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Oct 15

Charts – 15 October 2021

Posted on Friday, October 15, 2021 by Paul in Music

At last, deliverance is upon us.

1. Elton John & Dua Lipa – “Cold Heart”

In its 9th week on the top 40, and following three weeks at number 2, “Cold Heart” climbs to the top and spares us all a sixteenth week of Ed Sheeran. Bryan Adams remains unmatched.

I explained all this back when “Cold Heart” first charted, but it’s the latest in a series of tracks by the Australian trio Pnau, constructing new dance tracks from chunks of the Elton John back catalogue. In this case, that’s supplemented by original vocals from Dua Lipa, but still sticking to Elton John elements. The main sources for “Cold Heart”, and the most immediately recognisable, are “Rocket Man” and “Sacrifice”, but it also draws on two more obscure tracks, “Kiss the Bride” and (in the fade out) the album track “Where’s the Shoorah?”

Given all that, “Cold Heart” winds up remarkably cohesive as a song, and it’s not the novelty record that you might expect. I can’t say I’d have expected it to reach number 1, as a mid-pace, rather chilled record, but I’m happy to have it here.

It’s Dua Lipa’s third number one, following “New Rules” and “One Kiss” (which were in 2017/8, so she’s overdue for a third). Perhaps surprisingly, it’s only the eighth number one for Elton John, though its his 33rd top ten hit. The other seven are an unexpectedly motley bunch: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (with Kiki Dee, 1976), “Are You Ready For Love” (1979), “Sacrifice/Healing Hands” (1990), “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” (with George Michael, 1991), “Something About The Way You Look Tonight / Candle in the Wind” (1997), “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” (with Blue, 2002) and “Ghetto Gospel” (with 2Pac, 2005). It’s not a list that really reflects Elton John at his best. “Rocket Man” got to number 2, if you were wondering.

4. Jesy Nelson featuring Nicki Minaj – “Boyz”

This is the debut solo single from Jesy Nelson, formerly of Little Mix, who left the group at the end of last year citing mental health. She’s talked a lot over the years about online bullying, body image and the like, so there’s no reason to doubt that, but she also seems to have fallen out with her bandmates. This single, based heavily on P Diddy’s “Bad Boy For Life” (number 11 in 2001) and featuring a very direct homage to its video, has not been well received – the aside from the general consensus being that it’s not very good, it’s sparked a backlash about cultural appropriation and “blackfishing”. Nicki Minaj has taken her side over that one, but it really does all feel horribly misjudged.

Still, number 4. That’s Nicki Minaj’s highest position since she appeared on, er, Little Mix’s “Woman Like Me” (number 2 in 2018). It’s been a while since she was regularly scoring top ten hits on her own power, though – the last time she was in the top 10 as the lead artist was with “Anaconda”, and that was seven years ago.

26. Sam Fender – “Seventeen Going Under”

This has been out since July, but it’s the title track of the parent album, which enters at number 1 – and somehow sends this single into the top 10. It’s his first appearance in the singles top 40, but his previous album, 2019’s “Hypersonic Missiles”, was also a number 1. More significantly, it hung around in the album top 40 for 22 weeks.

The new album’s been well reviewed, and the singles chart is maybe more receptive to his sort of music than it was two or three years ago.

34. Ewan McVicar – “Tell Me Something Good”

He’s a Scottish DJ, and this is his first hit. It’s one of those records where you wonder how on earth the lawyers got away with negotiating that credit – to all intents and purposes, it’s a remix of “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus and Chaka Khan, which was a number 3 hit in the USA in 1974, but didn’t do much abroad.

This week’s climbers are a short list:

  • “My Heart Goes (La Di Da)” by Becky Hill & Topic climbs 15-13.
  • “Love Tonight” by SHOUSE climbs 22-18.
  • “Meet Me At Our Spot” by the Anxiety, Willow & Tyler Cole climbs 24-19.
  • “Better Days” by Dermot Kennedy climbs 26-24.
  • “Alone With You” by Arz climbs 36-31.

On the album chart, we’ve already covered “Seventeen Going Under” by Sam Fender at number 1. It’s a quiet week, with quite a few re-entries from discounted back catalogue records (which I always skip over), but there are a few new entries.

4. James Blake – “Friends That Break Your Heart”

That’s James Blake’s highest place in the album chart, but it’s close – he’s had three previous top ten albums in the last decade. Slowthai’s not a guy I’d have expected to show up on a James Blake album, but it’s a good track above.

21. Trivium – “In the Court of the Dragon”

That’s their lowest position for an album since 2013, but again, not by much – the low teens or high 20s is where most of their albums have landed since 2008. In rock epic style, the single above has a 9-and-a-half-minute video where the song doesn’t start until two minutes thirty.

26. Don Toliver – “Life of a Don”

Follow-up to last year’s “Heaven or Hell”, which reached number 16. On the singles chart, Don Toliver’s only major hit remains “Lemonade”, the Internet Money single that got to number 1 last year. He just escapes one-hit-wonder status thanks to his 2019 single “No Idea”, which managed a week at number 39.

32. We Are Scientists – “Huffy”

We Are Scientists missed the top 40 with their last two albums. Their 2008 album “Brain Thrust Mastery”, which reached number 11, was an outlier – generally they’re either just inside the top 40, or they just miss it. The video above has clearly been shot on a shoestring budget, but it’s also clearly had time put in.

33. Simon & Garfunkel – “Greatest Hits”

In contrast to the other discount back catalogue clogging up this week’s album chart, this hasn’t been hovering in the lower reaches of the top 75 – it hasn’t been in the top 100 for over a year, and it hasn’t been in the top 40 since 2012. Not sure why it’s back now, but okay. Originally released back in 1972, it spent three weeks at number 2 at the time (in each case stuck behind generic compilation albums, which were allowed onto the regular album chart in those days).

To my surprise, it turns out not to include “Hazy Shade of Winter”, so we’ll go with “The Boxer” (number 6 in 1969). If the title doesn’t ring a bell, honestly, you probably do know it.

Bring on the comments

  1. Eric G says:

    Hazy Shade of Winter wasn’t a huge hit originally in the US, only making #13. The Bangles cover was much more successful, and I think it increased the profile of the Simon & Garfunkle version. It would definitely be on Greatest Hits album now, but I can see how it was missed in ’72.

  2. Joe S.Walker says:

    Paul Simon turned 80 this week, though I don’t know why that would make people go out and buy his old greatest hits album. (But Art Garfunkel will be 80 on November 5, so it might pop up again.)

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