Archives for March 2007

Bloc Party - 'I Still Remember'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:16 UK time, Saturday, 31 March 2007

Bloc PartyCHARTBLOG MOTTO No.233: It is very, very hard to dislike a song which contains the lyric "we left our trousers by the canal and our fingers, they almost touched". Write that on your exercise book, and you'll go a long way.

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Win Duff Stuff!

Fraser McAlpine | 15:16 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2007

Hilary DuffYeah, that's right, we're still VERY excited to have got Hilary Duff to pose with Fuzzy Felt, which means that it doesn't take much provocation to drag out the pictures again (and if you missed our amazing fuzzy interview, click here for a recap...).

But that's not why I've asked you all here today. No. I've asked you all here today to find out if you'd like to win a signed photo of Hilary, plus a copy of her new album 'Dignity' (we've got 10 to give away, y'see). You WOULD? Brilliant! Then read on...

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Muse - 'Invincible'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:13 UK time, Friday, 30 March 2007

MuseImagine for a second that you're not listening to a popular song, you are instead a hunter, and you're wandering through the undergrowth in search of some helpless animal (or, if you're a vegetarian, nomadic sprout) for your dinner. So far, your search has been fruitless, but you've just spotted some tracks, and they're fresh.

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Song-Stats, Or How To Have A No.1 Hit

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:47 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2007

Pop experts have devoted years of painstaking research into just what it is which makes a hit record stand out from other songs, and to be honest, they often talk an awful lot of cack, using words like 'hooks', 'formula', 'vocal presence', 'phrasing' and whatnot. So, it's probably about time we cleared this thing up once and for all.

chartgraph.gif

As this graph shows, hit records occur when more people buy a copy of one particular song than any other song in a given period (usually one week). The way in which these songs can be bought has changed dramatically over the years, but the process is pretty much the same. More sales = a bigger hit.

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Klaxons - 'Gravity's Rainbow'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:24 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2007

klaxons_100.jpgPicture the scene, it's a hot afternoon in the advanced maths class and 'Sir' has decided to lighten the mood by putting the radio on.

Sir: Now class, listen to this song for a moment. As you can see, it's a nice, snappy, upbeat little number, with an urgent piano, uh, motif, and strident drum-work. Listen class, can you hear how - in this breakdown section - the guitar seems to fold in on itself in a very...well...can anyone think of the right word for what the guitar does?

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Siobhan Donaghy - Spookababe

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:32 UK time, Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Siobhan Donaghy

It's always nice when someone you've admired from afar turns out to live up to your expectations when you actually get talking to them, innit?

I spoke to Siobhan Donaghy recently. She's the girl who co-founded the Sugababes while still at school, then quit after their first album, to be replaced by Heidi Range. She then released a solo album, which was very good, and everyone said so, but it didn't sell in Suga-quantities so she and her record label parted company.

Which, in normal showbiz tales, would be the end of the story. But Siobhan just kept tinkering away at her tunes, coming up with a strange new brew which is part frostypop, part gothic shiver and part wafty ghost noises. And now she's got a new record label and a new album 'Ghosts'.

This time can everyone just blimming BUY the thing? Thanks...

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Timbaland ft Justin Timberlake & Nelly Furtado - 'Give It To Me'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:59 UK time, Wednesday, 28 March 2007

TimbalandSome people trouble themselves with Hegelian dialectics, others with the concept of freedom. Me, I'm most concerned with what happens to me every time Timbaland releases a record, especially if it's got a whiff of Furtado and Timberlake on it. Whatever it is, it is VERY RUDE.

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How To Destroy...Oasis

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:19 UK time, Tuesday, 27 March 2007

How To Destroy Oasis

NOTE: Please don't sneak up behind Noel Gallagher and attack him with a conker. He'll almost definitely be very unhappy if he catches you, and he may even set Liam on you. BUT, should you ever be trapped on a desert island with Noel, and he needs to be put of out his misery due to a lack of guitars or something. This little tip MIGHT come in handy...OK?

Meck ft. Dino - 'Feels Like Home'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:20 UK time, Tuesday, 27 March 2007

MeckIf you were wishing to blend a dance smoothie out of all of the best left-of-centre (cough) 'banging tunes' (*blush*) which have tickled the feet of a dance happy nation over the past 20 years, it would probably sound bloody awful.

BUT, if you took a pipetteful of your noxious mixture, and used it as the basic DNA of a brand new song, and then roped in a singer who couldn't be more like Bernard Sumner out of New Order (ask your permanently bliss-addled uncle) if he actually WAS Bernard Sumner out of New Order, well...it would STILL sound bloody awful...but not a million miles away from how this song sounds. A song which is NOT bloody awful.

