RSS Feed
Jul 29

Charts – 28 July 2023

Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2023 by Paul in Music

Hope you like pink.

1. Dave & Central Cee – “Sprinter”

That’s eight weeks. Still two weeks to go before they match “Flowers” from earlier in the year. “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo remains stuck at number 2 for a fourth week, and after that we have the march of the Barbie soundtrack, with Billie Eilish at 3, Dua Lipa at 4 and Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice at 5. Apparently, this is the first time a single movie soundtrack has produced three simultaneous top 5 hits. (Three simultaneous top 10 hits has been done before, by EncantoGrease and Saturday Night Fever.)

But the three song rule only applies to artists, not compilation albums. It applied to Encanto because even though individual tracks were credited to different actors, the chart treated it as a single album by The Cast of EncantoBarbie‘s album is a true compilation of unrelated acts, which means the whole lot can chart if people listen to it all. So…

19. Charli XCX – “Speed Drive (From Barbie The Album)”

Charli XCX hasn’t had a top 20 hit of her own since “1999” in 2018 (though she did guest on a Joel Corry track in 2021). This is the one which interpolates the hook from “Mickey” by Toni Basil (number 2 in 1982, and yes, it’s her only UK hit). “Mickey” is actually a gender-swapped cover of a 1979 album track by Racey, originally called “Kitty” – it’s a Chinn/Chapman song. But the original version doesn’t have the cheerleader chant that “Speed Drive” lifts – that’s Toni Basil’s contribution. Racey are almost entirely forgotten now, but they had two top 5 hits in 1978-9.

23. Stormzy & Raye – “The Weekend”

The last Stormzy single, “Toxic Trait”, entered at 11 and departed rather quickly. This could be a more commercial choice.

24. Travis Scott, Bad Bunny & The Weeknd – “K-Pop”

Sounds absolutely nothing like the title might suggest. Travis Scott doesn’t have regular hit singles in the UK – this is his first top 40 hit since 2021, when “Escape Plan” got a single week at number 23. Bad Bunny is huge internationally but his only two UK hits were in 2018. So it’s probably fair to say that the Weeknd is helping to draw attention here.

25. Ryan Gosling – “I’m Just Ken”

More Barbie, and a surprise debut hit for Ryan Gosling. He’s done musicals in the past, but it’s fair to say that six months ago you wouldn’t have bet on him getting a hit single with a song that only really makes sense in the context of the Barbie film.

32. Noah Kahan – “Dial Drunk”

Post Malone is on this, but for some reason he doesn’t get a chart credit. It’s basically a country record, which means a rare sighting of Post Malone without the autotune. He should do it more often. It’s Kahan’s debut hit, though he did have a top 20 album last year. He’s on to his third album by this point. He’s the first Noah to have a UK hit single, unless you count the band Noah & The Whale, who did not have any Noahs.

36. Zayn – “Love Like This”

This is the lead single from Zayn Malik’s next album. He hasn’t had a hit single since “Let Me” in 2018, and his last album was perhaps unwisely called “Nobody is Listening”. The record’s actually alright.

39. Lizzo – “Pink (From Barbie The Album)”

So that’s six Barbie soundtrack songs in one chart. This is… perhaps the one closest to what you’d have expected from the Barbie soundtrack album if you didn’t know anything about the film.

40. Aqua – “Barbie Girl”

Huh. This isn’t even on the soundtrack album, except as a sample. But it’s… well, it’s “Barbie Girl” – number 1 for 4 weeks in 1997 and still a bizarre cultural touchstone. Quite how it came to be seen as a celebration of Barbie when it’s, um, well, listen to it… Once again, I’ll direct to you Todd in the Shadows for an excellent discussion of this track (from the US perspective where they were indeed one hit wonders). Yes, I know it’s half an hour long, but it’s worth a watch.

This week’s climbers:

  • “What I Was Made For” by Billie Eilish climbs 10-3, making it her biggest hit since “Therefore I Am” in 2020. You’ll note that Billie Eilish, for some reason, doesn’t have to put “From Barbie the Album” in her title. She’s Billie Eilish, goddammit.
  • “Dance the Night (From Barbie the Album)” by Dua Lipa climbs 15-4 to become her 9th top 5 hit. I still don’t think it’s great, but maybe it works better in the film.
  • “Barbie World (From Barbie the Album)” by Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice featuring Aqua climbs 20-5. Since Ice Spice didn’t get a chart credit for her PinkPantheress remix, this is easily her biggest UK hit. As for Nicki Minaj, she hasn’t seen the inside of the top 5 since she guested on an Ariana Grande track in 2016.
  • “Talibans” by Byron Messia climbs 29-12. I’m guessing that the reason for this is the release of a new mix with Burna Boy.
  • “Disconnect” by Becky Hill and Chase & Status climbs 25-17.
  • “Closer” by Bou featuring Slay climbs 34-27.

Eight records leave the top 40:

  • “Calm Down” by Rema finally bids farewell after 45 weeks in the top 40, peaking at number 3.
  • “React” by Switch Disco & Ella Henderson peaked at 4 and 19 weeks in the top 40.
  • “Militerian” by J Hus featuring Naira Marley and “Masculine” by J Hus featuring Burna Boy got single weeks at 23 and 24 respectively.
  • “Trojan Horse” by Dave & Central Cee peaked at 12 and lasted 7 weeks.
  • “Until I Found You” by Stephen Sanchez peaked at 14 and managed 9 weeks in the top 40.
  • “Cold Heart” by Elton John & Dua Lipa spent four weeks in the chart, peaking at 30.
  • “Karma” by Taylor Swift had a single week’s re-entry at 32.

The departure of “Calm Down” means that the longest running track in the top 40 is now “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, still around after 28 weeks.

The album chart is fairly quiet:

1. Blur – “The Ballad of Darren”

Their seventh number 1 album – the list comprises all of their studio albums since “Parklife” in 1994.

8. Greta Van Fleet – “Starcatcher”

Their third album, matching the position of its predecessor from 2021.

11. As December Falls – “Join the Club”

Pop-punk from Nottingham. Early Paramore, basically. It’s their first album. Curiously, they only seem to have an entry on Spanish Wikipedia.

15. NewJeans – “2nd EP ‘Get Up'”

Finally, K-pop – and yes, according to the chart compilers, that’s the title. It’s their first chart appearance, though the single “Supershy” got to number 52. For some reason K-pop labels like to put on the record the reasoning behind the choice of group name, which usually does nobody any favours. This time round, “We named the group NewJeans because people never get tired of wearing jeans, and we hope that the group will become a new icon in this era. It also has the goal of becoming ‘new genes.'” Really, guys, this stuff is usually better not explained. The single itself is pretty good, though.

Bring on the comments

  1. Omar Karindu says:

    * Is the original version of “Barbie World” up there with “Every Breath You Take” and “Born in the USA” among commonly misunderstood songs — to the point of flipping the meaning entirely?

    * “Mickey” is one of those songs for which the differently gendered lyrics and artist utterly change how the song lands.

  2. Joe S.Walker says:

    The other day I was talking with someone who kept calling the film “Barbie Girl,” so maybe Aqua are benefitting from a general link in the popular mind.

    Toni Basil was a bit old for dressing up as a cheerleader…

Leave a Reply