (sometimes it’s to do with weird promotional tactics that wind up disqualifying a bit chunk of sales), but I’m honestly not sure what it is.

Bring on the comments

  1. K says:

    The Jarre album even has randomly distributed alternate album covers, if you don’t regularly get enough comic book gimmicks already.

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