talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 806 – W/C 01.06.15

Chart Chat Edition 806 – Week Commencing 1st June 2015


For those reading this for the first time, Chart Chat has been in existence for over 15 years. We completed eight hundred editions reviewing the weeks charts and new releases before deciding it was time for a change of format.  Now we will be looking at new music ahead of its release, and it won’t always feature tracks released as singles. I have learned in recent years that the best music does not always make the charts, and to renew my love of music I have had to look to broader horizons.

So what have we been discussing in the Chart Chat offices this week?

Gaz Coombes – ‘The Girl Who Fell To Earth’ (Single)

Although it was used in a television commercial, ‘This Time Tomorrow’ was arguably the best song from Gaz Coombes solo career so far. This month sees the release of his latest single ‘The Girl Who Fell To Earth’ which is taken from his impressive ‘Matador’ album. It is a simple but effective laid back acoustic track with Gaz waxing lyrical about a girl and it features such poetic lines as “you wear your elastic heart on your chewed up sleeve’ and “you’re like a circle cut in half”. It is unlikely to trouble the top forty it is still a great track. Fans will be able to catch him live at the Field Day Festival in London early this month and also as support to The Who in Hyde Park later this month. It would be great to see Supergrass reunite for another studio album but while we wait in the hope that that might happen Gaz is more than capable of keeping us all entertained.

Gilbert O’Sullivan – ‘Latin Ala G’ (Album)

It has been thirty five years since Gilbert O’Sullivan achieved a top forty single, but in the ten years prior to that he enjoyed a run of fourteen hits.  He has periodically achieved success with ‘Best Of’ compilation albums with his 2012 collection seeing him back inside the top twenty. Now he is back in action with his new album ‘Latin Ala G’ which stems from his love of Latin Music in the early 1960’s. The title is based on two albums released by Peggy Lee; one was entitled ‘Latin Ala Lee’ and the other was ‘Ole Ala Lee’. Fans have already been able to access the opening track ‘Made In Love’ and this is confirmed as classic O’Sullivan, conjuring memories of his big 1970’s hits while still achieving a slightly modern feel. Gilbert has recently postponed his UK tour but will be rescheduling those dates for later on this year. For now though fans new and old are bound to be delighted with the release of this album.

Holly Johnson – ‘Dancing With No Fear’ (Single)

Later on this month sees the release of the latest single by Holly Johnson. Entitled ‘Dancing With No Fear’, it is a very uplifting club music influenced track and is said by Holly to describe a time when “nothing is wrong, just for a moment, and you can lose yourself in the music”. It is taken from his recent critically acclaimed ‘Europa’ album which has already featured the singles ‘Follow Your Heart’ and ‘In And Out Of Love’. The single is released across two digital EP’s which include a series of interesting mixes most notably from former ZTT label mates Propaganda. He is set to play short series of UK shows during the month of June that will see him take in London, St Albans and his home city of Liverpool. In a recent interview he refused to rule out ever returning to Frankie Goes To Hollywood, but on this showing he should be just as happy to continue with his existing solo career.

The Jive Aces – Spread A Little Happiness (Album)

The Jive Aces are back this week with another fun album entitled ‘Spread A Little Happiness’.  It features a range of tracks, some of which are more well known than others. Few would fail to recognise their fantastic cover of Disney’s ‘Bare Necessities’ but they show another side to their character on their version of the touching and poignant ‘Smile’. Elsewhere we find their take on ‘Get Me To The Church On Time’ from the famous stage show ‘My Fair Lady’ while the title track is one which will be instantly recognisable to most listeners. The definitive version of ‘Boogie Woogie Girl’ for me was by Big Joe Turner, but the Aces give it a good shot, and ‘Simple Things’ is perhaps my favourite track on here. It’s easy to see why the band are so popular, and how they reached the semi finals of Britains Got Talent back in 2012. They have no live shows in the calendar at present but I’m sure it won’t be too long before we see them back on the road.

Nicki French – ‘Eurovision’ (Single / EP)

Nicki first tasted chart success back in 1994 with her cover of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ which reached the top five. Some six years later she was selected to represent the UK at Eurovision where she performed ‘Don’t Play That Song Again’ receiving 28 points and finishing in 16th position. It also gave her a second top forty hit, peaking at no.34. Her new EP is entitled ‘Eurovision’ and features the Andy Haldane mix of that track alongside Matt Pop’s Golden Anniversary mix with both serving to give it a modern dance feel. The Andy Haldane version clocks in at under three minutes long and so still packs a punch as a pop single. The EP also contains covers of ‘Hold Me Now’ (originally by Johnny Logan), ‘Ding-A-Dong’ (originally by Teach In) and ‘One Step Further’ (originally by Bardo).  This is a great fun collection of tracks and reminds us of a time when the UK were much more of a force in the competition.

