talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 734 – W/C 16.12.13

Chart Chat Edition 734 – Week Commencing Sunday 15th December 2013 


Welcome to edition 734 of Chart Chat, the music review site which has been running for over fourteen years.  You can find us on Twitter as @ChartChatUK so feel free to follow us and pass comment on the weeks new releases yourselves.  As always we will take a look at the current top forty followed by some reviews of the weeks new releases.  There is a new edition published weekly so if you are new here then I hope you will choose to revisit.  

Chart Review

There were four new entries, one re-entry, twelve climbers, twenty songs going down and three non movers on this weeks chart. There was no change at the top as Lily Allen stayed at the top for a second consecutive week with ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and she takes her lead into Christmas week as X Factor winner Sam Bailey releases her cover of ‘Skyscraper’. Avicii was Lily’s closest rival this week as ‘Hey Brother’ climbed six places to no.2 with ‘Hey Brother’.

Leona Lewis went up thirty one places to no.3 with the heavily promoted ‘One More Sleep’ while Pharrell Williams rounds off a great year with ‘Happy’ going up twenty six places to no.4. Ellie Goulding climbed back up two to no.5 with ‘How Long Will I Love You’ but Bastille fell three to no.6 with ‘Of The Night’. Jason Derulo climbed five to no.7 with ‘Trumpets’ and Gary Barlow fell three to no.8 with ‘Let Me Go’.  One Direction fell seven to no.9 with ‘Story Of My Life’ and Eminem featuring Rihanna went down four to no.10 with ‘The Monster’.

There were four climbers to be found in what remained of the top twenty.  Mariah Carey climbed two to no.12 with ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ while The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl went up one to no.15 with ‘Fairytale Of New York’.  Jessie J climbed thirteen to no.18 with ‘Thunder’ and AWOLNATION went up three to no.20 with ‘Sail’.

There were four new entries, one re-entry and three climbers in the lower half of the chart.  Katy Perry went back up one to no.23 with ‘Roar’ while Chase & Status featuring Jacob Banks went straight in at no.27 with ‘Alive’.  Wizzard climbed six to no.31 with ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ and Justin Bieber featuring Chance the Rapper entered at no.33 with ‘Confident’.  Katy Perry climbed one to no.34 with ‘Unconditionally’ while Kid Ink featuring Chris Brown got a new entry at no.35 with ‘Show Me’. Sub Focus went straight in at no.36 with ‘Turn Back Time’ and Wham! rounded off the top forty re-entering at no.40 with ‘Last Christmas’.

Other Christmas Songs

There were nine other Christmas songs inside the top 100 this week. Susan Boyle & Elvis Presley went straight in at no.48 with ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and Slade climbed eight to no.49 with ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’. Shakin’ Stevens went up two to no.54 with ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ while Band Aid climbed five to no.57 with ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’.  Chris Rea went up eleven to no.61 with ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ and Brenda Lee climbed four to no.63 with ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’. East 17 went up twenty one places to no.68 with ‘Stay Another Day’ and Andy Williams climbed eight to no.90 with ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’. The final festive tune came at no.97 as The Darkness went up eighteen places to no.97 with ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’.

New Releases

AC/DC – ‘Highway To Hell’

This was originally the title track to the bands 1979 album of the same name but it did chart as a live version in 1992 peaking at no.14. The bands back catalogue was made available on iTunes for the first time last year and that secured it a top forty placing for the first time along and now it is aiming to become the bands first ever top ten hit in the UK. To date the bands highest charting single has been ‘Heatseeker’ which peaked at no.12 in 1988 but fans have now got together to release this track with three main aims; 1) Celebrate the bands 40th anniversary (they originally formed in November 1973), 2) Give the band their first top ten hit 3) Steal the Christmas no.1 from under the nose of this years X Factor winner.  The Facebook page behind this has gathered over 100k followers but it will need more than that if they are to secure a surprise no.1 hit next weekend.

