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Jan 21

Charts – 20 January 2023

Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2023 by Paul in Music

Well, I never got around to doing last week’s column, so let’s jump direct to yesterday’s chart and pick up the other new entries as we go along. In fact, we’ve missed an entire number one, because¬†“Pointless” by Lewis Capaldi was at the top last week. And this is… probably something the chart would prefer not to think about.

Basically, Capaldi hyped himself to number one for a single week the old fashioned way – in the worst possible sense of that concept – by encouraging his fanbase to order heavily discounted copies of the CD single, of all things. There’s some silly story about too many having been ordered, or something like that, which I assume we’re not meant to actually believe. At any rate, the upshot is that Capaldi got himself a week at number one on the back of physical sales to hardcore fans, with a chart record that reads 20-43-40-60-15-1-12. This is silly.

It is his fourth number one single – the others are “Someone You Loved”, “Before You Go” and “Forget Me” – but let’s be blunt. It doesn’t really count.

What about this week, then?

1. Miley Cyrus – “Flowers”

Ah, you can always rely on Miley Cyrus for a subtle video. The music continues to get better, though. She’s figured out what works for her voice and that she’s better off with a song that has something to actually sell.

This is the lead single from her eighth album “Endless Summer Vacation”. It’s apparently a diss track directed at her ex-husband (it was released on his birthday), though the lyrics are also a riff on Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man”, a maudlin dirge in which Bruno regrets all the things he didn’t do for his ex-girlfriend. The idea of the chorus here – if you get the reference – is that none of these services were required in the first place and they were not the point.

It’s her third number one, but the others both came in 2013 – “We Can’t Stop” (no, I’d wiped it from memory too) and “Wrecking Ball”.

11. Miguel – “Sure Thing”

Hello again, TikTok. This entered at 14 last week, but it’s a climber, so let’s deal with it now. Since it’s never previously charted in the UK, this counts as a new entry, but it was released back in 2011, and recorded a few years before that. In America, it scraped the bottom end of the top 40 on initial release. It’s maybe worth flagging here that although the chart compilers do cover YouTube plays, they don’t include TikTok – when the songs show up on the top 40, it’s because TikTok users were motivated to go and listen to them somewhere else. I don’t have a problem with the volume of material TikTok seems to get into the chart – they’re organic hits, if nothing else.

Miguel has had two other top 40 hits in the UK, but both were as guest vocalists. He was on Mariah Carey’s “Beautiful” (number 22 in 2013), and last year he was on Diplo’s “Don’t Forget My Love” (number 30). So this is his biggest UK hit by some margin.

23. Mimi Webb – “Red Flags”

There’s something about Mimi Webb that doesn’t work for me, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I find her stuff more trope-y than sincere. Anyway, this immediately matches the peak of her previous single “Ghost of You” (which, to be fair, hung around for quite a while).

27. Libianca – “People”

This is the debut hit for Libianca Fonji, who was a contestant in the US version of¬†The Voice, but that’s not particularly relevant here. The track is pleasantly Afrobeat-influenced, which seems to be now firmly established as a regular feature of the chart. Libianca is American, but she spent most of her childhood in Cameroon.

28. Skrillex, Fred again.. & Flowdan – “Rumble”

This entered at 19 last week, so it’s not sticking around. It’s a weird list of collaborators, but a nice little oddity to have in the chart. Strangely, this is Fred again..’s highest placing single, though I suspect it won’t hang around as long as some of his other tracks. Skrillex hasn’t been this high up since he worked on a Justin Bieber single in 2015 – in fact, his only other appearance since then was a track that got to number 34 in 2020. And Kanye West was on that one. Flowdan gets his first solo chart credit, but he was a member of Roll Deep, who had two number 1 hits back in 2010.

30. Fredo – “Dave Flow”

Three of Fredo’s five biggest hits had Dave on them. He isn’t on this record, but his name appears twice.

31. Bizarrap & Shakira – “BZRP Music Sessions – vol 53”

No, that’s not an EP title. That’s what the track is called. It’s another diss track directed at an ex-husband, apparently, which has given it some initial viral traction – though since it’s entirely in Spanish, that’s unlikely to be a major part of the appeal for UK audiences. Shakira hasn’t had a UK hit since “Empire” reached number 25 in 2014. Bizarrap is an Argentinian producer getting his first UK chart credit.

36. Hotel Ugly – “Shut Up My Moms Calling”

Climbing from 38 last week. It’s another track boosted by TikTok, though in this case they’ve seized on a Houston duo who released the track in mid 2021 to little notice.

This week’s climbers:

  • “Creepin'” by Metro Boomin, the Weeknd & 21 Savage climbs 11-7.
  • “Sure Thing” by Miguel climbs 14-11, but we’ve covered that.
  • “10:35” by Tiesto & Tate McRae climbs 18-16 – I thought this had crashed and burned back in November but apparently it’s been biding its time all through Christmas waiting for the quiet season.
  • “Lionheart (Fearless)” by Joel Corry & Tom Grennan rebounds 24-18, which is a new peak – it got to 22 before Christmas.
  • “Golden Hour” by JVKE climbs 23-19.
  • “Shut Up My Moms Calling” by Hotel Ugly climbs 38-36

There are five new entries plus a re-entry for Metro Boomin’s “Superhero” at 39 (which is just hovering around the 40 mark right now). The six tracks making way for them are:

  • “Forget Me” by Lewis Capaldi, a former number 1.
  • “I Ain’t Worried” by OneRepublic, which got to 3.
  • “All For You” by Cian Ducrot, which reached 19.
  • “Life Me Up” by Rihanna, which peaked at 3.
  • “Just Wanna Rock” by Lil Uzi Vert, which got to 32.
  • “B.O.T.A. (Baddest of Them All)” by Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal, another former number 1.

On the album chart…

1. The Courteeners – “St Jude”

This is the 15th anniversary reissue of an album that reached number 4 in 2008. All of the Courteeners’ albums have made the top 6, and the last one reached number 2, so it’s not an enormous shock that they could eventually make number 1… but doing it with an anniversary reissue is unusual, even in the shaky state of the modern album market.

4. Clavish – “Rap Game Awful”

Debut mixtape. One of the singles, “Rocket Science”, made number 9 just before Christmas (because it features D-Block Europe).

6. Gaz Coombes – “Turn the Car Around”

The former lead singer of Supergrass. This is his fourth solo album, and the highest placing – though the previous two both made the top 20.

15. Circa Waves – “Never Going Under”

Their fifth album. The first three all placed at 10 or 11, and the fourth – 2020’s “Sad Happy” – got to number 4, so this is on the low side.

18. Joesef – “Permanent Damage”

Scottish soul pop. It’s his debut album. I guess “Joesef” is one way of making sure you’re searchable.

33. Belle & Sebastian – “Late Developers”

Hmm. It’s been less than a year since the previous Belle & Sebastian album, “A Bit of Previous”, which got to number 8. This album, which is more synthpop, was recorded at the same time, and I can only assume that either it’s been massively underpromoted, or the fans have dismissed it as a side project.

Bring on the comments

  1. Ryan T says:

    The B&S was a surprise drop, with less than a week of promotion. Maybe people didn’t know or it’s physical release was limited or non-existent?

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