Fleetwood Mac just closed the Isle Of Wight Festival, which explains what this is doing here, and Simon played with Sting in London a coupla weeks ago. I guess something happened in the UK to bring the estimable Mr.Miller back on the charts. Before his life was tragically cut short on a plane ride to entertain the troops during WWII back in 1944. Pardon me boys if you know this, but Miller got his distinctive sound by moving a saxophonist move to clarinter and playing the saxophones part.
Nobody is surprised at the first two, what I’m surprised at is the Brand New Heavies leaders great EDM band Leftfield having a new album I don’t know and I am surprised how it is the best sounding album around and I completely missed it. Their first in 16 years and it is mindblowing. Don’t let this happen to you.
One of the strangest things about life is the UK’s penchant for high brow, low talent classical pop pap, here represented by Will Young and Collabro -both brought to us by Simon Cowell, a man who knows the value of everything and the worth of nothing.
A$AP Rocky has been on heavy rotation all week and I see no reason to stop now, Will Young on the other hand is a painfully wimpy MOR singer who I have whole other levels of meh for. This is the fourth # 1, who won the very first season of the franchise that would be know as American Idol, the UK’s Pop Idol.
The UK invasion isn’t very invasive any longer. And when you aren’t quite sure what to think, grade C covers it all. You’re all average and hey.. that’s ok
If Trance has won the battle for the singles charts, the album charts are very volatile, it is a world where the cult band can make its presence felt… if only for a week. Blur at # 2 and Mumford at # 1, the revenge of rock? Yeah, but not really, because who knows how long it will last\. Meanwhile, Sheeran and Swift are still hanging on. Sheeran? one month short of a year in the top ten
Perhaps it’s a form of snobbery, but is there anything worse than high-low culture pop music like Josh Groban: yes, he has a good voice but everything it touches melts into sugar cotton candy. It is all sticky and horrid. One exception: “Pure Imagination” isn’t bad… That’s why it is D+ and not D-. It’s like Christian MOR without the excuse of worship.
Just in time for his upcoming tour of the the UK with Sting (I saw it when Iit played New York and liked it fine for what it’s worth… at least the Paul segment), this 19 song ultimate collection is Paul’s first # 1 since 1990. It is pretty darn good as well, a coupla S&G for taste and heapings of Graceland. That should do it, right?
This ain’t much is it? And much less volatile than the singles chart which is weird, in the States if you get on the singles charts you stay a while but albums fly in and out of the albums chart very rapidly. Nothing against Kanye West, I couldn’t be a bigger fan, but if we expect his new album to change the year around, it’s gonna be a long wait.
What is bizarre and strange about the Prodigy is that they were so unique and cutting edge on The Fat Of The Land and nearly 20 years later they are exactly the same. We call this a Status Quo complex, psychiatrists are fascinated by it, the Prodigy grow older without ever changing in the slightest. In 2035 they will be sound exactly the same.
Can’t say I am too fond of James Bay, another small town boy way more precious than anybody really needs to be, I prefer Seasick Steve, a blues guy from Cali who is big in the UK because he sounds like an English blues guy and not a US. Because he is white?
: I’ve listened to the new Kendrick a lot and I am getting a handle on it but it reminds me of the recent D’Angelo album… shouldn’t this stuff not feel like homework? Like hard work? Like a slog, waiting for the songs to reveal themselves. And I guess they do slowly, “Wesley’s Theory”, “i” and “u”, the undeniable “The Blacker The Berry” but again, would I have spent this much time wthout the hype? Well, yes for “The Blacker The Berry”…
Nothing personal, but the thing about pop music is it has to be popular and Madonna better start selling some more copies. Meanwhile, the X Factor winning Rebecca Ferguson and the five piece harmony band take on black music, with varying degrees of success and not a lot of it.
Royal Blood are opening for Foo Fighters at Citifield this summer (and man does it seem far away as I write this, with the snow snowing, and the wind blowing) and despite our hopes and prayers for a wonderful summertime, that is one night that sounds like a nightmare. Royal Blood, is bombastic deep throat modern rock. Dreadful.
Thunder are a really good mainstream UK style hard rock band, been around over 20 years, and are in a league with the best out there. They’re opening for ZZ Top in London and that sounds like a concert to be missed under no circumstances. Meanwhile, my buddy Johnny McElhone’s (I knew him when he managed Ramona) band Texas is back on the charts.
