This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 CRAZY IN LOVE (Beyonce)

Well like we didn't know this was going to happen. After steadily declining sales, the four-week run of Evanescence at the top of the singles chart comes to a brassy and beat strewn end as Beyonce Knowles storms to the top of the list with her second single. Although she was the first Destiny's Child member to have a solo hit (Work It Out from the Austin Powers soundtrack which reached Number 7 almost exactly a year ago) it had appeared that bandmate Kelly Rowland was the one who was going to grab all the solo glory for herself. Not so. With this release, Beyonce starts her solo campaign proper and lands herself a summery chart-topper straight off the bat. The track contains a nod back to the classic days of soul, featuring heavily a brass sample from an old Chi-Lites track called Are You My Woman. The end product may not be the most immediate pop track of the year but has had enough people waxing lyrical about it (and the not too unpleasant way she bounds around in the video) to make this a very welcome chart-topper indeed. [And as if any pop fan needs reminding, THIS was the moment which kicked off Brand Beyonce and lifted her from being just the chick from Destiny's Child into a full on solo superstar. No looking back from this point on].


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4 FOOL NO MORE (S Club 8)

The kids are dead, long live the kids. With the original S Club 7 now having completely parted ways it is time for the new generation to step up to the plate. Having made a name for themselves as the S Club Juniors, the mid-teen group are now promoted to officially become the S Club 8. At the same time they land their fifth hit single and the fifth in succession to charge straight into the Top 10. Already Fool No More has beaten the Number 6 peak of their last offering, a cover of Puppy Love and Sleigh Ride released at Christmastime, but unlike their more developed predecessors they have yet to land a Number One hit single, being stuck instead with the trio of Number 2s that opened their career.

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6 21 QUESTIONS (50 Cent)

Looks like there is no stopping this man for the moment. With his debut single In Da Club having demonstrated a quite astonishing staying power (it is still inside the Top 40 this week at Number 23, showing every sign of wanting to burn out slowly), the rapper now unleashes his sophomore hit upon the world and lands himself with a second successive Top 10 hit single. If the last single didn't quite rock your world then this one may end up converting you, a silky smooth hip hop lurve track that allows the man to show off his sensitive side, although the effect is spoiled somewhat by the presence of celebrated porn video host Snoop Dogg on guest duties. [Right species, wrong breed. Nate Dogg is the guest of choice here].


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8 CAN'T GET IT BACK (Mis-Teeq)

It is funny you know, if you were compiling a list of the artists that everyone thinks has had several Number One hits then Mis-Teeq would probably feature very highly in that list. Needless to say the honour currently eludes them in spite of the fact that this now their seventh Top 10 hit in a row since they debuted close on 20 months ago. The following to the Number 2 hit Scandalous, this new track actually struggles a little in comparison to earlier singles, suggesting maybe that their next release may struggle to maintain that 100% Top 10 record - let alone give them a first Number One.
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13 I JUST NEED MYSELF (Ocean Colour Scene)

Wow. When the story of 2003 comes to be written, will we be detailing the revival of Ocean Colour Scene? The veteran musicians (well they have been together for over ten years now) of course had their biggest run of commercial success in the mid-90s, swept along as part of the whole Britpop mania and landing themselves six successive Top 10 hits along the way. Since then though they have found themselves down the dumper somewhat, struggling even to make the Top 30 with singles such as So Low and July. Their last Top 40 hit came in April 2001 when Up On The Down Side made a not too terrible Number 19 but to all intents and purposes it looked as if their days as consistent hitmakers were over. Not so it seems. Sounding better than they have for some time, the group storm back into chart contention with this brand new release and come agonisingly close to chalking up their first Top 10 single since Better Day hit Number 9 way back in November 1997.
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14 NOTHING BUT YOU (Paul Van Dyk featuring Hemstock)

Summertime trance anyone? After two years away from the charts (December 2000 the date of his last hit We Are Alive), Paul Van Dyk storms back to retake his crown as the king of squiddly-bonk. Massive all over Europe already, Nothing But You can now add a UK Top 20 position to its list of honours. Norwegian singer Hemstock provides the vocals, albeit with just a little help from Jan Johnston along the way.
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16 LIGHTS OUT (Lisa Marie Presley)

To think we all thought it was just a gimmick. When Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie announced at the start of the year that she was to embark on a musical career we all just assumed there was nothing in it. Sure she had tried her hand at other things first and married Michael Jackson briefly along the way but to try to become a pop star at this stage in her life? Just hype surely. Well the fact that Elvis' daughter had made her own record was enough alone to get her a string of chatshow bookings a few months back and this has clearly translated itself into enough sales to give her a quite unexpected hit. The single really isn't that special, but then again nor is it offensively bad. It rocks along pleasantly enough but yields few clues as to whether Lisa Marie has inherited her father's talent or whether this is just an excellent packaging job. Time will tell, but for the moment chalk this up as one of the surprise packages of the week.
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19 WHAT YOU NEED IS (Sinead Quinn)

So that would be the Fame Academy wearing off then. After making such a storming debut with her first single I Can't Break Down (A Number 2 hit in February lest we forget), Sinead Quinn finds that fame can be quite fickle at times as her second release barely even scrapes the Top 20 this week, despite being every bit as good as her TV-exposed debut. I take no pleasure in noting this as the whole point of the Fame Academy show was not simply to find another pop puppet like the Pop Idol shows but instead to develop people with genuine songwriting and performing talent. Sinead Quinn was most definitely one of those (as demonstrated by her contribution to Ainsley Henderson's Keep Me A Secret) and to see her struggling for hits at such an early stage is actually quite sad.


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28 C'MON (Mario)

Just nipping in to the Top 30 this week, the second hit single for Mario, following on from Just A Friend which made the Top 20 back in April. Club mixes abound on this single package from the American teenager but a major hit single it most certainly isn't.
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31 ARE YOU HAPPY NOW (Michelle Branch)

Just what is it going to take to lift Michelle Branch up to the level that everyone clearly believes she should be at? The singer made her debut just over a year ago with the memorable Everwhere but despite the talk of her being the next big thing the single could only reach Number 18. The Number 33 hit All You Wanted followed shortly afterwards and it took her collaboration with Carlos Santana on Game Of Love to return her to the Top 20, that single hitting Number 16. Any hopes that the association with the legend would give her the commercial leg up she needed here are dashed with the rather disappointing performance of this new track which just like before sees her stuck just outside the Top 30. Talented and appealing she may, it doesn't look like she is set for any more hit records any time soon.


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