This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 ANGEL (Shaggy featuring Rayvon)

Almost as if he knows we are waiting for the milestone, Shaggy doggedly refuses to relinquish the Number One position, spending a third week at the top and in the process delaying once more the arrival of the 900th chart topping single. Those paying attention to last week's column will have noted that this now makes Angel the most successful chart single ever for Shaggy, his previous best being the two-week run at the top of Oh Carolina back in 1993. The comparatively lengthy run of this single is further evidence to suggest that the frantic turnover at the top of the charts last year was just a momentary blip. Barely six months into the year we have already had Number One singles stay at the top for longer than seven days on six different occasions (with a seventh managing two different spells at the top), something that did not happen until October last year. Indeed even if we have a different Number One single every week from now until Christmas it is now impossible for 2001 to beat the record of 42 different singles at the top that was set last year. Meanwhile we scan the release schedules with eager anticipation to guess what will be at the top this time next week. Could the 900th Number One single produce a jaw-dropping chart coincidence?
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2 ALL I WANT (Mis-Teeq)

Cryptic? Not a bit of it when you sit and work it out. Moving onto the new hits of the week and the world of garage pop produces far and away the biggest. Female threesome Mis-Teeq scored a Top 10 hit on their chart debut back in January when Why charted at Number 8. Made a major priority by their record company, this new single has benefitted from a string of promotional appearances and some widespread and well-received airplay that ensured it was bound to become a smash hit. Perhaps out of nervousness that the fad might well soon be over, the girls seem keen to downplay the garage roots of their music and the talk is that their forthcoming album will contain more Craig David style R&B rather than being based totally on a 2-step rhythm. Certainly this single appears to be trying to keep feet in both camps, swinging wildly between harmonised singing and some quite appealing toasting... almost as if Louchie Lou and Michie One had decided to cover a Destiny's Child song. Even the production sounds like the result of an in-studio battle between Rodney Jerkins and Artful Dodger. What could have sounded a total mess instead winds up as one of the more inspired hits of the year. This is a great pop record and deservedly a Top 3 hit.


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4 UNTIL THE END OF TIME (2 Pac)

Will it never end? For someone who died so young and so soon into his career, Tupac Shakur had amassed a huge library of recordings which have been released in an almost constant stream ever since he was murdered in 1996. Any fears that the constant barrel-scraping by his record company may result in a lack of quality control are laid to rest for the moment as the late star clocks up yet another Top 5 smash hit. His last appearance this high in the charts was in February 1999 when Changes became his biggest hit ever when it peaked at Number 3. That single was based around a sample from Bruce Hornsby's The Way It Is and in similar fashion it is classic 80s rock that provides the inspiration for the production of this single. Central to Have A Nice Day is the acknowledged classic Broken Wings, originally a hit for Mr Mister in 1986 (spookily it reached Number 4) and mainstay of just about ever soft rock compilation ever since.
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5 HAVE A NICE DAY (Stereophonics)

No sensation and no samples needed here. Just one week after Mr Writer dropped out of the Top 75 the Stereophonics return to the chart with the second single from their current album. In the process it matches the Number 5 peak of it predecessor to give the Welshmen their sixth UK Top 10 hit.
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6 MY WAY (Limp Bizkit)

The follow-up to January's Number One smash Rollin' has been a long time coming and in the almost six months since there was a chance that the mainstream audience that Fred Durst's outfit managed to attract might have drifted away. Happily, they have proved that topping the charts was no accident of circumstance as one of the remaining hit worthy tracks from Chocolate Starfish crashes into the Top 10. Having been given airplay almost from the time of the album's release and used in variety of places (not least by the WWF who used it as the theme to Wrestlemania X-Seven back in April), My Way almost has an air of overfamiliarity about it. Nonetheless it becomes Limp Bizkit's third Top 10 single from their last four releases. Not bad for a bunch of noise merchants.


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12 BOOO (Sticky featuring Ms Dynamite)

A much-anticipated release, although maybe not quite at the same level as some, this garage club hit settles nicely and respectably into a place just outside the Top 10. The track represents the first overground exposure for Ms Dynamite, regarded as one of the most prominent female MCs on the scene and whose past work has taken in the likes of tracks by So Solid Crew and even Shola Ama.
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14 DIGITAL LOVE (Daft Punk)

If Limp Bizkit appear to have taken their time following up a smash hit, Daft Punk have waited even longer. It was last November that One More Time reawakened the UKs love of francophonic disco when it shot straight to Number 2 and hung around the Top 75 for over three months. There was talk that the next single from the album was going to be Aerodynamique but for whatever reason this idea was abandoned. Finally the follow-up arrives and regrettably, it seems that the delay has not done them much good as Digital Love can only creep into the Top 20. Well I think it is regrettable anyway as Digital Love is possibly a far better single. True the same elements are in place, right down to the manga video that makes the track so much more entertaining when it comes around on MTV, but what makes this single so special is that it is the best record that Buggles never made. Yes Buggles, the original source of fame for producing legend Trevor Horn. Whether by accident or by design, the Frenchmen have somehow resurrected the spirit of the forgotten heroes of the early 80s to such wonderful effect that I need to go listen to the track again before writing any more.


