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Mar 18

Charts – 17 March 2023

Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2023 by Paul in Music

So, this was to be expected.

1. Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

That’s nine weeks. More to the point, the parent album “Endless Summer Vacation” is out this week, and enters the album chart at number 1. It’s her second number one album, but the other one was 2013’s “Bangerz”; that was followed by a 2017 album that missed the top 5, and a 2019 album that only just made the top 20. 2020’s “Plastic Hearts” was a big improvement, getting to number 4, and Miley seems to have hit on what works for her at this point in her career. The sales on the album itself are nothing out of the ordinary, but that’s hardly a concern.

Nine weeks at number 1 on the singles chart beats LF System’s “Afraid To Feel”, but she still needs one more week in order to match Harry Styles’ “As It Was” from last year. Tracks can become subject to the downweighting rule in their tenth week, but only if they’re several weeks past their peak – since streams went up this week, that won’t happen to “Flowers” for a few weeks yet, and so she has a good chance of lasting to week ten. (Week eleven will be more of a challenge, because Ed Sheeran will have a new track out.)

3. Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding – “Miracle”

Very much a 90s trance throwback, this. Ellie Goulding has released two previous top ten singles with Calvin Harris, but that was in 2013 and 2014. Number 3 makes this Calvin Harris’ biggest hit since “Giant” in 2019.


Mar 12

Charts – 10 March 2023

Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2023 by Paul in Music

It’s another week of holding pattern on the singles chart, to be honest. The album chart is busier, but first…

1. Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

That’s eight weeks – by the skin of its teeth, since its lead over “Boy’s a Liar” at number 2 equates to 1,200 sales. But it’s eight weeks nonetheless, which matches LF System’s “Afraid To Feel”. In theory, the next target is ten weeks, which is what Harry Styles managed with “As It Was” last spring. The album is out this week, which could well push her there.

The top ten isn’t entirely static, but it might as well be – it’s all non-movers or records shuffling up or down a place, aside from Libianca’s “People” at number 8, which climbs a mighty three places. For our highest new entry we head all the way down to…

30. Nicki Minaj – “Red Ruby Da Sleeze”

This is apparently a promotional single from her upcoming fifth album, which has been upcoming for a very long time now – it’s been six years since her last album. The sample is from Lumidee’s “Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)”, which reached number 2 in 2003 as her only UK hit. In fact, Lumidee was basically a one-hit wonder everywhere – except in Belgium, where she had a number 1 hit in 2007. The Lumidee record in turn was based on the widely used Diwali Riddim.


Mar 10

X-Men #20 annotations

Posted on Friday, March 10, 2023 by Paul in Music

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

X-MEN vol 6 #20
“Lord of the Brood, part 2”
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colourist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller with Jay Bowen
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1. The X-Men fight the Brood. This continues the image from X-Men #19 and Captain Marvel #46, with Jean apparently partially transformed into a Brood. At least, I assume that’s it’s meant to be – honestly, it just looks like she’s wearing a mask. For what it’s worth, the cover of Captain Marvel #47 (which is out next week) continues the image and does something similar with Captain Marvel.

PAGE 2. Data page. Opening quote from Cyclops, claiming that (i) the X-Men aren’t just reactive like traditional superheroes, and (ii) ergo, they ought to have wiped out the Brood long ago. One wonders how he feels about Broo.

PAGES 3-5. Jean and Magik visit Broo.

Broo‘s time at the Jean Grey School is covered in Wolverine and the X-Men, where he was a regular. He’s still wearing his school uniform – to be fair, a few of the student characters from that book who don’t have other costumes to fall back on have also been drawn in their school uniforms on Krakoa, such as Nature Girl.


Mar 7

Charts – 3 March 2023

Posted on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 by Paul in Music

It’s another largely uneventful week. The top three is static, so…

1. Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

…gets a seventh week. That overtakes Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero”, but it still needs another week to match LF System’s “Afraid To Feel” from last summer. Number 2 is PinkPantheress’s “Boy’s a Liar”, which has been in the top 3 for three weeks now, and number 3 is SZA’s “Kill Bill”, which has been at number 3 for seven of the last eight weeks.

4. The Weeknd – “Die For You”

Technically, this is not a new entry – it’s a climber from number 37. However, the reason why a track that’s been out for years has climbed 33 places is the release of new mix with Ariana Grande. So, you know, it’ll have to do.

If it’s actual new entries that you want, we have to go all the way down to…


Feb 26

Charts – 24 February 2023

Posted on Sunday, February 26, 2023 by Paul in Music

The rest of the top 10 is starting to free up – mostly due to older records being cleared out under the downweighting rules – but there’s no shifting…

1.  Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

…just yet. It is comfortably past its peak, so the end is in sight, but in the meantime it gets a sixth week at number one. This matches the run of Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” in November/December, but it’s not especially out of the ordinary yet – 2022 saw three other number 1s with longer runs than this (“We Don’t Talk About Bruno”, “As It Was” and “Afraid To Feel”).