Still with me? Keen for more? Righto....

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Marshall Mathers And His Marital Matters

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:52 UK time, Monday, 26 March 2007

eminem_banner.jpg

There are times when showbiz is just the funnest place in the entire world. And not just those times when bad things are happening to people whose work is not to your personal taste either (although, those times are often quite a laugh too).

No, the BEST fun you can get out of showbiz is when a star spends their entire life behaving in a certain way to everyone else in the entire world, and then when someone behaves like that towards them, they can't take it.

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My Chemical Romance - 'I Don't Love You'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:35 UK time, Monday, 26 March 2007

MCRFor a band with as rabidly keen a fanbase as MCR, it's probably not the brilliant-est idea in the world to make any kind of critical judgement on a web-page with a comments box on it. In the same way that trying to redecorate the inside of a wasp's nest with bee-flavoured spray paint is not a clever thing to do.

So, before I stick my head above the castle battlements and put my enormous pink top hat on - the one supporting a great big target, and the words 'SHOOT ME HERE' in neon above it - can I just quickly state that MCR, uh, TOADLY RULE, and DO NOT SUCK, and stuff...yeah?

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Chart Report - 25/03/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 20:05 UK time, Sunday, 25 March 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  1 PROCLAIMERS ft. B POTTER & A PIPKIN 'I'M GONNA BE (500 MILES)' Official Site
  2 SUGABABES vs GIRLS ALOUD 'WALK THIS WAY' Official Site
  3 AVRIL LAVIGNE 'GIRLFRIEND' Official Site
  4 GWEN STEFANI ft. AKON 'THE SWEET ESCAPE' Official Site
  5 ALEX GAUDINO ft. CRYSTAL WATERS 'DESTINATION CALABRIA' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

It's a shock isn't it? A song so popular with the charity-raising public that it has entered the Top 40 TWICE - original version at No.26, see - shoots to No.1, after getting to No.3 last week just on one DAY'S sales alone. Who. Could. Have. Seen. It. Coming?

Not that it's not a cause for celebration, pop songs as good as this do not come along every day, otherwise we'd be bored of them. And we're clearly not, as JK and Joel discovered when they talked to Charlie Reid, the Proclaimer with the guitar...

Listen to the Radio 1 Chart Show interview...

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Little Man Tate - 'This Must Be Love'

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:07 UK time, Sunday, 25 March 2007

Little Man TateFor all their flint-eyed, curtain-twitching lyrical precision, the Arctic Monkeys do have a weak spot in their armour. Apart from the gorgeous - but still fairly damning - 'Mardy Bum', Alex Turner rarely seems to really put his own feelings into his songs. Which means that listening to the Monkeys can occasionally feel like sitting on a bench in town, watching people go by, and making snap judgements about what they are like as they pass.

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Ciara - 'Like A Boy'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:02 UK time, Saturday, 24 March 2007

CiaraThe art of the arresting opening line in a song is one of the hardest to master in all of the many songwriting disciplines. Think of JT shouting out "I'm bringing sexy back!" and all heads suddenly turning his way, or the Sugababes beginning 'Ugly' with the words "when I was seven they said I was strange". It sends sparks flying in your brain, and draws you further in.

With that in mind, It's hard to fault a song which boasts an opening lyric of "pull up your pants". Even with the transatlantic translation where pants means trousers, it's STILL a killer way to get attention.

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Awkward Times With The Academy Is...

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:35 UK time, Friday, 23 March 2007

The Academy Is...

*Sigh* It could have been SO. GOOD. We were offered the chance to interview William from The Academy Is... about their strident new single 'We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands', a chance we naturally jumped at. Now, a song title like that does tend to lead to mischievous questions, don't you think? That's right, it does.

Unfortunately, three things were acting against this being the best interview of all time ever. These were:
Thing 1: I had a cold and was not at my best.
Thing 2: There was an odd moment at the beginning where we were both listening to a silent phone line, waiting for the other to speak.
Thing 3: William didn't seem to get the link between his song about messy hands, and actual messy hands AT ALL.

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Avril Lavigne - 'Girlfriend' - THE BIG DEBATE

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:46 UK time, Friday, 23 March 2007

Avril - 'Up Yours, H8-erz!'

Sometimes a song comes along which divides the nation neatly into two camps, people who love it and people who hate it. Such a song is Avril Lavigne's comeback anthem 'Girlfriend'.

