Saturday, 20 December 2014

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 22/12/14

Top 10 Singles



1. Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk (2) (CR-2-1)
2. Take That - These Days (1) (CR-2-3-3-4-5-6-2-1-1-1-2)
3. Madonna - Rebel Heart (4) (CR-5-4-3)
4. Nádine - Juvenile (3) (CR-9-3-2-3-4)
5. Nádine - Skildery (10) (CR-10-5)
6. Ella Henderson - Yours (7) (CR-7-6)
7. The Veronicas - You Ruin Me (5) (CR-9-4-1-1-1-2-2-2-1-1-1-2-4-5-7)
8. Martin Tungevaag - Wicked Wonderland (6) (CR-9-5-5-3-6-8)
9. Ben Haenow - Something I Need (NEW) (CR-9)
10. Take That - Lovelife (NEW) (CR-10)

Top 10 Albums




1. Take That - III (1) (CR-1-1-1)

2. The Veronicas - The Veronicas (3) (CR-1-1-2-3-2)
3. Carrie Underwood - Greatest Hits: Decade #1 (2) (CR-2-3)
4. Taylor Swift - 1989 (4) (CR-1-1-1-2-3-3-4-4)
5. Sheppard - Bombs Away (5) (CR-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-1-2-3-3-4-4-5-5)
6. Ed Sheeran - x (7) (CR-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-2-2-4-4-6-7-8-8-6-7-9-8-7-9-10-10-7-6)
7. Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint (NEW) (CR-7)
8. Charli XCX - Sucker (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Kiesza - Sound Of A Woman (10) (CR-3-6-6-10-9)
10. David Guetta - Listen (8) (CR-2-5-8-10)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 15/12/14

Top 10 Singles



1. Take That - These Days (1) (CR-2-3-3-4-5-6-2-1-1-1)

2. Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk (NEW) (CR-2)
3. Nádine - Juvenile (2) (CR-9-3-2-3)
4. Madonna - Rebel Heart (5) (CR-5-4)
5. The Veronicas - You Ruin Me (4) (CR-9-4-1-1-1-2-2-2-1-1-1-2-4-5)
6. Martin Tungevaag - Wicked Wonderland (3) (CR-9-5-5-3-6)
7. Ella Henderson - Yours (NEW) (CR-7)
8. Taylor Swift - Blank Space (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Sarah Cracknell - Ready Or Not (NEW) (CR-9)
10. Nádine - Skildery (NEW) (CR-10)

Top 10 Albums




1. Take That - III (1) (CR-1-1)
2. Carrie Underwood - Greatest Hits: Decade #1 (NEW) (CR-2)
3. The Veronicas - The Veronicas (2) (CR-1-1-2-3)
4. Taylor Swift - 1989 (3) (CR-1-1-1-2-3-3-4)
5. Sheppard - Bombs Away (4) (CR-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-1-2-3-3-4-4-5)
6. Bastille - Vs. (Other People's Heartache,Pt. III) (NEW) (CR-6)
7. Ed Sheeran - x (10) (CR-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-2-2-4-4-6-7-8-8-6-7-9-8-7-9-10-10-7)
8. David Guetta - Listen (5) (CR-2-5-8)
9. Robbie Williams - Under The Radar - Vol 1 (NEW) (CR-9)
10. Kiesza - Sound Of A Woman (6) (CR-3-6-6-10)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 8/12/14

Top 10 Singles



1. Take That - These Days (1) (CR-2-3-3-4-5-6-2-1-1)

2. Nádine - Juvenile (3) (CR-9-3-2)
3. Martin Tungevaag - Wicked Wonderland (5) (CR-9-5-5-3)
4. The Veronicas - You Ruin Me (2) (CR-9-4-1-1-1-2-2-2-1-1-1-2-4)
5. Madonna - Rebel Heart (NEW) (CR-5)
6. The Veronicas - If You Love Someone (8) (CR-8-6)
7. The Veronicas - Born Bob Dylan (4) (CR-4-7)
8. Blonde feat Melissa Steel - I Loved You (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Union J - You Got It All (NEW) (CR-9)
10. James Newton Howard & Jennifer Lawrence - The Hanging Tree (NEW) (CR-10)

Top 10 Albums




1. Take That - III (NEW) (CR-1)

2. The Veronicas - The Veronicas (1) (CR-1-1-2)
3. Taylor Swift - 1989 (3) (CR-1-1-1-2-3-3)
4. Sheppard - Bombs Away (4) (CR-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-1-2-3-3-4-4)
5. David Guetta - Listen (2) (CR-2-5)
6. Kiesza - Sound Of A Woman (6) (CR-3-6-6)
7. Now 89 (5) (CR-5-7)
8. Absolute Dance Winter 2015 (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Tone Damli - Di Første Jul (NEW) (CR-9)
10. Ed Sheeran - x (10) (CR-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-2-2-4-4-6-7-8-8-6-7-9-8-7-9-10-10)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Five brilliant Xmas songs you probably haven't heard...

