This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND (Girls Aloud)

Hehehe. Happy new year pop fans and welcome to the most bizarre chart period of the year. The chart this week is inevitably a quiet one, concerning itself with the sales week that began on Sunday December 22nd. So whilst on one hand it is based on purchases made during the final frantic shopping dash before Christmas, it also covers the holiday itself and the start of the sales weekend. Consequently, nobody has even dared to release new singles this week and the result is a Top 40 devoid of any brand new singles. This is also a chart that sees Girls Aloud fend off the competition for a second week to remain at the very top of the charts going into 2003. It means that 2002 has seen 30 different singles hit the top of the chart, the exact same figure as in 2001 which suggests even on this unscientific basis that at the very least the frantic speed of the singles chart has settled down to more acceptable levels following the record amount of turnover in 1999 and 2000.
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2 CHEEKY SONG (TOUCH MY BUM) (Cheeky Girls)

In a final blow to the pride of One True Voice, they are this week forced to surrender their runners-up slot on the Christmas chart to the Cheeky Girls who thus prove that novelty single or not, The Cheeky Song has more than just a passing appeal having now spent four solid weeks in the Top 3 at the busiest sales period of the year. The swapping of places between this track and the One True Voice single is, in fact, the only movement in the whole of the Top 10, making this week the closest we have ever come to an entirely static Top 10 countdown. The surge in sales caused by the Christmas period is immediately apparent when you look at the list of singles that have been granted a bullet on the chart this week, no less than 18 of the Top 40 singles having outperformed the rest of the market by a significant enough margin to be granted the honour.
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2002 AND ALL THAT

So that is the chart commentary for another week and another year. For some reason the past few months have seen my mailbox deluged with people expressing their frustration towards what they see as a lack of quality music this year. They are in a way faintly amusing as believe it or not I've actually enjoyed listening to pop music in 2002. I've never been one for the ego-trip of listing my favourite singles of the year but in all honesty a 12 month period that has seen the release of some great singles such as Shakira's Whenever Wherever, Appleton's Fantasy, Vanessa Carlton's A Thousand Miles, Starry Eyed Surprise from Paul Oakenfold, Tim Deluxe's It Just Won't Do, DB Boulevard's Another Point Of View and Truth Hurt's Addictive cannot have been all bad. Stir in the emergence of the likes of the Doves and Badly Drawn Boy as proper chart hitmakers, exciting new bands such as The Music, Oasis continuing to divide people's opinions and the resurrections of Scooter and The Sugababes plus singles that I liked but nobody else did such as Shoot The Dog, Moi Lolita, and ATC's Around The World and frankly you have a year that is anything but a musical dud. Hey, maybe this year will seem rather flat in comparison when compared with what is yet to come soon, just like 1994 didn't seem so bad at the time but in retrospect was a musical disaster, but a worrying decline in sales notwithstanding this has been a good 12 months. If nothing else we saw the rise of the Pop Idols Will and Gareth and their ability to sell singles at unprecedented rates. History was made this year and it would be foolish to dismiss that. So here is to 2003. Bring on the Russian lesbians... [Having lived through it all once again for these archive columns I'd be inclined to concur with 2002 James, this had indeed been a fabulous year for pop music. The "alarming decline" in sales though was a major alarm bell, and it was only going to get worse as CD singles dropped out of favour with the file sharing generation. Meanwhile the download revolution was still several years away].


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