Friday, 24 April 2015

PETE HAM - 27th APRIL 1947 TO 24th APRIL 1975

Forty years ago today, Wales sadly lost one of it's greatest ever songwriters, Pete Ham, best known for being lead singer and composer of early 70's rock band, Badfinger, and co-writer of the classic song "Without You".  

Born in the Townhill area of Swansea in South Wales, he formed a group which eventually became the Iveys in 1965.  The band relocated to London the following year and, after impressing the Beatles with their songwriting abilities they were signed to the Beatles Apple label.

Just before the release of their debut single, the Beatles penned "Come And Get It", the band became Badfinger, and with fellow Liverpudlian Tom Evans on lead vocal, the song became their first hit, reaching Number 4 on the chart in early 1970.  Two more hits followed, "No Matter What" (Number 5, 1971) and "Day After Day" (Number 10, 1972).  Ham was also one of the guitarists on the George Harrison album "All Things Must Pass". 

In 1972 the band left Apple and signed with Warner Brothers, and it was during this period that the band became embroiled in many internal, financial and managerial problems.  This  meant the band were unable to release any albums and by 1975, with the band receiving no income and with a girlriend just about to give birth, it all became too much for Pete Ham.

On the 24th April 1975, three days before his 28th birthday, he hanged himself in the garage of his Surrey home.  His suicide note included an accusary blast at the band's business manager.  Ham's daughter Petera was born a month after his death.

Tragedy struck the band again on 19th November 1983, when Ham's songwriting partner, Tom Evans, who had never got over his best frend's death,  also hanged himself due to alleged financial troubles.

So next time you hear any version of "Without You", spare a thought for writer Pete Ham, who would never profit from his legacy.

Here is Pete, and Badfinger with their version of "Without You".

RIP Pete.


It has long been stated that in the music industry, the best career move is to die, as record sales increase dramatically upon the death of an artist, especially one that dies suddenly!  However, only just over 1% of all UK Number 1's have been posthumously achieved, so it is still quite rare.

Below I have listed the 20 songs which reached the top of the UK chart after the death of it's performer (or in the case of a group, one of it's members).  The number of days is the length of time after the artist's death the track reached Number 1.  I have used week ending dates so the actual length of time may be shorter, depending on when that week's chart was announced.  I have also placed them in order of the quickest to reach Number 1 after the person's death.

12 days (Just Like) Starting Over - John Lennon (died 8th December 1980)
18 days Way Down - Elvis Presley (died 16th August 1977)
27 days Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days Of Our Lives (Freddie 
                Mercury died 24th November 1991) 
33 days Imagine - John Lennon 
58 days My Sweet Lord - George Harrison (died 29th November 2001)
61 days Woman - John Lennon
64 days Voodoo Chile - Jimi Hendrix (died 18th September 1970)
69 days Three Steps To Heaven - Eddie Cochran (died 17th April 1960)
81 days It Doesn't Matter Anymore - Buddy Holly (died 8th February 1959)
147 days  More Than A Woman - Aaliyah (died 25th August 2001)
1 year 263 days Living On My Own - Freddie Mercury
2 years 55 days Distant Drums - Jim Reeves (died 31st July 1964)
2 years 340 days Reet Petite - Jackie Wilson (died 21st January 1984)
8 years 292 days Ghetto Gospel (with Elton John) - 2 Pac (died 13th September 
8 years 332 days Nasty Girl (with Diddy, Nelly, Jagged Edge & Avery Storm) - 
                                 The Notorious BIG (died 9th March 1997)
11 years 50 days What A Wonderful World (with Katie Melua) - Eva Cassidy 
                                (died 2nd November 1996)
24 years 310 days A Little Less Conversation (with JXL) - Elvis Presley
27 years 152 days Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
27 years 159 days One Night/I Got Stung - Elvis Presley
27 years 173 days It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley
Of these,  only (Just Like) Starting Over and Way Down were already on the chart when the artists died.


As predicted last week, Wiz Khalifa's tribute to Paul Walker "See You Again", featuring the vocals of Charlie Puth, completes the coveted double of UK & US Number 1's in the same week, as the song moves up 21 places from last week's entry position of Number 22 to claim top spot.  Excluding songs which have debuted at the Number 1 position, it is the joint 13th biggest jump to Number 1 of all time, although it is dwarfed by the 72 place climb of current record holder, Pixie Lott with "Boys And Girls".  For the full list of thirteen, see my post earlier this week.

Here are Wiz & Charlie.

At Number 2 this week, it's another 20+ place jump, as OMI's "Cheerleader", claims the runner up spot from last week's Number 27 - this marks the first time in chart history that the Top 2 singles have both jumped more than 20 places within the Top 40.

So well done to OMI this week, this is "Cheerleader".

After three weeks at Number 1, Jess Glynne drops to this week's Number 3 position with "Hold My Hand", while the highest new entry smashes in at Number 4 this week.  It comes from Spanish DJ Daniel Salazar (AKA Dr Kucho!) and is a remix of his 2005 European hit "Can't Stop Playing (Makes Me High), ith fellow DJ Gregor Salto and featuring the vocals of Norwegian singer Ane Brun.

Here is "Can't Stop Playing (Makes Me High)".

