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May 19

Charts – 17 May 2019

Posted on Sunday, May 19, 2019 by Paul in Music

He was bound to be back sooner or later.

1.  Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber – “I Don’t Care”

This is the first new Ed Sheeran single in two years – unless you count his guest appearance on Eminem’s “River”, and even that came out right at the end of 2017.  Yes, new songs written by Ed Sheeran seem to chart all the time; he’s approaching Barbara Cartland levels of prolificity.  But this is a proper Ed Sheeran single, so it’s an entirely predictable number one (his sixth in total).  It doesn’t quite have the highest sales/streaming figure of the year – that’s still Ariana Grande – but it’s close.  The song is… pretty routine and on brand: Sheeran is an ordinary bloke who feels out of place in the celebrity world and his girl makes him feel okay about that.

This is not a song which calls for a guest verse from Justin Bieber, then, but it’s got one anyway.  Bieber’s current standing in pop is tricky to judge, since he hasn’t released an album since 2015.  Consequently, that’s also when he last had a number one as the lead artist.  But he did have number ones in 2016 and 2017, as a guest on Major Lazer and DJ Khaled singles, plus the English-language remix of “Despocito”.  This number one – his seventh – obviously bodes well for the upcoming fifth album.  Then again, it is Ed Sheeran, who would have been number one anyway…

There’s nothing of note happening in the rest of the top 10.  “All Day and Night” by Jax Jones & Martin Solveig featuring Madison Beer reaches a new peak of 11 (but it’s been hovering in this area for a month now). “What I Like About You” by Jonas Blue featuring Theresa Rex reaches a new peak of 19, in similar circumstances – it’s taken it three weeks to climb to there from 23.

22.  Skepta & Nafe Smallz – “Greaze Mode”

This is one of two lead singles from the upcoming fifth Skepta album “Ignorance is Bliss”.  The other one, “Bullet from a Gun”, just misses the top 40, to land at 42.

Skepta is not a consistent presence on the singles chart.  His last appearance in the top 40 was as a guest on A$AP Rocky’s “Praise The Lord (Da Shine)” last year; as a lead artist, he’s yet to get above number 14 (with “Rescue Me” in 2010).  Nafe Smallz is another UK rapper, from the “melodic and heavy treated” school of vocals; he has had a hit before, barely, when he was one of several guests on “Broken Homes” by the Plug, a track which managed a week at number 38 last year.  “Greaze Mode” is… okay?  It’s a decent production but lyrically it’s on autopilot.

“Sixteen” by Ellie Goulding climbs 31-25, and “Carry On” by Kygo & Rita Ora climbs 30-27.

34.  James Arthur – “Falling Like The Stars”

The 2012 X Factor winner is still going, and kicks off his 2019 chart career with a rather generic (though well delivered) ballad of love and family commitment.  The arrangement is, shall we say, firmly unchallenging.

35.  DaBeatfreakz x Deno x Swarmz x Dappy – “Motorola”

DaBeatfreakz are producers, and not to be confused with the producers of (nearly) the same name who had a couple of top ten hits in 2006.  The others are (mildly) familiar names.  Deno is the same person as Deno Driz, who guested on Cadet’s number 14 single “Advice” last year.  Swarmz had a number 32 hit earlier this year with “Bally”.  And yes, that’s Dappy from N-Dubz, still racking up chart appearances 12 years after his debut.

39.  Mark Ronson featuring Lykke Li – “Late Night Feelings”

The follow-up to “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” has been out for five weeks and finally scrapes into the top 40 at number 39, which… doesn’t bode well, does it?  As usual with Ronson, it’s a classy retro piece and probably deserves better than this – the slow down in the bridge is really well done.  Of course, this time he hasn’t gone for such a big name collaborator as Miley Cyrus.  Lykke Li is a Swedish songwriter, initially in the circle of Peter Bjorn & John, who’s been active since 2007.  She’s had consistent success in Sweden, but in Britain she’s only placed a couple of albums on the outskirts of the top 40.  Internationally, she’s probably best known for her excellent 2011 single “I Follow Rivers”, which was a top five hit around Europe… but only in a heavy handed remixed version, and even that did absolutely nothing in the UK.

Over on the album chart, Pink’s “Hurt 2B Human” is still number 1, and there’s remarkably little of note going on in the top 10.

7.  Whitesnake – “Flesh & Blood”

Whitesnake’s thirteenth album, and the highest placing (by quite some way) since 2008.  As well as the single above, songs include “Hey You (You Make Me Rock)”, “Trouble Is Your Middle Name” and “Get Up”, so you get the idea.   They had consistent top ten albums back in the eighties, and boy, the video above suggests that they’d really like to go back to those happy days.  It mainly features girls being sultry adjacent to a car.  David Coverdale is 67.

Number 12 is Logic’s “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”.  The single “Homicide” reached 15 last week (and now drops to 26).  This is his highest placing album, but only just; last year’s “Bobby Tarantino II” made 13.

23.  Mac DeMarco – “Here Comes The Cowboy”

He’s a Canadian songwriter.  This is his sixth album in total, and the third to chart in the UK (all of which placed between 21 and 24, so he’s consistent if nothing else).  The title track above wasn’t actually released as a single, for reasons which will be entirely obvious if you play it, but the video is striking.  The actual single’s quite good as well – I should give this a listen.

29.  The Brotherhood of Man – “Gold”

Finally, we’ve got this 3 CD compilation, boldly described on the cover as featuring “60 hit songs”, despite the minor technicality that only eight of them made the top 40.  Presumably this is timed to coincide with Eurovision, which they won in 1976 with “Save Your Kisses For Me”, back in the days when the British adopted the radical approach of entering songs that they actually liked.  They also had two other number ones: “Angelo” in 1977 and “Figaro” in 1988.



Bring on the comments

  1. MichaelWayne says:

    I love the Brotherhood of Man song, but, man, is it a ripoff of ABBA’s Fernando (which predates it by at least a year, I think)… however, it also sounds (to me) like ABBA got their revenge by putting the piano riff of the chorus in The Winner Takes It All.

  2. MichaelWayne says:

    I couldn’t take my eyes off the Mac DeMarco video. I love when you point out interesting videos, thank you.

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