This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 CAN'T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD (Kylie Minogue)

The release of its parent album Fever (also this week a chart-topping release)appears to have had no major effect on the sales of the single as in the (somewhat astonishing) absence of any serious competition, Kylie maintains her commanding lead at the top. Can't Get You Out Of My Head is now the fourth single this year to top the charts for as long as three weeks compared with just two singles which managed the feat in 2000. It also now joins Especially For You as her second biggest chart hit ever with only the five-week run of her debut I Should Be So Lucky standing in the way of it becoming the champion. Topping both charts simultaneously is something she has never managed before. Although her first two releases Kylie and Enjoy Yourself were also Number One albums, neither coincided with any of her chart-topping singles. All eyes now are on next week's chart battle. Kylie vs Jacko. The Aussie Princess vs The King Of Pop. I cannot wait.
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2 HEY BABY (DJ Otzi)

Recognition is due to DJ Otzi who has managed to be the unfortunate victim of the success of others. As I mentioned when he first topped the chart, the lack of nationwide exposure the single had received meant that it had the potential to grow its sales even further. So it has proved over the last few weeks as despite slipping to 2 and then 3 the single has actually increased its sales week by week, its declining fortunes only due to the fact that both Kylie and Steps have in the last few weeks notched up some six-figure sales of their own. This week the sustained sales of the track are enough to help it back to the runners-up slot and although it is destined to go down as only having spent a single week at the top, DJ Otzi's novelty hit is almost certain to end up outselling many of this year's other Number One hits. Isn't it time you stopped pretending you don't like it?
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7 SVEN SVEN SVEN (Bell & Spurling)

So what the hell happened here? Next week I can understand there being a dearth of big new releases given that the Michael Jackson comeback is upon us but the absence of any really big new hits this week is something of a mystery. In fairness of course this could just be circumstance as there have been many occasions in the past when the Top 10 has been swamped by brand new hits from unknown acts. This week could have been no different, it is just that none of the new singles released this week managed to capture public imagination enough to become smashes. Instead the biggest new single of the week comes from a somewhat unlikely source. As the title suggests, Sven Sven Sven is a tongue in cheek tribute to England football manager Sven-Goran Ericksson, dreamed up by two London comedians who secured a release for their song thanks to the support of both London radio station Capital Gold and the Sun newspaper. Now it is worth considering that had David Beckham's last-minute free kick missed on Saturday the song would have been wildly out of place given that England would still be sweating on qualification to the World Cup. As it turned out everything fell nicely into place and so the single arrives on the chart just in time for people to celebrate the fact that they have a reason to be watching television at 4am next June when England play in Japan and South Korea. OK so the record is bloody awful (and not in a "good" way like DJ Otzi but you cannot fault it for timing. Incidentally the single features snatches of commentary from the famous 5-1 victory over Germany last month as supplied by broadcaster Jonathan Pearce. This is the second time that the legendary screamer has featured on a hit single, his voice also appearing on Three Lions '98.


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8 FAT LIP (Sum 41)

As for the biggest 'proper' record of the week, that honour goes to Sum 41, a four piece rock band from Canada whose style is best described as Blink 182 meets the Beastie Boys. Melodic and memorable it isn't but it has appealed to enough people to give them a Top 10 hit on their debut.
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12 2 PEOPLE (Jean Jaques Smoothie)

Don't be fooled by the name, this isn't another infectious slice of French dance. Instead it is the brainchild of Welsh DJ Steve Robson, a record based on a sample from Minnie Riperton's Inside My Love which should hopefully be familiar to anyone who owns a copy of the Jackie Brown soundtrack. The original mix of the single has been kicking around since the start of the year but its release was delayed thanks to none other than Mirwais who called up the record company asking to remix it. As it turns out he took longer than expected to do so, hence the delay until now of an official release. Still, relentless plugging from many dance DJs on Radio One has done it no harm and the single slides nicely into the Top 20.


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16 LET'S GET BACK TO BED BOY (Sarah Connor featuring TQ)

Presenting now a brace of hit singles that have arrived on these shores after becoming massive hits in Germany. Newcomer Sarah Connor has the honour of being introduced on her debut hit by none other than TQ who is surely participating on his least credible hit single ever. This is nothing less than an unpretentious European hit single with a lyric that is simple and cheeky enough to have almost worldwide appeal. Some people were leaping up and down proclaiming this to be a smash hit single and whilst it isn't a huge success it has done enough to pave the way for Sarah Connor's next single French Kissing. Oh dear.
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18 YOU'RE MY MATE (Right Said Fred)

Can I do my Helen from Big Brother impression? Oh. My. God. For those who need reminding Right Said Fred were some of the biggest stars in Britain ten years ago. Pioneers of the "two bald blokes and one with a naff bubble perm" template of boy bands, they spent six weeks at Number 2 with I'm Too Sexy in the summer of '91, topped the charts all over the world (including America!) with the track and also had several other hit singles in this country, one of which Deeply Dippy was a Number One. Their first album Up! was full of such gems but then inspiration appeared to wane for their second album. The band themselves admitted recently that the video for their 1993 hit Bumped was deliberately lavish to try to draw attention away from the fact that the song itself was rubbish. By 1994 they were making songs for Sonic The Hedgehog adverts (Wonderman) in a failed attempt to have hits and then vanished altogether, Richard Fairbrass carving out a career as a TV presenter. They always remained popular in Europe though and so to test the waters for this comeback You're My Mate was released first in Germany and sure enough it became a Top 5 hit earlier this summer. Hence their return to the British charts and believe it or not the old inspiration appears to be back. You're My Mate may not be the coolest single on the chart this week but it is the one with the greatest sense of fun, the kind of record that Fat Les and Chumbawamba would make if they were locked in a basement together for a week. In a way it is actually a little sad that the single should only make Number 18, the charts need acts like Right Said Fred to remind us that music is all about having fun. Still, it is their biggest hit single since the Comic Relief single Stick It Out made Number 4 in March 1993 and the minimalist video (complete with bagpipe playing models) suggests that the band themselves know that once again they have made a great record. Strange though it may seem I'm actually looking forward to the album.


