This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 IGNITION REMIX (R Kelly)

Well, we needn't wonder what is going to make the headlines this week need we? For the third time in as many weeks, the UK has a brand new Number One single - that in itself is nothing too unusual. What is comment-worthy is the act that has replaced Tomcraft at the top of the singles chart. R Kelly is, as has been well documented, a man with his fair share of legal problems - many of which relate to the contents of THAT video. Needless to say that he denies all the charges and by all accounts intends to contest them quite vigorously when the case comes to trial in August. In the meantime, he is apparently so at ease with the fact that he has done nothing wrong that he is still recording and releasing some very popular new material.

So it is that this brand new single from a brand new album Chocolate Factory storms to the very top of the charts in its first week on release. It is his second UK Number One single and comes a little over six years since his first, I Believe I Can Fly which hit the top in March 1997. Since then he has had two other Top 3 hits, I'm Your Angel and If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time and was, of course, last in the Top 10 in March last year with The World's Greatest which was taken from the soundtrack of the movie Ali. Ignition actually barely stands comparison with some of his best work in the past which makes its appearance at the top of the charts all the more curious. Still, as an answer to his critics, it has done an almost perfect job, leaving the media with little to do but wonder how a man accused of breaking what is one of society's last great taboos has managed to remain so popular in his professional capacity.


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2 FAVOURITE THINGS (Big Brovaz)

Wouldn't it have been such fun if this one had topped the charts instead? My admiration for Big Brovaz goes up a notch further with the release of this, their third single. How much genius does it take to turn one of the uncoolest songs imaginable into a pop R&B anthem? The song is, of course, My Favourite Things as written by Rogers and Hammerstein and taken from the famous musical The Sound Of Music (coming to a TV near you sometime between now and Christmas without a doubt). The melody of the song has been worked into the chorus of this Big Brovaz track although perhaps understandably the original lyric about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens has been turned into something a little more er, street. Having seen their first single Nu Flow peak at Number 3 and the follow-up OK hit Number 7 back in February, the group find themselves back in the Top 3 and with their biggest hit to date to boot. OK so they are the pop act that the So Solid Crew would never dare to be but it is hard not to take a degree of pleasure at just how consistently good they manage to be.


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3 TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF (Cheeky Girls)

Just when you thought it was safe... Pop Idol rejects turned novelty stars Monica and Gabriela Irimia had their dreams realised at Christmastime when The Cheeky Song, the ditty their mother had penned for their auditions, was turned into a worryingly popular chart hit. One which spent no less than five weeks in the Top 5 over the holiday period. Well, they are back. Say what you like about them, their mother appears to have a fantastic ear for a catchy tune as yet again she is credited with writing Take Your Shoes Off, a track which actually manages to be just as fun as their first hit and (dare I even say it?) only half as irritating. Yes, I admit it, this writer finds it hard not to crack a grin at the sounds of "shake it shake it, move it move it" even if the continuing chart success of the Cheeky Girls is only marginally less baffling than that of R Kelly's. Meanwhile, the debate continues. Do they make you want to give them a slap or just a bloody good feed?
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5 GIRLS AND BOYS (Good Charlotte)

A second hit single for Good Charlotte, this the followup to Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous which hit the charts back in February and which had a most varied chart run, moving 13-20-9 in its first three weeks in a pattern which was attributed later to barcode problems which prevented some early sales from registering correctly. The follow-up Girls & Boys appears to have been all over the radio for months and now quite deservedly lands squarely inside the Top 10, even if those who were speculating on a Number One have ended up disappointed.
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7 HUSAN (Bhangra Nights vs Husan)

Husan will be instantly familiar to most people, even without them realising it. At its heart it is the rather kicking Bhangra inspired club track that forms the soundtrack to the popular (if rather racially suspect) Peugot 206 commercial that features a man in deepest Asia abusing the bodywork of his car in order to fashion it to look like the sleek new Peugeot 206 model that he has seen in adverts. The original track was commissioned by a pair of Dutch producers for the advert but it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before it emerged in a commercial form. Well, this is it, remixed for chart purposes by the London-based Bhangra Knights into an enormously appealing chart hit. This hit, of course, comes hot on the heels of Panjabi MC's own Top 10 appearance with Mundian To Bach Ke which possibly makes 2003 the most successful year ever for Asian music in the charts. Which of course is no bad thing.


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12 FORGET ABOUT TOMORROW (Feeder)

Outside the Top 10 now and little sensation here, just some good solid musical consistency from the always awesome Feeder, this being the follow up to Just The Way I'm Feeling which hit Number 10 back in January. Regarded as the best track on the current album it was a worthy choice for a single although they have still never quite lived up to the majesty of Buck Rogers.
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15 DO IT WITH MADONNA (Androids)

Oh now look, you will only encourage her. Having topped the charts in their native Australia and made something of an impact in America, rock band The Androids crash into the UK charts with their ode to everyone's favourite musical legend. Actually, I take back what I said at the start, maybe being name-checked in a song will encourage her to make a better record than American Life.
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17 RHYTHM IS A DANCER 03 (Snap)

