1 LADY (HEAR ME TONIGHT) (Modjo)
OK so who cares where it is going to end, for now let us sit back and enjoy the ride while it lasts. In a week of some very strong new releases, one manages to sail to the top of the pile with relative ease. Modjo are two Frenchmen, Yann Destagnol and Romain Tranchart who together have created one of the biggest dance hits of the summer, admittedly with a track that is something of a throwback to the likes of Stardust from two years ago but one which nonetheless has geniune crossover appeal. This is no tacky dance record either, instead a pop record that has been put together by two talented musicians and the result is a "proper song" that you can dance to but one which wears its 70s influences on its sleeve with joy. Of course the central riff of the song is a sample but at least it is an obscure one, lifting the guitar figure from an old Chic b-side entitled Soup For One. Modjo are thus the first Frenchmen to top the UK charts since Mr Oizo just over a year ago.
2 SKY (Sonique)
Cast your mind back to June and you will recall that Sonique was the last person to spent more than a week at the top of the chart when she had a 3 week run with the re-released It Feels So Good. Now it is follow-up time and she proves that the first hit was no fluke by sailing back into the Top 3 with this single. More or less the same formula applies here, vocals from the lady herself that lead into a soaring chorus and a moody electronic backing. Strange to relate it doesn't quite have the same magic as It Feels So Good but it is no less impressive for that and really you cannot argue with a Number 2 follow-up to a Number One record.
3 IT DOESN'T MATTER (Wyclef Jean)
The man with the magical production touch makes a long-overdue return to the chart under his own steam with his first chart single since the rather underachieving New Day charity single which he recorded in collaboration with Bono. This new single is something of an ensemble performance as well as Wyclef himself takes something of a backseat to his guest stars. Much of the rapping on the single is done by his new proteges Melky Sedeck whilst other vocals are provided by the biggest guest star of them all - The Rock. Dwayne Johnson is his real name and over the past couple of years he has become one of the biggest stars in the World Wrestling Federation, a five-time World champion and in the process has found himself turned into a mainstream star, appearing in films, on television and even at the recent Republican Party Convention in America. It Doesn't Matter is one of his many catchphrases so it made perfect sense for him to feature on a single based around that expression. In the process he becomes the first wrestling star to feature on a hit single since Green Jelly roped in Hulk Hogan to appear on their version of The Leader Of The Gang which made Number 25 for Christmas 1993. Aside from all this the single is something of a musical departure for Wyclef Jean as he delves into the world of Ska, the track structured around the riff from Longsy D's This Is Ska (which made Number 59 here in 1989) although the affectionate nod in the direction of John Denver is perhaps harder to comprehend. With one stroke the single lays the smackdown on the chart, matching the peak of 1998s Gone Til November as his biggest solo hit ever.
7 BULLET IN THE GUN 2000 (Planet Perfecto)
It takes a special kind of single to be an Ibiza hit two years running but that is what Bullet In The Gun has managed. A much in-demand tune in the summer of '99 it made a somewhat belated appearance in the shops in November last year and made a respectable but still rather understated Number 13. A fresh set of mixes have given the track Y2K appeal and so as a result the track (unmistakeably a Paul Oakenfold creation, even without the Perfecto tag) lands inside the Top 10 to fully justify the decision to repromote it. It means that Oakey has no less than two Top 10 singles this week, his Big Brother theme landing just below it at Number 8.
9 IT'S GONNA BE ME ('NSync)
The 'NSync bandwagon trundles on although it is possibly a consequence of their overwhelming popularity back home in the States that in this country the fivesome seem almost anonymous by comparison with their contemporaries. Sure there are plenty that love them but to everyone else they are just another in the endless parade of boy bands. After Never Stop peaked at Number 13 we finally catch up with their stateside releases as one of the biggest American smashes of the year lands in the UK Top 10. Sure it is yet another Max Martin creation but at least is one of those which smacks of genius rather than formula to make it just that little bit more special. In total it is their fourth Top 10 hit although only Bye Bye Bye has ever penetrated the Top 3.
10 1-2-3-4 GET WITH THE WICKED (Richard Blackwood)
The campaign to turn RB into the British Will Smith (however much he dislikes that tag) continues. Hot on the heels of the Number 3 hit Mama Who Da Man comes this similarly styled fun rap. Female backing vocals, at least three hooks that I have counted so far and an overwhelming sense of fun pervades this whole single yet it still manages to be less than the sum of its parts. Maybe it is the fact that Richard Blackwood himself can't seem to decide what he is, a TV presenter, stand up comedian or rapper than means it is hard to take him seriously as a pop star. Or maybe it is just that however hard he tries, Will Smith will always be way cooler.
