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Aug 5

Charts – 4 August 2023

Posted on Saturday, August 5, 2023 by Paul in Music

Not even Barbie can shift this. Well, not yet.

1. Dave & Central Cee – “Sprinter”

That’s nine weeks – it needs one more week to match Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers” from earlier in the year. It’s not due to get hit by the downweighting rule last week because it isn’t far enough past its peak yet, so it’s got a decent chance of getting there. It’s not a track I would have predicted having this much sustained popularity, but there you go. Central Cee has another track out this week too, but we’ll get to that later.

It’s holding off three Barbie tracks – Billie Eilish at 2, Dua Lipa at 3 and Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice at 4, with Charli XCX also entering the top 10 at number 9.

10. Travis Scott featuring Drake – “Meltdown”
13. Travis Scott featuring Playboi Carti – “Fein”
21. Travis Scott – “Hyaena”

That’s the maximum three tracks from Travis Scott’s fourth album “Utopia”. It’s his first UK number 1 album, but since the chart positions for the previous three were 22, 19 and 3, it’s not a huge surprise. He’s not a consistent singles act in the UK, despite having a few big hits to his credit (his peak was number 2 in 2019 with “Highest in the Room”). The lead single for this album was “K-Pop”, which got to number 24 last week, and gets immediately shouldered aside by these tracks.

“Meltdown” has the obvious advantage of a Drake appearance – Scott’s biggest UK hit was guesting on a Drake track in 2021, in fact. But Drake guests on a lot of things, and they don’t always chart. In fact, he’s on three tracks himself this week, the others being J Hus’s “Who Told You” (hanging on at 16) and his freestyle with Central Cee (which, again, we’ll get to).

Besides, “Meltdown” is only two places about “Fein”, and Playboi Carti certainly isn’t a big singles draw – he’s only had three previous top 40 appearances in this country, all guesting on a record by a bigger name. “Hyaena” is the opening track, which never hurts – but it’s also the most interesting of the three by some distance.

18. Calvin Harris & Sam Smith – “Desire”

Retro trance. These two had a number 1 hit together back in 2018 with “Promises.” Harris is following up his 8-week number 1 “Miracle”, which was in a similar retro-dance vein; it’s currently at number 32. Sam Smith’s recent chart record is patchy. He’s released a further three singles since his number 1 “Unholy” last year, two of which missed the top 40 entirely – the other was “I’m Not Here to Make Friends”, which got to number 23, and had Calvin Harris as a guest. He’s also got a track on the Barbie album, currently languishing at number 69.

24. Post Malone – “Chemical”

This was the lead single from his album “Austin”, and it already reached number 11 in April. The vocal processing is especially intolerable on this one. It’s back on the strength of the album, which enters at number 3. That matches the position of his previous studio album from 2022; the two albums before that both got to number 1.

26. Drake & Central Cee – “On the Radar Freestyle”

Exactly what it sounds like. “On the Radar” is a New York radio show, and this was recorded while Drake was in town for his tour. I like the way Drake goes to have a nice sit down as soon as his part is finished.

30. Sinead O’Connor – “Nothing Compares 2 U”

Originally a number 1 hit for four weeks in 1990, this re-enters following the expected surge of streaming in the days following her death. Sinead O’Connor is the sort of artist where it’s very obvious indeed what track people will gravitate to in this situation. She had a total of eight top 40 hits, mostly in the 90s, but this is the one that sticks in the public memory over a decade after her singles career ended. The other seven are a surprisingly diverse set:

