This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 MORE THAN A WOMAN (Aaliyah)

Well, here we were wondering just what the first big chart story of the new year was going to be when all the time the answer was staring us in the face. Posthumous hits. When Aaliyah died in a plane crash back in August 2001 everyone was in agreement that a sparkling talent had been lost to the world. Even though she was something of a veteran (her first hit coming at age 14) the 22-year-old had almost certainly only scratched the surface of what she was capable of achieving. At the time of her death she was in the middle of promoting a brand new album, the first single We Need A Resolution having made Number 20 just a few weeks before she died. This presented the record company with something of a dilemma - at what point did it become good taste to release another single from the star without at the same time being accused of cashing in? Hence the four-month delay in the release of More Than A Woman although the time lapse has done little to dispel the desire of people to pay tribute to the late singer and the track duly shoots to the top of the charts, giving Aaliyah her biggest ever hit single. Incidentally, just for the record, it was not the video for More Than A Woman that the crew in the plane crash had been shooting but rather Rock The Boat which was at the time set to be her next single.

Aaliyah is now the 9th singer to top the charts posthumously and strangely enough the first woman to ever do this. Although the old cliche says that death is the most commercial thing that can happen to a music star, a posthumous Number One hit isn't always a given. For every Buddy Holly, John Lennon or Freddie Mercury there is a Michael Hutchence, Otis Redding, Jim Morrison or Kurt Cobain - none of whom saw their records fly to the top after their untimely deaths. A the risk of over-analysing, the more tragic, untimely and crucially accidental your death is, the better chance you stand of having a Number One hit in your memory. Here then is the full list of posthumous chart-topping stars, how they died and when they topped the charts:

  • Buddy Holly (plane crash), 1959
  • Eddie Cochran (motor accident), 1960
  • Jim Reeves (plane crash), 1966 (died 1964)
  • Jimi Hendrix (drugs), 1970
  • Elvis Presley (heart failure), 1977
  • John Lennon (murdered), 1980
  • Jackie Wilson (natural causes), 1986 (died 1984)
  • Freddie Mercury (AIDS), 1991
  • Aaliyah (plane crash), 2002 (died 2001)

It should be interesting to see whether George Harrison will fit into this list next week when My Sweet Lord is re-released as a tribute to the late Beatle. Will 2002 be the first year ever to have Number One hits from two different posthumous stars and in consecutive weeks at that?


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2 ADDICTED TO BASS (Puretone)

Tragedies aside, the story of the chart this week is the triumphant return of the club hit. Virtually every big new release this week is a dance track as the chowns that dominated Christmas parties in most happening venues now find their way into the shops. Indeed of the 14 singles that enter the Top 40 this week, 12 of them are club or rap hits. A nightmare for anyone trying to put together a coherent story about each one but absolute heaven for fans of the genre. Actually the first of these does at least have some kind of tale behind it as Addicted To Bass actually comes from Australia where it was a chart sensation last year. Puretone is Sydney-based producer Josh Abrahams who learned his craft from none other than Carl Cox. The strong female vocals help to make this sound like an incredibly infectious crossover pop hit as well as the hard-hitting club track it was made as and the Thelma and Louise-esque video (available in full here on dotmusic) only adds to the appeal. Addicted To Bass actually found its way into a few shops a week early last week and so raised a few eyebrows when it was listed at Number 68 on last week's chart. The result of this is that rather than being a new entry the single registers a massive 66 place climb, the biggest Top 75 climb since Step's The Way You Make Me Feel made a 70 place climb just over a year ago for the same reason. In short this is the biggest new hit of the week by someone who is still alive and quite deservedly so.


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4 BAD INTENTIONS (Dr Dre featuring Knoc-turnal)

Well you shouldn't look so surprised as this is actually Dr Dre's second successive Top 5 single, the followup to The Next Episode which was released in February 2001. Bad Intentions marks Dr Dre's first venture into the world of movie making as it features in his forthcoming film The Wash which also boasts cameo appearances from his most famous proteges - Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
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5 THE WHISTLE SONG (BLOW MY WHISTLE BITCH) (DJ Alligator)

I actually referenced this a couple of weeks ago, expecting this to be the first major commercial club smash of the year. As it turns out The Whistle Song becomes one of just a flood of new club hits this week although it is probably the most familiar one of all of them thanks to extensive exposure on both the MTV and Box networks. Although the two are both totally different tracks, this is actually the second semi-instrumental club track to be entitled "The Whistle Song". To find the other you have to go back to 1991 when no less a legend than Frankie Knuckles was in the Top 20 with his own tribute to the habit of clubbers blowing whistles to indicate approval of a particular track. Opinion is divided as to when the tradition (one which comes in and out of fashion every few years and is at the very least several thousand times less naff than holding up signs) actually started, many accounts attributing it to the rare groove and soul nights that sprang up in the early 1980s although you will doubtless find some writers that place it even earlier than that. What's that? Oh right, back to music, sorry.
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6 IT'S LOVE (TRIPPIN') (Goldtrix presents Andrea Brown)