Welcome back to the summer of 1992. For six weeks during July and August of that year, this record reigned supreme. It was German act Snap's second Number One single (the first being The Power back in 1990) but by far their biggest seller, winding up as the biggest selling single of the year. It also just happened to be the last Snap record that would feature rapper Turbo B, the performer taking exception in the studio to the rather inane lyrics and taking his ball home once the sessions were completed - and let's be honest lines such as "I'm serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer" have now passed into pop folklore. Nine years on and with a mini-revival of early 90s club tunes in full swing, the track is back again complete of course with the obligatory set of remixes. I've never quite understood the logic of remixing a dance track with proven credentials in its original form but hey if this is what it takes to get today's club goers excited about the revival of a famous old record then who are we to argue? This is, of course, the second Snap remix to chart inside the last year, this single following up the Plaything remix of Do You See The Light which hit Number 14 in August last year.
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18 WE USED TO BE FRIENDS (Dandy Warhols)

Yep, they are back and this time with brand new material. The Dandy Warhols' chart breakthrough finally came in 2001 when the re-released Bohemian Like You hit Number 5 on the back of a TV commercial. A follow-up re-release of Get Off in March last year could only limp to Number 34 and it was clear that what was needed was new material rather than the recycling of tracks from their 2000 album Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia. So here it is, the first single from a new album and with a mesmerising howled vocal from Courtney Taylor-Taylor. OK so it isn't a massive smash hit but significantly it is only their third Top 20 hit single, one which lands five places below the 1998 peak of Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth.
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23 YOU SPIN ME ROUND (Dead Or Alive)

Now for a genuine, all-time, everlasting, eternal, enduring pop classic. Excuse me if I shed a tear of nostalgia. Still to this day, the essential soundtrack to just about any 80s party night, Dead Or Alive's You Spin Me Round was originally a Number One hit single in early 1985. Even at the time, it was something of a record breaker having been charting continuously since December 1984 before it finally topped the charts in early March. At the time it was the slowest climb to Number One ever and uniquely it had made the Top 75 before the three records that preceded it at the top of the charts. It was also the first ever Number One record to be credited to the production trio of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman and represented the trio at the height of their powers in their early incarnation as Hi-NRG disco producers. Sadly Dead Or Alive were never able to live up to the promise they showed in this single and indeed they never had another Top 10 single.

They have also never had a Greatest Hits collection, until now of course. The result is the frankly scary-looking lead singer Pete Burns emerging from the shadows of the gay club nostalgia circuit and back into the showbiz pages to promote the re-release of his greatest ever hit. Yes there is a set of remixes available if you so choose but sensibly the original mix remains on the single so that a whole new generation can appreciate it for the pop masterpiece it is (Pete Waterman once claiming that the "everything but the kitchen sink" nature of the production was partly as a result of forgetting to fade out a synthesiser track when the final mix was being prepared). You could be forgiven for being a little disappointed that the single has charted so low but then again in this age of the party compilation the track has hardly been unavailable at any time in the last 18 years. Anyway, I'd actually prefer the top end of the chart to feature new hits from the likes of Big Brovaz and Good Charlotte rather than old songs that remind me what it was like to be 11 years old again. Open up your loving arms, watch out here I come...
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28 MY LOVE IS ALWAYS (Saffron Hill featuring Ben Onono)

A potential summer anthem? Well, that would be this single then, a hit single for the second time of asking for singer Ben Onono after his appearance on Futureshock's On My Mind which could only limp to Number 51 a couple of months ago. The single is produced by none other than Tim Deluxe, he of It Just Won't Do Fame which funnily enough was the underrated mid-chart anthem of last summer.
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30 BURIED ALIVE BY LOVE (HIM)

A debut Top 40 single for Finnish rockers HIM, hot off the heels of a one-off gig they played at the London Astoria at the start of the month. Buried Alive By Love is tuneful enough, its only problem is sounding like it was made 15 years ago.
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31 EASY (Groove Armada)

Another single from Groove Armada's Lovebox album, this the slightly more successful follow-up to Purple Haze which was a Number 36 hit in October last year. Vocals on the single are performed by Sunshine Anderson, best known for her 2001 Top 10 hit Heard It All Before.
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38 CHING CHING (LOVIN' YOU STILL) (Terri Walker)

Baby steps for Terri Walker, an artist who has attracted many column inches of late for her distinct and memorable sound, even if they have yet to turn themselves into massive commercial sales. Her gimmick is that she requires little in the way of big name producers or special guest stars to make a splash. Instead, she just uses real instruments and her own powerful voice to create club-friendly soul which has had remixers queuing up to stamp their own mark on it. Her first single release was Guess You Didn't Love Me which hit Number 60 back in March and now with this second single she makes that all-important Top 40 breakthrough. This single is actually far too good to be buried at the bottom of the Top 40 but alas it looks as if this is where it is destined to remain.

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39 RETREAT (Hell Is For Heroes)

Following the re-release of You Drove Me To It which gave Hell Is For Heroes their first ever Top 30 hit back in February comes this single which gives them a third successive Top 40 hit. Full marks I guess for going with a different single rather than re-releasing their other flop track I Can Climb Mountains which only climbed to Number 41 when released in August last year.


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