  • “Mandinka”, her second single, was a number 17 hit in 1988. It’s late 80s indie pop and it’s great.
  • “The Emperor’s New Clothes” was the follow-up to “Nothing Compares 2 U” and got to number 31. It’s another indie track and not as memorable.
  • “Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home” reached number 18 in 1992. It’s a stage-musical style cover of Loretta Lynn’s “Success”, and deserves to be better remembered.
  • “Thank You For Hearing Me” reached number 13 in 1994. It’s… a modern hymn, I guess, with production by Bomb The Bass. Maybe a bit simplistic, but compelling in its own way.
  • “Haunted” was a duet with Shane MacGowan, which reached number 30 in 1995. She sounds great on it. He sounds absolutely dreadful. They don’t sound like they belong on the same record. This was a cover of a 1986 Pogues track, recorded for the soundtrack of the Sandra Bullock romantic comedy Two If By Sea.
  • “The Gospel Oak EP” reached number 28 in 1997; the lead track is “This is to Mother You”. It’s another gentle acoustic number.
  • Her token late-career hit is a guest appearance on “Illegal Attacks” by Ian Brown, an unsubtle anti-war song which reached number 16 in 2007 as the lead single from his 5th album.

31. Chase & Status and Bou featuring IRAH, Flowdan, Trigga and Takura – “Baddadan”

Anyone else you want to credit there, lads?

Chase & Status already have another hit with Becky Hill on “Disconnect”, which climbs to number 15 this week. Considering it’s been years since they were last in the chart, that’s quite a reversal. Bou gets a second hit to join “Closer”, currently at number 33. Flowdan previously appeared on Skrillex’s “Rumble”, which got to number 19 in January. The others are first-timers.

This week’s climbers have something of a theme:

  • “What Was I Made For” by Billie Eilish climbs 3-2. She does have a one-week number 1 to her credit, the Bond theme “No Time To Die” from 2020.
  • “Dance the Night (From Barbie The Album)” by Dua Lipa climbs 4-3.
  • “Barbie World (From Barbie The Album)” by Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice featuring Aqua climbs 5-4.
  • “Speed Drive (From Barbie The Album)” by Charli XCX climbs 19-9. She hasn’t been in the top 10 since she guested on a Joel Corry/Jax Jones since in 2021, and she hasn’t been here with one of her own songs since way back in 2015 with “Doing It”.
  • “I’m Just Ken (From Barbie The Album)” by Ryan Gosling climbs 25-14.
  • “Disconnect” by Becky Hill and Chase & Status climbs 17-15.
  • “Pink (From Barbie The Album)” by Lizzo climbs 39-27.

There are eight tracks leaving the top 40 this week:

  • “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus was a 10-week number 1 earlier in the year.
  • “Barbie Girl” by Aqua couldn’t ride the movie to anything more than a single week at number 40.
  • “Dial Drunk” by Noah Kahan only got a single week at 32.
  • “Daylight” by David Kushner had the misfortune of spending five weeks stuck at number 2 behind “Miracle”.
  • “UK Rap” by Dave & Central Cee got eight weeks, peaking at 13, which isn’t bad for a non-lead track on an EP.
  • “Love Like This” by Zayn only got a single week at number 36.
  • “Baby Don’t Hurt Me” by David Guetta, Anne-Marie & Coi Leray peaked at 13 but hung around for four months.
  • “K-Pop” by Travis Scott got a single week at number 24, but since it was elbowed aside by three higher-placing album tracks, it might have managed another week if it hadn’t been disqualified by the three song rule.

“Flowers” was the longest-running hit in the top 40. With it gone, the new record holder is “Miracle” by Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding, with a total of 21 weeks.

On the album chart, “Utopia” by Travis Scott is number 1, but we’ve covered that.

2. Anne-Marie – “Unhealthy”

I don’t think of Anne-Marie as an albums artist, but her 2018 debut “Speak Your Mind” reached number 3, and 2021’s “Therapy” got to number 2. And both hung around for somewhat respectable periods, too. The title track is currently at number 22 on the singles chart.

3. Post Malone – “Austin”

Again, we’ve had the current single above.

6. Dexys Midnight Runners – “The Feminine Divine”

This is the first album of original songs under the Dexys Midnight Runners name since 2012, though they released a covers album in 2016. It’s their highest album chart position since 1982, when “Too-Rye-Ay” got to number 2. And no, there isn’t an apostrophe in the band name.

39. The Rolling Stones – “Forty Licks”

Finally, the Rolling Stones’ 2002 career retrospective gets a low re-entry thanks to a vinyl reissue.

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