So, rather than try and cover the full range of opinion with a wishy-washy review which attempts to see both sides and fails to truly engage with the debate, two reviews have been commissioned - one keen, one mean (or to put it into 'Avrilspeak', one for the r8-erz and one for the h8-erz). And none of that cute journalistic cack where people are forced to adopt an opinion just so they can write about it. These are REAL FEELINGS being aired, in all of their gory glory.

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Christina Aguilera - 'Candyman'

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:37 UK time, Thursday, 22 March 2007

ChristinaSometimes it doesn't do to think too much when you're listening to music. Like there's no point in worrying about why a modern-day pop star feels the need to release a song which is so transparently in debt to the vocal groups your great-grandma would have shaken a gravy-coloured leg to. Or why, having decided to send out this musical homage, she would see fit to fill it with extremely suggestive lyrics about a man who can make "panties drop", and something about a cherry that I'm not sure I want to understand...

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You're Too Sexy!

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:29 UK time, Thursday, 22 March 2007

Alex GaudinoIt must be HELLISH being a dance producer boffin type. You spend your life travelling from nightclub to nightclub with a box of records, hoping TO GOD that no-one wanders up to you asking for Mika, Take That, Abba or (even worse) some brand-new cutting edge 'choon' which has only been played once, in a club on the other side of the world, but which is so AMAZING it instantly makes all of your best records/productions seem like Crazy Frog b-sides by comparison.

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How To Re-Make Music, By Mark Ronson

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:17 UK time, Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Mark Ronson

You may not recognise Mark Ronson's face, but if you're a fan of modern beat music, chances are you've got at least one of his productions in your CD collection or iPod. He's the man who, among MANY other things, helped Amy Winehouse write 'Rehab', worked up 'Littlest Things' with Lily Allen, and changed Radiohead's 'Just' from a skull-bashing guitar apocalypse into a brass-heavy funk parpathon.

So, it seemed fair to ring the man up with a pile of questions about how it is that he does what he does, and what he looks for when he remakes some of the biggest songs in the history of SONG ITSELF.

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Lemar - 'Tick Tock' (Cardinal Beats Retro Mix)

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:00 UK time, Wednesday, 21 March 2007

LemarAs a bit of a fan of Lemar’s recent contributions to the world of pop, I did the clever thing and bought the album. This is why I originally wondered if ‘Tick Tock’ is strong enough to stand alone, as a grown up singleton. Oh sure, it's a favourite on the album, with its playful swaggering and general cuteness, but as a single, maybe a remix would be the way to go?

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How To Destroy...Keane

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:33 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2007

How To Destroy Keane

NOTE: Not that ChartBlog is suggesting that anyone would WANT to destroy Keane, or that blowing Tom Chaplin's face up would be an acceptable thing to do. But should you find yourself in a position where you HAD to destroy him, well, now you've some idea of how to go about it. BBC Public Service...BEST IN THE WORLD, see?

Gossip - Fact + Comment = NEWS

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Fraser McAlpine | 13:31 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2007

The News Snake

Sometimes reading a day's collection of pop news is like watching one great big lumbering elephant lollop about while lots of tiny little mice run about underneath, dragging their (cough) TALES behind them. Sometimes it is like a team of gossip dolphins all fighting over one whisperfish. Today, the individual news stories have all fused together to become one long snake, and, as our second little anecdote reveals, it seems to be a pretty venomous one...

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Jamelia - 'No More'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:13 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2007

JameliaAn insight into the workings of a ChartBlog reviewer's mind: when I heard that this was to be the next single from the vastly underrated 'Walk With Me', my response was something along the lines of "WTF, Jamelia?" After all, when you've already released the really good sample-based song from your album to widespread public indifference, what's the wisdom behind releasing the lesser sample-based song that kind of grates a little bit?

Windows Media: Realmedia:
High / Low High / Low

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We're Av-ing It LARGE!

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:04 UK time, Monday, 19 March 2007

Avril and her backing singer

Does anyone else remember a time before Avril Lavigne? I wonder what the world can have been like, all those days ago? I mean, can you picture an era when Avril's return to the world of music was merely idle gossip, coming from a hint of a whisper of a rumour? No, me neither. And now it's like she's taken over the world...OK, the ChartBlog world...but that's the same thing, right?

RIGHT?

Anyway, yesterday Avril came to the Radio 1 studios to rock out in front of a tiny audience. One of whom was ChartBlog reporter Sophie W. Here's her special report:

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The Twang - 'Wide Awake'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:49 UK time, Monday, 19 March 2007

The TwangSo, the pressure's on. 2007's great indie hope has released their debut single. Backs of necks are being braced for the goosebump apocalypse which must surely follow, bloggy fingers are being stretched in training so that the words "OMG!" and "AWESOME!" can be bashed out at record speed whenever the song is on the radio, and tattoo parlours are practising the logo in preparation for a drunken rush after concerts.