13 UNFORGIVABLE SINNER (Lene Marlin)
Funnily enough 'NSync's single isn't the only one on the chart this week to prove that where other countries lead, Britain doesn't necessarily follow. Unforgivable Sinner was the single that really made Lene Marlin's name on the continent last year, one of Norway's biggest selling singles ever in fact. She belatedly made her chart debut with the understated radio favourite Sitting Down Here which made Number 5 in March and now follows it up with the aforementioned massive seller. Sadly there is nothing doing as far as massive sales are concerned in this country as the single lands just short of the Top 10 and whilst it will please the many fans of her sweetly-strummed pop, she is a long way from the superstar status she enjoys back home.
17 BAD HABIT (ATFC presents OnePhatDeeva featuring Lisa Millett)
Until October last year Aydin was a counter assistant in Uptown Records in Soho with a line in DJing on the side. Then a bootleg he had made, fusing Fatboy Slim's Right Here Right Now with the vocal from Adeva's In And Out Of My Life proved so popular it was given an all too rare full commercial release. Credited to OnePhatDeeva, the single shot to Number 11 and turned its creator into the Next Big Thing. Well now he is back with a totally new creation but which retains the OnePhatDeeva moniker for the sake of consistency. Another Ibiza favourite apparently, the bold, brassy production of Bad Habit rides the wave of some strong radio airplay and lands nicely inside the Top 20 to give Aydin his second hit.
19 WIFEY (Next)
Only a US R&B song could get away with a title like this. Next (consisting of T-Low, R.L. and Tweety) have yet to achieve the kind of recognition they have managed in America but this could well be the turning point. This affectionate ode to 'wifey' becomes Next's second UK hit single, over two years after they first made their chart debut. Back then Too Close reached Number 24. United Kingdom... Welcome II Nextasy. [Within a year Too Close would end up with a whole new lease of life when a British act covered it and topped the charts with ease].
22 DEAR JESSIE (Rollergirl)
Jaw-dropping time. Dear Jessie originally appeared on Madonna's 1989 album Like A Prayer and was unashamedly the cutest song she ever recorded, an acoustic, psychedelic masterpiece with lyrics about pink elephants and lemonade. Released as a single in December 1989 it made Number 5 and can rank as one of her best-loved releases to this day. Of course there is nothing so cute it cannot be turned into a dance anthem and this year it became the semi-official theme of Berlin's Love Parade - the concept of a love parade mentioned in the lyrics you see. Hence this uptempo trance version which actually has little to do with the original, merely borrowing snatches of the melody and chord sequence and featuring female vocals recounting the lines about roses and indeed love parades. Not as bad as it might have been as strictly speaking this isn't a cover but merely a dance track inspired by the original. Those who think I'm going soft will just have to wait until Ordinary World hits the charts...
26 DISILLUSION (Badly Drawn Boy)
It must have seemed as if Badly Drawn Boy was never going to have a Top 40 hit. He made Number 46 in September last year with Once Around The Block and then reached an agonising Number 41 with Another Pearl in June this year. The man described sometimes as "The Beck of Manchester" has found his profile raised of late thanks to his nomination for the annual Mercury Music Prize, something which may have something to do with the release and more impressive chart performance of this single.
28 SPIT IT OUT (Slipknot)
The first chart appearance for Slipknot since Wait And Bleed made Number 27 back in March. A similar chart placing is the fate of this single although this time around the sensation is slightly less, maybe because they haven't tried to promote it by attempting to kill members of the audience whilst on tour.
31 I WANT CANDY (Aaron Carter)
If you ever hate me for anything I write about your favourite bands, just bear in mind that in the course of my dotmusic duties I had to listen to this record in full in order to comment on it intelligently. I now wake up in the night screaming. To think we thought the first hit singles from Aaron Carter (precocious little brother of Backstreet Boy Nick) were one-offs. Apparently not and the record company are determined to work this before his cuteness wears off. After four singles (two of which went Top 10) in 1997 and 1998 the precocious poplet is back with this cover of a song which has a pretty interesting chart history. I Want Candy was first recorded by the Strangeloves in 1965 and that version became a Number 11 hit in America. Over here it did not chart and the song instead was covered by Brian Poole and the Tremeloes who made Number 25. The song was revived 17 years later by Bow Wow Wow who took the song to Number 9 and then in 1996 by the Candy Girls who reached Number 30. Aaron Carter is now officially the youngest star ever to have five hit singles. If you bought this then you are responsible for that. Thanks.
35 CAN'T GET THE BEST OF ME/HIGHLIFE (Cypress Hill)
Hit number 12 (if one counts re-releases and remixes) for Cypress Hill and their second single of the year following Superstar which made Number 13 back in April. Quite a contrast this, their last single was their biggest chart hit ever, this is actually the smallest, falling one place short of the Number 34 peak of Dr Greenthumb from April 1999.