This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 ALL THE THINGS SHE SAID (Tatu)

Yeah, like you did not see this coming. After what seems like two months of advance hype, import sales which saw the single climb as high as Number 44 last week and close on three years since the track was a hit in Eastern Europe and their native Russia, Julia and Lena aka Tatu make a triumphant debut at the top of the UK singles chart. We have all heard the hype of course, about how the pair claim to be lesbian lovers, sing about the heartbreak of their forbidden passions and snog enthusiastically onstage whilst performing. To its immense credit the British media, for the most part, has refused to be suckered in by this, dismissing it all as the marketing gimmick it actually is. We know that the pair aren't sapphically inclined, that the whole thing is just a fiction and so, as a result, the PR machine has had to resort to quite desperate measures to stir up even the faintest trace of controversy over their antics. Richard and Judy, hang your heads in shame for even being tempted to play along.

No, Tatu have worked in this country primarily on the strength of the song. Why not after all, as All The Things She Said is nothing less than a great pop record, maybe not the most immediate in the world but one you come to appreciate more with every play. Much has been made of Trevor Horn's involvement in the project although in actual fact he only produces two of the tracks on the album. Nonetheless All The Things She Said is indeed his work which makes this the 8th Number One single he has either produced or co-produced and his first since LeAnn Rimes' Can't Fight The Moonlight hit the top in 2000. Having heard both the English and original Russian versions of their album, you can't escape the feeling that the songs work better in their original language but in actual fact All The Things She Said may well be just the tip of the iceberg of what the pair have to offer. Word has it that we may skip over their other late 90s Eurohit Not Gonna Get Us (Nas Ne Dogoniat) in favour of the ballad 30 Minutes but pretty much everyone who has heard it has raved ceaselessly about their rendition of The Smiths' How Soon Is Now and it is not turned into a single here at some stage then heads need to roll. [It never did. Great wasted opportunities of our time].


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2 STOLE (Kelly Rowland)

The two biggest hits of the week both began their chart careers just after Christmas, sneaking into the bottom end of the listings on import sales. Stole was actually hanging around the charts at Christmastime, hitting Number 57 for the new year. Depending on your point of view this single is either a debut or a follow-up. Technically it is the debut solo single for the Destiny's Child singer but of course her last chart appearance was as one half of a chart-topping duo thanks to her performance on Nelly's Dilemma on which she received a co-credit. Still if you are going to kick off a solo career there is no better way to do it than with a Number 2 hit. Stole may not be the most straightforward pop record she will ever release, being as it is a deeply felt R&B ballad with a rather tortuous lyric, but its popularity on both TV and radio has been self-evident since the holiday season and it should come as no surprise to see the single duplicate that in the shops. This does mean of course that two of this week's Top 5 singles feature solo performances from members of Destiny's Child, bandmate Beyonce Knowles this week sliding to Number 4 with her du#et with Jay-Z on 03 Bonnie & Clyde.


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8 HEY MA (Cam'Ron featuring Juelz Santana)

Now some may accuse this single of being a rap hit by numbers but as I have often said, when a formula works it is hard to knock people for using it to maximum benefit. Hey Ma takes as its inspiration the piano riff from the Commodores' Easy and uses it as the backing to a lighthearted, and dare I say summery, rap single with Juelz Santana (here repeating the backup duties she performed on Cam'Ron's last hit Oh Boy back in August) joining the rapper on the half-spoken half-sung vocal hook. In truth it is hardly any different from anything Ja Rule has done over the course of the last year but as a mainstream rap formula at present there is very little to beat it. The only criticism may possibly be that the single would have sounded so much better blasting out of a car radio in the middle of summer rather than on a cold February afternoon with wintry showers blasting you the moment you step out of the door. Cam'ron's last chart single was the aforementioned Oh Boy which peaked at Number 13 and this single is his first to ever penetrate the Top 10.
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12 SHUT UP (Kelly Osbourne)

Word has it that some fairly tense negotiations took place between label and artists family when the original plan for Kelly Osbourne's first single (her cover of Papa Don't Preach, No.3 in September last year) to be a one-off novelty cash-in did not meet with the approval of certain members of the "cast" of the now celebrated TV show. Having heard this second single you cannot help but wonder if keeping Kelly Osbourne as a one-hit wonder wasn't the better option. OK so she is most definitely her father's daughter and knows how to rock with the best of them but her attempt to yowl the vocals of this single with the required amount of "attitude" leaves you scurrying for the Avril Lavigne CD once again. No.12 isn't bad going for the track but is there really any life left in this particular project beyond novelty? [And yet she (and Dad) were top of the charts by Christmas].
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13 STREET LIFE (Beenie Man)

Strange weirdness alert. What do you do if you have on your hands a reggae star whose years of paying his dues have paid off with a handful of Top 20 singles but who managed a huge international smash in 2002 thanks to his teaming up with Janet Jackson on the Top 10 hit Feel It Boy? Well if your proposal is to team him up with Norwegian producers Stargate and get them to produce him a single that sounds exactly like the work they do with boy band Blue, then prepare your CV because you clearly have demonstrated the kind of out of the box thinking that the music industry likes. Street Life neatly skips its way into the Top 20, restoring Beenie Man to the upper reaches after his last chart entry Dirty Harry's Revenge (admittedly just a cameo appearance on an Adam F single) only made Number 50 just before Christmas. Street Life is now Beenie Man's fifth Top 20 single since March 1998.
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16 MAKE IT CLAP (Busta Rhymes featuring Spliff Star)