I am seeing #10, Gregory Porter, in a couple of weeks at the the Harlem Arts Salon at Harlem just as the supple grammy award winning jazz baritone reaches the height of his career with the most streamed jazz album of all times, 2013’s Liquid Spirit. The big man will be on the same bill as another big man, Tomas Doncker, who you might well claim is to the blues what Porter is to jazz.
How about Bob Dylan’s 28th top ten album., eh? How about that. Costello on the new Dylan: “I think it’s really, truthfully, one of the greatest records he’s ever made. It’s so soulful. He’s obviously lived with those songs in his heart for a long time, and he sings them that way
before we get to Dylan’s EIGHTH # 1 album in the UK (about 20% of all the albums he has ever released), let’s scratch our heads in amazement at the return of a guitarist who performed quite well with Dylan himself, Mark Knopfler. Brothers In Arms has two 80s masterpieces an nothing else much.
Finally, 2015 hits the charts and while I am not crazy about #1, I am crazy about # 2, FOB’s best album ever and if it did this well in the UK, I wonder if it can take over from Meghan in the US? No, I don’t really like the new Belle & Sebastian but I approve of them as a concept.
As a rule of thumb the UK charts are much more volatile than the US charts, though when it comes to albums both arrive and leave with great speed. But this chart hasn’t changed much in six week. everything is where it has been: Ed, Tay, Ezra at the top forever, and down below Olly and below him 1D and Ella. A strangely boring list.
I just gave Hozier another spin. Maybe I underestimated his voice a little, and the giggle at funerals line is a good one, but I can’t hear anything else as being much ore than Gospel tinged folkieness. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike it at all but I can’t feel anything much more stronger than a lack of contempt. How did it catch on?
Ezra is guy who gave us “Budapest” and “Cassy O” though a full album of the suckers is pushing it a bit but otherwise i remain with the same question: why the assumption people stop buying music the last two weeks and first two weeks of a new year. It seems to me that anybody with half a brain and a big enough fanbase would ONLY RELEASE MUSIC around this time. It isn’t 1987, people don’t have to leave their couch to buy an album.
I really like Ella despite being an X Factor contestant, and a losing X Factor contestant to boot, she has an excellent voice, soulful, moving, mainstream but good enough for EDM any time. And “Ghost” and “Yours” were fine singles. and she has a whole lotta presence on stage. wonder why she stiffed on Factor.
With one week left before the end of the year, 1989 is now 100,000 units away from beating Frozen for biggest selling album of the year. This is pretty damn impressive and I don’t see how it can fail -she must win. Hell, I’d buy em myself if I could afford it!
Ed Sheeran is the poster boy for over achievement. I saw him three years ago at the Peppermint Lounge, now he owns the world. He sold over 200K albums last week alone which means (one, carry the one) every person in England now owns a copy
I was disappointed by the J. Cole album, it needed a little more discipline,it needed a couple of killer songs, a “Power trip” or a “Work Out” to beckon us in. The album isn’t bad, it’s good, but it needed to be great.
Great list, nothing that makes me throw up and two A’s, and lots of B’s and of the two A’s, how great is the new AC/DC? In rock we trust indeed, this sounds like the sound of going home and wait for it, I bet they play MSG by the end of the summer.
McBusted are McFly and Busted joined together to form a brit boy band supergroup who will never make it in the States if only because they used the f word in one song, but they are really pretty good. better than aging boy band wonderkinds Take That who are never as good without Robbie Williams
Olly sounds a little more ordinary, a little too plastic pop on his new album, but I’ll be listening more once its released Stateside. But the real question is, despite its record breaking first week, how does One Direction finds itself looking up at Ed Sheeran who has been on the charts since JUNE???
I have no problem with 1D selling a mindboggling 142K units, I have a problem with the UK’s penchant for lousy faux-opera like this abysmal album in at # 10. what they like about it, I can’t tell you. I blame BBC 4. Don’t let the eyelashes fool ya, Jenkins is the spawn of Satan
No center of gravity here, Pink Floyds outtakes album at the top, George Ezra’s singer songwriter at the bottom, Tay in the middle. Yeah and Foo at # 2 setting up next weeks Taylor dethroning from the top spot on the US charts.
Nowadays there isn’t elevator music, Muzak, the way there was in my day, high brow low brow mushed up classical instrumentals that played calmly in the background while you were stuck in an elevator for two hours. Don’t know what I mean? Listen to Andre Rieu.
