This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 LIGHT MY FIRE (Will Young)

The two days of Jubilee holiday at the start of last week has almost certainly meant that most of the record industry shied away from launching much in the way of strong new product this week. As a result, the top end of the chart has a strangely familiar ring to it, Will Young and Eminem holding steady at places 1 and 2 and indeed the only change in the whole of the Top 6 coming at places 3 and 4 which see Liberty X and Ant & Dec swap places. Whereas last week Will Young outsold Eminem by a ratio of 2:1, the gap this week is much closer and indeed reports suggest that the gap between the top 2 was as little as 12,000 copies but it is still Will Young who holds firm, the first chart-topper for six weeks to last more than seven days at the summit. This relative becalming of the charts is almost certain to be a temporary state of affairs and next week the strong possibility exists that Will Young will be replaced at the top of the charts by a man who first topped the UK chart way back in 1957.
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7 BE COOL (Paffendorf)

Cologne-based four piece Paffendorf have the honour of charting the biggest new hit of the week. Released through Ministry Of Sound's Data imprint, this club track starts out as a fairly typical piece of European electronica, made distinctive by the alternately growling and breathless female vocals which exhort everyone to be cool and which in turn usher in the feelgood melody around which the track is based. Good enough to be the crossover hit that this high chart placing suggests at the very least. Although this is their first ever chart single, Paffendorf have been making music since 1998 and their 2001 tracks Rhythm & Sex and Where Are You sold in six-figure sums all over Europe.
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8 BLURRY (Puddle Of Mudd)

Taking advantage also of the lack of competition this week are Puddle Of Mudd. The Fred Durst-mentored band first charted back in February with the Number 15 hit Control but with this second release make that all-important breakthrough into the Top 10. Positive reviews abound for them even if the Pearl Jam comparisons seem a little far-fetched at this stage.


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9 DOVE (I'LL BE LOVING YOU) (Moony)

More dance and this single marks the solo chart debut of Monica Bragato who is known professionally as Moony. Hailing from Venice, her first love is disco and this single just oozes retro class in every feel good groove, right the way through to the guitar solo that appears in the mix towards the very end. OK I am biased being an unreconstructed disco fan but this for me is the best new single of the week. If you think her voice sounds familiar then you are correct as Moony was the singer (credited in the small print only) on DB Boulevard's Point Of View (a Number 3 hit back in March) which as chance would have it she also co-wrote. [She was also depicted faithfully as the singer in the animated video for that track, something that was admittedly only apparent when she eventually launched her solo career].


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12 HELLA GOOD (No Doubt)

The second hit single of the year for No Doubt, this following the memorable Number 2 smash Hey Baby which became their biggest hit since the globe-straddling Don't Speak five years earlier. If nothing else this single is different. Very different. On the surface, it is a perfect example of how a rock production can work almost untouched on the dancefloor. What sets it apart from your average pop record is that it contains very little in the way of lyrics. In fact the track is little more than a single looped chorus urging us to "keep on dancing" and at times runs the risk of driving you insane with its repetitiveness. [Now there is a story to tell here, because as anyone who knows the track will tell you, there is far more to it than this. What I was doing was reviewing it based on a copy I'd downloaded from a file-sharing app. By this time major labels were striking back at such services and deliberately polluting them with incomplete or corrupt copies of priority tracks. So all you could find of Hella Good was the aforementioned chorus loop. Madonna reportedly went one stage further and arranged for one of her tracks to be effectively replaced with a file of similar length but whch just featured her shouting "what the fuck are you doing?"] Still, sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and far less inspired club tracks than this one have topped the charts in the past. It may not be the biggest hit of the week or even the biggest hit Gwen and the boys will ever have but I guarantee you will have heard this on the radio this week without realising just what it is. Number 12 is enough to make it their biggest hit not to reach the Top 10.