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19 ROCK DA FUNKY BEATS (Public Domain featuring Chuck D)

OK I'm back, just in time for delayed followup of the week part III. Public Domain's first chart hit came back in December last year with the movie-inspired Operation Blade (Bass In The Place) which hit Number 5 as part of a chart battle with Phatt Bass by the Warp Brothers (both singles being based on fundamentally the same concept). The hook of Operation Blade was provided by a sample of Public Enemy's Flava Flav attempting to fire up a live crowd at an old London gig. The connection with the rap legends is maintained on this single as Rock Da Funky Beats is once again based on an old PE track. Hence the direct credit for Chuck D who has contributed fresh vocals for the track whilst both he and Professor Griff have appeared on stage alongside Public Domain to promote the single. If the intention was another Top 5 hit then it hasn't quite worked but a Top 20 entry is respectable enough.
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20 BEST FRIENDS (Allstars)

Hear that? It is the sound of a great idea misfiring. The Allstars are the supposedly fictional pop band who feature in StarStreet, a weekly segment on the Saturday morning TV show SM:TV, the aim being to satirize the shows Miami 7 and LA 7 which of course spawned S Club 7 to great success. Like much of the show, the segments are done very tongue in cheek and as far as most people were concerned there was no suggestion that the group are supposed to be taken seriously. So what do you do when the group in question start to release their songs for real? Do you treat them as proper pop records by a proper performing act (like S Club 7 undoubtedly are) or do you view the records as an extension of the joke? Actually it isn't as daft as it sounds. Back in the 1960s the Monkees were a bunch of manic loons on a bizarre and often surreal TV show but it just so happened that they made superb records and the same logic is undoubtedly supposed to extent to the Allstars. For the moment it doesn't appear to have worked. Best Friends may well be a pretty good (but no more than average) pop record, a Motown-style stomp that also serves as the theme to the TV segments but it seems that for the moment nobody has quite bought into the idea that Becky, Sam, Ashley, Thailia and Sandi have what it takes to be genuine pop stars. There is still hope for the project though, and I suspect I won't be the only one watching the fortunes of their next release with great interest.
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23 FIESTA (R Kelly)

The second single release of the year for R Kelly and his current US smash hit, this the followup to the gospel epic The Storm Is Over Now which made Number 18 back in March. His run of Top 20 hits comes to an end for the moment however as Fiesta just manages to beat the Number 24 peak notched up by Only The Loot Can Make Me Happy in April 2000. On this release Jay-Z becomes the latest in a quite startling list of artists to have appeared alongside Mr Kelly on record. All told this is his 21st Top 40 hit single (including collaborations with Sparkle, Keith Murray, Celine Dion, Nas and Puff Daddy) and the astonishing fact is that since his 1994 chart breakthrough with Your Body's Callin' he has never once had a single peak lower than Number 24.
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31 10 IN 01 (Members Of Mayday)

Something of a concept track this one, a single that celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Dortmund electronic musical festival. Leading light behind Members Of Mayday is Westbam who charted a number of singles in the mid-90s but only once made the Top 40, Wizards Of The Sonic reaching Number 32 in June 1995. Like most of his work it sounds like the sort of track that would soundtrack a computer graphical demo and for whatever reason there is a huge audience on the continent for this kind of thing.
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34 I FORGOT (Lionel Richie)

The Renaissance album project may not have resurrected Lionel Richie's career in quite the way it was hoped but it has at least given the legend his most consistent run of hits for some years. After three Top 40 singles (Angel, Don't Stop The Music and Tender Heart) the fourth single is drawn from a rather unusual source. I Forgot was a track that was cut from most worldwide versions of the album but for whatever reason surfaced on the versions released in France and Canada. If the limited availability of the track in other markets was supposed to serve as a boost it does not seem to have worked, but at the very least gives him a fifth successive Top 40 hit (a run which dates back to the release of Closest Thing To Heaven in 1998) - his best run since the mid-80s.
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40 DRIVE (Incubus)

A slow-burning smash in the States, California's Incubus make a somewhat understated debut on these shores. This is actually their second chart hit in this country, the first coming almost exactly a year ago when Pardon Me reached Number 61.


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