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Irish Chart Review

Irish Chart Review (Wk Ending 5th Feb 09)

Westlife, Boyzone, and U2, are just some of the musical success stories to come out of the Emerald Isle, but there is more to Irish music than the acts it produces. Ireland has its own music charts as well. Compiled weekly for the Irish Music Association, the charts cover Albums, Singles, Compilations, DVDs, and unusually there is a video chart too. As I write this, the last chart record is for the 5th February, so let’s see who has warmed Irish hearts, or been left out in the cold.

Albums: Bruce Springsteen must have the magic touch at the moment, with no less than 5 entries in the Top 100 album charts. These include his ‘Greatest Hits’ album at Number 27 and new release ‘Working On A Dream’, which is at number one. Other international names at the top of the album charts include Take That at Number 10, Nina Simone at Number 15, and Pink at Number 22. There have been some disappointing first week performances from Jazz/Folk singer Andrew Bird and pop singer Hillary Duff, while some Irish stars and their albums are thriving. Imelda May is a relative newcomer on the music scene, but can already count Jools Holland among her fans. Her Rockabilly and Blues fusion has won over many Irish fans that have sent her album to number 5. Good looks, Irish charm, outstanding melodies, and of course a new U.K tour haven’t done The Scripts album sales any harm either. They are at number 8 with their self titled debut album.

Singles: The contents of the singles chart offers little in the way of surprises for any listeners to U.K radio. American singer-songwriter Lady GaGa only released her debut album in October 2008, but it’s already a huge hit. She’s currently wowing the crowds on the Pussycat Dolls World Tour, and evidently wowing the Irish as well, occupying the top two spots of the chart. New entries have had a mixed reception this week, with Bell x1 only reaching number 49 with ‘The Great Defector’, while Eminen’s collaboration with Dr Dre and 50 Cent, ‘Crack A Bottle’, fares much better at number 9.

Top 30 Compilations: The compilation chart has six entries from movie sound tracks, and special mention must go to Dirty Dancing, whose soundtrack has been in the Irish charts for an impressive 277 weeks and currently sits at number 21. Other movie soundtracks featured include Twilight, Slumdog Millionaire, and Mamma Mia. Urban Music is also popular with Clubland 14 and R&B Love Songs 2009 doing especially well inside the top 10. Love is in the air in the rest of the top 30 too, with most of the major labels releasing CD’s for Valentines Day. Some labels have also released compilations of Irish Music, like EMI’s 101 Irish Hits which remains in the Top 20. With the wealth of dance compilations on the market, some have to fall, and this week it’s the turn of The Anthems 09 and The Clubbers Guide 2009 to languish at the bottom.

Top Ten DVDs: Bruce Springsteen is a big hit in Ireland at the moment, with three entries on this chart. The multi-talented American is at number one with his Live in Dublin Concert, number three with VH1 Storytellers and number 9 with MTV’s ‘In Concert’ DVD. Irish acts haven’t been entirely forgotten though, with Westlife at number four with ‘Ten Years of Live at Croke Park’and folk band The Dubliners with a tribute to the Late Late Show, also in the top ten.

If this has wetted your appetite and you’re in the mood for some more Irish music trivia, then head over to www.irishcharts.ie to search through birthday and Christmas number 1’s from years gone by, find out who has had the longest stay in the charts, and many more interesting facts.

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