The next five tracks are all fallers - down 2 to Number 5, Years And Years with "King"; down 4 to Number 6 is Nick Jonas with "Jealous"; down 3 to Number 7, "Hold Back The River" from James Bay; also down 3 to Number 8 is Ed Sheeran's "Bloodstream" and down 2 to 9 is "Sugar" from Maroon 5. And we complete this week's Top 10 with a track that was Number 11 last week - "Firestone" from Kygo featuring Conrad.

This week's second new entry comes from the master of grime, Lethal Bizzle.  It is now just over ten years since he first charted when "Pow! (Forward) debuted at Number 11 on the chart of 1st January 2005.  "Fester Skank" is his 13th hit single and also his third Number 11 hit (the other was last year's "RariWorkOut").  Again, he falls agonisingly close of claiming his first UK Top 10 hit.

Anyway, here is "Fester Skank" (featuring Diztortion).

Another big climb this week for Major Lazer, M0 & DJ Snake, as "Lean On" moves up eleven places to Number 13, while at Number 21 we have this week's highest climber, up 26 places,  as Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea teams up with former American Idol finalist and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.

This is "Trouble".

At number 28, we have another chart milestone this week as Ne-Yo claims his 300th week on the UK chart, putting him 68th on the all time, while two places lower it's a double celebration as on her 33rd birthday, Kelly Clarkson reaches the 200 week, putting her 156th on the all time list.

We now go all the way down to this week's Number 62 track, as John Legend's "All Of Me" reaches 63 weeks on the chart, putting him joint third on the all time list behind "Happy" (70 weeks) and "Rather Be" (65 and counting), while down at 68 it's nearly an unwanted record for "The Voice" winner Stevie McCrorie.  After the triumph last week of becoming the first winner of the BBC Talent show to claim a Top 10 hit when "Lost Stars" debuted at Number 6, this week it drops 62 places - the joint third biggest fall in a single week of all time.  Only Union J with "Tonight (We Live Forever)" which plummeted 65 places last September and "Ding! Dong" The Witch Is Dead!" (from the Wizard of Oz) whcih dropped 63 places in April 2013 have made larger descents down the chart.

Finally, at Number 69, and returning to the charts for a 12th time since its debut in June 2004, it's probably the best track of the last ten years, with a, excuse the pun, killer video featuring Julia Roberts actor brother Eric.

This is the Killers with "Mr Brightside".

1 year ago - Hideaway - Keisza

5 years ago - OMG - Usher featuring 
10 years ago - (Is This The Way To) Amarillo - Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay
20 years ago - Back For Good - Take That!
30 years ago - We Are The World - USA For Africa

40 years ago - Bye Bye Baby - Bay City Rollers
50 years ago - Ticket To Ride - The Beatles
60 years ago - Give Me Your Word - Tennessee Ernie Ford


1 year ago - Happy - Pharrell Williams

5 years ago - Nothin' On You - B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars
10 years ago - Candy Shop - 50 Cent featuring Olivia
20 years ago - This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan

30 years ago - We Are The World - USA For Africa
40 years ago - He Don't Love You (Like I Do) - Tony Orlando & Dawn

50 years ago - Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter - Herman's Hermits

It's highly likely that Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth will retain top spot next week, so tune in next week to find out.

Until then.


Monday, 20 April 2015


On this week's chart, both singles which climb to Number 1 and Number 2 move up more than 20 places within the Top 40.  "See You Again" from Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth moves from 22 to 1, while "Cheerleader" from OMI moves from 27 to 2.  This has never happened before in the 62 year history of the Singles chart.  To commemorate this feat here are both videos.

Also, the 21 place climb to Number 1 by "See You Again" has only been bettered by the 12 records listed below since the chart began.

73 - 1 19th September 2009 Girls & Boys - Pixie Lott 
52 - 1 16th August 2014 Am I Wrong? - Nico & Vinz
47 - 1 26th February 2011 Someone Like You - Adele
41 - 1 12th June 2010 Gettin' Over You - David Guetta & Chris Willis featuring 
                                              Fergie & LMFAO 
38 - 1 11th October 2008 So What! - P!nk
35 - 1 6th October 2007 About You Now - The Sugababes
33 - 1 3rd July 1982 Happy Talk - Captain Sensible
           11th October 2014 All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor
28 - 1 14th June 2008 Singing In The Rain - Mint Royale
27 - 1 3rd June 1961 Surrender - Elvis Presley
26 - 1 2nd October 1982 Pass The Dutchie - Musical Youth
23 - 1 21st October 2006 Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance

Sunday, 19 April 2015


Another chart act reaches the 100 week mark on the UK Singles chart this week as electronic dance quartet Clean Bandit reach the figure after only 6 hit singles, thanks mainly to the 64 week run of their massive Number 1 hit with Jess Glynne "Rather Be".  Brothers Jack & Luke Patterson, Grace Chatto & Neil Amin-Smith first charted in April 2013 when"Mozart's House" debuted at Number 17.

And her is Clean Bandit with that debut hit.

And here is the band's complete chart record.

Mozart's House 17 3
Dust Clears 43 1
01/02/2014 * Rather Be 1 64
31/05/2014 + Extraordinary 5 7
Come Over 45 4
29/11/2014 + Real Love 2 21

Rather Be & Real Love both feature Jess Glynne
Extraordinary features Sharna Bass
Come Over features Stylo G