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Apr 5

Charts – 5 April 2019

Posted on Friday, April 5, 2019 by Paul in Music

It’s Billie Eilish week.  But first…

1.  Lewis Capaldi – “Someone You Loved”

Six weeks, which matches the run of “Thank U, Next” from before Christmas.

2.  Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”

As I said, Billie Eilish week.  Her debut album “When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?” – sorry, “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO?” – enters at number one.  As so often these days, “debut album” is a bit debatable, because she reached number 12 on the album chart last summer with a record called “Don’t Smile At Me”.  Officially, however, that’s an EP (though it clocks in at just under half an hour).

She’s seventeen, and sets a new record for the youngest woman to have a number one album.  That record has been held since 2004 by Joss Stone, who was also seventeen, but a bit more seventeen.  Also, note “woman” – the youngest artist ever to have a number one album was Neil Reid, a twelve year old boy who won Opportunity Knocks in 1972.

“Bad Guy” is the final, last-push single from the album, and becomes her biggest hit single.  Her previous best was number 7 with “Bury a Friend”… though that actually rebounds this week to 6.  And the single before that, “Wish You Were Gay”, re-enters at 13, easily beating its previous peak of 26.  By Eilish’s morose standards, “Bad Guy” is practically a comedy record, but those are very peculiar standards.  She’s certainly distinctive, on a singles chart that’s getting very samey.

“Piece Of Your Heart” by Meduza featuring Goodboys climbs 32-10, which is good.

19.  Jay1 – “Your Mrs”

This week’s debut rap single is another London… oh, no, apparently he lives in Coventry now.  Doesn’t do much for me, but let’s not pretend I’m the target market here.

26.  Westlife – “Better Man”

So here we are, in 2019, discussing Westlife’s second hit of the year.  Lord.  It’s co-written by Ed Sheeran, but let’s say that it’s very on brand for Westlife.

Oh, and “Pretty Shining People” by George Ezra climbs from 38 to 36.  Bet knowing that has made your week.

39.  Lil Nas X – “Old Town Road”

Ah, now this is the “country trap” track that would have been number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, had it not been disqualified for not being country enough (despite having been allowed to register on the chart in previous weeks).  Wikipedia also informs me that it initially went viral on TikTok, which apparently is what the young people are doing now instead of Vine.  God, I’m old.

The problem with genre charts is that they struggle with hybrids; if you define the genre too broadly then it can come meaningless, but if you define it too rigidly then it ossifies.  Didn’t Billboard traditionally dodge these problems by defining genres according to radio stations, and simply looking at what the country stations were playlisting?  On any view, there’s a big country element to the track, though the sample is actually from a Nine Inch Nails album track, “34 Ghosts IV”.  Meanwhile, Lil Nas X has responded to Billboard by releasing a mix with added Billy Ray Cyrus.

And yes, that video above is from the artist’s official YouTube channel.

40.  Ariana Grande & Victoria Monét – “Monopoly”

This only came out on Monday, but number 40 is still on the low side for a new Ariana Grande song, isn’t it?  Then again, the video pretty much marks it as a throwaway for the fans, and Monét isn’t anywhere near as big a name.

Over on the album chart… well, I’ve already done “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO?” by Billie Eilish at number 1.  Evidently nobody is up for releasing their album against her, because the next new entry is…

20.  Gerry Cinnamon – “Erratic Cinematic”

…and that’s a climber, an album which has been out since September 2017 without making the top 40 before.  I’m not quite sure what the deal is here – he’s been on tour, I think, but that doesn’t seem like it would make that much difference, even allowing for the marginal sales that will get you into the lower reaches of the chart these days.

23.  Devin Townsend – “Empath”

Technically the first solo appearance on the album chart for Canadian prog metaller Devin Townsend – and the video above is very prog – depending on whether you count “the Devin Townsend Project” as a band (they had a number 26 album in 2016).

33.  UNKLE – “The Road Pt 2 / Lost Highway”

“The Road – Pt. 1” was the 2017 album, which got to number 16.  So… yes, some tailing off here, to put it mildly.

35.  Beth Gibbons & The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra – “Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs)”

That is indeed the Beth Gibbons who was in Portishead, and this is indeed the three-movement symphony with soprano that Górecki wrote in the 1970s.  The trailer above is completely uninformative, but it’s not the sort of album that lends itself to singles.

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