Another track from the "this is the first big club smash of 2002" pile, this track first appeared at the end of the summer and you may even have heard it creep into some sets if you were on holiday at the end of the season. Goldtrix are producer Matrix and keyboardist Danny Goldstein (hence the name of the act) and vocals are by Andrea "sister of Kathy" Brown. The title of the song doesn't so much reference the vocals as the inspiration for the track - an old Jill Scott song called It's Love whose lyrics have been appropriated for this club stormer.
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8 HATERS (So Solid Crew)

The third So Solid single (try saying it when drunk) is, according their official site, "people who are envious of the So Solid Crew’s success". It is not documented whether this includes the people who keep taking guns to their gigs. Cheap shots, er I mean digs, aside this maintains their 100% streak of Top 10 hits, even if it does fall short of the Number 3 placing achieved by They Don't Know back in November last year.
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9 DRIFTING AWAY (Lange featuring Skye)

Stuart Lange is the chap's name and this isn't actually his first chart appearance. He has previously charted as Sureal with Take My Breath Away (Number 15 in October 2000). Those who snapped up the soundtrack of the Kevin and Perry film a couple of years ago will be familiar with one of his other creations- Follow Me which featured Cecily Faye on vocals.
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11 GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS (Jay-Z)

Hot on the heels of Izzo (Number 21 in October last year) comes the second single release from the album The Blueprint. Something of a collaborative effort this one as Biz Markie, Slick Rick and Q-Tip all make appearances on this tender ode to the shortcomings of a dazzling array of women. The annoyingly familiar sample isn't actually from anything that most people will recognise - Girls Girls Girls is based on a song called I Love You More And More Every Time by Tom Brock.

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13 RUNNIN' (Mark Picchiotti presents Basstoy)

Haven't we done with the dance singles yet? American Mark Picchiotti is another of these types who like to work under a variety of different aliases, Jamiroquai, Mariah Carey and the Pet Shop Boys having all used his services in the past . His last chart appearance was actually in May 2000 when under the name of Sandstorm he reached Number 54 with a track called The Return Of Nothing. His "return" to hitmaking comes with this track about which there is little of mass relevance to relate.
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18 ON THE RADIO (REMEMBER THE DAYS) (Nelly Furtado)

At last! A track that is not a club anthem. It is however a track that has had some rather bizarre censorship inflicted on it as of course the original version of the track on the album is entitled Shit On The Radio. Presumably direct references to excrement in song titles are a no-no, hence this rather coy adjustment to the title of the track even though higher up the chart DJ Alligator is shouting "blow my whistle bitch" which is surely more offensive. Anyway the usual Nelly Furtado elements are in place for her third chart hit, that incredibly cute voice, impossible to place accent and a heavy dose of feminine attitude. Nothing to set the world on fire of course but crucially YOU CANNOT DANCE TO IT.


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22 LOVE & AFFECTION (Mr Pink presents The Program)

A somewhat delayed release this one as Love And Affection was originally due for release in November to coincide with the party season until someone decided it would do better at this time of year. A great many people will hate this track (which has Joey Negro's fingerprints all over it) as it has the temerity to rework one of the all-time classics. Love And Affection was of course originally a hit for Joan Armatrading, in fact it was her debut and her biggest hit, reaching Number 10. As the song by which she will always be remembered it means a lot to a great many people - even those who should be aware that in dance music, nothing is sacred.
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34 YOU ROCK MY WORLD (Michael Jackson)

The dismal failure of Cry notwithstanding, people are still keen to snap up Jackson product when they spot a bargain. Hence in the last few weeks You Rock My World has been climbing back up the chart as copies of the single find their way into the discount racks. The single had actually plummeted as low as Number 70 just prior to Christmas but this week it makes a rather surprising return to the Top 40 for the first time in eight weeks. Somehow you suspect this is due to nothing more than certain retailers having overstocked on his big comeback track and then being caught out when it failed to sell in the expected numbers, hence there are still plenty of copies to be shifted at whatever price. Hearing it again for the first time in a few months allows you to note that once you are over the disappointment of the single having been nothing special it is still a great example of Jacko doing what he does best.
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36 DREAM UNIVERSE (DJ Garry)

DJ Garry? He's from Belgium.
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37 WONDERLAND (Psychedelic Waltons)

Winning the "name of the year" award before we have even begun are the Psychedelic Waltons, actually the new project from Nelle Hooper and co-collaborator Fabien Waltman. Wonderland features the vocal talents of Moloko's Roisin Murphy who of course has stretched her club legs once before, back in June last year of course when she guested on Boris Dlugosch's Never Enough, a track that did rather better than this one when it peaked at Number 16.
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38 IT'S YOURS (Jon Cutler featuring E-Man)

A chart debut for Jon Cutler, a man who is something of a legend in New York circles having been the boss of his own label Distant Music as well as being a hip-hop DJ of some note. Is that it, can I go home now?


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