This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 ETERNAL FLAME (Atomic Kitten)

Now you could well have been forgiven for expecting Geri Halliwell to have provided the competition for the top of the charts this week. As it turns out her new single suffers rather disastrously in terms of sales, leaving Atomic Kitten high and dry at Number One for a second week whilst a series of older singles stack up behind. Thus not only are they the third act this year to have had two Number One hits they are the first to see both spend longer than one week at the top since Westlife had two long-running Number One hits back in 1999. If one counts rap cover versions such as Puff Daddy's I'll Be Missing You then Eternal Flame is no less than the 27th song to be Number One in two different versions. That total swells to 29 if one counts These Are The Days Of Our Lives from the Five Live EP in 1993 and Erasure's version of Take A Chance On Me from the 1992 Abba-esque EP. It is a total which has doubled over the course of the last decade although even this fact is less surprising when you consider that a tenth of the total has come since the start of this year. Only one song has ever been Number One in three different versions, Unchained Melody which has topped the charts for Jimmy Young (1955), The Righteous Brothers (1990) and Robson And Jerome (1995).
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3 CASTLES IN THE SKY (Ian Van Dahl)

So in the absence of any high new entries the way is clear for some older hits to experience a surge in popularity in a rather empty looking Top 10. Prime beneficiary is Ian Van Dahl who in her fourth week on the chart shoots up three places to give Castles In The Sky its highest chart position to date.
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4 PERFECT GENTLEMAN (Wyclef Jean)

Wyclef too benefits this week. After slipping to Number 7 last week Perfect Gentleman climbs three places to reclaim the Number 4 position it occupied upon first release.
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7 HEAVEN IS A HALFPIPE (OPM)

Honourable mention too for OPM's track which after five weeks is still holding up nicely and shows no signs of slipping away just yet. This week the track reverses its chart decline and bounds up a place to Number 7. The track first peaked at Number 4 five weeks ago.
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8 SCREAM IF YOU WANNA GO FASTER (Geri Halliwell)

"Geri Single To Flop?" was the dotmusic headline during the week. This was prompted by the sales reports that suggested that the title track from Breadstick Spice's second solo album was set to chart just outside the Top 5. Said reports were not wrong, as this Number 8 entry shows. Does that mean it is a flop? Well of course not, at least not on the surface. After all it is still a Top 10 hit and has outsold every other single released this week. On the other hand, this is Geri Halliwell we are talking about, an artist who topped the charts seven times with the Spice Girls and who until today has released six solo singles and seen five [no, only four] of them top the charts and one other land at Number 2. In those terms a Number 8 chart entry is nothing short of a disaster. It also raises a huge question mark over where she goes from here. In truth the title track is virtually the only one on her second album that comes close to the level of inspiration shown in her other solo hits. The chances of any further singles doing much better are slim. Does this mean that Geri Halliwell's admittedly tenuous superstar status should now be under review? Let's leave that question until next time...


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10 DROPS OF JUPITER (TELL ME) (Train)

Dotmusic's recent Summer Of Rock special turned the spotlight on a number of relatively unknown US rock acts who it was predicted were set to make an impact on these shores. Far from being overnight sensations, Train have been together since 1994 but despite well received support slots for the likes of the Barenakedladies and Counting Crows they have experienced little in the way of commercial success. All that changes today as Drops Of Jupiter becomes their first ever UK chart single. OK I can't pretend to be too excited about this track but for whatever reason it has pushed enough buttons to wind up the second biggest new hit of what has turned out to be an extremely quiet chart week indeed.


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11 SOMEONE TO CALL MY LOVER (Janet Jackson)

So if Geri Halliwell going in at Number 8 is a shock, what does that make the performance of Janet Jackson's new single? In truth you should not read too much into this as Janet Jackson's superstar status has never afforded her the instant chart success she experiences in America and indeed for the second single from an album to miss the Top 10 is by no means a new experience for her. Back in 1993 she charged to Number 3 with That's The Way Love Goes but then could only reach Number 14 with the towering work of genius that was If. So whilst this won't go down as one of her greatest ever hit singles this chart placing is far from a disaster. Context is important.
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12 I FEEL LOVED (Depeche Mode)

