The Thieves of England alone slip a No.1 release chart with their first US single, as “Trip Switch” rises 3-1 on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs chart (dated March 26).
The quintet’s song is the third consecutive No.1 news from a UK group, as it dethrones Foals’ “Mountain at My Gates”, down 1-2 after a week at the top. Coldplay’s two-week “Adventure of a Lifetime” topper preceded Foals’ No. 1. (After commissioning Coldplay’s graphic, “Mess Around” from Cage the Elephant, which had led for a week before “Adventure,” came back for two more weeks before the foals were crowned.)
The last time three consecutive new No. 1 alternative songs were by non-US artists? This race started exactly 20 years ago today, on the map of March 16, 1996, when the Canadiens Alanis Morissette reigned for three weeks with “Ironic” and was followed by a five-week run at No.1 for British Oasis, with “Champagne Supernova”, and four weeks for “Salvation” from Irish band The Cranberries.
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Lately, the withdrawal of US artists in favor of foreign talent on Alternative Songs reflects the dominance of global hits on the Billboard Hot 100, where a record nine consecutive No. 1s by non-US artists took the top spot for a record as well. 36 consecutive weeks.
On Alternative Songs, however, three leaders in a row by non-Americans don’t even come close to the record. The brand? A huge 14 in a row from November 11, 1989 to July 7, 1990 (for a total of 35 consecutive weeks):
Artist, Title, Weeks at No. 1, Country
Ian McCulloch, “Fier to Fall” (four weeks) (England)
Kate Bush, “Love and Anger” (three) (England)
The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Blues from a Gun” (three) (Scotland)
The Psychedelic Furs, “House” (three) (England)
Peter Murphy, “Cuts You Up” (seven) (England)
Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (one) (Ireland)
Midnight Oil, “Blue Sky Mine” (one) (Australia)
The Church, “Metropolis” (a) (Australia)
Depeche Mode, “Enjoy the silence (three) (England)
Sinead O’Connor, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (a) (Ireland)
Midnight Oil, “Forgotten Years” (a) (Australia)
Sundays, “This is where the story ends” (a) (England)
Depeche Mode, “Politics of Truth” (a) (England)
World Party, “Way Down Now” (five) (England)
The United States reclaimed the top spot when Concrete Blonde of Los Angeles conducted with “Joey” for four weeks beginning July 14, 1990.
In 2016, “Switch” simultaneously hit new highs of No. 6 on Rock Airplay (7.5 million weekly audiences, up 14%, according to Nielsen Music) and No. 22 on Hot Rock Songs. He also returned to Mainstream Rock Songs at his peak No.37.
Signed to RCA Records, Nothing But Thieves released their self-titled debut album on February 5 in the US. The ensemble reached 11th place for alternative albums and 15th place for best rock albums.