This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 BREATHE (Blu Cantrell featuring Sean Paul)

...in which a large proportion of the nation's teenage girls spontaneously combust in outrage owing to the failure of the big pop band of the moment to top the charts with their latest single. Instead it is left for Blu Cantrell to occupy a third week at the top of the charts, making her the sixth act this year to manage longer than a fortnight (this comparing with seven in the whole of 2003). Meanwhile an equal number of the nation's teenage boys rummage around their favourites list to work out where the site with the pictures of her growler can be found. [I'd like to think that last sentence made it past the dotmusic editors and was actually published, but who knows...]
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3 SLEEPING WITH THE LIGHT ON (Busted)

Just to show that dead-cert Number One hits rarely ever are, Busted suffer the chart shock of the week. Despite spending most of the past seven days virtually neck and neck with Blu Cantrell in the race for Number One, their sales slipped badly over the course of the weekend with even the ever popular Ultrabeat single managing to beat them to the punch for the Number 2 position. As has been mentioned before, Busted are increasingly seen as the great white hope for pop music. With the manufactured boy band formula clearly running out of steam, the three lads who can actually play their own guitars and pen their own songs have emerged to become the big teen heartthrobs of the moment. Couple that with songs about fancying teachers and getting dumped and you actually have a surprisingly good recipe for success. Sleeping With The Light On is their fourth chart single and is one of many surprisingly mellow moments that populate the album. As such it possibly lacks the sparkle of tracks such as What I Go To School For and You Said No, their last single which topped the charts and in whose footsteps this single was widely expected to follow. Still, four Top 3 hits in succession is not to be sniffed at. Make no mistake, they are worth every single 13 year old scream.
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4 COMPLETE (Jaimeson)

Now you see if there was any kind of justice in the world attention would be focused on this single rather than the Busted/Blu battle at the very top. Garage producer Jaimeson first hit the charts back in January with the Number 4 hit True but that single pales in comparison with this club masterpiece. Complete is yet another perfect summer record, a wonderfully laid back track that does the double whammy of working as well on the radio as it does during a chill down moment in a club. I wasn't convinced by True at all but this one has been on my own internal jukebox from the very moment I first heard it. Always set to be a hit, Complete lands on the chart in style, even if bettering its predecessor was maybe just a step too far.


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8 FINEST DREAMS (Richard X featuring Kelis)

You have to give credit to Richard X for hitting on an idea and running with it as far as possible. The inspiration was the Sugababes' version of Freak Like Me which was born out of a failure to bring a bootleg mix of Adina Howard's original Freak Like Me Vocals and Gary Numan's Are 'Friends' Electric to commercial release. Instead the Sugababes were drafted in to record the vocals over the backing track and instantly a new form of cover version was born. Richard X was the producer behind the track and so put the idea into practice under his own name again earlier this year, getting Liberty X to record Rufus' Ain't Nobody set to the tune of the Human League's Being Boiled. The result was Being Nobody which hit Number 3 back in March. Now he is back once more with the Human League proving in the inspiration once again (presumably they are amenable to their music being used in this way). This new single takes an old Human League track called Dreams and fuses it with the lyrics of The Finest, originally a hit back in the 1980s for the SOS Band. Singer of choice this time around is Kelis, here with her first chart single since the end of 2001. The result of this is another minor pop masterpiece and a solid Top 10 hit. The only concern is that by making all his singles in this way, Richard X is in danger of turning an inspired novelty into something rather predictable - although we still wait to see what he is going to create a hybrid single from next.
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10 SNAKE (R Kelly)

Over the years R Kelly has had a rather up and down relationship with the UK charts. He will swing wildly from having massive hit singles that hang around in the charts for months, or instead chart with a minor hit that has all the impact of a bee fart. Crucially though just when you think he is finished he bounces back with a smash hit, just like Ignition Remix which somehow cut through all the speculation about his personal life and all his pending criminal charges to spend a month at the top of the charts back in May. Regardless of what you think of him, it was beyond a doubt one of the singles of the year. The follow-up, however, does nothing more than disappoint, being as it is a rather darker and more urban sounding track, featuring guest spots from both Big Tigger and Cam'ron. A commercial smash it most decidedly isn't although the name value that he has as a result of Ignition has certainly helped this single to a bigger chart placing than may otherwise have been the case. Nonetheless, don't expect this to hang around for months on end and with Ignition Remix still charting (Number 32 this week) the possibility of this new single tumbling down the chart faster than its predecessor will make for some intriguing chart watching over the next few weeks.
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11 STUCK (Stacie Orrico)

Child prodigy alert. A support act in the past for Destiny's Child, 16 year old Stacy Orrico is the latest bright eyed American starlet to arrive on these shores in the hope of hitting stardom over here. At the very least she gets credit for having a hand in the creation of her own material but in truth this debut single is a rather run of the mill pop R&B single and contains very little to get too excited about. Still at the very least it has done rather better than most pre-release reviews expected and makes a strong debut just outside the Top 10. Maybe we are all wrong and she is set for Britney or Christina level stardom.


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15 DID MY TIME (Korn)

Korn hit the charts for the first time in 2003, following on from their brace of singles last year. Those particular hits, Here To Stay and Thoughtless actually broke the mould somewhat by hitting Nos 12 and 37 respectively and thus spoiling Korn's famous record of only ever charting between 22 and 26 (as per their first seven singles). So it proves that this new single also breaks the mould and sees the American rockers hit the Top 20 for only the second time in their career. Did My Time also has the honour of featuring on the soundtrack of the new Tomb Raider movie which opens here this week to a raft of lukewarm reviews. Still, the video has the divine Ms Jolie starring in it which is surely reason alone to sit in front of Kerrang until it comes around again. [2003 James was clearly on heat for most of that summer].