Back to the rap now with a third successive Top 20 hit for Busta Rhymes. Make It Clap matches the peak of his last single Pass The Courvoisier which charted in June 2002 and comes 11 months after Break Ya Neck began this current run of hits by peaking at Number 11.
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17 KNOW YOU WANNA (3rd Edge)

A second hit single for 3rd Edge, the threesome from Gillingham who raised eyebrows with their debut single In And Out back in August last year, its fusion of reggae and garage pop making for a refreshingly different sound. Rather than get caught up in the pre-Christmas rush the group have waited until now to release this second track and if nothing else it proves that the first single was no fluke, Know You Wanna giving them a second straight Top 20 hit. Still, you can't help but think they deserve a little more.


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22 SEEN THE LIGHT (Supergrass)

...in which Supergrass continue their quest to channel the spirit of Marc Bolan in an attempt to achieve true pop greatness. Or something. The follow-up to Grace (Number 13 back in September) continues in the same pattern of its predecessor with the guitars chirping away to a boogie rhythm whilst Gaz does his best vocal impression of the late T-Rex hero. Some reviewers seem to have turned their nose up at this, despite the fact that it merely continues Supergrass' long tradition of unashamedly having fun when making their music. Don't knock it until you have tried it.
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28 PRAY (Syntax)

A chart debut for Syntax, better known as Mike Tournier who was formerly one third of electronic instrumentalists Fluke. Pray is certainly reminiscent of past Fluke hits such as Bubble, Bullet and Absurd but Tournier now takes the style to a much darker place, Pray thunders along with a gothic disco bassline, the music complemented by a mumbled male vocal. Hey, if there is one kind of dance hit that works when sat at home it is the kind that enables you to dim the lights and lose yourself in the atmosphere. This single fits that perfectly.
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33 DJ NATION - BOOTLEG EDITION (Nukleuz DJs)

A not altogether unwelcome return to the chart for the Nukleuz DJs who first hit the chart with DJ Nation in August last year, the single peaking at Number 40. The single was distinctive for being available only on vinyl, the first such release to make the Top 40 for over a decade. This new package from the duo of Ed Real and James Lawson follows on from the concept of the original DJ Nation release, consisting of several different versions of the single, each featuring a collaboration with other leading lights of the dance scene and inspired by a club hit from the past. Their only link is the sixty second title track which is intended as little more than a throwaway theme song to help the three singles qualify for the same chart position. Highlights this time around include Ed Real and Mark Richardson's Sunshine On A Rainy Day and PPK's Slave To The Rhythm. Just for a change, this is a minor dance hit that is well worth checking out.
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35 BLUE SONG (Mint Royale)

A second hit single in recent months from Mint Royale, this the followup to Sexiest Man In Jamaica which hit Number 20 in September last year. Blue Song follows on from where the last single left off, vocals here being supplied by Stephen Wren.
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37 WIZZY WOW (Blackstreet)

A long overdue return to the charts for Blackstreet, this in fact their first Top 40 appearance since they featured on Mase's Get Ready, a Number 32 hit in July 1999. Their last chart hit in their own right came a few months prior to that, Girlfriend/Boyfriend (featuring a cameo from Janet Jackson) making an appearance at Number 11 in April of that year.
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39 THE NIGHT (Soft Cell)

As if to prove that in this world nothing is ever a certainty, Soft Cell reformed last year to a decidedly muted response. Marc Almond and Dave Ball are of course legends of the 80s music scene. Breaking through in 1981 with their now legendary No.1 version of Tainted Love, the duo went on to notch up a string of Top 20 hits before finally calling it a day in 1984. After that their legacy continued, Tainted Love returning to the Top 5 in 1991 on the back of a Greatest Hits collection, Marc Almond forging a long solo career for himself (which included a Number One hit in 1989 when he duetted with Gene Pitney on a remake of the latter's 1960s hit Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart) and Dave Ball turning to club music, forming The Grid and hitting Number 4 in 1994 with Swamp Thing. As a result you would have expected their reunion last year for their first new album together in almost 18 years to have been one of the highlights of the year. Strangely enough it did not turn out like that, for whilst the album was very well received and sold well in America, its first single Monoculture bombed out at Number 52 when released here in September. A lack of radio support may not have helped, indeed exposure for what was potentially an exciting new release was sorely lacking. The same fate appears to have befallen this second single release, an electronic remake of a Four Seasons track which was famously the only product of their brief association with Motown Records, the single peaking at Number 7 in April 1975. The fact that Soft Cell's new version has managed to penetrate the Top 40 may at last wake people up to the fact that they have some brand new material in the shops. The Night thus becomes their first brand new Top 40 single as a duo since Down In The Subway made Number 24 in 1984.
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40 JUNKIES (Easyworld)

Finally this week comes another example of perseverance paying off in the end. Power-punk trio Easyworld have been on the verge of greatness for close on two years now, their 2001 mini album Better Ways To Self Destruct having picked up a favourable review here on dotmusic. Last year they made it to the singles chart for the first time ever, singles Bleach and You & Me doing respectably enough although falling some way short of the Top 40 at Nos 67 and 57 respectively. For consistencies sake you would expect Junkies to have reached No.47 but instead it goes that one stage better and - even if only just - gives them their first ever Top 40 single.


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