This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 NEVER GONNA LEAVE YOUR SIDE (Daniel Bedingfield)

It's an odd week this one. The release schedules have been unusually sparse this week. Scanning down the list of songs released and attempting to pick out the ones that would end up as big hits was a harder task than usual. Almost as if in sympathy singles sales overall have been down in a big way. The result is a rather becalmed looking chart, with most of the handful of new releases taking advantage to grab high chart positions for themselves but with even the established hits unable to take advantage of what would normally be a good opportunity to consolidate their positions.

The big winner in all of this, however, is Daniel Bedingfield who with his fifth single tops the UK charts for the third time. The man is nothing if not consistent, scoring a Number One single with alternate releases. His other two chart toppers were Gotta Get Thru This in December 2001, If You're Not The One in December 2002 and now this new slushy single which does actually break the chain by hitting the top in midsummer rather than at Christmas. In between of course were two other singles: James Dean which made Number 4 in August last year and most recently I Can't Read You which was a Number 6 hit in April. Another fact of note, Daniel Bedingfield is the third British male singer to have had three chart-toppers since the year 2000. Robbie Williams and Gareth Gates are the other two. For the females, Christina Aguilera has also hit the top three times in the same period but since the turn of the millennium the only act to have managed more than three are, perhaps inevitably, Westlife who have done it no less than seven times.


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3 MAYBE TOMORROW (Stereophonics)

Hitting their stride nicely in terms of big charts hits are the Stereophonics who this week follow up the Number 4 hit Madame Helga with this second single from their current album. Maybe Tomorrow goes one better than its predecessor and in the process breaks an extraordinary jinx for the Welshmen. To date, their only Top 3 hit has been their 1998 release The Bartender And The Thief which hit Number 3 in November of that year. Since then they have not had another, although not for want of trying and in the process notched up five different Number 4 hits - of which Madame Helga was the last. If nothing else this single will be remembered as the one which finally gave the Stereophonics a second Top 3 hit.


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7 DEEPEST BLUE (Deepest Blue)

For two weeks running the Data label has claimed the biggest club hit of the week. Last week it was Benny Benassi's Satisfaction (which slides to Number 4 this week) and now this eponymously titled track from Deepest Blue, aka Israeli producer Matti Schwartz. Joel Edwards supplies the infectious vocal and truly a hit is born.
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9 GIVE ME A REASON (Triple Eight)

A second chart hit for new boy band Triple Eight, this following up their Number 8 single Knock Out which charted in May. A good chart placing though this is, it does come during a low selling week and even under ordinary circumstances, their failure to at least go Top 5 with their second single would be considered rather worrying. The truth of the matter is that attempts to find the new manufactured boy band sensation are throwing up duds. No matter how much of a promotional push is given to the likes of Triple Eight and D-Side (to name but two) it seems unlikely that anyone, save a few pockets of local support is going to fall at their feet in adoration. Is it time to face up to the fact that the era of the manufactured boy band is over for the time being? The concept has had a good run for its money in all fairness, ever since Ian Levine resurrected it with Take That and Bad Boys Inc in the early 1990s following the inspiration of Maurice Starr in the States with New Kids On The Block. Since then we have seen the likes of Boyzone and Westlife take their appeal to brand new heights but it is clear that the public now demands more than just a string of faces being taught to dance and given pre-packaged songs to perform. That is why so many people are keen for the likes of Busted to succeed. They at least are going back to basics in being a group of friends who have started out writing songs together and still, by and large, perform those songs even after the marketing men have got to them. If anything they are the future of pop - not Triple Eight sadly.
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13 SWING SWING (All-American Rejects)

Mind you, if anything is to be the future of pop I wouldn't mind it being these guys. The All-American Rejects are being labelled as pop-punk, ie they place fun pop songs in a rock style. In truth they do it damn well too, Swing Swing is easily one of the most uplifting feel-good rock songs you will hear on the radio this week and one that just demands you sing along. Number 13 isn't a bad entry point but the song really deserves so much better.


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25 STRICT MACHINE (Goldfrapp)

See, I told you it was a strange and quiet week. Just two singles enter the chart between 21 and 40 this week, the first being the second hit single of the year from Goldfrapp. This is, of course, the follow-up to the much-hyped Train which hit Number 23 back in April. Strict Machine is actually just as good as its predecessor although this time around the hype has been a little less, the trendy music press perhaps realising the limits of their support. Not pop, not dance but something in between and for that not altogether unwelcome.
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40 HEY GIRL (Delays)

So to bring up the rear this week, welcome to the Top 40 Delays, a four piece band from Southampton who if there is any justice in the world are set to become massive. The kind of song that gives indie music a good name, this is an infectious single that yells "summer" at you whilst retaining just enough edge to remain credible and cool. A first attempt to launch them into the charts last year with the single Nearer Than Heaven never quite got off the ground. With this second bite at the cherry they have an appearance in the Top 40 with hopefully more to come before the end of the year.


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