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Feb 19

Charts – 19 February 2021

Posted on Friday, February 19, 2021 by Paul in Music

It’s the busiest week on the singles chart for ages. Serenely undisturbed by it all is…

1. Olivia Rodrigo – “Drivers Licence”

…which remains number 1 for a sixth week. But it’s close this time.

2. Lil Tjay & 6LACK – “Calling My Phone”

This is the strongest challenge that “Drivers Licence” has had yet – it holds on, but by a margin equivalent to 1,700 sales. That’s beatable. It’s not an obvious challenger, either. Lil Tjay’s only previous appearance in the top 40 was as a guest on Pop Smoke’s “Mood Swings” (number 5 last year) – until now, his own singles have always missed the chart. 6LACK – it’s pronounced “black”, which would be more obvious if it was written in lower case – hasn’t had a hit single in the UK either, though he’s got an album into the top 20. It’s a surprising chart record (or lack thereof) considering that he’s been around for years and has several Grammy nominations under his belt.

“The Business” by Tiesto climbs 7-6, and “Goosebumps” climbs to number 9, with its artist credit now altered to Travis Scott & HVME“Friday” by Riton  x Nightcrawlers featuring Mufasa & Hypeman climbs 16-10.

12. Taylor Swift – “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)”

So this is a little unusual. “Love Story” was Taylor Swift’s first UK hit, reaching number 2 in 2009. This was the time when she was still being presented in the UK as a country crossover artist. She didn’t have another hit on that scale until “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, three years later. Back in 2019, she announced that after the master tapes for her first six albums were sold to Scooter Braun, she intended to re-record the lot of them, release new versions, and encourage everyone to buy the new versions instead. And indeed, this single is trailing the re-recorded version of parent album “Fearless”, which is out in the spring. “Fearless” isn’t her debut album – that would be her self-titled album from 2005, which did absolutely nothing in the UK, and so it’s perhaps understandable that she’s going with the international breakthrough album first. As a record… well, it’s Taylor Swift doing a straight cover of one of her own songs, though this version has less of an eye on country radio airplay.

“Save Your Tears” by the Weeknd climbs 15-13, “Latest Trends” by A1 & J1 climbs 19-17, and “Your Love (9pm)” by ATB, Topic & A7S climbs 23-21.

23. Central Cee – “Commitment Issues”

His second hit, following “Loading”, which reached number 20 last year.

25. Dua Lipa – “We’re Good”

This is the single promoting the special edition reissue of her album “Future Nostalgia”. It’s on the low side for one of her new entries, but she has climbed from lower than this before, and the song may be more of a grower. The video is weirdly elaborate for this sort of release.

27. The United Kingdolls – “UK Hun”

From the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. They released a single in the first series as well, “Break Up Bye Bye”, which was simply credited to “Cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race” – thus allowing them to release two different versions by competing teams and have them both count towards the same chart place. That got to number 35. This time they’ve given the teams separate credits, and the leading version gets to 27. The other version, credited to Bananadrama, is… er, nowhere.

“My Head & My Heart” by Ava Max climbs 35-29, and “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence climbs 39-33.

35. Headie One feauring Burna Boy – “Siberia”

Another promotional single for an expanded album reissue.

39. Slowthai featuring Skepta – “Cancelled”

Ah, this dovetails nicely. The bottom track on the single chart is from Slowthai’s album “Tyron”, which enters the album chart at number 1 this week. Slowthai’s previous album “Nothing Great About Britain” got to number 9,  but this is his first appearance in the singles chart. Obviously, a guest appearance by Skepta helps – the next highest tracks got to 71 and 72 respectively.

Oh, and the video is violent enough that you won’t see it getting much daytime airplay, but it’s not especially graphic.

On the album chart… well, we just did number one.

3. The Pale Waves – “Who Am I”

Sophomore indie album, though radio-friendly enough that you’d think the singles would get a bit more traction. Its predecessor came out in 2018 and got to number 8.

6. The Pretty Reckless – “Death By Rock & Roll”

The Pretty Reckless’s only significant hit single in the UK was “Make Me Wanna Die”, which reached number 16 in 2010 (they did get another track to 39 later in the year). They’ve done better on the album chart, with two previous top ten albums. They hadn’t released anything since 2016, and I must admit I was surprised to learn they were still a going concern.

16. David Bowie – “Look at the Moon – Live Phoenix Festival”

The fourth in a planned series of six Bowie live albums from the 90s. Ultimately, they’re going to be a box set.

Bring on the comments

  1. David Goldfarb says:

    I play in an online trivia league called “Learned League”. It occasionally has questions about modern pop hits, so I’ve been reading these posts in the hopes of getting a question from it. Yesterday that finally paid off: a question about “Driver’s License”.

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