Shorthand is useful. Just ask the director of Adele’s new video for “Someone Like You,” which premiered last night on MTV. Paris indicates love. Window-boxed black-and-white footage offers a retro vibe. And a heavy coat means it’s really cold. Voilà! Three essential characteristics of the appeal of “Someone Like You,” without taking any attention away from Adele’s performance. And she’s inarguably front-and-center in this simple clip, the majority of which is a single tracking shot of walking by the river. Don’t turn away just because it’s simple, though?you’ll miss the last minute, a flashback, told in a single 360° pan, to the moment when the song’s object leaves Adele behind in a coffee-shop. This in itself could have made a great concept for the video…not that we don’t understand the reasoning behind keeping it simple. It matches the song.
Adele doesn’t need a music video to hit #1?she accomplished it with a single VMA performance?but that’s not to say she didn’t want a video. In fact, “Someone Like You” has a Jake Nava-directed clip set to premiere Thursday at 7:56PM ET/PT on MTV. The sneak peak, above, is a fairly straightforward affair?a slightly distressed black-and-white clip of a slightly distressed Adele, walking on a road alongside the Seine. The clip doesn’t quite reach the song’s bridge, so where the video will go from here is a bit of a mystery, but the sneak certainly suits the song. Tune in on Thursday for the rest of “Someone Like You.” Read more…
Top 40 has always been a notoriously fickle radio format, but ever since the teen-pop explosion of the late nineties, the average age of its artists has seemed to skew ever younger. Career longevity has come to mean ultimately appealing to listeners outside the Top 40 market. The exception that proves this rule is Britney Spears, whose “I Wanna Go” tops Billboard‘s Pop Songs chart this week, thus setting a record of 12 years, seven months and four days between first and last #1 appearances on the Top 40 airplay chart. (Her first appearance was “…Baby One More Time” the week of Feb. 20, 1999.)
The Pop Songs chart only launched the week of October 3, 1992, though. Would another artist hold the longevity record were the chart to have existed earlier? Not Madonna: her first #1 single was “Like a Virgin” in late 1983, and her last Pop Songs #1 was “Take A Bow” on March 25, 1995. (Like we said: Top 40 is fickle!) The Beatles‘ run of “She Loves You” to “The Long and Winding Road” only lasted seven years. Even Michael Jackson couldn’t beat Britney’s record, unless we’re sorely mistaken about the top 40 airplay “Ben” got.
The only artist who could challenge Britney is the one who previously held the record: Mariah Carey. 11 years, nine months, and 21 days elapsed between her first and most recent Pop Songs #1s (“Hero” and “Shake It Off,” respectively). However, presuming that her breakout smash “Vision of Love” would have topped the Pop Songs chart, her record would have been in the range of 15 years and two or three months. Britney would need a hit in May 2014 to top that notional peak?but that hardly seems outside the realm of possibility. Britney Spears may still be under thirty, but her Video Vanguard Award at this year’s VMAs was hardly a premature recognition.
The VMAs helped Adele set a chart record, too?her Hot 100-topping “Someone Like You” made the biggest-ever jump to #1 (up from #27) that wasn’t assisted by the market release of a single. Granted, any song available for digital download is a potential single, but any sales boost for the song was due not to sudden availability but to her vocal performance at the awards ceremony, accompanied only by a piano. That in itself is a Hot 100 first: Gary Trust at Billboardchecked the archives and found that no piano-and-vocal-only song had topped the charts in the over 53-year history of the Hot 100.
After leaping from #19 to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart last week, Adele’s “Someone Like You” might be gearing up to follow in the footsteps of her first single, “Rolling In The Deep.” And while we wait for the UK songbird to deliver what’s rumored to be a stunning music video for 21’s second single, we can sit back and watch as covers for the song start piling up. Whereas “Rolling in the Deep” got love from the likes of John Legend, Mike Posner, Gwyneth Paltrow (via Glee), and even a military band, it appears the only famous person to touch “Someone Like You” is the “Look At Me Now”-covering YouTube sensation Karmin, until now!
Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 17-year-old daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston took to the interwebs on Saturday to record her own version of Adele’s emotional, longing-laced ballad. Singing a capella, the teenager showed that she comes from good, talented stock by not butchering the song—it’s virtually impossible to come close to meeting Adele’s vocals—but Bobbi Kristina demonstrated both solid breath control and a sweet smile from what appears to be her somewhat-messy bedroom. By no means is this version sonically mind-blowing, but it’s nice to know that, even amidst her mother’s rehab-related turmoil, young B.K. isn’t afraid to show that the good qualities of the apple don’t fall too incredibly far from the tree. That being said, we’re still somewhat partial to Adele’s Unplugged version of the song, and obviously look forward to seeing who’s next to hop on this one!