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20 CANDY (Ash)

It may not be the most typical single Ash have ever released but one of the most memorable tracks on the Free All Angels album finally becomes its fourth hit single. As the band mentioned in their dotmusic interview at the start of the year, Candy was a track that simply wasn't working until they set it to the melody of the 1960s classic Make It Easy On Yourself. The song was made famous by the Walker Brothers in 1965 who topped the charts with it here but the song actually dates back to 1962 when Jerry Butler had a Top 20 American hit. Ash simply borrow the string melody and use it to underscore the rather sweet ballad. Anyone who has seen the potentially award-winning video will know that the whole thing is meant to be rather tongue in cheek but it all works a treat. Not the biggest Ash hit ever (although it beats the Number 21 peak of their last single Sometimes) but in a year when they have released some of their best songs ever it will surely go down as one of the most memorable. [In the year they released their best ever album this was indeed rather surprisingly one of their best ever singles].


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21 IT'S OVER (Kurupt)

You could almost regard him as the hidden man of West Coast rap. Kurupt has actually had a hand in more rap classics than most people realise, having creative input in one way or another in both Dr Dre's The Chronic and Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle. This single marks his solo singles chart debut and if the rest are half as appealing as this one then let us hope there are plenty more.
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27 VENUS AND MARS (Jo Breezer)

The debut singer from a former child acting prodigy who is now attempting to become a singing sensation in adulthood. Much has been made of her previous acting credentials (even though her closest she ever got to fame was a bit part in Grange Hill) which is almost to the detriment of the song itself. Actually, it isn't half bad, a melodic tune that is a cross between Nelly Furtado and Natalie Imbruglia. It deserves better.
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29 RESPECTABLE (Girls @ Play)

The multi-cultural girl band whose name breaks the dotmusic search engine code (or at least it did last time they had a single out) return to the chart almost six months after their debut Airhead made Number 18. Their mission: to destroy a famous pop hit from the 80s. Respectable was first recorded by Mel and Kim in 1987. It was their second hit single and topped the chart with ease in March of that year, its run at the top cut short by the Ferry Aid charity single. So much a song of its era it was arguably one of Stock, Aitken and Waterman's best ever productions, done at a time when they still had credibility and before they started dipping into naffness. From the sampled tay-tay-tay-tay of the chorus hook to the way the instrumental break turns into a shameless tribute to Steve Silk Hurley's Jack Your Body, it is a record that oozes 1987 from every pore. Hence, of course, it doesn't work in a 2001 version. Girls @ Play give it their all but the song is devoid of charm and spirit. Nobody is pretending that the group are ever going to be any more than another failed attempt to find a Spice Girls for a new generation (see also 21st Century Girls and Girl Thing) but their Village People-esque gimmick should at least give them a fighting chance if only they stay clear of badly done cover versions.
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36 BREATHE (Faith Hill)

Well no matter what it takes, Warner Brothers are determined to turn Faith Hill into a mainstream star of the level of Shania Twain in this country. There You'll Be appeared to have done the trick. It may not have been the most memorable love theme from a movie ever released but the highlight of the Pearl Harbor soundtrack still made an impressive Number 3 back in June. For the follow-up they have turned back to the title track from her last album and which was first released as a single in May 2000, peaking at Number 33. That was in its original new-country version so for this release the remixing skills of Tin Tin Out have been called in. You may remember they worked a similar magic on older Corrs hits such as What Can I Do and Runaway, transforming them from pedestrian album tracks into pop smashes. Sadly the same trick appears not to have worked here and despite its newfound fluidity and energy the single is nothing more than a minor Top 40 entry. I suspect there will be a bit of hair-tearing over this. Aside from the atypical There You'll Be she has had Top 20 hits in the past with the dance remix of The Way You Love Me (Number 15 back in April) and an untouched This Kiss (Number 13 in November 1998). So which version of Faith Hill do the public want?
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37 HERE I COME (SING DJ) (Talisman P meets Barrington Levy)

A reggae superstar, yet virtually unknown in the mainstream, Barrington Levy first recorded Here I Come back in 1985. It almost became a pop hit in its own right, peaking at an agonising Number 41 and was widely pillaged for samples by producers in the five years afterwards. Talisman P had long wanted to do a new version of the track and was delighted to find that Levy himself was up for remaking the track in a more contemporary style. The recording first emerged in September 2000 and was widely hailed as the next Sun Is Shining - a long forgotten reggae hit turned into a club anthem. At the time a full release was not forthcoming but the track was not forgotten, instead becoming an Ibiza anthem over the summer thanks to relentless plugging by the likes of Judge Jules and Seb Fontaine. I'm told it also lit up the crowd at a rainswept Notting Hill Carnival at the end of August too and with that kind of reaction a full commercial release had to follow. As to why it has not turned into a major hit... your guess is as good as mine.