This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 BREATHE (Blu Cantrell featuring Sean Paul)

We are in a watching and waiting period it seems. Watching as one single in particular runs up an extended run at the top of the chart and waiting for a batch of eagerly anticipated new singles to hit the shops - one of which is expected to sweep all competition away. In the meantime however it is left to Blu Cantrell and Sean Paul to sit pretty and continue their summertime domination of sales. Breathe now becomes the fifth single this year to clock up a four week run at the top of the chart, following in the footsteps of Tatu, Room 5, R Kelly and Evanescence. This therefore beats the total of four that we saw in 2002 and in fact the last time we had as many as five singles spend 28 days at the top in the space of a calendar year was 1995. All eyes then to the release schedules for next week. Could it be that a 24 year old track is set to become the one to replace the pair at the top?
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2 DANCE (WITH U) (Lemar)

Commiserations to Lemar for missing out on the chance to top the charts with his debut single, although in one sense he deserves hearty congratulations for breaking what is fast becoming a chart jinx. Lemar you see is a veteran of the first series of Fame Academy. Widely regarded as one of the best singers from the first run, he was widely expected to be propelled to stardom on the back of the show, more so than perhaps some of his classmates. In the event it has taken almost nine months from the time he was evicted from the house for his debut single to appear. In the intervening period he has seen fellow alumni David Sneddon, Sinead Quinn, Ainslie Henderson and Malachi Cush all release singles with varying levels of success. Lately it seems that the Fame Academy pupils are on their way out, as evidenced by the performance last week of David Sneddon's third single Best Of Order which made a lowly Number 19 and this week drops out of the Top 40 altogether. Therefore it is a pleasant surprise to see Lemar's single perform so well, a Brit soul track that gives Craig David no less a run for his money when it comes to oozing talent. His challenge of course will be to build on this, bearing in mind that back in spring most of the Fame Academy pupils were also landing Top 10 smashes with their debuts. Meanwhile here is a trivia question for you. This is number 48, so what is number 49?


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3 LIFE GOT COLD (Girls Aloud)

Actually the answer is simple, this is. We are talking in terms of chart hits from the Pop Stars/Pop Idol/Fame Academy dynasty which over the past two and a half years has proved, despite its critics, to be a rich source of chart records. Starting with Hear'Say's Pure And Simple in March 2001, the concept of pop reality TV has spawned almost 50 hit singles, with Gareth Gates set to clock up the landmark 50th in a few weeks time. Meanwhile the 49th goes to Girls Aloud who ease their way into the record books as the most successful group to emerge from these series with a third successive Top 3 hit. A third Number One was clearly beyond them which is actually a shame as Life Got Cold cements their reputation for producing classy records that prevent any sniping about their manufactured nature simply because of their sheer quality. This single takes the tempo down a notch as the group treat us to a reflective ballad that maybe clashes a little in terms of its theme with the current summertime heat wave but which thoroughly deserves its place in the Top 3. The only cloud on their horizon at the moment seems to be the impending court case against Biffa Tweedy. [I love a reminder of that time, and the fact that for all her presumed stardom, Cheryl was in serious danger of being fired just six months into the Girls Aloud project].


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9 STUCK (Stacie Orrico)

Credit where credit is due to Stacy Orrico who this week bucks a few trends by creeping up the charts slightly. Many were disappointed when Stuck narrowly missed out on a place in the Top 10 last week so it will be a satisfying sight to those same people to see the single rise two places to claim a place amongst the best sellers.
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10 THE ANTHEM (Good Charlotte)

One act who manage to creep into the Top 10 at the first time of asking are Good Charlotte, here with their third hit single of the year and third successive Top 10 hit. Their debut single Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous was coincidentally the only other single this year to improve on its initial chart placing and climb into the Top 10 when it moved 13-20-9 back in February. This new single bounds along with all the energy of its predecessors but for a track entitled 'Anthem' it actually falls some way short of becoming the sing along rock anthem it clearly has aspirations to be. It is fun to hear but in no way as inspiring as Girls And Boys which remains their biggest hit after it made Number 6 back in May.
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11 DON'T LOOK BACK INTO THE SUN (Libertines)

Ooh, so close. With their fourth single the Libertines nearly found themselves Top 10 hitmakers for the first time ever. Even so this new single continues their upward mobility with their biggest hit to date, this track following on from the success of Time For Heroes which hit Number 20 back in January. Beyond that it is hard to comment. The world domination that is widely predicted for the group has yet to manifest itself but if they go Top 10 next time out, who knows what will happen.
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12 GO TO SLEEP (Radiohead)

