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Oct 13

Charts – 12 October 2014

Posted on Monday, October 13, 2014 by Paul in Music

An unusually top-heavy chart this week – basically dead from 40 through to 21, which must have been a delight for the Radio 1 chart show producers.  It picks up after that.  Well, kind of.

20.  Brian Wilson & Various Artists – “God Only Knows”

Ah, this will take a bit of explaining to the Americans.

This is a bunch of celebrities doing a cover version of “God Only Knows” to celebrate the BBC’s music coverage, with some other BBC personnel also cameoing in the video.  If you really want a blow-by-blow namecheck, I will oblige and link to Buzzfeed, despite my better judgment.  The single is a charity release for the BBC’s annual Children in Need appeal, and yes, the listed artist credit is “Brian Wilson & Various Artists”.

But its main point is to be shown on the BBC itself as a promo for the BBC.  The not-so-subtle subtext here is “hey, people love the BBC, you wouldn’t want to mess with our funding, would you?”  It’s effectively a remake of the BBC’s multi-artist version of “Perfect Day” which was number 1 for 2 weeks in 1997.  Ironically, it was knocked off the top by another BBC release, “Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh!”

“Perfect Day” is a truly baffling record – a bunch of wildly disparate celebrities pay homage to the licence fee by singing a Lou Reed song about heroin in utterly incongruous styles – but was indeed released due to genuine popular demand.  This is… an attempt to do that again.

This is a midweek release, so it could have gone higher.  Judging from the iTunes chart, it won’t now.  The original was a number 2 hit for the Beach Boys in 1966 – not their biggest UK hit, as “Good Vibrations” and “Do It Again” both made the top.

18.  John Legend – “All of Me”

Back up 11 places, with a truly extraordinary chart run of 28-29-9-8-6-3-5-2-4-4-4-5-4-3-6-6-5-10-10-9-11-13-14-20-19-17-15-19-19-24-23-22-23-29-18.   I’m guessing somebody covered it on X Factor?  Ah yes.  They did.

We’re into the live shows now, by the way, so brace yourself for the chart invasion.  Normally that comes in the form of covers, even though the X Factor versions are made available for download.  Interestingly, this year the X Factor downloads are showing up in the iTunes chart – previously they’ve opted to make them invisible so as to avoid spoiling the surprise of who’s ahead.  Conventional wisdom is that if people can see who’s selling, it kills the tension of the format.

Does that mean they’re going to be chart-eligible too?  If so… oww.  A barrage of one-week wonders from here until Christmas…

16.  Usher featuring Nicki Minaj – “She Came To Give It To You”

I have no idea what the point is of the framing sequence on this video, other than to make it look like something more than a straight performance job.  Anyhow, this is the follow-up to “Good Kisser”, which made number 10 in July.  It’s heavily based on “Just Be Good To Me” by the S.O.S. Band, a number 13 hit in 1984, but probably better known in Britain from the 1990 cover “Dub Be Good To Me” by Beats International, one of Norman Cook’s pre-Fatboy Slim projects.

Nicki Minaj makes three appearances on this week’s chart – one is “Bang Bang”, and the other we’ll come to.  Pharrell Williams is apparently on this record as an uncredited guest too.

13.  LuvBug featuring Talay Riley – “Resonance”

Yeesh, that’s a lousy video.  LuvBug are a trio of producers, and this is their debut single following a stint as remixers.  But they’re really best known for including Marvin Humes, who used to be in JLS but has apparently now decided to transition into late-career anonymity.  Singer Talay Riley is obscure, but he’s charted before – he was the guest singer on Chipmunk’s “Look For Me”, a rather terrible number 7 hit back in 2009.  We’ll probably be seeing him again next week on a Wilkinson single.

10.  Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”

This has been hanging around in the middle of the top 40 since July as an album track download, but it’s finally been promoted to a full-scale single, climbing into the top 10 in its sixteenth week out.  The women he’s dancing with in the video is Brittany Cherry, who was a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance last year.

7.  Ella Henderson – “Glow”

The follow-up to “Ghost”, which made number 1 in June and is still hanging around the top 30.  Henderson is a Simon Cowell act – she was signed after coming sixth in the 2012 season of X Factor – and while this and “Ghost” are at the upper end of quality where Cowell commissions are concerned, it’s still very much the sort of mid paced power ballad we’ve come to expect from his squadrons.  It’s perfectly alright, but it’s not going to replicate the success of “Ghost”.

5.  Jeremih featuring Y.G. – “Don’t Tell ‘Em”

There doesn’t appear to be a video for this.  It’s a semi-cover of “Rhythm is a Dancer” by Snap, the number 1 from 1992, as if anyone thought that was a great source of lyrics in need of recycling for a new generation.  I can only guess that’s what got it so high up the chart, though, because it’s not as if the British have ever cared about Jeremih before.  His only previous chart appearances in the UK were with “Birthday Sex” (number 15 in 2009) and “Down On me” (number 30 in 2011 – and that one had 50 Cent on it).

Rapper YG makes his top 40 debut – it stands for “Young Gangsta”.  Other charting acts with “YG” in their names include Tyga, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Marcy Playground, and Max Bygraves.