Rolling Stones – ‘Sticky Fingers (Deluxe)’

While it was originally released back in 1971, this week sees the classic Rolling Stones album ‘Sticky Fingers’ get a repackaged reissue. Their reissue of ‘Exile On Main Street’ topped the charts in 2010, and in doing so gave them their first no.1 hit since 1994. This new update includes the classic tracks such as ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Sway’ and ‘Bitch’ but also offers a second disc of bonus recordings. Treasures featured on that include a version of ‘Brown Sugar’ which features Eric Clapton, an acoustic take on ‘Wild Horses, alternate versions of ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ along with a series of tracks recorded at The Roundhouse in 1971. Dedicated fans may also be interested in the Super Deluxe format which also contains recordings from a concert at The University Of Leeds back in 1971. If rumours are to be believed then we can expect a new Stones album before too long but until then this will have to keep everyone going.

Sarah Cracknell featuring Nicky Wire – ‘Nothing To Talk About’ (Single)

St Etienne singer Sarah Cracknell has teamed up with Manic Street Preachers guitarist for her forthcoming single ‘Nothing To Talk About’. It is a musically rich track, boasting Sarah’s distinctive vocals over an acoustic based backing which is interspersed with country and western style guitar sounds. Nicky is an interesting choice as co-vocalist as aside from a brief solo career he hasn’t really been known for his vocal talents, and he usually leaves the Manics vocals to James Dean Bradfield. It is taken from her forthcoming second studio album ‘Red Kite’ which is due for release on the Cherry Red Records label on the 15th June. So far her only solo top forty hit has been with ‘Anymore’ although she did get credited on Mark Brown’s 2008 hit ‘The Story Continues’ which reached no.11. She is set to undertake a short six date tour of the UK to promote the album, and it is great to see her back in her own right experimenting with this new record.

Sinead Harnett – ‘She Ain’t Me’ (Single)

British singer and songwriter Sinead Harnett is back on the 15th June with her brand new single ‘She Ain’t Me’.  She has been a regular contributor to other artists work including Disclosure, MNEK, Rudimental and Wiley but it is now time for her to take centre stage. The digital release includes new track ‘Anywhere But Here’ alongside three new mixes; the N3GUS Remix, the Chloe Martini Refix and the Falcons Remix. The  musical backdrop to this is kept nice and simple and this shows of Sinead’s vocals perfectly. I could certainly imagine this being played in a late night club as it has that kind of feel to it. She has slowly been building her following having toured with Gorgon City at the end of last year and Sigma back in April. As we say so often on here if this can pick up a decent amount of airplay then there is no reason why this couldn’t give her a debut appearance inside the top forty.

The Selecter – ‘Subculture’

The last one of The Selecter’s hits came in 1980 when ‘The Whisper’ peaked at no.36 although they did feature on the ‘2 Tone EP’ which reached the top thirty in 1993. They are set to release their new album ‘Subculture in mid June with the Huffington Post already declaring it to be the “Soundtrack of the Summer”. The opening track ‘Box Fresh’ finds vocalist Pauline Black on fine form evoking memories of the band in their prime while ‘Karma’ is another moment of magic and could easily have found its way on to any of their earlier albums. Pauline is joining fellow band member Gaps Hendrickson for a Q&A session on Facebook this Friday (5th June) and fans will also have a chance to catch them live via one of their numerous festival appearances over the Summer. Some bands keep going when they should really give up but this finds the band on top form and sounding as fresh as ever.

Next Time…

We are now just a few weeks away from the change in new release date from a Monday to a Friday. From 10th July all new music will be released on that day of the week and artists who are releasing new material that day includes Aston Merrygold, Little Mix and Nick Jonas while albums are due out on that day from Little Boots, Owl City and Frankie & The Heartstrings. We will continue to keep an eye out for albums and singles of note but we will also be keen to see if this change in date really does make a difference. So it’s goodbye until next time, and we very much hope that we will see you back here again very soon.

Ian Anderson

2 June, 2015 - Posted by | ChartChat

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