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Chart Report - 18/03/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 19:48 UK time, Sunday, 18 March 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  1 SUGABABES vs GIRLS ALOUD 'WALK THIS WAY' Official Site
  2 GWEN STEFANI ft. AKON 'THE SWEET ESCAPE' Official Site
  3 PROCLAIMERS FT B POTTER & A PIPKIN 'I'M GONNA BE (500 MILES)' Official Site
  4 TAKE THAT 'SHINE' Official Site
  5 THE FRAY 'HOW TO SAVE A LIFE' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

Two new entries in the Top 5, both released with the express aim of raising as much cash as possible for people who are less fortunate than the likes of you or I. One has been available as a download and CD single for a week, and rightly went straight to No.1, and the other has been available as a download since Friday, and very nicely got to No.3.

It's fair to say next week's No.1 is going to be...what's the expression?...ah yes...HOTLY CONTESTED.

(Funny how you don't hear anyone complaining that the Peter Kay song has spoiled the purity of the Proclaimers original, isn't it?)

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Maximo Park - 'Our Velocity'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:56 UK time, Sunday, 18 March 2007

Maximo ParkAccording to the Maximo Park website, excitement surrounding the release of 'Our Velocity' has reached fever pitch. I had no idea. There was a bug going round our office and, to be honest, I've been sleeping pretty badly and finding it painful to swallow, but I thought it was something to do with the air conditioning.

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A Touch Of Frost

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Fraser McAlpine | 20:33 UK time, Saturday, 17 March 2007

Liam FrostPicture the scene: It's half-past four on a weekday afternoon. All around the ChartBlog office people are working feverishly hard on their amazingly complicated jobs (don't snigger, I said you had to use your imagination, and so an office fully of people it shall be, OK?), and then suddenly the phone rings. It's one of folky-blokey Liam Frost's press people, and they want to know if I can interview their man right away, before he gets lonely.

Quick as a flash I say "Of COURSE!" and grab my trusty pad of massively clever questions. Only trouble is, in the rush to get to the phone, all of my massively clever questions fall to the floor and get crushed underfoot by the ChartBlog tea trolley...CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO STRIKE!

Only one thing can save the day now...but you'll have to read on to find out what...

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Kings Of Leon - 'On Call'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:49 UK time, Saturday, 17 March 2007

Kings Of LeonIt's all too easy to forget about the KoL and put 'em on the backseat of the indie bandwagon driven by the Arctics, Kaisers, and Franz. Truth be told, they're infinitely better than their British compatriots.

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The Avril Lavigne Story...

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:14 UK time, Friday, 16 March 2007

Avril

Once upon a time there was a lady called Avril, and she was a singer. As a singer, it was her job to try and bring the worlds of pop and punk rock a little closer together, and foster feelings of belonging and enjoyment in as wide a variety of young people as possible. She had a song about things which are Complicated, she had a song about dyslexia in young male skateboarders (or something), and everyone was very happy indeed.

Then she went away, and now she's back, and she's got a song about a 'Girlfriend' and it's probably better than any music has ever been ever. And to show it off, she's playing a concert for the Radio 1 Chart Show this Sunday. We've been running a big competition to find two Avril lookalikes to come along and see the show, and after HOURS of hot debate, we've picked the winners...

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Razorlight - 'Can't Stop This Feeling I've Got'

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:06 UK time, Friday, 16 March 2007

RazorlightThat Johnny Borrell, he's a right tricky character, ain't he? And he does love to play with our minds, like on this latest single here. 'Can't Stop This Feeling I've Got' is basically your good old fashioned love song, only instead of being in love with you, the listener, he's in love with that fella in his mirror, Johnny something...

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More Avril Pics

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:08 UK time, Friday, 16 March 2007

Here's another selection of the Avril Lavigne lookalikes we had in.

(not sure what this is all about? Click here)

Look, here's Charlotte Curtis!

charlotte_curtis.jpg

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Fergie ft. Ludacris - 'Glamorous'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:13 UK time, Friday, 16 March 2007

FergieAha, I was wondering how long this would take. After all, if you have a glitzeriffic music career, there's only a finite amount of time you can go before you release one of those records that goes "don't be fooled by the rocks that I got, can you pay my bills 'cos I'm still Mariah from the block in thrift-store hotpants and a three-dollar weave!. Y'know, the ones that go on to say "I'm still so real it hurts, and at night I cry, cry, cry in my lonely heart just like everyone else. Because I'm just like you! Don't be frightened! I'M HUMAN!"

