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Nov 30

Charts – 30 November 2018

Posted on Friday, November 30, 2018 by Paul in Music

No X-books to review this week, and… yeah, not the most active chart either.  Just three new entries on the singles chart.

1.  Ariana Grande – “Thank U, Next”

Four weeks!  And look, it has a video now.  As in, literally within the last couple of hours.  It’s… well, it’s a homage to teen films, which doesn’t really feel like it fits with the song, but whatever.

20.  DigDat – “Air Force”

UK rap, then, and another entry in that popular video sub-genre “standing next to a car”.  I mean, there’s other stuff in this video too, but it’s all very much from the playbook.  This is a wildly uncommercial track – as in, the chorus doesn’t really have a hook – and it’s been out for months.  The reason it’s in the chart now, giving DigDat his first hit single, is the release of a remix featuring Krept & Konan and K-Trap – Krept & Konan have had a couple of hits before, and made the top ten in 2015.  But that version hasn’t been nominated as the lead version of the track, so officially it’s just DigDat who gets the chart listing – even though he basically disappears for 3.5 minutes of the version that people are mostly listening to.

34.  Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

So, there have been changes to the chart rules since last Christmas.  One of those changes, designed primarily to stop records lingering in the upper reaches of the chart long after they passed their peak, is to down-weight the streams of tracks which have been out for at least ten weeks and which have been in decline for at least three.  Since tracks can appear as album streams only to be promoted to single status later, the rules also provide for a reset if a track starts making significant climbs again – but that only applies to relatively recent releases.

Now, this ought to mean that the chart won’t be overrun by the festive back catalogue in the same way this year, since all the Christmas classics have been out for a lot more than ten weeks, and they’re too old to qualify for a reset.  So in theory they should be able to reach the lower end of the top 40, but not to flood the upper reaches in the same way they have in the past.

Well, time will tell.  But it’s the last week of November, and Mariah Carey is already back for the twelfth year running…

38.  6ix9ine featuring Tory Lanez – “Kika”

Oh, this guy.  This is 6ix9ine’s third hit single of the year, following “Fefe” (which had Nicki Minaj on it), and “Stoopid”.  Its a track being streamed from his album “Dummy Boy”, which came out this week and charts at 30.  Officially it’s his debut album, but that’s because “Day69” is classed as a mixtape.  Even the kindest review of the album (and they extend to really quite unkind) tend to agree that 6ix9ine is consistently overshadowed by his guest stars.

6ix9ine is currently in jail awaiting trial on racketeering and firearms charges, which reportedly carry a minimum sentence of 32 years if he’s convicted.  There had been an announcement that the album release would be delayed.  Following a leak, the album was released midweek after all; this probably explains why it lands ten places lower than the “mixtape” did, and why the top-placed single track is only at 38.

As usual in a quiet week for new entries, there’s a lot of climbers:

  • “Thursday” by Jess Glynne climbs 4-3.
  • “Without Me” by Halsey climbs 6-4.
  • “Sweet But Psycho” by Ava Max enters the top 10, having climbed 77-60-47-32-13-6 since its release.  This is how new singles work these days – keep plugging away and you can be rewarded.
  • “Ruin My Life” by Zara Larsson climbs 15-11.
  • “1999” by Charli XCX featuring Troye Sivan climbs 17-13.  If I didn’t mention it last week, this is her biggest hit since 2015.
  • “Better” by Khalid reaches a new peak of 15 (having made it to 16 two weeks ago, and 18 three weeks before that, and 20 two weeks before that… this one is taking forever to burn out).
  • “Close to Me” by Ellie Goulding x Diplo featuring Swae Lee climbs 21-18.
  • “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish climbs 24-21
  • “Hold My Girl” by George Ezra climbs 33-25.
  • “Baby” by Clean Bandit featuring Marina and Luis Fonsi climbs 32-26.  This is really taking its time getting going.
  • “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes climbs 37-27.
  • “Advice” by Cadet & Deno Driz climbs 30-28.
  • “I Found You” by Benny Blanco & Calvin Harris climbs 40-29.  Not sure what’s gone on here – this entered at 35 three weeks ago and made no further progress until now.  It crosses paths with Blanco’s previous single “Eastside”, which drops to 31.

Over on the album chart…

1.  Take That – “Odyssey”

Take That’s eighth number one album – though they’re down to a trio of Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald by this point.  It’s the fastest selling artist album of the year (compilations have done better), and as you might expect from the demographic, its sales come mainly in physical form.  They even sold 891 cassettes.  Cassettes!

It’s basically a greatest hits album, but with heavy reworkings of the original songs.  The theory seems to be that conventional greatest hits albums don’t work any more, because the fans already own all the songs, and anyone marginally less devoted will just find the individual tracks on Spotify or YouTube.  So re-work them instead.  Some of the tracks are re-recordings (like this version of “Pray”), others are remixes.  It’s an interesting angle.

4.  Cliff Richard – “Rise Up”

This is Cliff Richard’s 45th top ten album, though it’s the first album of original material he’s put out in 14 years.  That hasn’t stopped him from reaching number 4 three times in the last decade.  There are a couple of one-minute teaser videos for tracks from the album, in which Cliff looks all of his 78 years.

8.  Roy Orbison & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – “Unchained Melodies”

Do orchestras have nothing better to do these days than desecrate silver age pop music?  We had Buddy Holly and Cilla Black just last week!  Depressingly, this is the second album by Roy Orbison & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (“A Love So Beautiful” reached number 2 last year).

10.  Alfie Boe – “As Time Goes By”

More pop-classic crossover, but rather less objectionably.  The rather weird video above is not a single, but a medley of the album.  It does not lend itself to medleys.  This is Alfie Boe’s fifth top 10 hit.

11.  Rita Ora – “Phoenix”

Ouch.  The second Rita Ora album has been a very troubled production – it’s taken six years – and while her debut went to number one, this one misses the top ten.  It’s not like she hasn’t been notching up regular hit singles, either; the current single “Let You Love Me” reached 4.  Perhaps she’s just not an albums act.

And… that’s it, aside from 6ix9ine’s “Dummy Boy” at number 30, which we’ve mentioned already.

Next week, we start finding out how much headway the Christmas back catalogue can make under the new chart rules…

Bring on the comments

  1. Joe S. Walker says:

    Apart from his looking rough, Cliff’s voice is showing its age. He sounds as if he’s singing without his dentures in.

  2. Nu-D says:

    I wish I liked Arianna Grande’s music. She’s quite talented, but ugh, the songs are terrible.

  3. Mikey says:

    Ari’s video is cute. All of those movies were big when I was a kid/teen. Glad to see the love for 13 Going On 30, which is an underrated classic.

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