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Dec 14

Charts – 14 December 2018

Posted on Friday, December 14, 2018 by Paul in Uncategorized

Fans of essentially nothing happening won’t want to miss this week’s magnificently uneventful charts!  The thing is, if you’re planning a steady climb to the top in time for Christmas, well, you started a couple of weeks back at the latest.  And if you’re hoping for a smash-and-grab Christmas-chart one-off sale, that’s next week.  Which means this week’s new releases are, um, few in number.

1.  Ariana Grande – “Thank U, Next”

Six weeks – it needs a seventh to be Christmas number one.  In the current market, that’s by no means impossible.  After all, the 2016 Christmas number one was Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye”, which had been at number 1 since mid-November and remained there into the new year.  But the lead over the number two single – Ava Max’s “Sweet But Psycho” – is equivalent to only 9,000 sales, so by sheer coincidence there’s something of a battle on for next week.  Oh, and “Santa Tell Me” climbs from 35-30 this week.

Since there’s so little going on in terms of new releases, let’s run through the climbers as we go down the chart.  “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” by Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus climbs 10-4; that equals the peak of Ronson’s Silk City single earlier this year.  “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey climbs 6-5; that’s three years running in the top five, and it seems clear that any effect from downweighting the streams of the Christmas oldies has just been cancelled out by adding YouTube streams to the chart.

“Last Christmas” by Wham! climbs 14-7, for a third straight year in the top 10.  “Sunflower” by Post Malone featuring Swae Lee rebounds 16-9 on the release of the Spider-Verse film – that’s still below the entry week peak of number 7, but it’s a bit enough jump to be worth mentioning.  “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl climbs 18-10, the second year in a row that it’s been in the top ten.  Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” – the original, obviously – climbs 26-15.  Michael Bublé’s “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” climbs 30-16, putting it on course to beat its all time peak of number 13 (from, er, last year).

Barely noticeable amidst the festivities, “Close To Me” by Ellie Goulding x Diplo featuring Swae Lee rebounds 21-17, edging above its previous peak of 18 from a couple of weeks back.  “Merry Christmas Everybody” by Shakin’ Stevens climbs 36-21, and… oh, here we go.

22.  Elton John – “Step Into Christmas”

The John Lewis Christmas advert this year is using Elton John’s original of “Your Song”, in an understandable attempt to get away from the sentimental covers format.  It’s not shifting any copies of “Your Song”, though, which is nowhere to be found on the chart.  Instead, “Step Into Christmas” is back again, a record which has retroactively become accepted as a Christmas standard even though it couldn’t get past number 24 when it came out back in 1973; years of inclusion as a filler on Christmas compilations have made it familiar.  It peaked at number 11 last year.

“Baby” by Clean Bandit featuring Marina and Luis Fonsi edges up to 24, its second one-place climb in a row.  Perhaps it’ll get moving once the Christmas logjam breaks, but it’s really taking its time – it’s taken five weeks now to climb by fewer than ten places.  George Ezra’s “Hold My Girl” climbs 33-25, and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee is up from 39 to 26.

28.  Leona Lewis – “One More Sleep”

A transparent attempt to create a new Christmas hit by working to the established formula, this reached number 3 in 2013, and then vanished for a few years before unexpectedly making it to number 19 last year.  It’s more of an American formula than a British one, admittedly, and at least it hits the buttons well.

33.  Wizzard – “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”

I did say there wasn’t much going on this week besides the Christmas records, didn’t I?  Wizzard have made the top 40 every Christmas since 2011.

36.  Chris Rea – “Driving Home for Christmas”

Back for the fourth year running.  Apologies for the selection of minor celebrities in the video above, which comes from the charity reissue in 2009; there was a video for the original release, but it’s not officially on YouTube, and I do prefer to use the official versions, so…

37.  XXXTentacion – “Whoa (Mind In Awe)”

Oh, a normal record!  This fragment – and that’s basically what it is, a short verse and a looped chorus, albeit quite a pretty one – comes from his posthumous album “Skins”, which charts at 29 this week.  The single “Bad” managed a week at 23.  And… yeah, that’s pretty much your lot for the singles.

Over on the album chart, the Greatest Showman soundtrack is back at number 1 for a twenty-second week, while last week’s number 1 – the 1975 – crashes straight to number 33, so evidently it’s a fanbase record.

8.  The Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – “The Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra”

For heaven’s sake.  Do the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra do anything other than play along with old records these days?  Their Roy Orbison album has only been out for three weeks, and it’s still in the top 10.  Their Buddy Holly album is still in the top 20.  This one was at least arranged and conducted by the actual Richard Carpenter, now aged 72.  (Karen Carpenter died in 1983.)  There’s no video for anything on this album, but there’s a… well, they’ve called it a “sizzle reel”, which is indeed an established term for one of these 3 minute advert packages, but seems a bit off-message when you’re promoting a Carpenters/RPO album…

12.  Coldplay – “A Head Full of Dreams – Live in Buenos Aires”

Self-explanatory.  Although instead of promoting this album, Coldplay’s YouTube channel is currently full of live versions recorded in São Paulo, since this album is available in a package with that video.

22.  André Rieu & The Johann Strauss Orchestra – “Romantic Moments II”

Not exactly the sort of thing you promote heavily online.  Rieu’s own YouTube channel hasn’t updated in months, even though he has an album to promote.  The audio above, which has been up for over a week, had 20 views when I found it.

28.  Kidz Bop Kids – “Kidz Bop 2019”

Another collection of aggressively autotuned U-rated pop covers from the UK version of the Kidz Bop brand.  If you’re struggling to place the track above, it’s a version of “Rise” by Jonas Blue, which reached number 3 during the summer and has already virtually departed my memory.

Number 29 is the XXXTentacion album, and finally…

40.  Van Morrison – “The Prophet Speaks”

His 40th top 40 album – though by the skin of his teeth.  It’s his fourth album within the last two years (eighteen months, in fact), and maybe he’s saturated his own market.

Bring on the comments

  1. Thomas Deja says:

    What tickles me about ‘Step Into Christmas’ was that it was the B-side to John’s Christmas single that year; the A-side was called ‘Ho Ho Ho (Don’t Be A Turkey For Christmas)’

    I can’t help thinking the world would be a different place if THAT became the standard…

  2. Joe S. Walker says:

    I wonder where the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will end up eventually. Morrissey? The Sex Pistols?

  3. Paul says:

    “Step Into Christmas” was the A-side –

    The record sleeve does give both titles equal prominence, but officially it wasn’t even a double A-side.

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