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Nov 27

Charts – 21 November 2010

Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 by Paul in Music

Rihanna lasted two weeks at the top, but we now return to our regularly scheduled X Factor dominance.  The current number one – and it’ll be a one-week affair because the annual X Factor charity single will displace it on Sunday – is “Love You More” by JLS.

JLS were the runners-up in the 2008 series of X Factor.  In an uncharacteristic lapse of judgment, Simon Cowell didn’t take up his option to sign them, only for Epic to sweep in and launch them as a proper R&B-ish boy band.  They’ve been genuinely successful – this is their fifth single and their fourth number one – so despite being technically outside the X Factor fold, they’ve been written back into the show’s success story.  Simon Cowell would certainly much rather people were talking about this bunch than Joe McElderry, I suspect.

“Love You More” is an inoffensive mid-paced ballad.  It’s also the official charity single for the BBC’s annual “Children in Need” telethon, but chances are it would have made number 1 without the help.

It successfully fends off the challenge of Ellie Goulding’s “Your Song” cover from the John Lewis ads, which nonetheless climbed 36 places to land at number 3, and looks like it’ll be around for a while.  I’m still not sure about it, to be honest… it feels a little bit calculated to me, but hey, it’s obviously connecting with an audience.

If you believe the newspapers, of course, the big story of last week was supposed to be the debut on iTunes of the Beatles’ back catalogue.  An idea had taken hold with the more gullible sort of journalist that when the Beatles’ songs were finally made available online, there would be a massive chart invasion.  This was never especially likely.  Anyone who really cares about owning Beatles songs has had forty years to make their purchase; it’s not like they’re hard to get.   Nor are the albums sensibly priced on iTunes.  For example, they’re charging £17.99 for the double albums.  But Amazon are selling them for less than half that, so if you’re buying them on iTunes, well, bad choice.

What could potentially make a difference is the ability to download individual songs.  The Beatles have always been very careful about protecting the way their music is presented.  But yes, you can now buy individual tracks from iTunes.  As it turns out, though, there wasn’t much demand for that either.  You have to query whether the Beatles’ audience is particularly interested in iTunes, and whether the typical iTunes consumer is actually all that bothered about the Beatles.  After all the hype, only one Beatles track made the chart – “Hey Jude”, scraping on at number 40.

Ironically, there might actually be more Beatles songs in the chart this week.  Why?  Because they did a Beatles theme week on X Factor.  The midweeks have “Hey Jude” climbing to 35 and “Let It Be” at number 30 – a slightly bigger impact, but hardly earth-shattering.

Also entering the most recent chart:

  • “Like a G6” by the Far East Movement featuring the Cataracs and Dev at number 6.  This is the breakthrough hit for an Asian-American hip-hop group who’ve been around for years without previously attracting much notice, only for this to be a hit in America and around Europe.  It’s minimal, to put it mildly, but it’s a good hook.  A G6, if you’re wondering, is a Gulfstream G650 – it’s a private jet.  The Cataracs are a California alt-rap duo who’ve similarly never attracted any previous notice in Britain, and Dev is a rapper who appears to get a credit because they sampled the “like a G6” bit from the bridge of her single “Booty Bounce” (video features some strobe-effect rapid edits, btw, but bonus points for making a video that features absolutely no bouncing of any description).
  • “Safe” by Westlife at number 10.  Self-reviewing single from the turn of the century blandly balladeering boy band who seem to never go away.  The days when they consistently got number 1 hits are behind them and to be honest I’m not quite sure who’s still buying their records.  (Since the single is likely to drop out of the top twenty in its second week, the answer may well be “fans who never broke the habit and nobody else”.)  Nonetheless, their 25th hit, every single one of which made the top 10.
  • “What’s My Name” by Rihanna featuring Drake at number 18.  This is going to be the second official single from her new album, and while the record company would probably prefer to keep the focus on “Only Girl In The World” for the moment – still at number 2, by the way – this is getting some spill-over sales as an album track download, presumably because they’re already pushing it in other territories so there’s a video available.  (Another track from the album, “S&M”, is also picking up downloads, and charts at number 55.)  Her 21st UK hit, and the third and biggest for Canadian rapper Drake.
  • “Game Over” by Tinchy Stryder featuring Chipmunk at number 22.  Well, that’s how the charts are listing the artist credit.  Stryder’s YouTube channel gives it as “Tinchy Stryder featuring Giggs, Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, Devlin, Example and Chipmunk.”  Stryder gets the leap credit because it’s on his album, as near as I can make out, but it’s basically an all-star jam single.  Not especially commercial – it’s a bit of a dirge, to be honest, and the first verse is almost intolerably dull.  Perhaps a case of crossover grime/pop acts trying to reconnect with their original audience.  Stryder’s seventh hit, Chipmunk’s eighth, and the rest apparently technically don’t count.  Still, a break from the normal single release for virtually everyone involved.
  • “Shame” by Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow, re-entering at 31 presumably as a side-effect of the Take That album coming out.  (It sold over half a million in its first week.)  The track made number 2 on its original release in October but dropped out of the charts rather more quickly than it deserved to.
  • “Just Drive” by Alistair Griffin at number 38.  This is an oddity.  Alistair Griffin was a contestant in the second series of the BBC’s underperforming talent show Fame Academy back in 2003, when he came second to Alex Parks.  He had two hits in 2004 (including the forgettable double A-side “Bring It On”/”My Lover’s Prayer” which got to number 5) but pretty much hasn’t been heard from since.  This is an official single, but it doesn’t have a video or any real promotion behind it – it was, however, used by the BBC to soundtrack a video package at the end of their coverage of the Formula 1 season and seems to have charted solely on the strength of that, giving Griffin a much-delayed third hit.

Bring on the comments

  1. David says:

    Alistair Griffin’s ‘Just Drive’ was written specially for the Formula One coverage.

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