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Stop The MADNESS!

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:34 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2007

take_that_banner.jpg

OK, I could get on board with the revival of Take That for a while there. It's always fun to catch up with old friends. And it's even more fun to watch elderly gentlemen attempting to do dance routines which would best suit teenagers, even if they're really fit (or Gary Barlow). And 'Shine' is a rare spark of light in a chart which is often dominated by dullness, bigness and shouting.

But, in the months since Gary, Mark, Tonto and Biggles first decided that their collective future was a lot brighter than their solo pasts had been, two things have happened which suggest that perhaps a line has been crossed...then reversed back over and crossed again...then moonwalked all over...then spat on.

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The Fratellis - 'Baby Fratelli'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:28 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2007

FratellisWhat's not to love about the Fratellis? They sing, they rock, they write amusing lyrics in a very clever way and they wouldn't look out of place in an episode of Scooby Doo. Taking all this into account, it would be easy to overlook the fact that musically they are also brilliant at writing ace pop singalong classics. But, hey, let's celebrate the whole kit and caboodle!

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Email Interview: The Sounds (Of Music)

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:57 UK time, Wednesday, 14 March 2007

The Sounds

Hey, what are you lot glaring at? This is a friendly pop blog, none of your indie scowling here, thank you very mu...oh it's YOU! Hey, everyone, it's the Sounds! The Sounds...this is everyone...

I know, they look like yet another grumpy bunch of indier-than-thou scensters with lots of ROCK ATTITUDE and no tunes, right? Nu-uh! They've got THE POP, and no mistake. Check out their single 'Tony The Beat', if you don't believe me...

Windows Media: Realmedia:
High / Low High

AND the band's drummer Fredrik agreed to undergo the Trial By Tedium which is the ChartBlog Email Questionnaire. Want to see how he did? Oh yes you DO!

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Not-World Un-Exclusive Dis-Premiere!

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:13 UK time, Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Look, here's the new video from the Arctic Monkeys. It's called 'Brianstorm', and if you listen to this with your headphones up really loud, the beginning bit will actually disintegrate your skull, leaving you with a wobbly head.

Have a hat ready, or there'll be trouble!

(PS: The song is digitally out on April 1st, and totally out on the 15th). Or you can just keep coming back here.

P Diddy ft Keyshia Cole - 'Last Night'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:23 UK time, Wednesday, 14 March 2007

P DiddyYou've got to love a song by the shy and retiring hip hop mogul and rap star P Diddy, in which he seems to have taken on board the fact that he is perhaps not the greatest rapper to ever rock a mic, and has taken up singing instead. But, being a collaborative sort of fella by nature, he still gives the greater portion of his own song over to someone who is far better at the singing thing than he is.

Humility? Self-awareness? Teamwork? This is P DIDDY we're talking about here, right?

Windows Media: Realmedia:
High / Low High / Low

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ChartBlog Readers Are THE BEST...

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:13 UK time, Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Earlier this week I asked for Avril Lavigne lookalikes, with the sweetener that the best two would each receive two guest passes to the special tiny little concert Avril is performing for the Radio 1 Chart Show . Wanna find out who won?

Go here...

Anyway OH MY GOD the standard of entries has been...well it's hard to define using mere words. Let's just say there are some ASTONISHING pictures in this blog posting, and that judging the 'best' two is going to be extremely hard work indeed.

That's not just me being nice, by the way, as you'll see from these examples...

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How To Destroy...Nelly Furtado

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:29 UK time, Tuesday, 13 March 2007

How To Destroy Nelly Furtado

NOTE: This is more of a tragic accident than an actual plan. And of course, any similarities to Nellys Furtado (or massive jungle cats) living or dead is entirely unintentional. Please don't try and attack pop stars with panthers, it's bad, OK?

James Morrison - 'Undiscovered'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:55 UK time, Tuesday, 13 March 2007

James MorrisonOh that's right, you'd like me to like this song, wouldn't you, James? You bung in a gospel choir and soaring Hammond organ, and then bellow like a moose with a freshly-hammered thumb, and you just expect me to roll over and let you musically tickle my belly, right? Yeah, well, think again!

