This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 ANOTHER CHANCE (Roger Sanchez)

Tipped by many as a smash hit for some weeks before its release, Roger Sanchez' Another Chance proves that the hype was justified by charging straight to the top of the charts, in the process easing past a still strong Lady Marmalade. Having for years been legendary in production and mixing circles it is only in the last few years that Roger Sanchez has been making records in his own name. His first such chart hit came in February 1999 when I Want Your Love (billed as "Roger Sanchez presents Twilight") made Number 31. Just under a year later he reached Number 24 with I Never Knew. This single is thus far and away his most impressive chart performance ever even if you get the feeling the track probably sounds better in Ibiza than it does on your CD player. For all the talk of how dance music dominates the charts, club tracks have struggled to become major chart hits this year and in fact Another Chance is only the third Number One single this year to have entered the charts straight from clubland. The other two were Rui Da Silva's Touch Me in January and DJ Pied Piper's Do You Really Like It from last month. Both could only manage a solitary week at the top. Can Mr Sanchez improve on this? For what it's worth, the last dance track to spend more than a week at the top was Modjo's Lady in September last year.


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3 A LITTLE RESPECT (Wheatus)

Having made one of the singles of the year so far in the shape of Teenage Dirtbag (Number 2 when released in February, 9 weeks in the Top 10, 19 weeks in the Top 40 and even playlisted on Radio 2!) the pressure was on Wheatus to make the followup at least half as good to avoid them being labelled as one hit wonders. Happily their second British hit is a doozy. Straight from the list of cover versions you thought you would never hear is this thoroughly entertaining remake of... an Erasure song. A Little Respect first appeared on Erasure's 1988 album The Innocents. Released as a single in October that year it made Number 4 before going on to become a US Top 20 hit in early 1989. As you might expect this new version replaces most of the synths with guitars but still keeps the spirit (and indeed the arrangement) of the song intact. If nothing else it serves as a wonderful reminder of the days when Vince Clarke and Andy Bell wrote songs that lifted you out of your chair with their sheer joyous energy. This is by no means the first time an Erasure song has been covered by another act. First to do so were Dollar who turned their early flop O L'Amour into a Number 7 hit in early 1998. In 1992 the celebrated Abba tribute group Bjorn Again counterpointed Erasure's own chart-topping Abba-esque EP with Erasure-ish, a double-sided single that saw Stop covered in the style of Does Your Mother Know paired with their own version of A Little Respect. The package made Number 25.
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4 HEAVEN IS A HALFPIPE (OPM)

A US skate-rock act in the UK Top 5? Some mistake surely. Actually no, as the debut single from the California five-piece has benefitted enormously from not only a huge amount of airplay support but also from the fact that it is actually rather damn good. Sounding like a cross between Len and Sugar Ray, the single has the kind of irresistible chorus that has summertime chart hit written all over it. Note that the combined first week appeal of Wheatus and OPM has managed to push even Hear'Say down to Number 5 this week.


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11 IRRESISTIBLE (Jessica Simpson)

Second album time for Jessica Simpson, the bright-eyed American singer whose initial impact last year was lessened somewhat by the simple fact that she is neither Britney Spears nor Christina Aguilera. Hence nobody had any real reason to care, despite two chart hits in the shape of I Wanna Love You Forever and the John Mellencamp sampling I Think I'm In Love With You. For this third single she seems to be aiming for Jennifer Lopez territory, hence the track is imbued with latino spirit and plucked guitars. In truth there is absolutely nothing wrong with it but deep down you just know that Jennifer Lopez would have been nestling inside the Top 3 with this particular track. Jessica Simpson has to be content with her third Top 20 hit.
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12 SO WHAT IF I (Damage)

This is the fourth Top 20 hit single in the last 12 months for Damage and the follow-up to Still Be Loving You which made Number 11 in March. The usual formula applies here, a stateside groove underpinning some rather impressive harmonies that would not sound out of place in the American charts (which you suspect they had one eye on when making this record). Beyond that there is little more you can say, save for the fact that this is their 8th Top 40 hit and proof that if nothing else they are survivors, the peak of their popularity being now just a distant four year old memory.
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14 THE ROCK SHOW (Blink 182)

This is clearly the week for rock brilliance. First Wheatus, then OPM and now Blink 182, storming back into the Top 20 for the first time this year with another irritatingly catchy three minutes of commercial brilliance. Waxing lyrical? Maybe I am [not by using the word 'brilliance' twice in quick succession you arent] but if nothing else this proves that All The Small Things and What's My Age Again were no flukes. OK so if Wheatus and OPM are able to make the Top 5 there is no reason why Blink 182 can't but for now they will have to be content with this Top 20 entry that at least beats the Number 17 peak of What's My Age Again from almost exactly a year ago. All The Small Things remains their biggest - Number 2 in March 2000.


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18 PERFECT BLISS (Bellefire)

From the mind and the pockets of Boyzone and Westlife svengali Louis Walsh come Bellefire, four young Irish lasses who he hopes he can steer to global stardom. Actually their debut hit single is rather fine, sounding a little like Wilson Phillips (remember them?) performing a Corrs track. Certainly there is no doubting the quality of production, immaculate harmonies that could have come straight off the American West Coast and just a hint of pop magic. Maybe this was underpromoted (MTV support notwithstanding), it certainly deserves better than to just scrape into the Top 20. Now whatever happened to the second Supersister single? [For the longest time it was a messageboard running gag that Bellefire were a deliberate tax loss on the part of Louis Walsh, such was the strange way they struggled to make any kind of commercial headway. Record label shenanigans were actually to blame, the group eventually the victim of management politics. But not before they'd given it a good go].
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21 HASH PIPE (Weezer)

Funnily enough this is the second new entry this week to deal with the subject of pipes, albeit two totally different kinds. One of the original geek rock pioneers, Weezer too are something of a band of survivors . Following the failure of their second album in 1996 the band temporarily broke up whilst its members return to college. Now the comeback begins with a slightly tweaked lineup and their first chart appearance for almost six years. Their only other hit singles to date came in 1995 in the shape of Say It Ain't So (Number 37) and the still fresh sounding Buddy Holly which peaked at Number 12 in May of that year and which remains their biggest hit to date.
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27 TURN (Feeder)

Hit single three of the year for Feeder, this the follow-up to Seven Days In The Sun which made Number 14 back in April. Since 1997 the band have clocked up no less than 8 Top 40 hit singles with a further four charting lower down the Top 75. Turn's placing at Number 27 means this is the first time they have ever managed three Top 30 hits on the trot.
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30 BROKE/WON (Beta Band)

Still the world holds its breath for the long overdue breakthrough of the Beta Band. Their recent support slots with Radiohead in America may have gone a long way towards bringing them to people's attention and they can return to this country celebrating their first ever chart single. To date their only other chart action has come on the album listings, their self-titled album reached Number 18 in July 1999 just a few months after a compilation of tracks from their early single releases made Number 35. Their brand of minimalistic experimentation may never bring them massive commercial appeal but as even the likes of Gomez have proved, anyone can sell healthy amounts of records if they are good enough, regardless of what constitutes the tastes of the mass market.