The Beatles' hits albums denied number one (again)

The Beatles
The Beatles in 1965 (L-R): Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison

The Beatles' hopes of correcting an historic blip in their chart record have been scuppered by pop superstar Taylor Swift.

The Fab Four released new versions of their Red and Blue greatest hits albums last week, hoping that one of them would top the UK album chart.

But Swift wasn't ready to let go, with her pop opus 1989 (Taylor's Version) claiming the crown for a third week.

The Beatles faced the same situation when the Red and Blue albums first came out in 1973. Back then, David Bowie's Aladdin Sane denied them the number one.

This week, the two records end up in exactly the same chart positions as they did 50 years ago.

The Red Album (technically called The Beatles 1962–1966) is at number three and the Blue Album (The Beatles 1967–1970) is at two.

Taylor Swift
Swift also has a Red album, which topped the chart in both 2012 and 2021

But The Beatles are still the act with the most UK number one albums of all time, with 15.

Rolling Stone called the original Red and Blue compilations "eight of the most-perfect album sides ever devised".

The re-released versions feature all-new mixes of their biggest hits, alongside the "new" track Now And Then, based on a 1970s John Lennon demo.

The albums have also been boosted with 20 additional tracks, including Twist And Shout, Taxman, Dear Prudence and Blackbird.

But the band were unable to depose Taylor Swift, whose re-recorded version of 1989 has become one of the year's biggest-selling albums in the space of just three weeks.

Jack Harlow
Jack Harlow scores his first UK number one single this week

Elsewhere, dance kingpins Chase & Status score their fifth top 10 album with 2 Ruff, Vol. 1.

Assisted by the massive hit singles Disconnect (with Becky Hill) and Baddadan (with Bou, Flowdan, IRAH, Trigga and Takura), the album makes its debut at number four.

And South African pop star Babyqueen earns a new entry at number five with her debut album, Quarter Life Crisis.

In the singles chart, Jack Harlow's viral smash Lovin On Me races straight to number one, giving the rapper his first chart-topper in the UK.

Based on a sample of the obscure 1995 R&B song Whatever by Cadillac Dale, it is also the week's most-streamed track, with 5.1 million plays.

The American star teased snippets of the song for weeks on social media, creating a pent-up demand when it finally landed on streaming services last week.

His success leaves Dua Lipa in runner's-up position with Houdini, the first track from her forthcoming album.

A club-friendly sliver of psychedelic pop, Lipa says the song kicks off an album-length narrative about the joys of being single, and acts as a bridge between the disco vibes of her last record, Future Nostalgia, and her new material.

"It really felt like it encapsulated everything that’s to come, even though everything that’s to come is so different. It just felt like a fun way to start.”

Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa launched her new single with fan events in London and New York (pictured)

Elsewhere in the singles chart, Noah Kahan's Stick Season completes a four-month journey to the top five.

The pensive ballad initially found success on TikTok over the summer, but it didn't catch fire until pop star Olivia Rodrigo covered it in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge last month.

The song made its chart debut at 69 shortly afterwards, and reaches number five this week.

Meanwhile, Christmas songs are starting to make their annual climb up the countdown.

After entering the Top 40 last week, Wham's Last Christmas jumps 11 places to number 26, while Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You rises 12 places to number 28.

Dua didn’t have the magic touch - but who was Houdini?

Harry Houdini
Harry Houdini prepares for a prison escape illusion

Dua Lipa told Radio 1's Greg James that her new single is about "ghosting", so it makes sense that it's named after Hungarian-American escape artist Harry Houdini, who had a habit of vanishing when people least expected.

Fans noticed that some of the promo artwork for the single showed her with a small key in her mouth - referencing the (presumed) secret behind some of his daring stunts.

Adding another layer, the photo had similarities to Kate Bush's album The Dreaming, which also featured a song called Houdini.

They aren't the only ones who’ve mentioned the illusionist in their music - you might remember the track Houdini by KSI in 2020, which also failed to reach top spot.

But who was Houdini?

We asked Harry Nardi, a 24-year-old escapologist who was named after the performer.

"He was a magician, escape artist and he did endurance stunts, so he kind of did every sort of genre of magic as well," Harry told BBC Newsbeat.

According to Harry - Houdini, who was born in 1872 - did some "crazy, crazy things", and inspired modern-day magicians like David Blaine and Dynamo.

"He did a lot of chain escapes, and things like that. And the endurance things, I mean, you won't catch me doing it, but getting hit in the stomach repeatedly."

Although Dua hasn’t topped the charts this week, Harry says Houdini is long overdue some recognition in popular culture.

“He's played such a big part in magic and magic is a growing industry.

"It’s good that he still gets the recognition he deserves because magic wouldn't be what it is without him."