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Nov 6

Charts – 6 November 2020

Posted on Friday, November 6, 2020 by Paul in Music

Not many people want to take their chances against Ariana Grande on the singles chart.

1. Ariana Grande – “Positions”
9. Ariana Grande – “34+35”
16. Ariana Grande featuring Doja Cat – “Motive”

Ariana Grande’s new album “Positions” enters at number 1, which is entirely unsurprising – it’s her fourth straight number 1 album, in a run extending back to 2016’s “Dangerous Woman”. She duly gets the maximum three album tracks in the singles chart. The current single “Positions” gets a second week at the top, and the other cherrypicked tracks are “34+35” (which does have a lyric video, and is exactly what you’d expect if you do the maths) and “Motive” (which is, um, the track immediately following “34+35”.

In the modern era, having simultaneous number ones on the singles and album charts isn’t that unusual – Drake, Eminem and Stormzy have all done it this year alone. Time will tell how long these tracks hang around beyond the first week surge that major albums always get; they’re all fine, but none of them feels to me like her best work.

There are no other new entries in the top 20, and not much going on in terms of climbers either. “See Nobody” by Wes Nelson & Hardy Caprio climbs 4-3; “Diamonds” by Sam Smith climbs 17-11. (All the other apparent climbers in the top 20 are just rebounds.) “Train Wreck” by James Arthur climbs 24-23, so its second lease of life from TikTok isn’t fading.

26. Tion Wayne featuring MIST – “Deluded”

Nothing unexpected here; it’s very efficient, but feels like it’s staying squarely within the genre lines. I can’t get worked up about it.

32. Paul Harvey & The BBC Philharmonic – “Four Notes – Paul’s Tune”

Paul Harvey is an 80-year-old former music teacher with dementia, and a video of him improvising a piano piece went viral. This is basically the BBC Philharmonic in lockdown playing along with that recording, released as a charity single. (It’s number one on the sales chart, but that doesn’t mean an awful lot these days.) The point was to show that musical ability survived memory loss, and the original piano video makes that point better; while it’s a curious thing to find in the singles chart, it does have a genuine charm to it over and above the back story.

35. Meduza featuring Dermot Kennedy – “Paradise”

Kennedy’s own current single “Giants” is still at number 19. He’s not an obvious collaborator for Meduza, but it works nicely enough. Meduza clearly like finding interesting locations for their video shoots – their previous single “Lose Control” used the half-finished town of Burj Al Babas, which is entirely composed of miniature castles; this one is apparently somewhere in south Italy (their home country).

40. Harry Styles – “Golden”

This entered at number 44 last week, and considering that it’s the fifth single from an album that came out last Christmas, I’d say it’s done well to make any headway.

On the album chart… “Positions” by Ariana Grande is number 1, and we’ve covered that. “Love Goes” by Sam Smith is number 2, and we’ve mentioned the current single for that too. It’s his third album and the first to miss number one – but coming in as runner up to Ariana Grande isn’t so bad.

3. Cliff Richard – “Music… The Air That I Breathe”

Cliff Richard celebrates his 80th birthday with a new album. It’s his 66th appearance in the albums top 40, the earliest coming in 1959 – which means he’s now the first act to appear in the album chart in eight different calendar decades.

5. Bring Me The Horizon – “Post Human – Survival Horror”

Their previous album got to number 1, but that was a quiet week (the main competition was a Rudimental album that got to number 5, and the “Greatest Showman” soundtrack album that had already been out for over a year). So number 5 in a busy week is fine. Three singles made the top 40 earlier in the year, including “Teardrops” last week.

6. M Huncho & Nafe Smallz – “DNA”

That’s roughly the same position as M Huncho’s solo album from earliest in the year (which got to 5); Nafe Smallz’ 2020 solo album only got to 12. The single “5am” got to number 25. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had so many albums that actually came with hit singles.

8. The Style Council – “Long Hot Summers – The Story of the Style Council”

The forgotten part of Paul Weller’s (and Mick Talbot’s) back catalogue gets a retrospective. The title track was their biggest hit, reaching number 3 in 1983.

10. Amy Macdonald – “The Human Demands”

After a three and a half year gap, this is the first Amy Macdonald studio album to miss the top 5. But as I’ve said, it’s a busy week – and five straight top 10 albums over 13 years is pretty good.

11. Black Stone Cherry – ‘The Human Condition”

Black Stone Cherry normally make the top 10 with studio albums, but the same caveat applies – they’d have done it again in a more typical week.

13. Dizzee Rascal – “E3 AF”

This is the first Dizzee Rascal album not to produce any hit singles, as he makes the transition into being a legacy album act. In a 17-year career, he’s only placed one album lower than this – and remarkably, it was his 2003 breakthrough “Boy in Da Corner”, which for all its critical acclaim, only got to number 23 and spent six weeks on the top 40.

15. Wizkid – “Made in Lagos”

Wizkid is from Nigeria, and technically he has a number one hit single to his credit – he’s on Drake’s “One Dance”, which was number 1 interminably in 2016. He also appeared on a Krept & Konan single that got to number 28. But this is his first appearance on either chart on his own power. It’s his fourth album.

23. Camelphat – “Dark Matter”

One of those albums that’s more of a singles compilation – it includes “Cola”, “Panic Room” and “Breathe”, all of which made the singles top 40 as long ago as 2017-18.

24. Jane McDonald – “Cruising with Jane McDonald – Volume 2”

Easy listening standards from her, er, travel show for Channel 5. I’ve never seen the show but that sounds like a strange format. McDonald had a number 1 album in 1998 when she had the good fortune to be the cruise ship singer featured in The Cruise, an early BBC reality show – but she also successfully used that as a springboard to a wider career in music and daytime TV.

27. U2 – “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”

20th anniversary reissue. It was (obviously) number 1 on its release in 2000, albeit only for a week; it stayed on the top 40 for 34 weeks, though.

32. David Bowie – “Ouvrez le Chien”

A live album from 1995, which was released on streaming platforms back in July. No videos for this.

37. Eels – “Earth to Dora”

Hmm. Their 2018 album “The Deconstruction” made the top 10, so this has to rank as a rather disappointing position.

39. Elvis Costello – “Hey Clockface”

Elvis Costello hasn’t had consistent top 40 albums for quite some time, which always amazes me. He does have them from time to time, generally for collaborative albums… but this is not one of them.

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