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16 3 LIONS (Baddiel/Skinner/Lightning Seeds)

After the mini-invasion of last week, this week the Top 40 sees just one World Cup related single entering the listings and this time it is like the return of an old friend. 3 Lions was originally written as the official England team song for the 1996 European Championships and featured the talents of the Lightning Seeds and TV comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner. Adopted almost immediately as a substitute national anthem, the song topped the charts with ease and rang out around football stadiums all over the UK as England marched towards their traditional defeat on penalties to Germany in the semi-finals. Two years later the trio re-recorded the track with new lyrics for the 1998 World Cup and despite its lack of "official" status this time around the track flew back to the top of the charts and giving the lads the strange honour of topping the charts with two different versions of the same song. Four years on the song is back again, once again using the 1998 lyrics which still ring true in their tale of eternal hopes that England will find a way to overcome the continual disappointments of successive tournament campaigns. Of course, without anything new to add the single fails to duplicate its past chart performances. The only other point of note is that back in 1998 when this version was first in the charts the BBC replaced the voice of commentator Jonathan Pearce with the team from Five Live. This time around Pearce is a BBC employee and it appears they have no problem airing his voice on Radio One.

Other World Cup releases this week have fared even worse in the charts. An equally opportunistic re-released of New Order's 1990 Number One hit World In Motion narrowly misses out on reaching the Top 40 whilst the biggest surprise is the failure of Fat Les' Who Invented Fish And Chips which cannot even reach the Top 75. Maybe if they had re-released Vindaloo... [The Fat Les track incidentally saw Keith Allen recruit his then 17 year old daughter Lily on co-vocals, and its failure meant she was denied the chance to make her chart debut four years earlier than would eventually happen].
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20 DREAMER/GETS ME THROUGH (Ozzy Osbourne)

Just a two place drop for Ozzy Osbourne this week, this chart placing coming at the end of a week which saw the rock legend take his place alongside modern pop acts and the likes of Cliff Richard to perform at the Party At The Palace on the Monday bank holiday. When listing his chart achievements last week I inadvertently omitted to mention one of his other high charting singles. That honour goes to Was (Not Was)'s Shake Your Head which featured Ozzy and Kim Basinger as uncredited lead singers and which hit Number 4 in July 1992, matching the original peak of Black Sabbath's Paranoid.
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33 EVERYDAY (Agnelli & Nelson)

Keeping with the football theme it most certainly is a chart of two halves this week, with five of the week's new hits arriving inside the Top 20 and the remaining 50% all cramming into places 33 to 39. First of these also-rans is the sixth chart single from Agnelli & Nelson, their first since Vegas charted at Number 48 in April 2001 and their biggest since the Number 29 peak of Hudson Street in September 2000. Their greatest chart success came in 1999 when Everyday reached Number 17.
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36 SET IT OFF (Peaches)

A minimalistic production drives the debut single from Peaches with the buzzing bassline proving as much of a hook as the chorus. Peaches is Canadian singer Merrill Nisker who began her career as a folk singer before deciding to go down the sleazy electro-pop route in search of greater fame. Given the exposure this single has had it is perhaps something of a surprise that it has charted this low.
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37 WHAT A WASTER (Libertines)

Arriving in the chart via the relentless plugging of Radio One DJ Mark Radcliffe, the Libertines have worked with Suede guitarist Bernard Butler on their debut single, and indeed the track remains true to this kind of pedigree with some searing guitar work and a relentless energy that hasn't been heard in the charts since the golden age of New Wave back in the late 1970s. Not the biggest hit in the world but more than good enough for their first ever release, and you will be hard-pressed to find a single as enthusiastically retro as this one.

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38 SWEETNESS (Jimmy Eat World)

A second hit single for Jimmy Eat World, following up February's memorable The Middle which made Number 26. Sadly a major hit single continues to elude them and this slightly less catchy offering can do little more than creep into the Top 40.
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39 JUMP ON DEMAND (Spunge)

Formed in 1994, this five-piece act have literally dragged themselves up by their bootstraps via the good old fashioned way of playing pub gigs and selling CDs out of a suitcase. Now it appears to have paid off with this debut Top 40 single, a quite joyful fusion of ska and rock that suggests they have plenty more to offer than this brief appearance at the lower end of the listings. Watch out for them.


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