The Spring of Adelealmost became the Summer of Adele, and get ready, ’cause we may well be heading into the Autumn of Adele. Thanks to burgeoning radio support, and a boost in already unceasing sales (thanks in particular to her performance of the song at the 2011 Video Music Awards), “Someone Like You” became her second #1 single from 21 this week.
Adele’s first single from the album, the now nine-month-old “Rolling In The Deep,” is still in the top 20, but after spending April in the top ten and May and June at #1, it spent the rest of the summer ever-so-slowly receding from the chart peak, and continuing to sell even as radio has backed off its support in favor of the new single. Lil Wayne may have shifted nearly a million units this past week, but on the singles chart, Adele is still wearing the crown. It remains to be seen whether “Someone Like You” will continue her reign. The fan favorite from 21 was an obvious choice for follow-up single, but does it have the staying power of “Rolling In The Deep”? Will other pop songs have to settle for second place this fall? Revisit her VMA performance below, and let us know what you think in the comments! Read more…
For the last 14 weeks, we’ve been tracking the race to see which track would become this year’s Song Of The Summer. Since people consume music in so many different ways these days, our goal was to put together a democratic formula that compared how a group of over 70 songs performed across five of the primary channels that people frequently use to listen to their favorite jams: the Billboard Hot 100 (radio play & sales), the iTunes charts (pure sales), Last.fm scrobbles (listening on computer and mobile devices), the YouTube music charts (streams) and, of course, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. Each week, we tracked how our group of competitors fared in each of these different platforms, and then added up the results.
So, without any further ado, we are psyched to announce that Katy Perry has taken home the first place prize in VH1’s first annual Song Of The Summer competition! When the summer began, it looked like Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” was going to be an unstoppable force, but as soon as Katy dropped her 80s-tastic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” video during the week of June 27th, she dominated the countdown from there on out. Katy was gracious enough to film an quick speech for us while she accepted our totally awesome Song Of The Summer trophy, which we’ve got for you above.
For you completists, here is our final Song Of The Summer countdown chart (that is, until Memorial Day 2012 rolls around!). And you’re on Spotify, you can subscribe to our VH1 Song Of The Summer 2011 playlist and re-live the summer whenever you want.
Adele‘s banner year continues with a banner week in British press. She’s on the cover of the September 2011 British Vogue, which hits UK newsstands on Thursday, and though she skipped the red carpet and won’t be performing, she’s at the ceremony for tonight’s 2011 Mercury Prize, which she could very well win. All this acclaim apparently hasn’t done anything for her stage fright, though. In the Vogue interview, she reveals the extent of her pre-show anxiety: “I puke quite a lot before going on stage.”
She is quick to clarify that it isn’t merely performing that has her jittery (“I s?t myself before everything”) but nevertheless insists that throwing up eases her mind: “The bigger the freak-out, the more I enjoy the show!” With this level of performance anxiety, it’s a relief, at least, that she continues not to worry about her body image (no matter how often interviewers raise the specter of it). “I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, …and I don’t want that in my life,” she tells the magazine. Despite a brief romance in May, she insists to the magazine that she hasn’t time for a relationship. “I do get massively distracted when I’ve got someone in my life, which I can’t afford to do right now.”
One thing that may be keeping her busy: recording the latest James Bond theme song. On Saturday she appeared on the debut episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, and Vulture reports that the host got the singer to all but confirm that she would be recording a Bond theme in November for next year’s installment in the film franchise.
[Cover Image: British Vogue; Performance Image: Getty Images]
We’re going to announce this summer’s winner here on the VH1 Blog on Tuesday, but before we do that, we’d love to find out what YOU, the VH1 audience, felt was this year’s Song Of The Summer. What song did you jam the most on the beach? Which track was blasting when you put your ragtop down so your hair can blow? What jam got you and your friends pumped up for a night out on the town? Vote as many times as you like in our poll below. (Oh, and congrats to You Oughta Know artist Foster The People for being only the third song all summer long to hold the top spot in our countdown with their zeitgeisty smash, “Pumped Up Kicks”!)
It’s not like we needed another reason to love Adele, but she gave us one anyway. During a recent show in Las Vegas, Adele revealed that her post-show routine involves watching Basketball Wives in her hotel room. We can totally get on board with that!