3.  Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”

Say what you will about Nicki Minaj, but nobody could accuse her of an undue preoccupation with subtlety and good taste.  And let’s face it, if you’re going to go that route, you’d better commit.  Nobody could dispute the column inch-generating power of the video, and at the start of the week it looked as though it would have been an easy number one but for the juggernaut du jour.  In fact, it turns out to have flared out by the end of the week – as of right now, it’s at 10 on iTunes.

As if anyone needs to be told this, it’s based on “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot, which was the second biggest selling record in the US in 1992 (the biggest was “I Will Always Love You”).  In the UK, it got to 56, but it’s still pretty well known.

1.  Meghan Trainor – “All About The Bass”

Two weeks!  Two weeks!  It’s been… well, actually it’s been since “Prayer in C”, which wasn’t that long ago.  But iTunes has it still at the top, blithely fending off a new One Direction single, so it could be on course for three.  That’ll be the longest run since Clean Bandit at the start of the year.

On the album chart, another ludicrous bombardment of new releases, most of which will have the chart life of a mayfly.  (Incidentally, Prince’s “Art Official Age”, which entered at 8 last week?  39.)

  • “Wanted on Voyage” by George Ezra spends a second week at number 1.
  • “Hozier” by Hozier is the highest new entry at 5.  The single “Take Me To Church” is at 32.
  • “Our Love” by Caribou at 8.  The seventh album by Canadian producer Dan Snaith (the first two were released as “Manitoba”), and the first to chart.  No idea why he’s suddenly selling.  Single: “Can’t Do Without You”.
  • “Playland” by Johnny Marr at 9.  His second solo album after “The Messenger”, which got to 10 last year.  Single: “Easy Money”.
  • “Sirens” by Gorgon City at 10.  Debut album; the highest placing single was “Ready for your Love”, which got to 4.
  • “Tracks of My Years” by Bryan Adams at 11.  His first studio album since 2008.  Single: “She Knows Me”.
  • “747” by Lady Antebellum at 12.  You know, they did “Need You Now”, it gets covered on talent shows a lot.  It’s their fourth high-placing album, though.  Single: “Bartender”.
  • “24 Karat Gold – Songs from the Vault” by Stevie Nicks at 14.  This is basically Stevie Nicks releasing proper versions of some demos that had been leaked anyway.  Single: “Lady”.
  • “Lower than Atlantis” by Lower Than Atlantis at 16.  They’re a rock band from Watford.  This is their fourth album, and the second to chart (they got to 25 last time).  Single: “Emily”.
  • “Silhouette” by Ali Campbell at 18.  The singer from UB40.  Actually, there are two other ex-UB40 members on this album, so it’s basically a UB40 album.  Technically, though, it’s an Ali Campbell solo album, and his fifth to chart.  Single: “I Want You”.
  • “Interlude” by Jamie Cullum at 19.  About the same position as his last album.  Single: “Good Morning Heartache”.
  • “You’re Dead!” by Flying Lotus at 24.  A producer and rapper on the Warp label.  His second album to chart.  Single: “Never Catch Me”.
  • “Gold & Silver Days” by Foster & Allen at 28.  Low-impact Irish trad-folk for nostalgic grannies.  These guys were mainstays of daytime TV adverts when I was five.  Video (yes, really): “Working Man”.
  • “Standing in the Breach” by Jackson Browne at 31.  Always a much bigger star in the US, Jackson Browne hasn’t made the top 40 albums chart since 1993, and he’s never got higher than 26.  Sample track: “Leaving Winslow”.
  • “Everything will be Alright in the End” by Weezer at 37.  The previous album didn’t make the top 40 at all, so that’s something.  Still… below Foster & Allen.  Single: “Back to the Shack”.

Bring on the comments

  1. Jonny K says:

    “Rapper YG makes his top 40 debut – it stands for “Young Gangsta”. Other charting acts with “YG” in their names include Tyga, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Marcy Playground, and Max Bygraves.”

    Ah, that’s the sort of thing we’re reading this for.

    The last album he released as Caribou was 2010’s Swim (according to Wiki, his sixth album was released under the name “Delphi”). That was something of a switch in style that led to a lot of success. Presumably the sales come from the four year’s wait after the last one, which was a sort of critical breakthrough.

    (Bizarrely, he did a PhD in maths at the department I’ve done mine in, a few years before my time. His PhD supervisor Kevin Buzzard, is wonderfully eccentric, the sort of person you might get if Matt Fraction were to write a mathematician.)

  2. S says:

    Not to get pedantic, but Baby Got Back was the 2nd-best-selling single in the US that year, not the 2nd-best-selling record. The US has always been a much bigger album sales country than single sales. Wiki says Baby Got Back sold 2.4 million copies – I can’t find album sale numbers beyond #1, but Wiki says the best-selling album of #1 (Billy Ray Cyrus) sold 4.8 million copies.

  3. Taibak says:

    ‘I Will Always Love You’… ‘Baby Got Back’… ‘Achy Breaky Heart’….

    Those were dark times indeed.

  4. M says:

    ICYMI (and care), Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be’ finally hit hear in the states a few weeks ago.

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