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Sep 11

Charts – 9 September 2021

Posted on Saturday, September 11, 2021 by Paul in Music

Okay, so you know how I said I was hoping this wouldn’t hang on any longer?

1. Ed Sheeran – “Bad Habits”

That’s 11 weeks – an especially difficult feat under the current chart rules, which downweight the streams of tracks that have been out for more than ten weeks, if they’re also a few weeks past their peak. It matches the 11-week run of “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I from the tail end of 2019. The next target in sight is Sheeran’s own “Shape of You”, which had a 14-week run at number one in early 2017 (though only thirteen of those weeks were consecutive). I don’t fancy his chances of making it that far under the current rules, but you never know.

Anyway, Ed Sheeran proves unbudgeable in the face of…

2. Drake featuring Lil Baby – “Girls Want Girls”
3. Drake featuring Travis Scott – “Fair Trade”
5. Drake – “Champagne Poetry”

I’ll be honest – if it’s a choice between an eleventh week of Ed Sheeran, and a song called “Girls Want Girls” from an album called “Certified Lover Boy”, I’m kind of rooting for Ed Sheeran. Besides which, “Girls” and “Fair Trade” feel like water-treading to me. “Champagne Poetry” is more interesting, though I can’t shake the feeling that it might be in the top three tracks simply by virtue of being the opening track.

The samples in “Champagne Poetry” are unusual. The “I love you” etc hook comes from Masego’s excellent track “Navajo”, which in turn sampled the component vocals from the Singers Unlimited’s 1972 a capella cover version of the Beatles’ “Michelle”. The second half of the track, meanwhile, draws heavily on “Until I Found the Lord (My Soul Couldn’t Rest)”, a 1976 gospel track by the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation.

The album predictably enters as his fourth number 1. The other three are 2016’s “Views”, 2018’s “Scorpion” and last year’s mixtape “Dark Lane Demo Tapes”.

9. Abba – “Don’t Shut Me Down”
14. Abba – “I Still Have Faith in You”

Wow. It’s surprising to see Abba releasing new material at all, long after they split, and with the group’s youngest member now 71 years old. But when veteran acts reunite in this way, the usual routine is well established – yes, there’s an audience for it, but go direct to the album chart, do not pass go. Instead, it turns out that Abba can actually still place singles on the top 40. In 2021. In the streaming era.

Both tracks have, to put it mildly, a foot in musical theatre. Curiously, it’s the B-side that places higher; “I Still Have Faith in You” is the one that was given a proper video, complete with CGI motion-capture Abba Classic.

Abba’s initial chart run ended with “Thank You For The Music”, which only got to number 33 in 1983 – but there are special circumstances there, since it was a 1978 album track that had been dusted off to promote a compilation album. (It had been released as a single in other countries years earlier.) Their last proper single was “Under Attack”, which reached number 26 in 1982. They haven’t been in the top 10 since “One of Us” reached number 3 at Christmas 1981.

Only three acts with the lettters “abba” in their name have ever reached the UK single top 40, the others being Shabba Ranks and Black Sabbath.

33. Little Mix – “Love (Sweet Love)”

This is the lead single for Little Mix’s upcoming greatest hits album, which in the way of such things is also going to have several new tracks on it. Little Mix also have two other singles on the chart at the moment – “Kiss My (Uh Oh)” with Anne-Marie at 18, and “Heartbreak Anthem” still hanging in there at 38.

This week’s climbers are few and far between, thanks to Drake and Abba swamping the top end of the chart:

  • “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals climbs 18-10, giving them their first top ten hit, over seven months after the track first entered the top 40. It dropped out of the top 40 in June after reaching an original peak of 19, but seems to have had a viral resurgence.
  • “Cold Heart” by Elton John & Dua Lipa climbs 23-11.
  • “My Heart Goes (La Di Da)” by Becky Hill & Topic climbs 36-31.
  • “If You Really Love Me (How Will I Know)” by David Guetta, Mistajam & John Newman climbs 40-39.

On the album chart, “Certified Lover Boy” by Drake is number 1.

2. Iron Maiden – “Senjutsu”

The name roughly means tactics or strategy. It’s their first studio album since 2015’s “Book of Souls”, which was a number 1, so no real surprise that they can place as runners-up to Drake. It’s their 26th top ten album, the first one dating back to 1980. Apparently the song “Days of Future Past” has nothing whatever to do with the comic, despite the lyrics mentioning a “shadow king”.

4. Little Simz – “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert”

Her fourth album, the first to make the top 40. Its predecessor got nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, which seems to have helped a lot. The single is definitely worth a listen.

7. Imagine Dragons – “Mercury – Act 1”

That’s actually a couple of places higher than their 2018 album “Origins”. They’ve stopped having hit singles, but they’ve still got a 100% record of top 10 albums.

9. The Wildhearts – “21st Century Love Songs”

This isn’t miles out of line for the Wildhearts – their previous album got to 11 – but it’s still only their second top 10 album. The other was “P.H.U.Q.”, which reached number 6 in 1995. I really liked the single, which was a pleasant surprise.

16. Rudimental – “Ground Control”

Finally, it’s their fourth album and their first to miss the top 10. The singles haven’t done very well either, though one of them did make the chart – “Come Over”, which had Anne-Marie on it, and got to 26 last year. They did have another minor hit in 2021, “Regardless” with Raye (number 37), but that’s not on the album.


Bring on the comments

  1. Joe S.Walker says:

    “Days Of Future Passed” (sic) began as the title of an album by the Moody Blues. It’s unlikely that Iron Maiden are referencing them.

    Interesting to see that Drake’s album has no physical version. It must be the first number one album with an offensive cover that doesn’t actually exist, in the traditional sense.

  2. Daibhid C says:

    I can’t quite put my figure on why, but I think “Don’t Shut Me Down” kind of sounds more like what the average British person thinks ABBA songs are “supposed” to sound like. (Which is not to say that “I Still Have Faith in You” doesn’t also sound very ABBA.)

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