In a December radio landscape saturated by Mariah Carey, The Pogues, Wizzard, Slade, Wham! and Shakin' Stevens, it's hard for any other acts to get a look in. 

Spare a thought for the many Christmas songs released each year that completely slip under the radar either never to be heard again or to be added to the playlists of a select few without ever receiving the universal adoration that they deserve. Here are five of my favourite lost Christmas songs:

Aisha Kinzey - Bring Back The Magic (Christmas Day)



This song was written by a friend of mine Paul Trigwell along with a group of other songwriters including talented Alex Lambie who sadly passed away recently. The song is being repromoted this year and it deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Aisha Kinzey is a great singer while the production is pure Christmas through and through, it's instantly catchy and even fits in a key change!

Fallen Millie - Want To Be (Under Your Christmas Tree)



I stumbled across this song a couple of weeks before Christmas 2010 and played the hell out of it right up to the big day. I've come back to it every year since - a string laden pure pop song with Christmas bells, heart-warming strings and fantastic harmonies from a young girlband that I know literally nothing about. They don't seem to have released any other singles and the song hasn't even cracked 2,500 views on Youtube. The only time I've heard it outside my iPod was in a shoe shop randomly last year. The campaign to make this a future classic starts here! 

The Florin Street Band - My Favourite Time Of Year



This song has over 2 million views on Youtube and is apparently the theme to ITV's Text Santa. All this has completely bypassed me because anyone I talk to about the song never seems to have heard it before. The Florin Street Band are a charming act promoting the more traditional Christmas messages and imagery in this video and the magic of the song speaks for itself. I'm incredibly confused as to why this isn't a Christmas classic yet, it's melodic, timeless and fantastic.

Nádine feat Soweto Gospel Choir - Mary's Boy Child



South African singer Nádine has become one of my favourite artists over the past few years, a good old fashioned pure pop singer with an innocent charm. Her singles I Will Be Strong and Juvenile are my favourites of hers but in 2012 she released an album of Christmas covers (and a couple of originals) called, cunningly, Christmas In South Africa. The whole album was fantastic but my two highlights were her cover of We Wish You A Merry Christmas and the above version of Mary's Boy Child with the Soweto Gospel Choir, which is incredibly joyous and merry. Sadly there's only a live version on Youtube but check it out on the album which is on Spotify/Deezer/iTunes.

Sara Bareilles - Love Is Christmas



Californian singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles is of course best known for her 2008 hit Love Song, but she's continued to impress since then. In 2011 she released this festive offering, an incredibly beautiful and warm piano ballad with a subtle string section enhancing the festive sentiment of love and togetherness being more important at Christmas than gifts and decorations. Also listen to Sara's other seasonal offering Winter Song, a collaboration with Ingrid Michaelson which inexplicably got to No.2 in the Irish charts a few years ago.

Also check out:


A cheesy but charming, fun hi-NRG cover of the festive standard from everyone's favourite German Eurodance act, from their 2012 album It's Christmas Time.


A relaxing Christmas by the beach, courtesy of the Californian singer.


A stellar festive offering from the Dutch country act that finished 2nd in Eurovision this year.


A gorgeous cover of the John Lennon classic from Australia's finest soapstar turned popstar. It was the b-side to Not Me, Not I in the UK in 2003 and the double a-side to Predictable in Australia, so technically a No.1 single there.


A Christmas schlager ballad from Sweden's finest modern dansband.


An alternative choice; an atmospheric gloomy electronic track from Theo and Adam.


An emotive piano ballad from the Norwegian singer - already a Christmas standard in her home country, and deservedly so.


A brilliant gothic metal reworking of the 80s UK classic from animated adventure The Snowman.

Pet Shop Boys - It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas

An excellent 1997 fan club single overhauled and given a new lease of life as part of the duo's 2009 Christmas EP.



An early 90s gem from Croydon's finest indie-pop band. 


A melancholy strummer from Sweden's finest pop-folk girlband.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Take That: Forever relevant?



2014 marks 23 years since Take That first hit the charts as a fresh-faced boyband with the catchy Promises. What happened next was the story of arguably the biggest musical force in the UK of the past two decades. Robbie Williams, Jason Orange, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald reeled off a string of chart toppers before Robbie left in 1995, leaving the band on the brink. They split a year later but the remaining four members famously reformed in 2005 for an ITV documentary.

What followed was the astounding rebirth of Take That, who somehow become even bigger the second time around. They hit the top of the charts in 2006 with Patience, in 2007 with Shine and in 2008 with Greatest Day. And that's without mentioning the million-selling modern classic Rule The World, which was held off the top spot by Leona Lewis' almighty Bleeding Love. 2010 saw the fairytale return of Robbie Williams and the inspired Progress album. Could this band possibly get any bigger? With over half a million sales of that album in the first week it seemed unlikely. Yet for all of the hype surrounding that album, it never produced a No.1 single (quite criminal when the excellent The Flood was the lead single) and to many observers that looked like their last chance of ever achieving one.