Do you know it is almost exactly 10 years since Radiohead made their commercial breakthrough? September 1993 was when the re-released Creep hit the Top 10 on the back of its American success and set the British group on a run of hits which have ranged from melancholy to raucous through to innovative and downright unlistenable. This years Hail To The Thief album has been hailed as a return to the mainstream for the group and following the Top 10 hit There There from June they follow it up with this single. Go To Sleep thus has the honour of being their 12th Top 20 hit since Creep, a total which is probably far smaller than it should be given that their notorious Kid A album did not spawn any commercially available singles when it was in the shops back in 2000. It will be interesting to see if they release any more singles this year, given that their last album Amnesiac only produced two hits, coincidentally both of those made the Top 10 and Top 20 respectively.
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14 BARCELONA (D Kay & Epsilon featuring Stamina MC)

Anyway enough rock and pop, where is the dance this week? Down in 14th place it seems with honours for the biggest new club hit of the week going to D Kay & Epsilon. Barcelona first hit the drum and bass scene the best part of a year ago and in time honoured fashion has grown from being an underground favourite to a mainstream smash hit where it is now being championed by mainstream stations such as Radio One. Listening to it, it is not hard to see why. OK so the frantic bpm levels won't make it appeal to all but once the flamenco guitars kick in it becomes the kind of club track that is hard to resist. I'd have actually pegged this to become a bigger hit, but since when was life that predictable?


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17 FIX UP LOOK SHARP (Dizzee Rascal)

16-year-old Dizzee Rascal proves that he is no one hit wonder with this follow-up to hit debut single I Luv U which was a Top 30 hit back in June. Second time around Dylan Mills makes the step up into the Top 20, almost certainly helped by his Mercury Music Prize nomination.
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19 STOP (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)

A delayed release for this single from BRMC after it was pulled from the release schedules a fortnight ago and moved back to now. It is time for their second album and anticipation for it is reaching fever pitch so this brand new single serves as a nice taster of what is to come. Greater commercial success may well be theirs as well as Stop edges its way nicely into the Top 20, beating the Number 27 peak of Spread Your Love in June 2002 to give them their biggest chart single to date.
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27 I NEED YOU (Dave Gahan)

A second solo hit single for the Depeche Mode frontman, this following up Dirty Sticky Floors which hit Number 18 back in June. Expect a quick in and out performance for this single just likes its predecessor but you can take heart from the fact that he has scored two Top 40 hits at all given that his solo project was never likely to appeal to anyone beyond his die-hard fans.
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28 FLY (Mark Joseph)

Into the tail end of the chart now and an unusually high number of minor new entries which for various reasons are unlikely to trouble the mainstream any time soon. First up is the second chart single from Mark Joseph who you may remember is the young singer songwriter who financed his debut single out of his own pocket, persuaded Virgin records to stock it and was rewarded with a Number 38 hit in the shape of Get Through back in March. It was hailed as a phenomenal achievement (which it doubtless was) and the attention that gained was enough to get him signed to a small record label, 14th Floor (which holds the credit for discovering David Gray a few years ago) and his debut album is now in the shops, swiftly followed by this second single which creeps into the Top 30 thanks to having some proper distribution at long last. Still, for all the inspirational nature of his rise to fame and the fact that one day someone will make a film about the man who got a record into the charts without help from anyone, I'm still doubtful about whether his singing ability is actually able to live up to the work that has been put in to get him to this stage. Get hold of the record and listen for yourself is the best advice to give, this writer was never a fan of David Gray either and look what happened to him.
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32 TRACKIN' (Billy Crawford)

Also with a second hit single is Billy Crawford, the 20-year-old Philippines star who can boast past support slots with the likes of Monica and 'NSync. His first single hit the charts back in April, You Didn't Expect That hitting Number 35 and this second hit improves on that - but only just.
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33 FIRST IT GIVETH (Queens Of The Stone Age)

Hey, do you detect a pattern here? The second hit of the year for Queens Of The Stone Age also creeps into the Top 40, this time though this is a step down from their last release, Go With The Flow having made Number 21 back in April.
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34 THAT GREAT LOVE SOUND (Raveonettes)

Better news though for the Raveonettes who can celebrate this week with their first ever Top 40 single. The duo are Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner who both hail from Denmark and who were signed at the back end of last year by Sony in a blaze of publicity. Their sound is the now typical stripped to the bone Strokes/White Stripes/Hives brand of stripped to the bone rock, coupled though with an unusual vocal style that sees their voices mesh together in Everly Brothers-alike harmonies. It has a certain raw charm, that is for certain. Their first chart single was Attack Of The Ghostriders which crept to Number 73 just prior to Christmas last year but the way is now clear for the group to move on to better things. This first Top 40 hit is but the first step you sense.
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37 WHAT IS THE PROBLEM (Grafiti)

Bringing up the rear this week is a fun little oddity. Despite his best attempts to hide the fact, Grafiti is a side project from Streets star Mike Skinner who wanted to make a track that had more dance-floor potential than his usual offerings. If someone has sent you a copy of a video in the last few weeks that has featured the likes of David Beckham and Michael Jackson doctored so that they mime to a strange club track then you now know what the soundtrack to it was. Full marks for promotion even if the single doesn't quite live up to the genius of Skinner's other work.

Is that it for this week? Fabulous. Bring on Elton.


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