This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 DON'T STOP MOVIN' (S Club 7)

The 896th Number One single is the third career chart-topper for S Club 7, the group created Monkees-style for a TV series but who have now proved that they don't need the television exposure to create headlines for themselves. Don't Stop Movin' is the follow-up to the Children In Need single Never Had A Dream Come True which also topped the chart in early December last year. Musically this brand new single is closer in style to their first hit Bring It All Back, albeit this time with the emphasis on intense disco grooves rather than Motown. Somehow you suspect the single isn't quite the pop classic it set out to be but there is no denying it is one of the best ever S Club 7 singles, even if its destiny appears to be nothing more than to keep the top of the chart warm for Geri Halliwell next week. Hey, and not a spliff joke in sight...


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6 DREAM ON (Depeche Mode)

Has it really been four years since the last Depeche Mode album? The 1980s synth-pop legends appear destined to become the Rolling Stones of electronic music, reforming every few years for another celebrated comeback and performing sell-out concerts to ecstatic fans whilst in the process giving interviews about how they have recovered from the personal excesses of their earlier years. To put it all in context, they recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of their first ever chart hit, Dreaming Of Me which limped to Number 57 in April 1981. Since then they have had another 35 chart hits, of which this is their 12th to reach the Top 10. Part of the secret of their longevity is their willingness to adjust the sound of their music just enough to ensure it always sounds contemporary, even if that has meant in recent years moving away from the totally synthesiser-dominated sound of their earlier work and allowing (horror!) guitars into the mix. This new single is a case in point, a typically dark piece of music which has the electronics pushed to the background of the skittering house groove over which a muted blues guitar effortlessly picks out the melody. The single returns them to the Top 10 for the first time since It's No Good hit Number 5 in April 1997 and it is one of the more curious quirks of chart history that the band have never had a Top 3 hit. Number 4 is the best they have ever managed but they have done so on two occasions: People Are People in 1984 Barrel Of A Gun in 1997.
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10 STAR 69 (Fatboy Slim)

The latest addition to the file of "songs you cannot hear properly on the radio" is Fatboy Slim's latest single, easily one of the highlights of the Gutter And The Stars album, albeit as a dark thundering track that is once again a world away from the party friendly singles of old. Star 69 also fits nicely into the list of singles that have actually generated more interest due to their b-side or Track 2 if you will. Weapon Of Choice is the track in question which has received equal promotion thanks to a Spike Jonze video which features no less a legend than Christopher Walken dancing like a man possessed. The single returns Norman Cook to the Top 10 after the Macy Gray-guested Demons peaked at Number 16 back in January.


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12 GOOD SOULS (Starsailor)

A second hit single for Starsailor which probably means we can stop calling them the Next Big Thing and claim they are Doing Very Nicely Thanks. After Fever hit Number 18 in February they go six places better with this new single that sees vocalist James sound more like the love child of Bono and Robert Plant than ever before.
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15 KARMA HOTEL (Spooks)

In turn here is the second hit of the year for Spooks who really are going to have to work harder than this if they want to shake off the slightly unfair tag of "The New Fugees". Still, as a yardstick they measure up to it pretty well, Karma Hotel coming over almost as a modern day equivalent to Hotel California, complete with a video set in a castle in Czechoslovakia. The single doesn't quite have the casual appeal of Things I've Seen which made Number 6 in January but this Top 20 placing is by no means a disappointment. Let's just see what they produce next...
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17 BETWEEN ANGELS AND INSECTS (Papa Roach)

When the story of the year comes to be told in December you can bet it will be soundtracked in part by the insistent riff that was the cornerstone of Last Resort, the debut single from Papa Roach which made an eyebrow-raising Number 3 back in February. This second hit perhaps isn't quite as distinctive despite crunching its way along with an energy that hasn't been heard since the first Rage Against The Machine album. Rock music played by men with enormous forearms will never go out of fashion, it is just that sometimes it is more in fashion than at other times.
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30 CRY FOR HELP (Shed Seven)

You see, good bands never go away, they just occasionally have creative differences with their record label. The York band fell out with Polydor records in 1999 over the promotion of their Greatest Hits collection. After scoring a Top 20 hit with the track Disco Down the label wanted to re-release their 1996 hit Going For Gold, an idea rejected by the group who then quit the label rather than repromote an old single. After two years away to regroup and record new material they return on a new label with this brand new track. Cry For Help lands on the chart following an extensive university tour by the group but this promotion hasn't helped the single up the chart and instead it has to settle for barely scraping into the Top 30, making it one of the smallest hit singles of their career. In fact only two of their previous chart hits have peaked lower - Devil In Your Shoes (No.37 in August 1998) and Speakeasy (No.24 in August 1994).
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32 COMING HOME (K Warren featuring Lee O)

K Warren may not be a familiar chart name but as a remixer he can claim to be one of the bigger names in UK Garage. This production is his first official release under his own name. As a single it is very good, the only thing that holds it back is that garage is just so last year...
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34 LOVE IS NOT A GAME (J Majik featuring Kathy Brown)

A somewhat notable single this one, not so much for who made the record as the lady who sings on it. Kathy Brown was almost omnipresent in clubs in the mid-90s with one of the greatest dance records that never really made it. Turn Me Out was the track. First released in 1994 it missed out on the Top 75 altogether. More promotion and a re-release helped the single to Number 44 in November 1995. Good, but still not good enough. It took a further remix two years later to turn the track into a Top 40 hit, The Sol Brothers version of the track eventually made Number 35 in September 1997. Kathy Brown followed that up with a single Joy which flopped again in 1999 but since then the American star has been silent. Until now.
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36 RED (Elbow)

[Superstar debut klaxon!] The latest next big thing are Elbow, although they have been together since 1998 waiting for that big break. With their third single release it looks to be just around the corner as Red becomes their first ever chart single. Comparisons with Coldplay are particularly apt here as the single is an immaculately produced piece of melancholia with the the saddest Cellos this side of Eleanor Rigby.
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37 I WANNA KNOW (Joe)

Quite a week for second hits isn't it? The most poorly performing of these though has to go to Joe who managed an impressive Number 7 last time out with Sutter but who this time around has to settle for barely scraping a place in the Top 40. Not that this is a bad single of course, just file it under Quiet Storm.


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