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Apr 24

Charts – 24 April 2020

Posted on Friday, April 24, 2020 by Paul in Music

We are now well and truly into the lockdown chart. I mean… look.

1. Michael Ball, Captain Tom Moore & The NHS Voices of Care Choir – “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

Well, it’s zeitgeisty, you’ve got to give it that.

Tom Moore is a 99 year old war veteran – he’ll turn 100 in the coming week, while still the reigning number one – who embarked on a campaign to raise £500,000 for NHS-related charities by, basically, walking 100 laps of his garden. Which is a significant effort when you’re 99. Not only did he meet that target, his justgiving page is currently showing a total of £28.7 million. That’s not a typo.

This leads us to a charity tie-in single of the old school – which is to say, it’s a record designed to be bought as a symbol of support more than actually listened to. The actual record is a cover of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by stage veteran Michael Ball, accompanied with a choir of home-recorded NHS workers, interspersed with the voice of Moore himself delivering the lyrics. The attempts to edit this into some sort of duet are… well, unusual, let’s say. It’s a very strange record and one that only really makes sense in the weird context of the times.

Ball has had hits before, the best known being “Love Changes Everything”, which reached number 2 in 1989. He had several other minor hits before finally dropping off the singles chart radar in 1996, but his mainstream classical albums continue to chart regularly. This is his first number one.

Captain Tom Moore, you will be unsurprised to learn, has not previously had a hit single. He is the oldest person to have a number one hit, and is likely to remain so forever. The previous record holder was Tom Jones, who was 68 when he appeared on the Comic Relief version of “Islands in the Stream” in 2009. Ball himself, at 57, is now the eighth oldest number 1 artist (just edging out Leo Sayer, who was 57 when a remix of “Thunder In My Heart” reached number 1 in 2006).

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” has now officially been number one in four different versions – the original by Gerry & The Pacemakers in 1963, a charity version by The Crowd for the Bradford City stadium fire in 1985, and a version by Robson & Jerome which very, very technically counts because it was officially part of a triple A-side (!) with “Saturday Night at the Movies” in 1996. Only two other songs have reached number 1 in four different versions, and one of them is “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, which doesn’t really count since all four were by versions of Band Aid. The other one is “Unchained Melody” (for Jimmy Young, the Righteous Brothers, Robson & Jerome and Gareth Gates).

5. The Live Lounge Allstars – “Times Like These (BBC Radio 1 Stay Home)”

Meanwhile, the BBC have also put out a coronavirus charity record. This only came out on the last day of the chart period, so number five is very, very good indeed. The “Live Lounge” is the branding for live sessions on daytime Radio 1, but this is (of course) recorded in everyone’s homes and assembled into a collage cover version of the Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These”. The result is actually quite listenable.

The artists on this record are (deep breath) AJ Tracey, Bastille, Biffy Clyro, Celeste, Chris Martin, Dave Grohl (and one of the other Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins), Dermot Kennedy, Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Grace Carter, Hailee Steinfeld, Jess Glynne, Mabel, Paloma Faith, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora, Royal Blood, Sam Fender, Sean Paul, Sigrid, Yungblud, Zara Larsson, and a bloke from 5 Seconds of Summer.

The rest of the top 10 is basically static. “Rover” by Simba featuring DTG climbs 23-13, and our first normal new entry is…

20. Sam Smith & Demi Lovato – “I’m Ready”

Huh. This is a bit more punchy than I’m used to from a Sam Smith single. It’s somehow managed to get a bit lost in the shuffle in a week when very few conventional singles are coming out, thanks to all the charity stuff, but I can imagine this going further – after all, the radio stations have to play something new.

“If the World was Ending” by JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels climbs 31-24.

25. Beth Porch – “You Taught Me What Love Is”

Beth Porch is a nurse who entered the probably-abortive current season of Britain’s Got Talent – they’ve filmed the auditions, it’s not obvious how they’re going to do the finals any time soon, though officially the line remains that they will happen at some point. In the meantime… this single.

29. DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch – “Rockstar”

From the album “Blame it on Baby”, which enters the album chart at 8 – over on the album schedule, things haven’t quite seized up yet, so we’re getting some spillover tracks showing up at the low end of the singles chart. DaBaby’s debut “Kirk” reached 24 just last October, so a big step up.

38. Nafe Smallz featuring M Huncho – “Part of the Plan”

On similar lines, Nafe Smallz’ mixtape “Goat World” enters at 12. It’s the first time he’s placed an album in the top 40, though he’s had a few previous minor hits, mostly as a collaborator. Several of those were working with M Huncho too.

39. Gerry Cinnamon – “Where We’re Going”

A little more unexpectedly, here’s a track from Gerry Cinnamon’s second studio album “The Bonny”, which enters the album chart at number 1. His previous album, 2018’s “Erratic Cinematic”, made number 17 – but it spent 14 weeks on the top 40 and hung around in the lower reaches for ages, which is very unusual behaviour for an album.

On the album chart… well, I’ve just mentioned the number 1.

2. Enter Shikari – “Nothing is True & Everything is Possible”

Their highest chart position to date (and they started in 2007), but it follows a run of top 5 studio albums going back to 2012.

The DaBaby album is at 8, the Nafe Smallz album is 12…

13. EOB – “Earth”

It’s a solo album by Ed O’Brien of Radiohead. Generally quite well received. I quite like the single, I’ll have to find some time to listen to this.

28. Nightwish – “Human. :II: Nature.”

Unusually for the album chart, this is a climber from outside the top 40, because apparently Nightwish fans were all waiting for the CD release. Nightwish are a Finnish symphonic metal band who have notched up sporadic appearances on the album chart since 2007. It’s a somewhat indulgent project, this – an 80 minute double album comprising a full 50 minute regular album and a 30 minute, eight-movement orchestral suite called “All the Works of Nature Which Adorn the World”.

33. Fiona Apple – “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”

Fiona Apple hasn’t released a record in 7 years. To my surprise, this is her first album to chart on the UK top 40, though she did get a single (“Fast as You Can”) to number 33 twenty years ago.

35. Marillion – “Script for a Jester’s Tear”

Reissue of their 1983 debut album, which reached number 7. The lurching single above reached number 16, though I don’t remember it at all.

Bring on the comments

  1. Jim O says:

    I was *just* trying to remember the name of the band Nightwish the other day. The video for one of their 2004 songs, Wish I Had an Angel, was semi-popular in the States. But the only detail I could remember was one of their members (I see now, the bassist) looked like Boromir if he had possesed the one ring for a few years and it had driven him mad. Oddly enough that detail wasn’t enough to find the video or the band.

  2. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    The Zoom conference videos for the lockdown singles always remind me of the punchline to the Muppet version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

  3. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    “He is the oldest person to have a number one hit, and is likely to remain so forever.”

    Mum reckons Dame Vera may see this as a challenge.

  4. Joe S. Walker says:

    Not necessarily a bad thing, but Marillion were REALLY swiping Gabriel-period Genesis.

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