It may be the biggest selling single of the year so far, but the Helping Haiti single does indeed prove to be a rather spectacular flash in the pan. As if a light switch has been turned off, its sales take a precipitous turn for the worst this week and the single crashes straight from the top to Number 9 in the biggest Number One slump since the glory days of McFly. At this rate it is entirely possible it could set a new record for the fastest decline in sales ever. From half a million to zero in just five weeks?
This dramatic vacuum at the top of the singles chart meant that the way was clear for a new Number One single - the only question being just which one it would be. At the start of the week the answer appeared to be You Got The Dirtee Love which in its first full week on sale continued its spectacular form that began in the aftermath of its midweek release first time around. Indeed had the forthcoming midweek chart update been broadcast during this week, most people would have safely assumed that the Florence + The Machine and Dizzee Rascal collaboration was a reasonable lock to give us the first live Number One single for almost 17 years.
It was not to be. Having snapped at their heels for most of the week, Jason Derulo finally steamed into pole position just before the weekend, a sales lead he was never to relinquish. So it is that the young star from Florida storms to the top of the charts with his second single In My Head. The follow-up to last years Top 3 single Whatcha Say, the track has instantly outperformed its chart fortunes thus far back home, with the single at the present time locked at Number 9 on the Hot 100.
Rounding out the Top 3 this week is Rihanna with the disturbingly catchy Rude Boy which makes a three place climb to become her tenth Top 3 single since 2005.
The second biggest new hit of the week arrives at Number 4 and doubtless comes as some relief to those who confidently predicted that the artist in question would be the next big thing of 2010. Step forward Brits Critics Choice winner Ellie Goulding who crashes straight into the Top 5 with her first major label release Starry Eyed. The track is technically her second single, her first being Under The Sheets which despite being bankrolled by her label Polydor was actually released on an independent label as a low key introductory offering at the back end of last year. I confess to approaching the acclaim heaped upon the singer songwriter with more than a little cynicism and was left distinctly underwhelmed when I saw her live just before Christmas. [Supporting Little Boots as it so happened. None of us watching her strum away to crowd indifference could have guessed what was to follow.] Playing support on a bare stage and performing on record are two very different things however, and the lavishly produced Starry Eyed has enough popular backing to launch it into the Top 5 with ease. For the moment though she remains something of an acquired taste and her distinctive warble will annoy just as many people as it enchants.
Never mind, the next single should be nice and uncontroversial. Oh no wait, it is Menudo The Sugababes Mark III with their second single release of the new era. Wear My Kiss is the direct follow-up to About A Girl and sees all three girls take turns on lead vocals before coming together for some choral harmonies that still for whatever reason lack the distinctiveness that used to readily identify a Sugababes record. Their continuing ability to chart hit records suggests that the grumpy fans who still can't forgive the lineup change at the end of last year are nothing more than a vocal minority, but even for the casual listener the Sugababes project continues to be less a pop group and more a bizarre ongoing soap opera.
From lineup changes to potential name changes as the erstwhile Mrs Cheryl Cole finally sees the aftermath of her Brit Awards performance kick in for the benefit of her current single Parachute which vaults 19-11. With her marriage to her footballer husband now apparently at an end, she faces the awkward dilemma of how to make the transition back to her maiden name after having spent the last few years insisting loyally that she was now called "Cheryl Cole". The tendency for female pop stars to place their misguided faith in their notoriously fragile showbiz marriages has caused some odd credit changes in the past. Former Spice Girl Mel B topped the charts in 1998 under her maiden name but then released a single the following year as "Melanie G" before reverting back a year later when her marriage ended. Make the most of it then, Parachute may well wind up being the last single release from The Artist Formerly Known As "Cheryl Cole", the papers even reporting she wants the US release of the 3 Words album to carry the name Tweedy. [Instead she settled on a mononym which only served to make her look as if she had ideas about her station. Just change your name once and stay married woman, its not that hard.]
An equally curious new name makes its debut at Number 12 thanks to the chart arrival of Opposite Of Adults by Chiddy Bang. The entertainingly monikered hip-hop/electronica fusion act hail from Philadelphia and first came to people's attention last year when they were all still in their first year of college. Although primarily a duo of Xaphoon and Chiddy, the extensive contributions of collaborators Zach and Pat make them effectively a four-piece. Their unique selling point is their sampling of the most unlikely of sources, everything from Radiohead to Tom Waits and indeed the melody of Opposite Of Adults will be familiar to just about every chart fan with the single effectively an interpolation of Kids by MGMT. A track as diverting as it is notable, just for a change the opening lyric of "we pretty much amazing" is no idle brag.
Lady Gaga's return to Number One may be the big news on the album chart but the highest new entry of the week is at Number 5 as Marina and the Diamonds makes her debut with The Family Jewels. The album gives current single 'Hollywood' a much needed leg up as well. After falling as far down as Number 22 over the last couple of weeks the track is now back up to Number 13, just one place shy of the Number 12 ranking it original attained when first released last month.
Now to Leona Lewis and did you ever think we would see the day when a new single from her is devoid of all sensation? It seems we've reached that point now as the second single from her second album Echo seems set to become her lowest charting proper release to date. I Got You is the track in question which first crept into the Top 40 as an album cut last week at Number 40 but which now jumps to Number 14 as it is promoted to a proper digital single. True enough, a 26 place rise is enough to make her what we used to note as the "highest climber" of the week, but compared to the spectacular way past singles have shoulderbarged their way into the Top 5, this seems a quiet, almost understated debut. Her problem by and large is the same one we noted at the time of the release of her last single Happy - a straightforward lack of sensation. I Got You is yet another immaculate mid tempo ballad with a suitably epic crashing production but it is still nothing we haven't heard before. Once upon a time Leona Lewis blew you away. Now she just bores. If I Got You becomes her first single proper to miss the Top 10, this will be the primary reason why.
The last notable new single of the week arrives at a suspiciously lowly Number 29, continuing the comeback of Alphabeat with Hole In My Heart. The Danish pop band emerged in 2008 with first album This Is Alphabeat, their sound a cheerful and enthusiastic recreation of the spirit of 1986. Collectively their songs were sparkling pop anthems of the kind they just don't make any more and they inspired something close to hero worship amongst the pop fan community. In spite of this goodwill the formula jarred somewhat against the prevailing musical culture and although debut single Fascination made a credible Number 6 their two subsequent singles merely crept into the Top 20 despite sounding for all the world like all time classics. Suspicions that they still hadn't got it right were confirmed in October last year when brand new single The Spell stalled at Number 20 and worryingly this was followed by the news that the release of their second album was to be delayed until the spring. With new long player The Beat Is... hitting the shops this week it is heralded by this second single which you will note has performed even worse. Their internal clock appears to have moved forward to 1991 this time around and so the single is underpinned by a grating electronic piano rhythm. If anything Alphabeat now fall down between two different stools, the song sounding too retro to fit comfortably in 2010 and now not enough of a pop record to be given a free pass into the Top 20. The group who were at one stage supposed to be the shining knights of a pop revival may well just wind up as little more than a curiosity. Tickle me disappointed.