But fast forward another four years to 2014 and it's happened. Robbie has stepped back out of his part-time role and rather more surprisingly Jason Orange has decided to leave the band. With the lowest buzz around the group since arguably the early 90s, it seemed quite likely that 2008's Greatest Day was to be their last hurrah at the top of the UK singles chart. But, never a band to be underestimated, this evening has seen the now trio's lead single from new album III, These Days, go straight in at No.1.

The group have proved once again that they are invincible to market changes, member losses and anything else that's thrown at them and the cheery tune, which has been snubbed by Radio 1, has gifted them a 12th No.1 single, 21 years after Pray became their first in 1993. 

I, for one, am intrigued to hear III. The band peddled mature radio pop on Beautiful World, experimental MOR on The Circus and electronic influences on Progress and companion album Progressed. It has become increasingly hard to anticipate what direction the band will go in next but the bright and breezy These Days, which uniquely sees Gary, Howard and Mark sharing all of the vocal parts throughout the song, seems to have brought a fresh new dynamic to the group. 

Whether III will bring them another multi-million selling album remains to be seen but, despite what the law of diminishing returns should suggest, Take That seem to be a forever relevant group that should clearly never be overlooked or underestimated. Where their 90s successors Boyzone are now wheeling out Motown covers albums and unable to score hit singles of any size and Boyzone's successors Westlife are defunct, Take That are still able to take original material to the top of the charts and into the public's hearts.


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 1/12/14

Top 10 Singles



1. Take That - These Days (2) (CR-2-3-3-4-5-6-2-1)

2. The Veronicas - You Ruin Me (1) (CR-9-4-1-1-1-2-2-2-1-1-1-2)
3. Nádine - Juvenile (9) (CR-9-3)
4. The Veronicas - Born Bob Dylan (NEW) (CR-4)
5. Martin Tungevaag - Wicked Wonderland (5) (CR-9-5-5)
6. Walk The Moon - Shut Up And Dance (3) (CR-6-3-4-4-1-2-4-3-6)
7. Tom Odell - Real Love (4) (CR-4-2-4-7)
8. The Veronicas - If You Love Someone (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Pitbull feat Chloe Angelides - Sexy Beaches (NEW) (CR-9)
10. David Guetta feat Emeli Sandé - What I Did For Love (NEW) (CR-10)

Top 10 Albums




1. The Veronicas - The Veronicas (1) (CR-1-1)

2. David Guetta - Listen (NEW) (CR-2)
3. Taylor Swift - 1989 (2) (CR-1-1-1-2-3)
4. Sheppard - Bombs Away (4) (CR-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-1-2-3-3-4-4)
5. Now 89 (NEW) (CR-5)
6. Kiesza - Sound Of A Woman (3) (CR-3-6)
7. Clean Bandit - New Eyes (Re-entry) (CR-2-2-4-4-4-5-8-10-10-10-OUT-7)
8. BBC Radio 2: Sounds Of The 80s (5) (CR-2-5-8)
9. Boyzone - Dublin To Detroit (NEW) (CR-9)
10. Ed Sheeran - x (9) (CR-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-2-2-4-4-6-7-8-8-6-7-9-8-7-9-10)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Top 10 singles/albums - Week Beginning 24/11/14

Top 10 Singles



1. The Veronicas - You Ruin Me (1) (CR-9-4-1-1-1-2-2-2-1-1-1)

2. Take That - These Days (6) (CR-2-3-3-4-5-6-2)
3. Walk The Moon - Shut Up And Dance (4) (CR-6-3-4-4-1-2-4-3)
4. Tom Odell - Real Love (2) (CR-4-2-4)
5. Martin Tungevaag - Wicked Wonderland (9) (CR-9-5)
6. Taylor Swift - Out Of The Woods (5) (CR-10-5-6)
7. Tove Styrke - Ego (3) (CR-7-3-7)
8. Band Aid 30 - Do They Know It's Christmas? (2014) (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Nádine - Juvenile (NEW) (CR-9)
10. James Blunt - I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues (NEW) (CR-10)

Top 10 Albums




1. The Veronicas - The Veronicas (NEW) (CR-1)

2. Taylor Swift - 1989 (1) (CR-1-1-1-2)
3. Kiesza - Sound Of A Woman (NEW) (CR-3)
4. Sheppard - Bombs Away (3) (CR-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-1-2-3-3-4)
5. BBC Radio 2: Sounds Of The 80s (2) (CR-2-5)
6. One Direction - Four (NEW) (CR-6)
7. Absolute Music 77 (NEW) (CR-7)
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 OST (NEW) (CR-8)
9. Ed Sheeran - x (7) (CR-1-1-1-1-2-2-2-3-3-2-2-4-4-6-7-8-8-6-7-9-8-7-9)
10. Calvin Harris - Motion (5) (CR-8-2-5-10)