This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 THE TIDE IS HIGH (GET THE FEELING) (Atomic Kitten)

There is a slight temptation to dismiss the latest Atomic Kitten single as just another in a long line of nothing pop hits from the act who shoot straight to the top of the charts with every single release. That is until you realise that their last single It's OK actually didn't top the charts - making Number 3 instead. On that basis you can view this track as a reversal of what seemed to be a downward trend and indeed it suggests the single is topping the charts as much on merit as it does simply because it is an Atomic Kitten track. The third Number One hit for the trio is from a similar source as the second - a cover version of a 1980s Number One. Last time around it was the Bangles' Eternal Flame, this time it is The Tide Is High, a reggae song that is actually older than most of the group. The song was originally recorded by the Paragons but it is best known in the version which topped the listings for Blondie in 1980. What elevates the Atomic Kitten remake into something a little special is the way that halfway through the single segues nicely into a totally different track - a new song called Get The Feeling - demonstrating that the producers have put a little thought and care into the single rather than doing a by the numbers cover version. Those with long memories will be instantly aware that this technique - creating a medley of a famous old song and a less familiar one - is identical to the one employed by the Detroit Spinners back in the early 1980s and in particular on Workin' My Way Back To You - Forgive Me Girl which also topped the charts and is a rare example of a cover version of a classic winding up as a classic in its own right. It would be extremely premature to attach the same label to the Atomic Kitten single but this is a rare example of a throwaway pop cover actually getting it exactly right for once and more so than their version of Eternal Flame, this actually deserves to be topping the charts.


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5 DY-NA-MI-TEE (Ms Dynamite)

Following up the Number 7 peak of June's It Takes More, the UKs hottest female R&B act (it says here) proves that her last single was no fluke by charging into the Top 3 with this release. If you have even been half aware of the saturation radio exposure for the track over the last month then this chart position will come as no surprise. Treading that fine line between catchy and irritating, the single is the lady's signature song as she expounds her own virtues in a sing-song voice and over a light production that is a world away from the Lauryn Hill aping of It Takes More. OK, the single is not to everyone's taste (nor mine) but the appeal of it can be spotted a mile off. Her biggest hit to date, duh.
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9 TOO BAD (Nickelback)

Truly a real hit in every sense of the word, Nickelback's How You Remind Me found an audience way beyond that which ordinarily snaps up rock ballads. Charting at Number 5 in early March, the single went on to peak at Number 4 on two different occasions during an 11 week stay in the Top 10 and only exiting from the Top 75 21 weeks after it was first released. Not bad for a track that had also spent two weeks in the lower end of the chart on import before it even arrived on these shores. Of course a performance like that is hard to follow and despite also making the Top 10, Too Bad will inevitably be seen as a slightly lesser release. Trust me, it isn't, even if it will fall like a stone next week.
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12 LOVE TO SEE YOU CRY (Enrique Iglesias)

Hey, more summer holiday memories here. Back in June when I was in Kyiv, this track came on MTV I swear ever 20 minutes. After about four times it lodges in your head more than you care to admit. Iglesias Jnr's third single release of the year is actually his first to be what you might regard as typical. By that I mean it is a throwback to the smouldering Latin style of his debut Bailamos, full of plucked guitars, steamy vocals and a lyric that makes it sound like he wants to upset his lady but which is probably about orgasms. It brings to a halt his run of three successive Top 10 hits but lets face it, this release has come rather late. Summer is over isn't it?


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16 TOUCH ME TEASE ME (3SL)

Goodness, how quick people are to turn the knife these days. No matter where you look, from popbitch to the message boards, self-appointed experts are queueing up to speculate that the chart career of the Three Scott Lee brothers is about to come to an abrupt halt. The reason of course is that pop acts cannot afford to have an off week. To continually justify the money that must be spent on grooming and promoting them, not to mention paying the wages of the people that actually write their songs, they must be absolutely consistent in their chart performance and hit the Top 10, better still the Top 5, every time. This is of course the one aspect of the music business not in control of the men in suits, actually persuading people to part with cash to buy the product on which so much attention has been lavished. Therefore, the conclusion goes, the days of 3SL must be numbered. Their first single Take It Easy slotted into the "quite good actually" niche and whilst it only made Number 11 it was considered a good base on which to build. Of course the mere fact that this second single (filed under "not actually as catchy") has failed to build on that and instead has duplicated the feat of just missing out on a place in the Top 10 means that fingers are hovering over the "abort" button on the whole project. Wild, inappropriate and fanciful speculation it may be, the fact remains that it may well turn out to be correct.
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20 SEXIEST MAN IN JAMAICA (Mint Royale)

The long overdue chart return of Mint Royale, producers and remixers to the gentry and who every so often pop up with a hit in their own name. Their past career highlights include transforming Terrorvision's Tequila into a club stormer and giving the post-Kenickie career of TV host Laren Laverne a shot in the arm by asking her to perform vocals on Don't Falter, which hit Number 15 in February 2000. Two and a half years later they finally return to the charts with a track that features a lead vocal from a genuine legend - ska master Prince Buster. For years Prince Buster's only encounter with the UK charts had come in 1967 when his famous track Al Capone hit Number 18. He returned 31 years later in 1998 when Whine And Grine was used in a TV commercial for Levis Jeans, resulting in the old recording hitting Number 21.


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21 ENVY (Ash)

One year on from the triumphant return to form that was the Free All Angels album, Ash are now on a mission to prove that tracks such as Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn and my personal favourite Candy were no fluke. On that basis, this first single from the new album shows that it wasn't. Their 13th chart single since their 1995 debut, you can be forgiven for being a little surprised that this single didn't chart higher, but bear in mind that of their 13 chart singles to date, only three of those have gone Top 10.
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24 GET UP AND MOVE (Harvey)

And the So Solid hits just keep on coming. As bandmate Romeo slips to Number 11 this week with his debut solo hit Romeo Dunn, fellow crew member Harvey this week makes a chart debut of his own with this single. Perhaps proving that the name alone isn't always enough to guarantee a hit, Get Up And Move has to settle for a rather more lowly chart placing than the Top 10 gained by Romeo Dunn. Of course Harvey wouldn't be a So Solid Crew member without generating a few headlines of his own, the rapper making headlines a week ago after being glassed with a broken bottle whilst in Ibiza. At least he isn't in prison I guess.
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35 CALL ME (Tweet)

A study in contrasts here as whilst hot UK prospect Ms Dynamite consolidates her position with the biggest hit of her career, hot US female act Tweet finds that fame outside her native shores is a little harder to come by. The ode to masturbation Oops (Oh My) was memorable enough to become a Top 5 hit back in May but this slightly less distinctive follow-up does little more than make a token appearance at the lower end of the Top 40. Then again if we have R&B stars of our own, who needs the Americans?


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