There is movement in the top 10, but none of it involves new entries, so we move on to…

18. Niall Horan – “Heaven”

This is the lead single from his third album. By the standards of One Direction members who aren’t Harry Styles, Niall Horan’s solo career is entirely respectable. It’s been three years since his previous album, and so it’s been a while since we’ve had him on the singles chart (he also popped up on an Anne-Marie single in 2021).


Feb 19

Charts – 17 February 2023

Posted on Sunday, February 19, 2023 by Paul in Music

This is the week after the Brit Awards, which has… to be honest, almost no impact on the chart. With one exception, which we’ll come to. But it’s a quiet week otherwise.

1. Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

Five weeks. The number 2 single is still “Escapism” by Raye, which has been there for five weeks too.

7. Harry Styles – “As It Was”

This is the one obvious impact of the Brits: last year’s Harry Styles number 1 rebounds into the top 10. It was still hanging around the fringes of the top 40 anyway – it’s actually a climber from 34 – but there’s no apparent reason for it to be here beyond the Brit Awards. Particularly since a lot of its chart points are coming from views of the video above. I’m not sure why, since I don’t think it’s an especially great live performance… but there you go.


Feb 10

Charts – 10 February 2023

Posted on Friday, February 10, 2023 by Paul in Music

The top three has now been static for a month, which is… exciting…?

1. Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

Four weeks. It’s still miles ahead of anything else, and it’s holding Raye’s “Escapism” – a former number 1 – in the number 2 place. Of somewhat more interest is the fact that SZA’s “Kill Bill” has spent five straight weeks at number 3. That’s not quite the biggest hit of her career, if you count her guest appearance on Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me more” – which had a total of six weeks at number 3 – but it’s far and away her breakout hit single as a solo act.

8. PinkPantheress – “Boy’s A Liar”

Officially, this is a re-entry for the track that spent a week at number 38 at the end of January, but the version now being pushed is the Ice Spice remix. Clearly she’s making a big difference here, but since it hasn’t officially been nominated as the lead version, she doesn’t get a chart credit.


Feb 7

Charts – 3 February 2023

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 by Paul in Music

It’s a fairly quiet week. The top 5 is static, which means the number 1 is still…

1. Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

… which has double the points of the number 2 single as it spends a third week at number one. It’s a good record but I’m surprised it’s doing quite this well – it’s certainly not simply Miley’s star power, since her previous number 1 was back in 2013. It does stand out, genre-wise, in the current chart, which can’t hurt.

11. KSI featuring Oliver Tree – “Voices”

Well, that remix thing finally gave Oliver Tree a mainstream hit, so let’s have a go at capitalising! And that means… a collaboration with KSI? Okay, then. It actually enters one place below “Miss You”, which is still in the top 10 after a total of 11 weeks. The song itself is fairly conventional; the video is – well, Oliver Tree’s an idiosyncratic director, and he’s evidently not minded to shift on that. I can see this making the top ten, though. And it doesn’t have any of that awkwardness of cloning a bootleg remix…


Jan 27

Charts – 27 January 2023

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2023 by Paul in Music

Well, we’re getting back to the normal rhythm of the singles chart – which is to say, quiet, but there’s some movement..

1. Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

Two weeks – which is more than either of her previous number ones managed. It’s easy to forget how long Miley Cyrus has been around – her first hit was in 2008, so she’s now into her sixteenth year of having hits. It could easily have been longer, since one of her Hannah Montana tracks got to number 43 in 2007. Her previous number ones were a decade ago.

The top five is completely static, so that’s certainly familiar.

9. Headie One – “Martin’s Sofa”

To be honest, this leaves me completely cold. I think you maybe have to be invested in Headie One and his back story. Which is a shame, because it’s called “Martin’s Sofa”, which is clearly a great title. But as a record, it’s very one note. Anyway, it’s Headie One’s fifth top 10 hit. All the others had very high profile guest stars on them – as in, AJ Tracey, Stormzy, Dave and Drake – so it’s significant that he’s making the top ten completely under his own power here.


Jan 21

Charts – 20 January 2023

Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2023 by Paul in Music

Well, I never got around to doing last week’s column, so let’s jump direct to yesterday’s chart and pick up the other new entries as we go along. In fact, we’ve missed an entire number one, because “Pointless” by Lewis Capaldi was at the top last week. And this is… probably something the chart would prefer not to think about.

Basically, Capaldi hyped himself to number one for a single week the old fashioned way – in the worst possible sense of that concept – by encouraging his fanbase to order heavily discounted copies of the CD single, of all things. There’s some silly story about too many having been ordered, or something like that, which I assume we’re not meant to actually believe. At any rate, the upshot is that Capaldi got himself a week at number one on the back of physical sales to hardcore fans, with a chart record that reads 20-43-40-60-15-1-12. This is silly.