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Jan 20

Charts – 17 January 2020

Posted on Monday, January 20, 2020 by Paul in Music

It’s mid January, so we’re starting to settle back into the routine.

1 Stormzy featuring Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy – “Own It”

Three weeks at number 1 (and a total of eight weeks in the top 5). But Stormzy also has another record out this week, which we might as well deal with right now…

21. Stormzy – “Still Disappointed”

This is part of an exchange of diss tracks with Wiley, though unusually Stormzy has decided to give his track a full scale single release. It’s, er, quite personal. If the backing track sounds surprisingly well developed for something thrown together at short notice, that’s because it’s taken wholesale from Kano’s 2005 track “Mic Check 1-2”. Apparently that’s because it was also used in a Kano v Wiley clash years ago which I gather is well known among interested audiences.

Stormzy has the maximum three singles on this week’s chart, since “Vossi Bop” is still hanging around at 27. Meanwhile, back in more conventional releases…

3. Future featuring Drake – “Life is Good”

Well, this is structurally unusual. It’s basically a 90 second Drake track followed by an entirely different Future track. Previously, Future’s biggest hit was “Mask Off” (number 22 in 2017) and obviously this is way bigger. But it’s got Drake, hasn’t it?

Not much happening this week in terms of climbers. “The Box” by Roddy Ricch climbs 16-5. “Blinding Lights” by the Weeknd is up from 10-8.

28. Selena Gomez – “Rare”

The title track from her album, which enters at number 2 this week. That’s comfortably the highest she’s ever been on the album chart – her other studio albums, dating back to 2010, all placed between 11 and 15. The previous single, “Lose You To Love Me”, rebounds slightly to 18.

37. Halsey – “You Should Be Sad”

This week’s only other new entry is actually quite a pleasant country-ish song, but ye gods, the video is shamelessly gunning for clicks. It really does feel desperate. Halsey had a number 1 hit with the Chainsmokers in 2016, and got to number 3 under her own power in 2018, but none of her singles last year could make the top 20. Still, at least they’re still charting.

Before we move on to the album chart, let’s talk about download campaigns. People still seem to get quite worked up about seeing a song on top of the iTunes chart – this week it was “Yma O Hyd” by Dafydd Iwan (a Welsh nationalist song from the early eighties). It was indeed on top of the iTunes chart on Monday.

But the iTunes chart just measures sales, and the chart these days is about streaming. The song didn’t make the top 100. Its total weekly sales equivalent was below 3,500. And here’s the thing – that was still enough to make it number 3 on the sales only chart. That’s how small the sales market is these days. It’s a streaming world. Download campaigns are a relic of the past.

On the album chart, “Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent” by Lewis Capaldi is back at number 1 for an eighth week in total. The first was back in May last year, and the album has yet to drop below 8. “Rare” by Selena Gomez is number 2.

7. Easy Life – “Junk Food”

English alt-R&B band who were listed at number 2 in the BBC’s Sound of 2020 list (which, to be honest, does tend to skew towards names who happen to have imminent album releases). This is officially billed as a mixtape, and only barely qualifies as an album; it’s 7 tracks but comes in at just under 20 minutes.

8. Sheku Kanneh-Mason, The London Symphony Orchestra & Simon Rattle – “Elgar”

The cellist who played at the wedding of Harry and Meghan. His first album reached number 11 in 2016; this collection of Elgar gives him his first top ten appearance. It’s unusual for any straight classical album to appear this high up the mainstream album chart. This apparently makes him the highest-charting cellist of all time, though I can’t imagine the category is hotly contested.

19. Big Moon – “Walking Like We Do”

This is the Big Moon’s first appearance on the album chart, but their previous album was on the Mercury shortlist in 2017.

24. Georgia – “Seeking Thrills”

Another debut hit. It’s an electropop album that surely ought to have produced some hit singles (it’s not like there was no radio support for it), but didn’t. It’s her second album, after a five year gap. Her dad was a member of Leftfield.

29. Andy Williams – “Gold”

Finally, a 3-CD collection of the best of Andy Williams. On paper, his biggest hit was “Butterfly”, which spent two weeks at number 1 in 1957, but these days he’s probably best known either for the Christmas standard “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, or for “Music To Watch Girls By”, a minor hit in 1967 which made the top 10 as a nostalgic advert soundtrack in the late 90s.

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