Altern8 – ‘Activ 8 (Come With Me) 2013’

Can it really be twenty two years since Altern8 charted with the original version of ‘Activ8’? Yes it appears time does fly that quickly! On that occasion it peaked at no.3 but it seems unlikely to repeat that success this time around. Other hits at the time included ‘Evapor8’ (which saw them team up with the legendary PP Arnold), ‘Hypnotic St-8’ and ‘Infiltrate 202’. The group split in 1994 although Mark Archer continued to use the name Altern8 until he was prevented from doing so by his former partner in the group Chris Peat. The 2013 release of ‘Activ8 (Come With Me)’ comes with a variety of new mixes including the Hardcore Holocaust Mix, the Tommie Sunshine & Gosteffects Mix and the Rocket Pimp Remix.  Can it really chart once more? I suspect not but this is the one week of the year when anything can happen (as the next few new releases demonstrate!).

The Big Reunion Cast 2013 – ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’

Originally a no.4 hit for Wizzard in 1973, ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ is now a festive chart regular with top forty re-entries in 1984, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012.  This year sees a new version recorded by the cast of the hit TV show The Big Reunion which saw a host of groups from the past reunite including Atomic Kitten, B*witched, Blue, Honeyz, 5ive, 911 and Liberty X. This time around the song seems to have acquired a new rap but even that can’t really save it.  This is certainly one of those occasions where the original can’t be beaten, and this comes across as a bit of a half hearted attempt. Many of the acts reunited through the show have started working on new material so it will perhaps be more interesting to see what they come up with in 2014.  I suspect this may chart, but its not a real contender for this years Christmas top spot.

The Call Centre – ‘SWSWSWN’

Alongside The Big Reunion one of the other big television successes of the year was undoubtedly The Call Centre, and bizarrely that show has spawned an attempt at the Christmas no.1 in the shape of the double a side ‘SWSWSWN / Mr Brightside’. The band is fronted by the Chief Executive Nev Willshire, and the show is the subject of its own Christmas specical to be shown in the coming days. The main track is named after one of Nev’s sayings “Some Will, Some Won’t, So What Next” while the flip side is a cover of the Killers track which each new starter at the call centre is forced to sing. A CD format is available alongside the download and the team are upbeat on their chances of causing a Rage Against The Machine style upset at the top of the charts.  I’m a little bit less optimistic but then it is all in the name of charity so I hope it ends up doing well for them. 

Jack Topping – ‘Tomorrow’

In the spirit of Christmas this week sees Choirboy and Save The Children ambassador Jack Topping release his version of ‘Tomorrow’, the track which famously featured on the soundtrack to the musical ‘Annie’.  Currently the track is the sixth favourite for the Christmas no.1 with some bookmakers offering odds of 20/1 for him to triumph over this years X Factor winner.  The digital format of the single also features his cover of ‘Walking In The Air’ while he also has a full length album out already entitled ‘Wonderful World’ which features classical songs such as ‘Pie Jesu’ alongside songs by The Beatles such as ‘Let It Be’. As is the case with Susan Boyle later on this single will either be a big hit or it will fade completely.  I suspect that album sales will be high and thus not enough people will purchase this as a standalone track. 

Lil Chris with Lloyd Wilkinson – ‘Christmas Number One (#FeedEmYellowSnow)’

Lil Chris originally burst onto the music scene when he was aged just 16, notching up top forty hits with ‘Checkin’ It Out’ (#3) and ‘Gettin’ Enough??’ (#17). Two subsequent singles (including a cover of ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’) missed the top forty and when his second album peaked at just no.94 it seemed to be the end.  He did however maintain a presence through DJ appearances and on TV while last year saw him appear on stage in Loserville : The Musical.  This year has seen him return to his musical roots and he is working on a third album.  However before then he has joined forces with Lloyd Wilkinson to produce a Christmas single which is boldy entitled ‘Christmas Number One (#FeedEmYellowSnow)’. It has been doing well on pre-orders and could well become one of this years surprise festive themed hits. 

The Overtones – ‘Smile’

Another charity single releases this week is The Overtones and their cover of the classic ‘Smile’. It is released to raise money for Operation Smile and the digital format also contains versions of ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘White Christmas’.  While The Overtones have yet to trouble the top forty singles chart they have had three top ten albums including this years ‘Saturday Night At The Movies’. The band started out as painters and decorators, choosing the profession as it allowed them to regularly practice singing together. That move paid off after they were spotted working near Oxford Street in London by a talent scout who rewarded them with a five album record deal. To date their highest charting single has been ‘Gambling Man’ which only reached no.82 so this release should certainly go on to exceed that position.

