Posts Tagged ‘Mariah Carey’

Lovely Leona Lewis Makes American History

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Leona_lewis_spiritLeona Lewis‘ has made the history books in the US by becoming the first UK artist to top both the singles and albums charts with a debut release.
On the chart countdown on Wednesday she became only the 2nd ever British female artist to enter the Billboard 200 chart at #1 with her debut album ‘Spirit’, replacing country star George Strait at the top.

In the 63 year history of the Billboard Chart ‘Sade‘ was the only other female artist to hit #1 when ‘The Promise’ spent a three week run at the top in 1986, however this was not a debut entry.
This was topped on Thursday when Leona’s debut single "Bleeding Love" returned to #1 just two weeks after being replaced by ‘Mariah Carey‘. It has been 18 years since a UK artist has topped both charts ‘Phil Collins – But Seriously‘ and ‘Sinead O’Conner‘ with ‘I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got’ (UK signed!) both managed the feat in 1990, not with debuts though!

Lovely Leona joins an elite bunch in the billboard history… only 14 artists have had an album debut at #1 and she is joining the elite ranks of Elton John, U2, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Rod Stewart and Radiohead whose ‘In Rainbows‘ debuted at #1 earlier this year, to name but a few.
With an appearance on American Idol (estimated audience 25 – 30 million) introducing her to a whole new bunch of Americans, and the new single ‘Better In Time’ already in the chart before it’s official release, watch this space.
May the Spirit be with you!

New Release CD’s Monday 14th April

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Well, if you didn’t have any experience of the quirks in the UK weather before, last weekend must have come as quite a shock to the system. Friday saw us basking in sunshine thinking that Summer had come early, Saturday was a blustery and quite cold spring day, and Sunday, SNOW??? And So Cold… I am however warmed up by the quality, once again, of this weeks new releases;

Kooks_konkKooks – Konk
An album ingeniously named after the studio, owned by "Ray Davies" from "The Kinks" in which it was recorded. This album seems somewhat looser than it’s predecessor, as if they did not have to try so hard, but I’m not saying that in a bad way, it’s a good thing!
It is still full of the Indie undertones that you would expect, but somehow seems less Indie. If the lead single "Always Where I Need To Be" (video on YouTube), is anything to go by, this is a far cry from that "difficult" second album that so many bands suffer from. While perhaps most tracks on that first album were instant chart pop singles this album showcases a band that has subtly upgraded their game, and come out on top!
With a massive tour supporting the release taking in dates in the UK, Europe, America and some of the summers best festivals, the summer of 2008 may well belong to the Kooks.

Mariah_carey_emc2Mariah Carey – E=MC2
So you thought the title was a physics reference? Not so my dear friends, I can give you the "official" explanation: E (Emancipation) = (of) MC (Mariah Carey) 2 (To the second power). Certainly more clever than Konk!
This album follows the smash hit 2004 album "Emancipation of Mimi" which was, it has to be said, chock-a-block full of hit singles. So much so that it might have to be re-named "Number 1′s" in the years to come! Her usual mixture of Pop, R&B and Hip Hop beats are here aplenty, but also this time experimentation with some Gospel and Reggae. I especially like the reggae influences in "Cruise Control".
The first single "Touch My Body" (official Video courtesy of YouTube) reached #6 in the UK chart and will be followed shortly by it’s follow up "Bye Bye". The song, possibly about the death of her Father, is for "anybody who has just lost somebody" according to the singer, and is almost a sequel to her long ago hit with Boyz II Men "One Sweet Day".
For me, the best song on the album is "Side Effects", full of reference to her ex-husband Tommy Mottola this is song writing at it’s best and must be a single release!

Elliot_minor_elliot_minorElliot Minor – Elliot Minor
The name of this band, for those of you who did not attend public school, is derived from the fact that if your elder brother, surname "Elliot" is at the same school as you, you will become "Elliot Minor". I think.
I saw Elliot Minor in an instore earlier this week… until I was moved on by security as I was "In the way" that is. Like the band themselves, in their early twenties, the crowd were all very young, and eager. The musicians in Elliot Minor are all classically trained. In fact Alex and Ed met at school where they were both Music Scholars.
The result is a pleasing mixture of Rock, Pop and Classical music. Best described as "Driving Music", you know the sort of thing you have blasting in the car when you are driving through the country in the summer, the songs all bounce along at a nice speed and are instantly accessible. I particularly like the two singles "The White One Is Evil" and "Still Figuring Out". Here is a great "BBC Blog

So, there you go then, these are my picks of the week. Check out our full list of New Release CDs and Pre-Release CDs at CD WOW!

Leona Lewis – Topping the Transatlantic Waves

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Leona_lewis_spiritWell I don’t suppose we should let a momentous occasion pass by unnoticed! Leona Lewis has hit the top spot in the US with her album ‘Bleeding Love’.
When Leona was just about two years old an English female artist topped the Billboard 100 for the 11th time when Kim Wilde hit the top spot with her "You Keep Me Hangin’ On" in June 1987 (still available on "Kim Wilde – The very Best Of", for an amazing £4.99!)

Any way, six female artists had managed the almost impossible prior to that: Vera Lynn (once), Petula Clark (twice), Lulu (once), Olivia Newton-John (four times!), Sheena Easton and Bonnie Tyler (once each). The final one in 1983. At the time I guess it would have been unthinkable that the feat would not be repeated for more than 20 years, but that was the case!

Leona is very much in debt to Oprah Winfrey, who gave the single the thumbs up on her hugely popular show. Notably the only other success by a British artist this decade was "James Blunt’s – You’re Beautiful" which was also hugely indebted to Ms Winfrey’s seal of approval.
Remains to see if Leona can stay at the top for a further week, although I strongly suspect it will be overtaken by "Touch My Body" from "Mariah Carey’s – E=MC2" album!!
I guess record company execs who want their UK artist to achieve success in the US charts could do far worse than impress Ms Oprah! 

Duffy vs Leona in UK Singles Battle

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Duffy_rockferry_2The top spot in the UK singles chart was won for the fifth week in a row by a jubilant Duffy with her hit ‘Mercy’. Her album "Rockferry" remains at #1 in the album chart for a second week. I’m not one to say "told you so", but I did predict this as being a huge album a few weeks ago!

‘Mercy’ just managed to keep Leona Lewis from the top spot, beating her double A side ‘Better In Time / Footprints In The Sand’, both taken from her album "Spirit", by just over 300 units.

Leona_lewis_spiritIs this a just result? You see, download sales of the second track are excluded from the tally. If these had been included Leona would have been #1!
With sales of over 7,500 units ‘Footprints in the Sand’ was at #25 in the chart as a stand alone track.
I don’t suppose Duffy or Leona are too worried as both are sitting very pretty at the top of the pops!

Meanwhile, Leona’s biggest fan (and promoter) Simon Cowell has been busy showing her off in the US. You can check out her performance and interview on Oprah right here… thanks to the lads at YouTube.
They’re comparing her to Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston (presumably before things went pear shaped!). It might be a bit early for those comparisons but she does comes across as a genuinely nice person… just like Simon… so good luck to them.
Fair play to Simon though, but you can practically see the $$ signs in his eyes! And sure why not.   

Not sure if her American Idol performance ever worked out… but I’ll post here if anything crops up. There are rumours of a semi final appearance?