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Aug 22

Charts – 18 August 2023

Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 by Paul in Music

At long last, “Sprinter” by Dave & Central Cee is comfortably past its peak and gets hit by the downweighting rule – with the result that it drops straight to number 10 after a ten-week run at number 1. Thanks to that, our new number one is…

1. Billie Eilish – “What Was I Made For”

Not by a huge margin, admittedly. Dua Lipa is number 2, and the midweeks have her taking the slot next week. But it’s Billie Eilish’s second number one, and a very good record, too. The other one was “No Time To Die”, which had a single week at number one in 2020, so she’s in the odd position that her two biggest hits both come from film soundtracks. This one is more characteristic of her normal work, though. And hey, she’s had another 7 top ten hits to go with them both.

She heads up a top 6 comprising entirely solo female artists (though admittedly two of them are Olivia Rodrigo), which may or may not be a record. It depends how you feel about Mark Ronson’s co-billing on Miley Cyrus’s “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” in 2018.

6. Olivia Rodrigo – “Bad Idea Right?”

The second single from her upcoming album and they’re going with a ballad followed by an upbeat track. As it happens, “Vampire” seems to be the bigger hit – it peaked at number 2 and it’s still at number 3 this week. The midweeks suggest this track is going to drop out of the top 10 in week two. Deserves better, I think.

12. Fred again.. – “Adore U”

For some reason the chart has this listed as “I Adore U”, which isn’t the title, and doesn’t give the co-credit to singer Obongjayar which the streaming services have. One of those tracks where, whatever its other merits might be, the vocal production is an absolute deal-breaker for me, I’m afraid. That warbling effect is painfully irritating.

It’s Fred again..’s highest chart position as an artist – his previous best was 19 as a collaborator with Skrillex at the start of the year. He’s had number ones as a producer, though.

31. Sonny Fodera & MK featuring Clementine Douglas – “Asking”

Blimey, MK is still going. Marc Kinchen was responsible for the remix of “Push the Feeling On” by the Nightcrawlers that reached number 3 in 1995. He last had a hit five years ago. Sonny Fodera is an Australian producer, getting his first UK hit. Australian producer Sonny Fodera and singer Clementine Douglas both get their first top 40 credits. This track has been climbing from the lower reaches for a month, but the midweeks show it climbing into the top 20.

32. Cassö x Raye x D-Block Europe – “Prada”

This is where I usually say that all D-Block Europe tracks sound the same. Well, this is different, but that’s because it’s a dance remix of “Ferrari Horses”, which reached number 14 in 2021. Casso – another producer making his top 40 debut – has pretty much used the whole song, so it’s fair enough that the original artists get co-credit on this. For some reason, Raye gets higher billing here when she was a featured artist first time round. The midweeks have it climbing ten places.

38. Issey Cross – “Bittersweet Goodbye”

This is Issey Cross’s third top 40 hit – the other two were guesting on a Wilkinson track that got to 33, and a Nathan Dawe/Bru-C track that reached 35. The midweeks say this will do better than either. The hook is, of course, the string line from “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by the Verve, which reached number 2 in 1997.

Notoriously, this is the track that used a sample of the Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s cover of the Rollings Stones’ “Last Time”. They did clear the sample, but apparently didn’t reckon with the complex ownership position  of early Rolling Stones tracks, leading to a baffling settlement in which, for some years, the songwriting credit was given exclusively to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, despite the fact that they hadn’t written any element of the orchestral riff that had actually been sampled, or any of the words. This whole thing was eventually resolved a few years ago and was widely regarded as completely insane.

So let’s be contrarian! The argument that Jagger and Richards deserved some co-credit on the song isn’t quite as mad as it first seems. Verve guitarist Nick McCabe has explained in an interview that the basis of the claim wasn’t just the sample – it was reuse of the melody line. And… there’s something to that. If you listen to the Andrew Oldham Orchestra version, Richard Ashcroft is singing essentially the same melody over the sample. And the AOO version does indeed derive that melody – admittedly somewhat loosely – from the verse of the Rolling Stones’ original.


So there is a line of descent there which isn’t too hard to see. Doesn’t justify sole credit, though. Incidentally, the actual sample in “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is the orchestral bed rather than the famous string hook – but that hook does more or less appear on the AOO version at about 1:37 in. Ironically, the current songwriting credit for “Bitter Sweet Symphony” – which credits it solely to Richard Ashcroft – doesn’t really reflect the full position either. But it does help to redress the years of royalties he missed out on.

39. Luke Combs – “Fast Car”

First top 40 hit for country singer Luke Combs, with a straight cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” (number 5 in 1988, though it got to number 4 in 2011 after someone covered it on Britain’s Got Talent). The highest placing version of it the song in the UK is actually the Jonas Blue dance version, which got to number 2 in 2016. This has been out for over 20 weeks but seems to have finally got some traction, with the midweeks showing it climbing into the top 30.

In the US, this reached number 2 and thus beat the original. Todd in the Shadows did a typically good video about it about a month back. (“You might be asking what could possibly be controversial about this. And mostly it’s what he does with the song. Which is nothing.”)

This week’s climbers:

  • “Dance the Night (From Barbie the Album)” by Dua Lipa climbs 3-2.
  • “Disconnect” by Becky Hill and Chase & Status climbs 9-8.
  • “Desire” by Calvin Harris & Sam Smith climbs 12-9.
  • “Paint the Town Red” by Doja Cat climbs 20-15.
  • “Baddadan” by Chase & Status, Bou & Flowdan climbs 21-20. It has a proper video now.

There are six records leaving the top 40:

  • “Dancing is Healing” by Rudimental, Charlotte Plank & Vibe Chemistry got to number 5 and spent 4 months in the chart.
  • “Telekinesis” by Travis Scott featuring SZA & Future got a single week at 31.
  • “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift got to number 6 and lasted five weeks.
  • “Fein” by Travis Scott featuring Playboi Carti got two weeks, peaking at 13.
  • “Who Told You” by J Hus featuring Drake peaked at 2 and lasted 10 weeks.
  • “On The Radar Freestyle” by Drake & Central Cee entered at 26 and lasted two weeks.

“Miracle” is still the longest-running track on the top 40, at 23 weeks.

On the album chart:

1. Liam Gallagher – “Knebworth 22”

His fifth number one album, which isn’t bad at all when you consider that only three of them were studio albums. (The other one is 2020’s “MTV Unplugged.”)

2. The Hives – “The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons”

From the “God, are they still going” file. The Hives have been mostly a live band for years – their previous album, “Lex Hives”, came out in 2012 and got to number 71. But as I keep saying, the album market skews heavily to legacy acts these days. They only ever got to number 7 in their prime 20 years ago. They still sound basically the same.

3. Jungle – “Volcano”

Their fourth album, matching the position of its predecessor from 2021. They’ve never missed the top 10. The single’s great.

9. Fredo – “Unfinished Business”

The single “Dave Flow” reached number 30. Again, it’s his fourth album, it matches its predecessor from 2021, and he’s yet to miss the top 10. Though admittedly, his positions are trending down.

10. David Bowie – “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars – Original Soundtrack”

Live album of the final date of his Ziggy Stardust tour, 50 years ago. A version of this album was released as a film soundtrack in 1983 and got to number 17.

24. Lucy Spraggan – “Balance”

Her seventh album. This is low for her – her previous album reached number 5 and she’s never been below 22 before.

33. Public Image Limited – “End of World”

The last PIL album came out in 2015 and reached 29. This is about their standard range for anything after 1990, to be honest.

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