Take Me To Your Heaven
"What is happening?" was the most entertaining of all the Twitter trends just over a year ago as Sam Ryder stormed the leaderboard at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, his emergence as the moral winner the reason the whole carnival pitched up in Liverpool last weekend.
That's meant a whole new "what is happening" moment of our own. For there to be a handful of Eurovision-performed hits floating around the very first midweek updates at the weekend was to be expected, a brief spike in demand for the performed songs is always inevitable and now a regular part of the chart calendar. What was completely unexpected was the way said Eurovision hits just kept on growing during the week. No three-day wonder these, the larger than usual TV audience for the competition translated into a far greater than usual level of appeal for many of the foreign performers.
It means this week we have no fewer than four songs from last week's song contest occupying rungs of the Top 10, far and away the biggest simultaneous chart domination we have ever seen the contest achieve.
Loreen of course has been here before. Winner of the competition for Sweden in 2012, her victorious trance banger Euphoria shot to No.3 in short order following the contest and indeed for the longest time has been the modern-day high point for overseas winners with no other overseas winner since Johnny Logan's Hold Me Now in 1987 coming even close to the Top 3. Well, this week she goes one better as Tattoo not only made her the first two-time winner of the contest since the aforementioned Mr Logan but also takes her one rung higher as the single makes a huge splash at No.2.
Don’t be fooled by the OCCs media hype of "ooh she came within an ace of the top" as she actually did no such thing. Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding's Miracle comfortably No.1 for a sixth week in total with over 42,000 chart sales to its name. But Tattoo was still a comfortable second place in the chart race, even if she was over 3,000 sales behind.
The question did arise as to whether a casual TV audience was going to spark a surge in paid sales for the featured songs. Old-school record music purchasers gonna old school after all. But although Tattoo is the second most-purchased song of the week, it still moved a mere 5,426 downloads. The song that bested it is another Eurovision-related track but we'll come to that in due course.
Loreen's winning song is only the sixth Top 75 hit to contain the word "tattoo" in its title and the third to bear the single word in its name, but it is far and away the biggest. Mike Oldfield had the first hit single called Tattoo, although his song was a reference to the bagpipe melody of his 1992 No.33 hit rather than an indelible skin marking. Jordin Sparks made No.24 with her Tattoo hit in 2008, a song thematically similar to the Loreen one, both songs drawing an analogy between the permanence of skin art and the love they feel for their respective partners.
Finally we should note that as dual winners both of the Eurovision Song Contest Loreen and Johnny Logan have even more in common, the only both taking their winning tracks into the Top 3 subsequent to their victories. The Irishman made No.1 with 1980 winner What's Another Year and as mentioned No.2 with Hold Me Now seven years later. Logan's winning song actually kicked off a perfect hat trick of Eurovision chart-toppers as Bucks Fizz and Nicole followed suit over the next two years. 1982 was the only other time we have had more than one Eurovision hit in the Top 10, A Little Peace made No.1 at the same moment British entry One Step Further by Bardo landed in the runner-up spot.
Is now a good time to note that I didn't rate this at all, despite it being runaway winner? We'll get to my own favourites shortly.
Right Foot Two Stomps
Winner of the British phone vote on the night was the extraordinary Finnish entry Cha Cha Cha by Kaarija and extraordinary is just the word we should use to note that the track lands smartly at No.6 as the second largest Eurovision hit of the week. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of Finnish stars who have enjoyed Top 10 hits in Britain in the past - The Rasmus, H.I.M., Darude and Bomfunk MCs to name most of them. Cha Cha Cha however stands out proudly as the first ever Top 10 single to be sung entirely in the Finnish language Suomi.
For all the hype over how she was expecting a Top 10 finish Britain's Mae Muller disappointed on the night, her thin vocals rather lost in the staging. But that didn't stop the British public showing I Wrote A Song some love, sending the song flying to No.9 to ensure the British entry for the contest makes the Top 10 for the second year running, the first time this has happened since 2006 and 2007 when Daz Sampson and Scooch made No.8 and No.5 respectively. A reminder that this is Muller's second hit single although far and away the biggest, besting the No.32 peak of Neiked's Better Days on which she guested in 2021.
The quartet of Eurovision hits in the Top 10 is rounded off by yet another Nordic offering, Norway's Queen Of Kings by Alessandra which sneaks in at No.10.
More Eurovision shortly but we also need to show some love to some of the other upwardly mobile hits of the week, ones which you can probably expect to have a slightly greater shelf life. The most spectacular leap of the week is the 38-14 hurdle made by Jazzy with Giving Me, the track sitting nicely in the present 90s revival groove with a house beat that takes you right back to 1993. A time when ironically 70s revival was much in vogue.
In a sense we should commiserate Lil Durk and J Cole whose collaboration on the breathtakingly good All My Life would but for Eurovision have been the highest new entry of the week and worthy of all the attention that brings. The ninth chart single in all for Durk, it is actually only his second as the named lead artist and for now the second biggest of his career. Only his opening gambit, a guest role on the Drake track Laugh Now Cry Later, charted higher when it reached No.4 in August 2020. Check this one out though, the addition of a chorus of children and a more reflective, contemplative vibe makes this a more essential listen than most tracks of its genre.
The Rock And Roll Kids
Time for the revival section of the chart, as older hits returning are still very much in vogue. Florence and The Machine's Dog Days Are Over continues to grow a new audience, climbing to No.21. Three places below a slightly less vintage Cuff It smashes its way back into the chart in sympathy with Beyonce's current series of concert dates. It previously peaked at No.5 at the back end of last year. The Guardians Of The Galaxy movie soundtrack that prompted the Florence comeback is also responsible for the otherwise startling re-emergence of the seminal Creep by Radiohead which edges its way to No.41, its first chart run since it belatedly reached No.7 in September 1993. What the hell is it doing here?
Also surging (it was 63 last week and No.27 this) is Mathematical Disrespect by Lil Mabu, the first hit single for American drill rapper Lil Mabu. TikTok has broken this one, naturally enough, and like all such hits it leans towards the short. The single runs for a Pinkpantheress-esque 88 seconds in total. But at least that means you have more time to listen to it again.
Take Away The Remainder
It hasn't been a bad week to be Ed Sheeran. Despite his chart sales dipping 75% on last week his album Subtract is the first one this year to spend a second consecutive week at No.1, the 18,000 albums he moved beating Potter Payper and The Jonas Brothers into second and third place respectively. The album also spawns another chart single as Life Goes On winks into life at No.29, promoted to the chart thanks to Boat tumbling below it.
Sam Ryder wasn't competing at Eurovision but had a good contest anyway, his performance of his new single Mountain as part of the interval entertainment sending it into the Top 40 at No.35. Despite some herculean promotional efforts the enthusiastic spaniel has struggled to make any kind of headway in following up last year's Space Man. His second single Somebody made an underserved No.77 in September last year and even a collaboration with Sigala and David Guetta on Living Without You rose no higher than No.48. He even failed to make the Top 40 at Christmas with a rendition of Jingle Bells. For which we are perhaps all enormously grateful.
I mentioned the Jonas Brothers just now, the release of their creatively-titled album The Album has pushed its lead single Waffle House into the Top 40 for the first time as it brings up the rear of this week's new arrivals at No.37.
Finally, there are numerous other Eurovision hits scattered around the rest of the chart, eight in total making the Top 75. My own favourite was Poland's Blanka whose Solo may well have evoked memories of old Eurodisco hit Coco Jambo, but it makes No.56. Proving my vote wasn't completely wasted.