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May 3

Charts – 3 May 2019

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2019 by Paul in Music

Now this is a pleasingly eclectic week.

1.  Stormzy – “Vossi Bop”

Well, that’s slightly unexpected.  Stormzy is a big name – his 2017 album “Gang Signs & Prayer” got a week at number one.  But his previous peak in the singles chart is number 6, and on top of that, Taylor Swift has a new single out this week.  (Though as we’ll see, it wouldn’t have made number one anyway.)  “Vossi Bop” has 12.7 million streams in its first week, though, so it’s a big hit.

A couple of guest appearances aside, this is the first thing he’s released since “Gang Signs”, and it’s very good indeed – the video is excellent.  The Vossi bop is apparently one of these viral dance things that the young folk enjoy – a pre-existing one – and despite what some people seem to have thought, the chorus lyric is “dab”, not “die”.

“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X drops to 2 after a two week run, and so…

3.  Taylor Swift featuring Brendon Urie – “Me!”

This is the lead single from Swift’s seventh album, featuring the bloke from Panic! At The Disco, who is evidently back in favour after the unexpected comeback hit “High Hopes” (the echoes of which are distinctly noticeable here).  The video may well be the most garish and elaborate I’ve posted in years that didn’t come from South Korea, not that that’s a bad thing.  Despite her A-list status, number three is actually rather good for Taylor Swift – she’s only had one number one hit in the UK, and inexplicably it’s 2017’s underwhelming “Look What You Made Me Do”.  Mind you, she has had three number 2s, three number 4s and a number 5 – so hey, she’s completed the set by getting a number 3.

There’s nothing else of note in the top 10.  “All Day And Night” by Jax Jones & Martin Solveig featuring Madison Beer climbs 14-12.  And here’s a real oddity.

18.  The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – “Let Nature Sing”

This is literally two and a half minutes of bird song.  It’s a campaign download track to raise awareness of biodiversity loss, and (for what it’s worth in 2019, which isn’t much) would have been number one on a pure sales chart.  It’s assembled from various recordings, and it carries a composer credit as a result, but it would be stretching a point to say this was music in the normal sense of the term.  Still, nothing in the chart rules says anything about a single having to comprise music; and back in 2010, the Royal British Legion reached number 20 with “2 Minute Silence”, which was literally just the soundtrack to this video (not technically two minutes of silence, but two minutes of ambient noise).

“No Diet” by Digga D climbs 27-20 in its second week, while “Earth” by Lil Dicky climbs 24-21, and “What I Like About You” by Jonas Blue featuring Theresa Rex – which vaulted twenty places to enter the chart last week – manages only a 23-22 climb in week two.  “Carry On” by Kygo & Rita Ora climbs 39-30.  And it seems worth noting in passing that “Swervin” by A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie featuring 6ix9ine, which sits at 31 this week, has now been hovering between 38 and 27 for fourteen straight weeks – a remarkable amount of time to remain stuck in that range without getting higher.

34.  Zara Larsson – “Don’t Worry Bout Me”

No, there’s no apostrophe before “Bout”, and yes, that does annoy me.  This is the second single from her upcoming album, and the follow-up to “Ruin My Life”, which reached the top ten.  It’s okay, I guess?  “Ruin My Life” grew on me after a while, so maybe this will too.

36.  Ellie Goulding – “Sixteen”

When the assumed audience for your pop songs is looking back nostalgically at the age of sixteen, it’s usually time to brace yourself for the transition to Radio 2.  But Ellie Goulding, a decade into her career, still makes the top 20 reasonably often, and this track is climbing from the lower reaches, so it could yet go further.

On the album chart:

1.  Pink – “Hurts 2B Human”

Her eighth studio album in a chart career stretching back to 2000, and her third number 1 (after 2008’s “Funhouse” and 2017’s “Beautiful Trauma”.  The single “Walk Me Home” reached number 8 in March, and is still hanging in the top 20.

2.  Catfish & The Bottlemen – “The Balance”

Their third album just misses out on repeating the number 1 place for 2016’s “The Ride”.  Very unusually for the modern album chart, this album produced a hit single too: “Longshot”, which managed a single week at number 25 in January.

5.  Marina – “Love + Fear”

That’s Marina Diamandis, formerly Marina & The Diamonds.  It’s not a split – there weren’t any other Diamonds.  She’s just dropped the extended name.  No hit singles from this album, though she did recently appear on a Clean Bandit singles.  Not sure why “Handmade Heaven” didn’t chart, since it’s quite good – though the video reminds me rather of a Scottish Widows advert re-done in red.

9.  Kiefer Sutherland – “Reckless & Me”

This is Kiefer Sutherland’s second album of country music, but 2016’s “Down in a Hole” passed the British charts by.  If I was going to make the video above, I might at least have chosen a track that didn’t feature prominent backing singers and a piano.

10.  The Cranberries – “In The End”

This is a final album by the Cranberries, completed by the other members of the band using demo vocals recorded by Dolores O’Riordan before her death last year.  The reviews have been positive, and the consensus seems to be that this is a respectable way for the group to end.

13.  Bear’s Den – “So That You Might Hear Me”

Bear’s Den are a folk rock outfit from London, and this is their third studio album; the last one reached number 6 in 2016.  They have nothing to do with the middle class Glasgow suburb.

25.  Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres – “Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres”

This is the new band from the Libertines and Babyshambles singer, though it’s a development of the band that was backing him already in his solo tours.  Despite what you might expect from the band name, the actual song above is a rather lovely acoustic ballad.

27.  Schoolboy Q – “Crash Talk”

Oh, now I like the production on that.  Anyway… it’s Schoolboy Q’s third appearance on the album chart.  His only singles chart appearance came in 2014 when he guested on a Macklemore track.

33.  Aldous Harding – “Designer”

Finally, here’s the album chart debut (on her third album) of New Zealander Aldous Harding.  The video is genuinely bizarre, so job done.

Bring on the comments

  1. Jonny K says:

    It says something about me that my major reaction to that Stormzy video is wondering when they could ever have filmed on Westminster Bridge (a horrendously constantly over-crowded major traffic thoroughfare) in daylight in what’s clearly (by scaffolding) the last year or so. (Or I just really get frustrated about that part of my commute.)

  2. Mark coale says:

    I saw a tweet from QI about that bird song single, so I was curious as to what Paul was going to say about it.

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