Watch the 60 second clip (Windows Media only)

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Calvin Harris - Acceptable In Your Eighties

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:26 UK time, Monday, 12 March 2007

calvin_harris_banner.jpg

He might look comfortable wearing fly-glasses and being buried in a mound of oranges, but that doesn't mean that Calvin 'Acceptable In The '80s' Harris is immune to being weirded-out by strange things. Quite the reverse, in fact...

As I have discovered, all you really need to do is arrange to ring him for an interview, but cunningly visit the dentists just before it starts, so that your mouth is almost entirely numb and your face feels all flappy. Throw in a few questions about THE FUTURE, and you've got one confused popster on your hands...

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Girls Aloud Vs Sugababes - 'Walk This Way'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:16 UK time, Monday, 12 March 2007

Girls Aloud If a fairy dies every time you deny the existence of the little people, imagine what happens when you diss a charity single. I'll admit to you now, dear readers, I have serious reservations about this song. However, with the week I've had, I'm not sure I can take the karmic fall-out of airing the negatives.

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Chart Report - 11/03/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 20:09 UK time, Sunday, 11 March 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  1 TAKE THAT 'SHINE' Official Site
  2 GWEN STEFANI ft. AKON 'THE SWEET ESCAPE' Official Site
  3 KAISER CHIEFS 'RUBY' Official Site
  4 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE 'WHAT GOES AROUND...' Official Site
  5 THE FRAY 'HOW TO SAVE A LIFE' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

After the excitement of Take That taking the number one slot for the second time, this week's chart is all about consolidation. They're still there, the Kaisers are still doing well, Gwen's alright, the Fray are alright, and Justin T is doing marvellously, thank you.

Luckily, there's loads still to talk about further down in the chart...

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Good Charlotte - 'Keep Your Hands Off My Girl'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:11 UK time, Sunday, 11 March 2007

Good CharlotteThis reminds me of when I fancied one of those BN biscuits I used to like, you know – the ones with the smiley chocolate faces? When I did eventually track down a packet you can imagine my disappointment when I found that the darn things actually tasted nowhere near as good as I remembered... in fact they were pretty awful.

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Do Better Than This And See Avril Live!

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:35 UK time, Saturday, 10 March 2007

fake_avrils.jpg

To celebrate her return to pop life with the astonishingly good single 'Girlfriend', Avril is playing a VERY exclusive gig for the Radio 1 Chart Show at BBC Maida Vale studios in London, which is a very intimate setting and therefore only a few tickets are being given away. ChartBlog had two pairs.

Which we've now given away to the winners of our Avril lookalike competition. Wanna find out who won?

Go here...

Lily Allen - 'Shame For You' / 'Alfie'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:48 UK time, Saturday, 10 March 2007

Lily AllenWhat With the painful fall of grace from Britney, a long wait til Kylie's album, and the, ahem, tragic breakup of All Saints, the pop princess throne position is in dire need of being filled. Despite cracking comebacks from Sophie E-B and Gwen Stefani, we all know there's only one contender for the crown - Miss Lily Allen.

Windows Media: Realmedia:
High / Low High / Low

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What's That Coming Over Your Head...

Fraser McAlpine | 16:54 UK time, Friday, 9 March 2007

automatic_prize.jpg...Is it a T-shirt? Is it a T-SHIIIIRT? Could be!

Want to win this exciting pile of Automatic 'merch'? Two T-shirts (one for him, one for her...or possibly one for her and one for her nightie drawer, if she's single...or selfish), some badges, and a canvas bag to keep it all in?

Well, assuming you're happy wandering about with a canvas bag containing two T-shirts and some badges...here's how you do it.

First of all, you need to answer this question:

On which Radio 1 show did the Automatic play their cover of Kanye West's 'Gold Digger'?

Send your answer, your name and your address (please don't forget the address, otherwise, how could we send you the prize?) to chartblog@bbc.co.uk

That's it!

[Competition closes on March 30th 2007]

Read our interview with Pennie Automatic...

Nelly Furtado - 'Say It Right'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:03 UK time, Friday, 9 March 2007

Nelly FurtadoYou can always rely on Timberland for brilliance (apart from, maybe, his diddlings with Mel B), so we should all thank him for marking his territory all over this Nelly Furtado gem, so good it erases any memories we may have had of her 'I'm Like A Bird' days (good to see she's gotten over that one. After all, she was so wrong - there's definitely no irritating squawk nor beaky nose here, right?).

Watch a 60 second videoclip (Windows Media only)

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Classified Ads - 08/03/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:47 UK time, Thursday, 8 March 2007


-------------------
SONG-IMPROVAL SERVICE
-------------------
I've worked with them all.
From Snoop to Mozart
Could you be next?
You bring the tune,
I'll bring the sex lyrics.

