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UK singles charts

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I still think John Cale did the definitive Hallelujah, though
Predictably (to those who know me) my favourite version is Rufus Wainwright's which was the version on the Shrek soundtrack, but not the film, which featured Cale's. They are very similar. I prefer it to Buckley's because I think the piano suits it better than the guitar. And of course Rufus is just fabulous in every way. The X-factor version is a schmaltzy mess of 'why have one note when you can have six' with a dash of 'chuck in a gospel choir because it's Christmas'. Terrible.
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It's a beautiful song and there are so many beautiful versions - personally, my favourite is k d lang's.


I'd forgotten about the thing with what's number 1 at Xmas. You Brits can be rather quaint. Just looked at youtube for the X Factor version. The girl has a lovely voice but... well, the earlier versions by professionals who aren't Trying So Hard (what was it with the key change and the overdone crescendo half way through?) show an understanding of what the song is ctually about in a way that I'm not convinced with the X-factor girl. Can't blame her for being so over the top given the situation but I would have bought the Buckley instead, or Cale or Cohen (I always think how weird it must be for songwriters whose songs are covered by people who are better vocalists than they are) or lang.


Or just put Shrek on again again again of course ;)

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...I always think how weird it must be for songwriters whose songs are covered by people who are better vocalists than they are...



I think LC is a terrific vocalist. His voice is distinctive but perfect for the subject matter and always hit the notes without ever - as you appositely put it - sounding like he is trying. And that applies as much to the mad rants (e.g. Please Don't Pass Me By) as it does to the quiet ballads. And the contrast between LC and his backing singers is a trademark. He is one of the all time greats.


If you want examples of songwriters who had successful recording careers despite being non-singers, look to Dylan or Lou Reed. With Dylan, you almost feel as though he knew he was just laying down demo tracks for others (especially Joan Baez) to run with.


What an odd collection of names for a post in a thread on the UK Chart.

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That's not very many, is it? I'm sure that in the days or yore (and vinyl), the Christmas No 1 would expect to shift more than 30,000 copies. I think Aled Jones makes a point that he hadn't intended.


I also heard Aled's statement. However, to clarify: he was talking about last

week's chart (where Band Aged were at number 3); and yes, he did say that the record had shifted 30,000 copies on CD. The other thing you need to remember is that the days of yore (when singles were bought in shops) are now history. 30,000 is actually a completely irrelevance. Downloads are how singles sell nowadays. Even I use them!

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I didn't say Cohen wasn't a great vocalist, you're misrepresenting me MrHG. I implied he wasn't as great a vocalist as kd lang - I don't think there'd be a songwriter alive who would consider that an insult.


It would have to be a highlight of any career to have a voice as pitch-perfect and absolutely pure as kd lang's sing one of your songs.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Slightly off topic.

The Official Charts Company has launched a pure classical chart because "Within the classical sector, there are many first class performers providing first class recordings which were not registering on the chart radar as the crossover titles were obviously higher profile and selling more.

"We felt, however, that they were just as valid and wanted to provide an outlet to enable the public to see that sales of pure classical music are still alive and well."

Crossover titles are albums that have some contemporary music in addition to the 60% minimum classical. The current albums from artists such as Hayley Westenra and Katherine Jenkins would not figure in the new chart.

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I've lifted this following piece straight from James Masterson's excellent chart commentary at http://new.uk.music.yahoo.com/blogs/chartwatch/3718/week-ending-june-27th-2009/


In view of recent mentions of Spotify here on BGO, I thought some of you might be interested...


Finally it would be wrong to let this week pass without a brief acknowledgement of the widely reported news story that another possible change to the way record charts are compiled is on the way, with the Official Charts Company only too aware of the growing popularity of online streaming services such as Spotify and We7 and the need to somehow take online listens rather than actual purchases in order to assess the relative popularity of pieces of music. In typical sensationalist fashion the BBC headline "Top 40 faces new digital shakeup" suggests that this integration is almost a fait accompli and will be happening now, quotes later in the piece from OCC director Martin Talbot pointing out that the actual inclusion of streaming figures might be as long as five years away, the presence of the services in the market simply being something they are aware of and working towards tracking officially. Nonetheless if streaming data does ever come onstream it will be possibly the most dramatic sea change in the British charts ever. For a long time in the 80s and early 90s there were calls from some quarters for airplay data to be used as part of the chart compilation process as it is in America, the industry instead electing to retain the principle that the chart tracked actual permanent purchases and nothing else. The possibility does exist now though that physical (or even digital) ownership of music is going to become less and less necessary with a vast cloud of music able to follow you everywhere to be heard on demand. It is that kind of future that the whole industry will have to embrace. In the meantime the digital sales of tracks just keep on rising... Music purchasing to own isn't going to go away just yet.

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Britain's biggest record labels to sell new songs on day they first play on radio.


I found this on telegraph.co.uk


Universal and Sony Music, Britain's two biggest record labels, are to put new singles on sale on the day they are first released for radio play. The move is intended to tackle the problem of piracy by tapping into the desire of young audiences to buy songs as soon as they hear them.


Many music lovers now use internet search engines such as Google, or iPhone apps such as Shazam, to find more about music within a few moments of hearing a track online or on the radio. The intention is that they will now be able to pay for tracks immediately, rather than downloading them illegally.


The accepted practice is for songs to be played solely on the radio and television for up to six weeks before they were released for sale. I will be interested to see whether this has any impact on the UK charts. Will there be a return to the days when singles climbed the charts rather than entering at number 1 and then quickly dropping off?

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Good thing, too. I have been irritated by the "accepted practice" of delaying release dates for many years. I have always felt it rubbed the radio stations' and the public's noses in the perceived fact that radio is there purely as a promotional tool for the music industry.


Will there be a return to the days when singles climbed the charts rather than entering at number 1 and then quickly dropping off?


The shape of the UK singles chart changed several years ago, when downloads were accepted into the equation. Although a lot of No 1 records do debut at the top, there is massive diversity in the behaviour of records on the charts nowadays. Last week's No 1, Rihanna's "What's My Name," reached the top spot in its eighth week. Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are" took 5 weeks; B.O.B.'s Airplanes took 7 weeks. Seven of this week's top 20 are actually moving up within the chart - unimaginable during the ninties and the noughties. Eight of this week's top 20 have been on the chart for 10 or more weeks (Adele, climbing from 27 to 7, is in week 41). The days when every record entered at its peak position, and the only question was how quickly will they fall, are thankfully in the past. For now, at any rate.

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