RSS Feed
Dec 14

Number 1s of 2009: 13 December 2009

Posted on Monday, December 14, 2009 by Paul in Music

I wasn’t expecting to write another one of these until next week, when the X Factor winner’s single is virtually guaranteed to become the Christmas number one.  But, as it turns out, after two weeks the Peter Kay charity single has run out of steam enough for a normal record to snatch a week at the top.

If you think that winning singles from talent shows don’t really count, then this is effectively the last “proper” number one of the year.  And in a happy symmetry, it’s from the same woman who dethroned Alexandra Burke back in January to start the year.

As if you need telling, that’s Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”.  It’s the lead single from “The Fame Monster”, officially a reissue of her album “The Fame” with a second CD of new material.  Given the price point and the number of new songs, they could just about have gotten away with billing it as her second album, with a free copy of “The Fame” thrown in.  Then again, it’s hardly a massive departure from her previous singles (unsurprisingly, since it’s by the same producer), so maybe this is the best way of presenting it.  Albums are an artificial format in the digital age, anyway.

This is her third number one of the year, following “Let’s Dance” in January and “Poker Face” in March.  That equals the Black Eyed Peas’ record.  But then, they only had three singles out in 2009 (plus making a guest appearance on a Cheryl Cole track).  Lady Gaga managed a total of seven top 40 hits this year, the others being “Paparazzi” (number 4), “Lovegame” (number 19), “Chillin'” (with Wale, number 12), and the album track “Telephone” (number 30).  Turns out there’s a seven-minute version of the video to “Paparazzi”, so let’s see if it makes any more sense that way.

Well, maybe a little bit. Still, I’m all for pop stars who want to make videos as absurd as that. It’s what they’re for, after all.

Seven hits in a year is a lot – actually, she could still make it eight, depending on when the single version of Beyonce’s “Videophone” is released, because she’s on that too.  It’s definitely been her year.

We’re not completely getting away from X Factor with this record, because it did climb to the top after she plugged it on the Sunday night show.  However, that’s following a seven week climb up the charts – this is a genuine hit rather than a one-week hype job.  And it’s not as though the X Factor results show is a guarantee of chart success.  The other guest on the show that night was Janet Jackson, and her new single has tanked, entering this week at number 73.

This aside, it’s been a quiet time on the singles chart.  Everyone in their right mind is either waiting for this week (for the Christmas chart) or January (when things get back to normal).  But here are the other records to chart over the last two weeks…

  • Timbaland featuring SoShy & Nelly Furtado, “Morning After Dark.”  Lead single from the “Shock Value 2” album, out in time for Christmas.  Turns out that the way to signify heavy autotune when lipsynching is to gurn heavily.  Who knew?  Number 6 and climbing.
  • Alicia Keys, “Doesn’t Mean Anything.”  Plugged on the X Factor results show a couple of weeks back.  Hopelessly drippy video.  Number 8.
  • Chuckie & LMFAO, “Let the Bass Kick in Miami Bitch.”  Or “Girl” if you’re listening to the radio edit.  This anomaly is a mash-up of LMFAO’s “I’m in Miami Bitch” (a very minor hit in America which did nothing over here) and DJ Chuckie’s “Let the Bass Kick” (no idea).  Staggeringly awful video, probably slung together by the UK label.  Number 9.
  • Cheryl Cole featuring, “3 Words.”  Number 14 and climbing.  The second single from the X Factor judge’s album.  Already charted as an album track when initially released, but it’s got a video now (with clever camera tricks).  It’s pretty good, and likely to go further.
  • N-Dubz featuring Mr Hudson, “Playing With Fire.”  Number 23 and climbing.  Upcoming single already selling as a download.  Doesn’t Hudson look uncomfortable standing next to them?
  • Terry Wogan & Aled Jones, “Silver Bells”/”Me And My Teddy Bear.”  Number 27.  This year’s third Children in Need charity single, and the second annual release from the soon-to-retire broadcasting legend and the bloke who did “Walking in the Air.”  Everything you’d imagine.  Not as memorable as Wogan’s seventies novelty hit “The Floral Dance”, but then what is? 
  • 30 Seconds to Mars, “Kings and Queens.”  Jared Leto’s band.  Peaked at number 28 last week.  Video is almost nine minutes long and is apparently “A Bartholomew Cubbins Film”, which sounds so unpromising that I stopped it there.  Let me know if it’s any good, will you?
  • The Saturdays, “Ego”.  Number 35.  Much better than the last single.  As for the video, I’ve seen better superhero costumes on trick-or-treaters.
  • Lily Allen, “Who’d Have Known.”  Peaked at 39 last week.  Classic error of sampling a much better record (Take That’s “Shine”). 
  • And finally, this year’s obligatory clutch of old Christmas singles re-entering on download sales: “Fairytale of New York” by the Pogues at 18, “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey at 19, and “Last Christmas” by Wham! at 39.  Let’s round off with “Fairytale”, since it never charted in America, and it’s a classic.  If Garth Ennis made Christmas singles, they’d sound like this heavily-slurred national institution.


Bring on the comments

  1. Nich says:

    Ennis did, in fact, title the “reunion” issue of Preacher after a line from Fairytale of New York.

  2. Dave Henderson says:

    The fact that the Saturdays have a video based on Watchmen is incredibly bizarre.

  3. Rhuw Morgan says:

    The Saturday’s video looks good with lightning and setting, but then they’ve obviously blown all the money on a night location shoot that they forgot they’d also need costumes and special effects. I’ve watched it about six times now and I still can’t work out what Frankie’s powers are supposed to be.

  4. Valhallahan says:

    What do you reckon the chances are for a Rage Against the Machine Number one? It’s currently ahead of X Factor I believe.

  5. Paul says:

    It isn’t. It was briefly at number one on iTunes yesterday, but now it’s at number two, which tends to suggest that (as you’d expect) a lot of people went out and bought it on Monday. Plus, a lot of X Factor viewers will buy the CD single. I wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility, but I’d say it’s highly improbable.

    Besides which, since both records are ultimately released by Sony, I can’t see the logic in choosing it as a protest anyway.

  6. Liam says:

    I think it’s a bit of anti-X Factor fun really, but it is ridiculous that the money goes into the same pockets.

    Also amusing that the ‘Make Rage Against the Machine Xmas number 1’ group had “fuck you, I won’t buy what you tell me” as their slogan. Err, what are you doing then?

  7. Nick says:

    Fairytale of New York was never popular in Australia, but now is heard often around Christmas. Perhaps due to its ongoing popularity in the UK and Ireland.

  8. Omar Karindu says:

    For some reason I always recall the notably obscene response of Shane McGowan to the news that “Fairytale” lost as #1 Christmas single to a Pet Shop Boys release.

    It’s a great song, though, not least because Kirsty Maccoll really gets into character in her vocals.

  9. John says:

    Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of” is the official UK Christmas #1.

  10. Will Cooling says:

    Excellent news – didn’t really care until I heard the incredibly arrogant comments from Cowell and Cole about how someone competiting against them was somehow petty and unfair.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens next week though – will more people by the single because of the attention its getting or will people stop buying it now that the objective has been achieved? If its the latter then it could drop like a stone down the charts.

  11. deworde says:

    There’s one thing to consider if you’re “doing it for charity.” Only the profits go to charity, which means simply donating straight to Shelter would be better. Now, if RATM had offered to match the figure, that’d be a more generous gesture.

Leave a Reply