This week's Official UK Singles Chart

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

It makes such a nice change for there to be a surprising move at the top of the chart don't you think? After two weeks in second place behind Geri Halliwell's It's Raining Men, S Club 7's single now rises a place to reclaim the Number One position it first occupied on May 5th. Don't Stop Movin' thus becomes the first single to yo-yo back to the top of the charts since All Saints' double a-sided hit Under The Bridge/Lady Marmalade which spookily enough performed the feat exactly three years ago this week. For a move that is comparatively speaking extremely rare, such chart rebounds have been quite startlingly common during the past decade. When Mr Blobby by Mr Blobby reclaimed the top slot for Christmas 1993 it was the first single to do so for nearly 25 years yet since then it has become merely the first of 8 eight singles (of which this is one) to have done the trick. Compare that this with the 19 singles to do the same thing between 1952 and 1969 and you can see that the last decade has accounted for almost a third of all the singles that have reclaimed the top slot in the near 50 year history of the British charts. Meanwhile we hold our breath to see if Geri Halliwell can bounce back again next week to continue this rather entertaining two-way duel.
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7 UP MIDDLE FINGER (Oxide & Neutrino)

Angry blokes alert... angry blokes alert. Despite having had two Top 10 hits in 2000 (the Number One smash Bound 4 Da Reload and December's No Good 4 Me) the teenage duo are still not happy. Hence this single which is as bold a statement as anyone could make against what they see as their belittling by the established stars of UK Garage who won't play their records on the radio or include them in club sets. Bastards. Coming just a few weeks after Neutrino found himself in the headlines after being caught up in a gunfight at a London club it confirms at least that the pair are chart stars to be reckoned with, their third Top 10 hit in succession is the biggest new single of the week. I think you are great boys, please don't hit me.


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8 STILL ON YOUR SIDE (BBMak)

Widely expected to be the biggest new hit of the week, BBMak ultimately have to settle for not only the second highest new entry but also a chart position some way down the Top 10, three places lower than the Number 5 peak of their last single Back Here. The single itself is an effective follow-up to that delayed first hit, another semi-acoustic upbeat pop track that shows off their vocal talents to perfection and once again lends weight to their refusal to be considered just another pop band. Their music may lack that extra bit of magic that sets a classic pop single apart from a merely competent one but even if you aren't a 14 year old girl it is hard to deny the appeal of this song.
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10 UPSIDE DOWN (A*Teens)

The problem of being a group with a gimmick is that the gimmick can only carry you so far. The A*Teens could well have run into that problem as their original concept (four clean cut Swedish teenagers performing updated covers of Abba records) was bound to wear thin rather quickly. Hence this switch to original material in the hope that they will be good for some more hits that way. As far as the UK is concerned this actually looks like an inspired career move. Prior to this they had only had two hit singles, Mamma Mia which made Number 12 and Super Trouper which hit 21 in December 1999. With this single they ascend to the Top 10 for the first time ever.


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17 DEEP DOWN & DIRTY (Stereo MCs)

Yes, I'm just as surprised as you are to see the Stereo MCs back in the chart. You would have thought they would have taken the time to promote it a little more. Joking aside, the return to recording duties of Rob Birch and Nick Hallam after a break of close to eight years has been hailed as something akin to the second coming. Actually it isn't hard to see why when you consider the impact they made first time around. 1992s Connected album is regarded as something of a classic, a record which bridged the gap between hip-hop, pop and clubland almost effortlessly. Singles such as Connected and Step It Up are still guaranteed floor fillers to this day. Can their comeback material live up to the expectations? Actually it seems it can, simply because Deep Down And Dirty sounds like they have never been away. Rob's distinctive vocal style and their ability to give what should be a hardcore urban track an irresistible pop feel works just as well in 2001 as it did in 1992. Admittedly it would have been nicer if this single had been a bigger hit but then again a quick peruse of the record books shows that Connected and Step It Up, singles which have lived long in the memory of every music lover from that time, could only manage chart peaks of 18 and 12 respectively.
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19 TEENAGE DIRTBAG (Wheatus)

It is worth taking a moment to acknowledge the continuing chart run of Wheatus' hit single. After three weeks locked at Number 18 the single slides just one place to retain a presence in the Top 20, a run which now stretches back 15 weeks to the middle of February. Not bad for a single that was part of the soundtrack to a film which shot straight to video in this country. Heck, even Radio 2 are currently still playing it.
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20 BEFORE YOU LEAVE (Pepe Deluxe)

Come on, you know this one already. Finland's Pepe Deluxe are the ground responsible for the haunting music that has featured on the recent series of Levi's commercials that have put me off ever trying to dance in a pair of jeans ever again. Of course having your career launched by a TV commercial isn't always an instant stepping stone to success (just ask Stiltskin or Babylon Zoo) but with an album waiting in the wings as well they clearly hope that the advert is going have a positive effect on their hitmaking potential. The last hit single to come from a Levi's commercial was of course Death In Vegas' Dirge which reached Number 24 in May 2000. Strangely enough they haven't had a hit single since...


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23 YA DON'T SEE THE SIGNS (Mark B & Blade)

A Top 40 breakthrough at long last for Mark B and Blade, considered by some as the best thing to have happened to British hip hop for a long time. Following the Number 49 peak of their last single The Unknown back in February, this single is a remixed version of a track that appears on their well received album. Further cachet is added by the fact that the mix which leads off the single just happens to have been produced by Grant from Feeder with the result that the track sounds not so much like a rap hit as a track that could give Limp Bizkit a run for their money.
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29 DON'T TALK (Jon B)

Back in 1998, Jon B was being hailed as the fastest rising R&B star around. His first UK hit was the Usher-alike They Don't Know which slid nicely into the chart at Number 32 and marked him out as one to watch for the future. Here's hoping people didn't strain anything in the meantime as 2 and a half years later he finally notches up a second UK hit. Imagine Craig David with a slightly harder edge and you have this single in a nutshell.
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30 BIONIC (King Adora)

Having broken into the Top 40 for the first time back in March with Suffocate (Number 33), the foursome from Birmingham re-release their debut single which originally came out in May 2000 in a limited edition. Having been compared to everyone from Nirvana to the New York Dolls, the group are clearly on a mission to remind people that in the right circumstances punk can be pop as well. They are a long way from having major chart hits but every release is clearly a step in the right direction.
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32 STORM (Storm)

Following the hits Time To Burn and Storm Animal from the last couple of summers, Jam and Spoon turn back the clock and re-release (albeit with a new set of mixes) the single that was the debut release of their Storm guise in August 1998. Something of a forgotten club classic from that era, the three year old dance single slides nicely back into the chart, even though it can do nothing more than equal the Number 32 peak it managed first time around.
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34 BAD AMBASSADOR (Divine Comedy)

The second hit single of the year for the Divine Comedy and one which appears to confirm that the glory days of the band having Top 10 hits in 1999 were nothing more than a brief brush with stardom. No matter than Neil Hannon remains one of the cleverest lyricists in the business, their current material just does not seem to be good for hit singles. Hence this Number 34 entry for Bad Ambassador, a smaller hit than their last single Love What You Do which made Number 26 and indeed it is only the Number 38 peak of Gin Soaked Boy from November 1999 that prevents this from being their smallest Top 40 hit ever.
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38 MR WRITER (Stereophonics)

An honourable mention for the Stereophonics this week as their two month old hit becomes the greatest beneficiary of a surge in sales for several older hits that have hit the bargain bins. In a move that is normally confined to pop singles, Mr Writer vaults 21 places up the Top 75 to appear inside the Top 40 for the first time in four weeks.


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