Taylor moved 90K units, impressive for the UK and her former (?) best buddy Ed Sheeran is right next to her as the album has spent the entire year in the top ten… plus Ed hasn’t even released “Even My Dad Sometimes”, a short shot in the UK though probably hanging till Xmas when it hopes to be the Christmas song.
Status Quo go acoustic!!!! The greatest UK hard rock band ever, the heads down no nonsense monsters of riff go mellow??? It sounds like Crosby Stills and nash in a very nasty mood for the band lead by legend Francis Rossi for FIFTY TWO YEARS!!!!
Sure “Ghosts” is Ok but not over an album, meanwhile I am kinda shocked to find U2 in the charts. I guess not as many people have Itunes as I thought (80 million streams of the album by the way). ANything else? Nope, go back to whatever you were doing.
It isn’t a complete disaster. Sam’s still around, Hozier did well, Johnny Marr made it and Gorgon City? where is the hit single? Still, ugh to Caribou and Genesis and the Script. relatively mediocre for the UK charts.
It took George Ezra 14 weeks to get to # 1 but don’t sneer too hard guys, he is only 21 years old! As opposed to Jamie T, who is 28 years old and who took five years between albums… otherwise known as career hari-kari except the new album is excellent and in the UK should put him back on top… but not of Ezra
More power to young alt-J but do you think Thom Yorke is gonna topple them next week? I can’t wait to check out the numbers behind Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes although I am not expecting much because just as Thom and Nigel thought, I think the Bittorrant will spook em and the album itself is difficult in ways alt-j certainly aren’t.
Yuck. The Script is awful and their album cover is worse, Babs is just as bad, Catfish & The Bottlemen are predictable UK rockers, and only Chris Brown is both new and good and, well, he is Chris Brown. You need a shower after listening to him.
I didn’t much care for the first single “Rainbow” and didn’t pursue the new Robert Plant album but I have heard it now and it is a very strong. Incidentally, I just read about ten reviews and nobody knows how to describe the sound. Let me help: the words are folk rock. Sam Smith at the top of the charts again!
Sam Smith back at the top and congrats to him of course, it’s a great album, but over at # 7 is Pierces excellent new album, not out here yet but it might break big once it is. They look the role and they sound it. Kate Bush all over the place…
A not untypical UK chart, made whole by the two Kate Bush albums, an obvious relection of her return to performing after a 35 year absence. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive but what on earth does that prove, right? Otherwise, Royal Blood are like a lively Black keys or a Jack white not tripping over his ego, But not as good as that sounds.
This is, how you say, lame. The Saturdays are lame, Gaslight Anthem is lame, Paloma Faith is lame and ONEREPUBLIC stink to high heaven and are lame. Let’s pass on this week right now.
This is a real rarity, a better album than a single chart. From Coldplay to Clapton to Petty to,,, Guetta? The album is two years old!!! Still there isn’t one, well maybe “X” but no more than one, bad album in the lot, and Ed is more disappointing than lousy.
Ed Sheeran’s fifth week at the top of the UK charts with an amazing 400K units moved and more power to him even if I don’t like the album as much as all those folks, the best moments have grown on me. By the way, quite why Dolly Paton called her new album and a greatest hits collection is well out of my pay bracket.
What is Halycon doing back on the charts? Those English are crazy. Also, Morrissey deserves to be number one, and I ashamed, yes shame on the English for letting Ed win the battle. Ed is a nice bloke but Moz is an institution.
So, English rock bands, what’s the story? we haven’t gotten Kasabian yet which is bad, but we haven’t gotten one of the UK’s great rock bands Manic Street Preachers, and that’s worse. I once saw MSP from the fourth row of Jones Beach between Screaming Trees and Oasis, and of the three they came… what’s before first?
If I had more time to offer it the Ed Sheeran might prove to have depths that are lost on me right this moment, maybe three good song doesn’t not an album make. 5 Seconds of Summer got held off the top spot by Ed, so I’m shocked.And David Grant? Didn’t realize he was that big and this is a good album that might be great if I had the time to offer it
No one shocked to see this list, though I wonder if Ed Sheeran can maintain. He is a huge star in the UK, and this is the best selling first week of the year so far, but there is only one “Thinking Out Loud Here”, and I wonder if it will be enough.
I guess the return of Ed has a lot to do with the upcoming sophomore effort which just might do the difficult: be the same and different at the same time. Lana at # 1, though the real question is what will the US make of it? My gut is it will break pop but if West Coast couldn’t make it on the Singles chart what can here? Well, at least should insure a career touring if she has finally learnt how to play live.