One could be forgiven for being a little surprised by this one however. Whilst the album version of I Feel Loved is admittedly rather pedestrian this single release has benefitted from a thundering remix by Danny Tenaglia. As a result it is possibly the most club-friendly Depeche Mode single to date whilst at the same time retaining the dark and somewhat oppressive feel of their recent releases. Sadly whilst their last single Dream On made Number 6 in May this one falls a couple of places short of the Top 10. Again there is no disaster here but this for me was the biggest surprise of the week.
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21 LIKE THIS LIKE THAT (Mauro Picotto)

So, time to mop up this week's stragglers as a number of artists with one or two hits to their name so far this year struggle a little more with the follow up. First of all Maruo Picotto, last seen in the charts with the Number 13 hit Komodo (Save A Soul) in January. The follow-up lands at Number 21, still high enough to make it his second biggest hit since the his chart career began with the first release of Lizard in 1999.
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23 REVOLVING DOOR (Crazy Town)

File this one as a surprise. Crazy Town had a stunning start to their UK singles career back in April when Butterfly charted into the Top 3 as part of an 8 week run in the Top 20. Not so the follow-up despite the fact that the single retains all the good elements of their first. Instead it crashes out just outside the Top 20. Is this just a misfire or is their career over just as quickly as it started?
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31 MIND OVER MONEY (Turin Brakes)

The third chart single and second Top 40 hit this year for Turin Brakes. After only making Number 67 with The Door back in March they crept into the Top 40 for the first time with Underdog (Save Me) which was a Number 39 hit in May. Their baby steps continue with Mind Over Money now taking over as their biggest chart hit so far. Their album The Optimist is currently 8-1 to take the Mercury Music Prize.
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32 BABARABATIRI (Gypsymen)

It should be easy to pronounce, just don't ask me to say it. Better still try to avoid saying the title at all, especially after imbibing several pint of Guinness whose television commercials the single soundtracks. Well, after a fashion anyway. The original advert has been in circulation for some time and at first used the original arrangement of Babarabatiri as recorded by Perez Prado (and following a tradition that has seen other mambo tracks such as Guaglione and Mambo No.5 featured in their commercials). This new version actually comes from the mind of Todd Terry who has transformed the track into a storming Ibiza-friendly anthem which has so much appeal that the television adverts are now running again with the new version of the tune tacked on. You could be forgiven for expecting this to have charted higher, but this week it seems all expectations are destined to be turned on their heads.
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34 JUST IN CASE (Jaheim)

Sophomore hit time yet again, this the second chart single this year for New Jersey resident Jaheim. It is the followup to Could It Be which made Number 33 in March.
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39 COMBINE HARVESTER (Wurzels)

Talk about your moments that make your jaw hit the floor. The story behind this single stretches back for the best part of thirty years. The Wurzels had been a cabaret act since the late 1960s, performing songs as if they were a troupe of singing West Country farmers. During the long hot summer of 1976 they suddenly hit commercial paydirt thanks to EMI producer Bob Barratt who realised that with the right material they would go down a storm as a novelty act. He was right. They put new lyrics to Melanie's freudian anthem Brand New Key (originally a Number 4 hit here in 1972) and retitled it Combine Harvester (Brand New Key) turning the song into a tale of rural yearning. Quite bizarrely the song shot to the top of the charts and turned the Wurzels into stars, appearing as they did on Top Of The Pops complete with bales of hay and assorted farming implements. They even managed a followup hit, I Am A Cider Drinker (Paloma Blanca) which followed Combine Harvester into the Top 3. The group have been absent from the charts since 1977 but have continued to perform ever since. Now it seems it is time for a brief comeback. Stirred by the plight of financially ruined farmers thanks to this years outbreak of Foot And Mouth disease, the group have comissioned a new remix of their most famous track and have re-released it with the intention of donating revenues to an appeal fund for impoverished farmers. Of course in truth they aren't going to raise a huge amount of money from the record. As a mid-70s novelty record it worked fine but the addition of squelching dance beats does little to help make the track any more relevant to today's market. Even so it is an amusing surprise to see them back in the Top 40, whatever the circumstances and at the end of the day when was the last time you saw a record in the charts that made you stop and wonder if you have read correctly?