Call Akon, anytime.

-------------------
FOR SALE:
WIGSAW PUZZLE
-------------------
5 million pieces
One careless lady owner
Guaranteed not to split

Call Money-Grabbing
LA Hair Salon
(Calls cost £1 per second)


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Enter Shikari - 'Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:24 UK time, Thursday, 8 March 2007

Enter ShikariPersonally, I blame that 'mashup' stuff...putting one tune to the music of another, and all that. It seems to have given the nation's youth a real taste for mixing musical sounds together in a haphazard fashion. Almost as if they have no idea that guitars ONLY go in either the indie or heavy metal categories, rave synths belong in dance clubs, grunting is only allowed in hip hop, funk, and heavy metal, and wailing in an emotional fashion is strictly for goths, emo-goths, emos, folkies, nu-folkies, emo-folkies, singer-songwriters, soulsters, nu-soulsters, emo-soulsters and goth-emo-soul-folkies. But NO-ONE ELSE, OK?

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Hilary Duff: Felted Up!

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:54 UK time, Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Hilary DuffNo, this isn't some clever photoshopped picture, that IS Hilary Duff and she IS holding up a fuzzy felt picture of a lady's face. It's supposed to be a kind of self-portrait - Hilary Duff in the 1950s...or as we know her better, Amy Winehouse (that's the kind of fuzzy felt which can REALLY absorb liquid, eh?).

Now, you're all thinking, 'why is Hilary Duff playing with fuzzy felt?', and I can't say I blame you. But there's only one way to find out more...READ ON...

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Biffy Clyro - 'Saturday Superhouse'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:15 UK time, Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Biffy ClyroIf you believe the music press and have no imagination whatsoever, this band - three piece, rockers, gravelly singing, acidic guitars - are 'The New Nirvana' and are therefore about to become a very big deal indeed (this is after a few years of being a medium-sized deal. They were a fillet burger meal deal before then, but no-one really knew about it).

Windows Media: Realmedia:
High / Low High / Low

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Secret Shots - Up Yours, Bumface!

Fraser McAlpine | 16:01 UK time, Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Up Yours, Bumface!

Click on the envelope to launch the Secret Shots popup...

Calvin Harris - 'Acceptable In The '80s'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:49 UK time, Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Calvin HarrisI listened to this a few times first of all just to make sure it wasn't all about the glorification of shoulder pads, which it thankfully isn't. Just as well, because no matter how musically inspired it might have been, there's no way I could have got behind a song with such a frankly flawed inner message as that.

Windows Media:
High / Low

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How To Destroy...The Kooks

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:36 UK time, Tuesday, 6 March 2007

How To Destroy The Kooks

NOTE: Not that ChartBlog is suggesting that anyone would WANT to destroy Luke, or that destroying him would be an acceptable thing to do. But should you find yourself in a position where you HAD to destroy him, well, now you've some idea of how to go about it. BBC Public Service...BEST IN THE WORLD, see?

The Robbie Issue...

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:14 UK time, Monday, 5 March 2007

Robbie WilliamsSimon Cowell, a man who is not known for his ability to offer kind words of advice to people when they're having a hard time, has been telling the press that he has very little sympathy for either Britney Spears or Robbie Williams, because their lives are hardly the toughest in the world.

His exact quote is this: "I mean Britney is not working in a coal mine is she? You are whisked to the studio in a very large limo, you are flown around in private jet, everyone will agree with you and physically making an album is a doddle."

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Scissor Sisters - 'She's My Man'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:34 UK time, Monday, 5 March 2007

Scissor SistersSome songs seem to only exist as a direct challenge to reviewers. Not that I'm saying writing your thoughts about popular music is a particularly challenging thing to do, it's just that when there's one really massive and obvious thing to say about a song, the problem becomes how best to do it.

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Chart Report - 04/03/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 20:50 UK time, Sunday, 4 March 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  1 TAKE THAT 'SHINE' Official Site
  2 KAISER CHIEFS 'RUBY' Official Site
  3 GWEN STEFANI ft. AKON 'THE SWEET ESCAPE' Official Site
  4 MIKA 'GRACE KELLY' Official Site
  5 THE FRAY 'HOW TO SAVE A LIFE' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

You've got to love it when a song which transparently deserves to be a chart-topper actually tops the charts. And so it is with 'Shine' - a song which, if it were a friend, would be your bestest friend in the whole wide world, and if it were an enemy, it would be the kind of enemy you secretly still like, and actually would rather be mates with if you could just get past all the awkwardness...