The Retrobot – ‘Christmas Robot’

This is perhaps the strangest release of the week, a track which started out as a simple Christmas jingle composed by Chris Davis for his wife and two daughters and ended up being recorded as a single after being discovered by north east talent spotter Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard who then in turn brought it to the attention of producer Mike Stock.  It had been uploaded to the online site Amazing Tunes so the wider family could hear it but Chris and his collaborator Rod Evans never expected it to be one of the songs talked about as a contender for this years Christmas no.1. I can’t really see this selling in the kind of quantities required to challenge this years X Factor winner.  That said it has been receiving a fair amount of publicity so it could find its way into the lower end of the chart just as the One Pound Fish Man did last year!

Sir Terry Wogan, Aled Jones & Hayley Westenra featuring BOND – ‘Christmas Dream’

It’s an unusual collection of artists but this week see presenters Terry Wogan team up with singers Aled Jones and Hayley Westenra with some help from string quartet Bond.  Terry and Aled have charted together before when their duet on ‘Little Drummer Boy’ made no.3 in 2008 and a follow up ‘Silver Bells’ peaked at no.27 a year later.  While Terry has also charted as a solo artist (with ‘The Floral Dance’ making no.21 in 1978) both Hayley Westenra and Bond have only ever enjoyed success on the album chart.  Also appearing on the track are the Portsmouth Salvation Army who as you would expect are not regulars on the chart!  The single is being released in aid of the Children In Need charity though they are just one of a number of deserving causes who are seeing tracks released in their honour. This should certainly reach the top forty though.

Sam Bailey – ‘Skyscraper’

Sam Bailey was told by producers in 2007 that she was not good enough for the competition, yet here we are six years later and she is the runaway winner of the 2013 series of X Factor. While few would dispute her fantastic voice, I can’t help but feel she wouldn’t have won series which included Alexandra Burke, Leona Lewis or Little Mix.  Many of the winners have struggled to enjoy sustained success, with Shayne Ward, Leon Jackson and Joe McElderry now strangers to the chart.  Matt Cardle did reappear in the top twenty recently duetting with Melanie C but Alexandra Burke has struggled since her second album flopped.  So all eyes on Sam, and she starts her career with a cover of Demi Lovato’s track ‘Skyscraper’ which reached the top ten both sides of the Atlantic.  It’s not a bad version, and I have no doubt it will triumph next weekend, but equally it is not particularly inspiring either.

Also released this week are ‘A Childs Christmas In Wales’ by Al Lewis, ‘Torrent’ by Asgeir, ‘Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of)’ by Backstreet Boys, ‘Alive’ by Chase & Status featuring Jacob Banks, ‘You Will See Me’ by Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, ‘You’ll Know It’s Christmas’ by Deacon Blue, ‘Voices’ by Disclosure featuring Sasha Keable, ‘In The Mirror You Can Only Kiss Your Mouth’ by The D.O.T., ‘Deeper’ by Ella Eyre, ‘Party Like A Rockstar (Up Your Name)’ by Gaz & Olabean featuring The Risk & Emily Williams, ‘Recovery’ by James Arthur, ‘Losing Sleep’ by John Newman, ‘Your Hideaway’ by Josh Groban, ‘Some Songs With Some Friends’ by Lewis Watson, ‘Tea & Toast / It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas’ by Lucy Spraggan, ‘Carol Of The Bells’ by Marillion, ‘Every Little Thing’ by Maxi Priest, ‘We Made It Through Another Year’ by Nerina Pallot, ‘Christmas Chime’ by Orbital, ‘Mother Mary’ by The Quireboys, ‘I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In (On Christmas Day)’ by Richard & Adam, ‘Dream A Little Dream Of Me’ by Robbie Williams & Lily Allen and ‘Rudeboy’ by Sigma featuring Doctor. 

Next Week…

The smart money has to be on Sam Bailey to top the festive charts but Lily Allen, Leona Lewis and Pharrell Williams will fight it out for the runners up spot.  The Facebook campaign to get ‘Highway To Hell’ by AC/DC to the top spot looks destinted to drop short but it could still give them the first ever top ten hit of their forty year career. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas, Kele Okereke, The Killers and Nelly featuring Trey Songz. Until then have yourself a good week.


Ian Anderson

16 December, 2013 - Posted by | ChartChat

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