As predicted we had a much-needed changing of the guard at the top of the British charts this week as Dave blew away the competition with his new single Starlight. Even if We Don’t Talk About Bruno hadn’t been binned off to ACR status Dave would have been No.1, shifting enough downloads and enjoying enough streams to command a sale of just shy of 63,000 - the biggest opening week of any single so far in 2022.
Much has been made of the fact that Starlight is a solo production in every sense of the word. Dave is the first artist since Tones & I in late 2019 to be both sole performer and songwriter of a No.1 hit, and the first solo artist to single-handedly write AND produce their own chart-topping single since Calvin Harris did so with Summer back in 2014.
But is he though? Because, as plenty leapt to point out, Starlight is by no means a totally original composition. It is based heavily around the melody from the old jazz standard Fly Me To The Moon, a song that curiously has never before been a chart hit for anyone, not even Frank Sinatra with whom it is most closely associated. The song was written and first published by Bart Howard back in 1954, and first recorded that same year by Kaye Ballard. Meaning that Dave’s “solo” No.1 single is actually based on a piece of music first composed nearly 70 years ago. We’ve no idea what deal was cut with the publishers of the song to allow it to feature as the basis of Dave’s hit, but Bart Howard is not credited as co-composer of the track. Even though he clearly should be.
The “produced solo” part is a bit of a conceit as well. The metadata for the YouTube video kind of blows the cover by crediting Jo Caleb, Elisa Caleb & Jonny Leslie with “additional production” (the former two the jazz performers who arranged the Fly Me To The Moon interpolation and the latter name one of the staff at Sarm Music Village in West London).
Nitpicking aside, the track is more than worthy of its status as the No.1 single of the week, Dave’s second journey to the top of the UK charts.