talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 812 – W/C 23.10.15

Chart Chat Edition 812 – Week Commencing 23rd October 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?

Alexandra Armstrong – ‘A Year Of Songs’ (Album)

Although he has carved out a career as a comedian, actor and TV presenter it seems that vocalist is another talent which can be added to Alexandra Armstrong’s career. He displayed his vocal talents at the VE Day celebrations earlier this year when he sung ‘London Pride’ and he was also caught on camera singing his cover of Frank Sinatra’s ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’ on the BBC back in January of this year. His popularity on daily quiz show Pointless helped record company executives to see that an album of songs recorded by him would be a big hit! This collection contains some well known and classic songs such as ‘A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square’ and ‘Summertime’ and is certain to sell well in the Christmas marketplace. That’s not to say that in any way this is a novelty record as anyone who has heard him sing will testify that he is worthy of his success.

Cinerama – ‘Live 2015’ (Album)

For those who don’t know much about the work of Cinerama they are a band formed by Wedding Present singer David Gedge. Their sound has varied from 60’s pop through to smoother and almost orchestral pieces.  I always had a soft spot for their cover of ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and this year saw them perform live with the backing of a string section, a flautist and a trumpeter amongst other musicians. David decided to record the concert live for a release as a CD / DVD and this is the result. Highlights for me here are ‘Quick, Before It Melts’, the magnificent ‘Apres Ski’ and the final track ‘Wow’ which in its original form had a fantastic guitar solo. This won’t necessarily add many new fans to their crowd but for those who do enjoy their music this is a must have item. Hopefully this won’t be the last we will hear from the band although in many ways it may be hard to top this performance.

Def Leppard – Def Leppard (Album)

Def Leppard’s new self titled album appears in two formats. The first appears on 30th October and features the CD packaged with an exclusive edition of Classic Rock magazine containing features and interviews with the band. If you want to simply purchase the CD on it’s own you will have to wait until 27th November and you may only save £1 for your troubles!  Opening single ‘Let Go’ is good enough to have featured on any of the bands previous albums while the other instant grat track ‘Dangerous’ doesn’t disappoint either. The boys appear in the UK for an extensive tour during the two weeks prior to Christmas and fans can look forward to a mix of new material and classic hits. It has been seven years since ‘Songs From The Sparkle Lounge’ reached no.10 but I think that in 2015 this should still do well for them. It’s great to see the band producing material of this quality some thirty five years after we first heard from them with ‘On Through The Night’.

Elaine Paige – ‘I’m Still Here : Live At The Royal Albert Hall’ (Album)

Elaine Paige has enjoyed a long and distinguished career and this CD / DVD combination celebrates a performance in honour of her 50 years in the music business.  She topped the charts with Barbara Dickson on ‘I Know Him So Well’ but her main success has come on stage or on the album chart. To date she has six top twenty albums to her name including most recently ‘Elaine Paige & Friends’ in 2010. As an actress she won awards for her performance as Eva Peron in Evita back in 1978 while the late 1990’s saw her win Lifetime Achievement Awards from HMV and the National Operatic & Dramatic Association. This album has all of her classics ranging from ‘Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina’ through to ‘Memory’ while covers include ‘Radio Gaga’ and ‘Summertime’. The BBC Concert Orchestra have added their touches to this and I have a strong suspicion that this will be appearing on the Christmas list of her fans this year.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO – ‘Alone In The Universe’ (Album)

The legacy of ELO has never really gone away, and interest in their music spans several generations. It has been twenty nine years since ‘Calling America’ gave them their last top top forty hit but greatest hits compilations have reached the top ten in 1979, 1994, 2005 and 2012. However this release is their first to contain new material since ‘Zoom’ in 2001 and comes off the back of their hugely successful appearance at last years Festival In A Day in London’s Hyde Park. Opening track ‘When I Was A Boy’ has the distinctive Jeff Lynne stamp on it and sits somewhere between 1980’s ELO and the Travelling Wilburys while the other instant gratification track ‘When The Night Comes’ is a little different, featuring a reggae backbeat over the usual rock’n’roll sound. I think that with the renewed interest in the band this could peak higher than ‘Zoom’ which only reached no.34 in the UK.

