Sunday, November 21, 2010

UK Singles Chart, 11/27/2010

1. Love You More - JLS

Think boybands are a thing of the past? Think again. Four of this week's top 10 hits are from Boybands, all of which come from a different ilk, so to speak. At the top is JLS, scoring their fourth #1 hit with "Love You More," a pretty decent pop ballad that makes up for their embarrassing last single, "The Club Is Alive." Yes, it was #1, but it dropped pretty fast after that. This one I expect will stick around for awhile. When boybands were are their hottest in the 1995-2000 period, they pretty much all looked the same--a set of 4 or 5 scrubbed probably white teens or early twenty-somethings singing bubblegum dance pop or treacly ballads. Today, boybands have diversified a bit. JLS fulfills the role of the urban-leaning boyband (which I guess makes them the new Blue). Further down you have the rock-leaning band (McFly), the newly electro-leaning band (Take That in yet another reinvention) and the band that doesn't know they should have thrown in the towel years ago (guess who...more later).

2. The Flood - Take That

Take That holds at #2 this week, while the song that beat it to #1 last week, Rihanna's "Only Girl (in the World)" falls to #4. I was disappointed "The Flood" didn't reach #1, and my friend Paul suggested it could be that people were waiting to buy the album. Well, he was right, quite spectacularly so actually, as Take That's album Progress bowed with 518,601 copies sold in its first week. Let's put that in perspective: 1) It's by far the largest one-week sales tally of any album this year, with the second-biggest sales week going to Kings of Leon's Come Around Sundown, which sold 183,000 copies in its first week--roughly a third of what Take That did, 2) By selling that many copies, Progress is instantly the 9th best-selling album of the year, and over the course of the 5 or so remaining weeks of the year, will likely climb much higher on that list (potentially to #1), 3) It's the biggest 1-week sales of any Take That album, 4) In fact, it's the second-biggest 1-week sales tally for as far back as I can find research (sometime in the '80s), second to Oasis's Be Here Now, which moved a staggering almost 700,000 copies in its first week.

Albums with biggest 1-week sales above 300,000 copies, last 10 years (albums listed only once with biggest sales week):

2000 - Oasis - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (311,265)
2000 - Robbie Williams - Sing When You're Winning (313,585)
2000 - The Beatles, 1 (422,042)
2000 - Westlife - Coast to Coast (305,247)
2001 - Hear'Say - Popstars (
2001 - Robbie Williams - Swing When You're Winning (365,208)
2002 - Robbie Williams - Escapology (310,237)
2003 - Dido, Life for Rent (400,351)
2004 - Robbie Williams - Greatest Hits (320,081)
2005 - Coldplay, X&Y (464,471)
2005 - Robbie Williams, Intensive Care (373,832)
2005 - Eminem - Curtain Call (314,553)
2006 - Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, that's What I'm Not (363,735)
2006 - Take That, Beautiful World (443,070)
2007 - Leona Lewis - Spirit (375,872)
2008 - Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (302,074)
2008 - Take That, The Circus (432,490)
2009 - Susan Boyle - I Dreamed a Dream (411,820)

3. Your Song - Ellie Goulding

Just when it looked like Ellie Goulding may be on the way out, she turns around and sends a remake of an Elton John classic to her highest chart position yet. Goulding had a good start when her first single "Starry Eyed" hit #4 earlier this year, but its two follow-up singles didn't come close to the top 10. "Your Song" will appear on a re-release of her album Lights.

6. Like a G6 - Far*East Movement (feat. Cataracs and Dev)

This week's #1 hit in the US becomes a top 10 hit in Britain. This is Far*East Movement's first hit single.

7. The Time (Dirty Bit) - Black Eyed Peas

After the surprisingly low debut of "The Time" at #11 last week, the single climbs 4 spots to #7, becoming Black Eyed Peas' 12th top 10 hit.

10. Safe - Westlife

So here's that other boyband I mentioned. Westlife got their start in 1999--kind of late in the cycle of boybands at that time--but have been going strong ever since. However, lately they are showing signs of edging closer to irrelevance. Until 2008, every Westlife single (all 22 of them) was a top 5 hit. Then in 2008, the second single from Back Home, "Us Against the World" peaked at #8. That album was also their first to not contain a #1 hit. Then last year, "What About Now" peaked at #2 and they never bothered with a follow-up single (which was really strange actually). Now they are back with yet another album, and they debut in their lowest position yet. "Safe" is a fine song, but it really lives up to its name. It's not particularly interesting and charts no new waters for this kind of music. Meanwhile, JLS and The Wanted have positioned themselves as the hot new boybands, McFly seems to be staging a renaissance with a new sound, and Take That (version 2.1) is the hottest thing in pop music. Westlife seriously needs to innovate or get out of the way. And I say this as a longtime fan--I've been with them since "Swear It Again"--who'd like to see them succeed and stay relevant.

18. What's My Name - Rihanna (feat. Drake)

With Loud out this week, consumers could cherry-pick this song, slated to be her next single and already a #1 hit in the US. Certainly it will be around for awhile and climb much higher in the following weeks.

40. Hey Jude - The Beatles

Apple hasn't made any big waves on the chart lately, but they do so this week. When Apple announced unexpectedly on Tuesday that "Tomorrow is just another day...that you will never forget" there was a flurry of speculation to guess what it the announcement would be. Cloud storage? iTunes streaming service? MacBook pros that float in midair? Nothing so fancy as that, just the availability of the Beatles catalog on iTunes for the first time. This also meant that consumers could buy individual Beatles tracks for the first time. Quite a few Beatles songs chart below the top 40, but only this one, a former #1 hit, made it back in the top 40.

Next week...

The X Factor finalists' remake of David Bowie's "Heroes" looks like an easy #1, but expect strong challenges from Olly Murs's new single "Thinking of Me," and Duffy's "Well Well Well."


Paul said...

i think the dull x factor charity song (surely they could've been more innovative with song choice) will be number one next week, but will be interesting to see where Olly and JLS land. Nice number one for JLS and yup, I'm disappointed with number 10 for Westlife. I doubt they will do anymore singles. Shame really :(

J.Mensah said...


Yay for Take That though! 520,000 amazing!

ww_adh said...

I played "Heroes" for Chris yesterday and he thought it was awful. I don't think it's that great either. I understand the sway the show holds combined with the fact that the single is a charity release will probably mean it hits #1. But wouldn't it be great if it didn't? Olly's still not put his album out and his last single was very well received, so I wouldn't count him out completely. We'll see.