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Jun 23

Charts – 21 June 2019

Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2019 by Paul in Music

There’s a podcast one post down!  Meanwhile, the singles charts could really use some big releases to come along…

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

Six weeks.  This is getting a little tiresome.  Below, the logjam in the top 10 is finally broken, though the suspiciously large drops for “Old Town Road” and “Someone You Loved” make it rather obvious that they’ve simply been out long enough (and are far enough past their peak) to get hit with the chart rule that downweights older hits to usher them out of the charts.  And aside from the two new entries that take their place, the rest of the top ten simply reshuffles itself.  In fact, it would have been another static top five if it wasn’t for the chart rules.  But hey, it’s simulated movement, at least!

5.  Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down”

The second single from her upcoming album.  This is her “I am an LGBTQ+ ally” video, released during Pride month, and full of appropriate cameos; it also, for some reason, features Katy Perry in order to show that they are friends now.  There’s been a degree of backlash to this as well, along the lines of it being a fashion statement or just simply clumsy – the lyrics seem to waver back and forth between bigotry and “people saying mean things about Taylor Swift on Twitter” as if they were interchangeable.  Or indeed as if a few pro-gay lyrics were bolted onto the second verse of a pre-existing “screw the haters” song, something that has the added problem of being a theme she’s done to death.  It’s not very good, really.

Taylor Swift records, of course, exist in large part to promote the narrative of Taylor Swift.  One side-effect is that they haven’t actually showed that much staying power of late – not compared to the likes of Ed Sheeran, at any rate.  The lead single “Me” entered at 3 and was out of the top 40 after two months, for example.  Let’s see how this one does.

“No Guidance” by Chris Brown featuring Drake climbs to 6, while “Cross Me” by Ed Sheeran featuring Chance The Rapper and PNB Rock climbs to 8 after spending three weeks locked at 9.

10.  Little Mix – “Bounce Back”

This is the lead single from their upcoming sixth album, so number 10 is on the low side.  But then it’s really not much cop.  The chorus is recycled from Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life”, a number 1 in 1989, and a vastly superior record.  Pretty  much everything else about this track is just an incoherent pile-up.

“Never Really Over” by Katy Perry – which entered at 13 two weeks ago – climbs up to 12, so this one is indeed sticking around beyond fanbase sales.

13.  Drake featuring Rick Ross – “Money in the Grave”
33. Drake – “Omerta”

These two tracks were released together as “The Best In The World Pack”, apparently in commemoration of the Toronto Raptors winning some sports thing or other.  Anyway, that’s not how singles really work together in 2019, they register separately on the chart.  For some reason, “Money in the Grave” – which is track two – does significantly better.  It can’t be thanks to the guest shot by Rick Ross; this is only the second time he’s got a credit in the top 40.  (The first was for guesting on a Chris Brown single, “New Flame”, in 2014.)

And that’s it on the singles chart, aside from the remaining climbers: “Wish You Well” by Sigala & Becky Hill moves 15-14 and “Mad Love” by Mabel goes 181-16.  None of this is exactly earth-shattering movement.  “One Touch” by Jess Glynne & Jax Jones climbs 23-19 – it has a rather mawkish video now – and “3 Nights” by Dominic Fike jumps a more notable 31-21.  “Ladbroke Grove” by AJ Tracey climbs 26-22, and “Strike A Pose” by Young T & Bugsey featuring Aitch climbs 30-25.

On the album chart:

1.  Bruce Springsteen – “Western Stars”

This is his eleventh number one album; the last one was 2014’s “High Hopes”, the first 1984’s “Born in the USA”.  Only five artists have had more number one albums: The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Madonna, the Rolling Stones and Robbie Williams.  Bruce shares sixth place with David Bowie.  The title track is rather pleasant, though maybe a bit long for something so simple.

2.  Madonna – “Madame X”

That matches the position of her previous studio album “Rebel Heart”.  In a chart career dating back to her self-titled debut in 1984, Madonna has never placed any lower than number 6 with a studio album.  She’s stopped having hit singles, but that’s evidently no reason to stop making six-and-a-half minute videos with whispered opening monologues.  The song’s not so bad when it finally starts, mind you.

4.  Bastille – “Doom Days”

Their third official album and the first to miss number one, though it was a pretty strong week for competition.  It’s the first time they’ve failed to chart with any singles from an album – they did get to number 2 with Marshmello on “Happier”, but that’s not on the album.

5.  Joy Division – “Unknown Pleasures”

This is a 40th-anniversary reissue of Joy Division’s debut album from 1979.  Remarkably, it’s never previously made the album top 40, even though the 1980 follow-up “Closer” reached number 6.  The video above, for closing track “I Remember Nothing”, is a new commission to promote the re-issue, naturally.

22.  Roy Orbison & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – “A Love So Beautiful / Unchained Melodies”

Simply a combined reissue of the two albums from 2017 and 2018 (which reached 2 and 3 respectively).

30.  Kate Tempest – “The Book of Traps and Lessons”

The follow-up to 2016’s Mercury-shortlisted “Let Them Eat Chaos”, which reached 28.  The single’s definitely worth a play (though I’m not sure the over-busy lyric video helps it any).

33.  The LaFontaines – “Junior”

They’re from Motherwell; this is their third album, and the first to chart.  Rap-rock crossover isn’t exactly the height of fashion in 2019, but this is pretty good.

37.  Bill Callahan – “Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest”

Blimey, here’s someone who must have given up on ever having a top 40 album, in the admittedly unlikely event that he actually cared about having one in the first place.  Bill Callahan has been releasing albums under his own name, and before that as “Smog”, since 1990; his only previous appearance on either the singles or albums chart was in 2000 when his single “Strayed” reached number 76.

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