But how have Take That themselves taken the news of their second post-resurrection No.1? Well, there's only one way to find out...the Radio 1 Chart Show way...

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Joss Stone - 'Tell Me 'Bout It'

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:11 UK time, Sunday, 4 March 2007

Joss StoneAbsence from the land of pop is a funny thing. Sometimes it's not until someone makes a comeback that you realise how much you missed them. Conversely, often it's not until someone comes back that you realise just how much you didn't really take full advantage of their being gone. Sigh. We're missing the Jossless days already.

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Justin Timberlake - 'What Goes Around'

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:09 UK time, Saturday, 3 March 2007

Justin TimberlakeIf you believe the tabloids, JT's gone straight out of the arms of Cameron and straight into locking lips with gorgeous-face Scarlett Johanson. In which case, we'd expect this single to be a celebratory smugfest from El Trousersnake about his prowess as a slick lady warrior. Instead, it's a mournful tune about a relationship which is about to die on its arse. He don't want to think about it, don't want to talk about, but thankfully for us, he DOES want to sing about it.

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Camille Jones ft. Fedde Le Grand - ' The Creeps'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:50 UK time, Saturday, 3 March 2007

camille_jones_100.jpgI tell you what makes me laugh. You know that the only way to sell dance music for TV these days is to make a video as if plucked straight out of the imagination of the blokes who read Nuts magazine? Basically, it's ladies (lots of), they're not wearing a lot, and there's a sort of story which involves them raiding the dressing up box and being sexy. All good 'clean' harmless fun, right?

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Kaiser Chiefs: Peanut's Road Trip

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:05 UK time, Friday, 2 March 2007

Kaiser Chiefs

Travel...TRAVEL...Never has a six-letter word been as overloaded with expectation, hype and cack as this one. Some people travel to experience other cultures, some travel to find themselves, and they're looking in places they have never been to before. Weird. And then there's pop stars, who travel for a living. They travel thousands of miles just to get to WORK. These are people who think nothing of flying out to New York just to record themselves playing the maracas (it's the VIBE, MAAAN). That has to be the longest commute in the world.

So, given a ten-minute phone call with Peanut, the ever-chipper keyboard player out of the Kaiser Chiefs, ChartBlog launched a special investigation of what a band of educated fellows such as these finds to do to pass the time in those moments when staring out of the window loses its appeal...

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The Pigeon Detectives - 'The Romantic Type'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:47 UK time, Friday, 2 March 2007

The Pigeon DetectivesFive skinny boys in leather jackets, guitars, good hair, primal drum-beat...nope, it's not the Strokes and they're not playing 'Last Nite', this is a very different thing...kinda.

In the course of their duties, these Detectives have managed to use their fine sleuthing skills to pull together many different threads in order to solve the case. None from outside the indie sector, of course, but still, more than just the one.

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Old Pop Stars Never Die...

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:02 UK time, Thursday, 1 March 2007

Forgive me if some of you are already well aware of all of the information I'm about to reveal. Some of the finer details took a little time to sink in....

Hawkins and Brown

...so, have you seen who's up for this year's Eurovision Song Contest? The press version of events is all about how Justin Hawkins is now back from his personal drugs hell and performing a song called 'They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To' with a lady called Beverlei Brown, but if you look at the rest of the list, you'll see a few familiar names which are FAR more interesting...

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Union Of Knives - Art Attack

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:10 UK time, Thursday, 1 March 2007

Primavera (Spring)If I'm reading the 'target demographic' of the 'ChartBlog audience' right, some of you have studied art at some point, or are possibly studying art right now. So, when told that the experimental synth trio Union Of Knives (or Onion Of Knives, as they are known around these parts) have come up with a musical installation in response to a four-part series of enormous paintings, for the Tate Gallery, well, we can all get behind that, right? It's a valid idea, innit?

That's one of the paintings, by the way. It's called Primavera (Spring), it comes from an installation/sculpture/pile of paintings called Quattro Stagioni and it's by an artist who luxuriates under the name of Cy Twombly.

Let's just pause awhile to enjoy that name, shall we? Cy Twombly...

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Unklejam - 'Love Ya'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:33 UK time, Thursday, 1 March 2007

UnklejamHey there snoozy...feeling a little tired are we? You're in a nice warm bedroom/classroom/office, your mind has started to wander....and now your spine is going all melty and your eyelids are heading south...what harm could a little nap do? Mm?

Well, let's put this question to the ULTIMATE TEST, shall we? Click on any of the media links below...right...NOW tell me you're sleepy...

Windows Media:
High / Med / Low

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