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19 BEST OF ORDER (David Sneddon)

Talk of the TV world this summer is of course the way both the BBCs Fame Academy and ITV's Pop Idol are going head to head on Saturday evenings. As the nation waits with anticipation to see what stars are set to be created this time around it appears to be bad news for the products of the first incarnation of the shows. David Sneddon was of course the winner of Fame Academy I but he appears to be marking the last few months of his "year of living like a superstar" prize by releasing a rather disappointing single. Many will be the headlines about the failure of this track even to reach the Top 20, a very poor showing indeed considering his first single Stop Living The Lie hit the top of the charts and the follow-up Don't Let Go made Number 3 back in May. Not that this comes as too much of a shock of course as his former classmates all appear to be struggling. Sinead Quinn's second single What You Need Is made a disappointing Number 19 back in July whilst Malachi Cush's debut single Just Say You Love Me failed even to make the Top 40. All eyes now on the new Gareth Gates single out next month - can the Pop Idol runner-up still hold his own whilst the attention of the nation is on the people who will be his TV-inspired successors?
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23 MOLLY'S CHAMBERS (Kings Of Leon)

Moving into the Top 30 now and Kings Of Leon make good with a follow-up to What I Saw which gave them their first Top 40 single when it hit Number 22 back in June. This is actually the second time of asking for this track as it first formed part of the Holly Roller Novocaine EP which was their first commercial release and which began to get them noticed in the right places. Their sound is as raw and unpolished as ever but for whatever reason they seem destined to remain as also-rans for the moment whilst the likes of the Darkness get all the attention.
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25 LET'S GET ILL (P Diddy featuring Kelis)

Another man who seems to suffer the R Kelly effect of being up one minute and down the next is P Diddy. How else to explain the way this brand new single from the man can only land in the middle of the Top 30, a far cry from some of his Top 10 smashes of the past. Although his first hit in his own right this year, this is in fact P Diddy's second Top 40 appearance of the year, thanks to his contribution to B2Ks Bump Bump Bump which made Number 11 back in March. Let's Get Ill also features a vocal contribution from Kelis who is thus in the unusual position of appearing on two of this weeks new entries having also sung on Richard X's Finest Dreams. Finally it is worth correcting one error from last week as contrary to what I stated, Run DMC's It's Like That is not the biggest selling rap hit of all time. That honour goes to P Diddy/Puff Daddy's I'll Be Missing You which clocked up 1,360,000 copies in 1997 compared to It's Like That a year later which could "only" manage 1,092,000 and which is still beaten by Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise which boasts 1,200,000 sales. It's Like That does at least have the honour of being in chart terms the most successful rap hit ever, its six week spell at the top has yet to be bettered by any hip-hop single. [The download era naturally allowed many of these older hits to tick further forward and add to their original tallies. As of summer 2017 I'll Be Missing You is on 1,615,000; Gangsta's Paradise on 1,475,000 and It's Like That has now hit 1,287,000].
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27 WE CAN (LeAnn Rimes)

The world of the movies has been good to LeAnn Rimes throughout her career. First, there was How Do I Live in 1998 which featured on the soundtrack to the film Con Air (although Rimes' version came several months after the film and its Oscar nomination). Then there was the follow-up Looking Through Your Eyes (from The Magic Sword), the duet with Elton John Written In The Stars (from the Disney film Aida) and most famously of all, her Number One single from 2000 Can't Fight The Moonlight which was the theme from Coyote Ugly. Therefore it should not come as too much of a surprise to learn that this track is also from a film, namely Legally Blonde 2 (she gets all the blockbusters doesn't she) although even that fact has not helped the track to become any more than a minor hit. It does at least return her to the Top 40 after her last single Suddenly became a surprising failure, only hitting Number 47 when released back in March.
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31 KEEP LOVE TOGETHER (Soda Club featuring Andrea Anatola)

To round things off this week, a brace of club hits that actually have their roots in the past. Keep Love Together was originally released by Love To Infinity during the long hot summer of 1995. Although a fairly sizeable club hit at the time, the track could only make Number 38. This new hit version marks a change of direction for Soda Club who to date have had two hit singles with trance remakes of 80s classics. First came Take My Breath Away at the end of 2002 and then Heaven Is A Place on earth earlier this year, both singles of course no better than they should be. It is therefore actually something of a shame that a track that deserved some kind of modern day resurrection should actually chart much lower than their earlier bits of cultural vandalism. Incidentally, word has it that Soda Club actually began their hit-making career under a different name, calling themselves Love To Infinity. The name rings a bell from somewhere... [Soda Club were indeed Andy, Pete and Dave Lee whose usual work was as production and remixing team Love To Infinity. Covering their own most famous production under an alias was presumably a knowing wink to someone, somewhere].
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36 FREEDOM (QFX)

Also from the blast from the past category is this track from QFX. Freedom has had a wonderfully chequered chart career, first hitting the shops in May 1995 with a vocal track by Moiran Rankin. That version narrowly missed becoming a hit, landing merely at Number 41. Over a year and a half later they tried again, re-recording the track as Freedom 2 and with vocals this time by Kerry McGregor. This version made a much more respectable Number 21. A full six years later the track comes around again, this time in a remix of the original 1995 version which now manages a five place improvement on its original release. Inside info has it that the 1995 re-release fever doesn't stop here. Is that really Santa Maria you see steadily climbing club charts?


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