Kim Wilde – ‘Wilde Winter Songbook’ (Album)

This was originally released a couple of years back when it failed to make the top 100 but now it gets a deluxe repackage for 2015 with a DVD now sitting alongside the original CD. Highlights include Kim’s duet with Rick Astley on ‘Winter Wonderland’ while Nik Kershaw replaces Mel Smith on her cover of ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’. The album also contains some original tracks such as ‘One’, ‘New Life’ and ‘Hey Mr Snowman’. It has now been over twenty years since ‘The Singles Collection 1981 – 1993’ gave her her last top twenty album but with the right promotion this could yet see her back in the chart. Fans who wish to hear some of these tracks live can do so at a variety of events including two nights at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire where she also appeared after the albums original release in 2013. Let’s hope that this can lead on to a full album of new material from Kim at some point during next year.

Lovestarrs – ‘Andromeda / Cassiopeia’ (EPs)

Lovestarrs started out as The Good Natured on the EMI label but when they parted ways with the record company they could not afford to buy the master copies of their music from them and so they were left with nothing to show for their work. Fast forward to 2015 and they have regrouped as Lovestarrs and are currently running a Kickstarter campaign which should secure the release of two new EPs and a full length album. The band have been releasing snippets of the tracks fans can expect to hear once funds have been raised to complete production duties and it sounds very promising so far. Every £ raised goes towards the release of the music and a pledge from £5 (Twitter follow and mention) all the way up to £2,500 (Sarah’s Grandma’s keyboard) will secure you a reward. I have currently opted for handmade debut album option but there is certainly a lot to choose from so why no have a look yourself.

Seal – ‘7’ (Album)

Seal returns this week with ‘7’, which is actually his ninth studio album if you include his two ‘Soul’ cover compilations. It has been five years since ‘Commitment’ which was effectively ‘6’ and that was a commercial success reaching no.11 while being certified Silver. The album was co-produced with Trevor Horn who famously won a Grammy for his work on Seal’s single ‘Kiss From A Rose’. In terms of the tracks on offer hear ‘Do You Ever’ is vintage Seal but ‘Padded Cell’ is arguably my favourite. As the title suggests ‘Life On A Dancefloor’ has more of a dance feel to it while ‘Every Time I’m With You’ is a tender ballad which showcases his voice to perfection. It’s great to see him back with an album of new material and there is no reason why it should not become his sixth top twenty album. At present his only confirmed live dates are in the US but fingers crossed UK fans will get a chance to see and hear him in the flesh very soon.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – ‘It’s A Holiday Soul Party’ (Album)

Brightening up the cold and dark evenings are Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings who release their new album ‘It’s A Holiday Soul Party’ in October. Some of these tracks have appeared before with ‘Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects’ originally being released back in 2010 while others are cover versions though ‘White Christmas’ has rarely sounded so joyful and uptempo. ‘Funky Little Drummer Boy’ adds some soul to the yuletide Christmas (along with some awesome drumming) while ‘8 Days Of Hannukah’ shows this is more than just a festive offering. While this album has Sharon firmly at the front of the stage she has also performed as a backing singer, most notably on ‘Rehab’ and ‘You Know I’m No Good’ by Amy Winehouse.

Next Week…

Other artists releasing albums in the coming month include Bjork, Ellie Goulding, Kurt Cobain, Little Mix and One Direction. In terms of the singles schedule we have expectations regarding new songs from Ariana Grande, Leona Lewis, Pia Mia and Therapy?. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and also keep an eye out for our latest updates online. We look forward to sharing more with you all very soon.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

27 October, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment