This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 WHERE IS THE LOVE (Black Eyed Peas)

After last weeks somewhat becalmed Top 40 the chart explodes into action this time around, no less than 14 new singles making their debut. However none of them had quite what it takes to end up a best seller, leaving the way clear for the Black Eyed Peas to spend a quite phenomenal sixth week. As was widely reported over the course of last week, no single has done this since Cher clocked up seven weeks in 1998. Furthermore, it is a rare Number One single that manages this long at the top... in the last ten years just nine singles have managed to top the charts for more than five weeks - every one of them a massive seller. Indeed the only aspect of this chart run that causes even a minor furrowing of the brow is the fact that despite this extended stay at the top, Where Is The Love is still not shifting huge numbers of singles and still remains a little way short of being the biggest seller of the year - Gareth Gates' Spirit In The Sky holding the honours for now.
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2 BABY BOY (Beyonce featuring Sean Paul)

Commiserations then to Beyonce who becomes the latest artist to try and fail to wrestle the Number One slot out of the grasp of BEP. Baby Boy is, of course, the follow-up to her own chart-topping hit Crazy In Love which had a three week run back in July and with its video gave us one of the most enduring images of the year. The fact that the single has failed to top the charts also deprives us of a rather remarkable chart feat. Guest vocals on Baby Boy are provided by none other than Sean Paul who himself has topped the chart already this year. Indeed his last big hit is still lingering around, Blu Cantrell's Breathe dropping two places to Number 13 this week. Had Baby Boy also hit the top it would have put Sean Paul in the unique position of having supplied guest vocals to Number One hits by two different acts within the space of a few weeks and confirmed him once and for all as the man with the current Midas touch. As it stands, the single has the honour of being no less than his fifth Top 5 hit this year, three of which have been solo and two as a guest of honour. Meanwhile the coincidences don't stop there as this single shares its title with the current hit by Big Brovaz and it is only the fact that the latter slips three places to Number 11 this week that prevents us from having two Top 10 singles with identical titles.


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3 SUPERSTAR (Jamelia)

Huge props must also go this week to Jamelia's comeback hit which has proved to be no mere flash in the pan. Now four weeks old, the disturbingly catchy single has been on an almost constant climb since its release. The single debuted at Number 8, climbed to 6 a week later and then held there last week. Now it rises three places to grab a place in the Top 3 to give the British girl her biggest ever UK hit, eclipsing the peak of Money which made Number 5 in March 2000. At the start of the year I doubt anyone could have predicted that no less than six singles would spent a month at the top with one of those going on to be the longest running Number One single for five years. Is it beyond the bounds of possibility that we may also be about to witness the slowest climb to the top for five years as well?
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7 12:51 (Strokes)

Early midweek predictions suggested that the Strokes were on course for a berth in the Top 3 but after its sales settled down towards the weekend, this brand new single from the much hyped band ends up playing second fiddle to a string of more established hits. Nonetheless take nothing away from this chart placing, the first single from a brand new album was expected to sell well but this is a far bigger hit than anything they had managed before. 12:51 vaults the Americans into the Top 10 for the first time ever, beating the Number 14 peak of Last Nite from November 2001 to be their biggest hit of all. I've long ranted at the failure of all the "greatest rock and roll band" groups to turn their industry hype into mainstream sales but with the Strokes now joining the White Stripes as Top 10 hitmakers maybe all that is about to change. We await the day when the Hives join their ranks.
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9 CARNIVAL GIRL (Texas featuring Kardinal Offishall)

It has been three years believe it or not since Texas' last album, their inevitably well selling Greatest Hits collection that itself produced two new hits and a remix of an older one. Now the band who in the 1990s transformed themselves from Celtic rock band to lushly produced superstars are about to move their career into the next phase and crucially make a play for the Christmas market with some brand new material. Those who assumed the band would go for the safe option may be forced to eat their words as in the most incongruous pairing since they invited the Wu Tang Clan to appear with them at the Brits in 1998, Texas have recruited dancehall MC Kardinal Offishall to add a touch of urban to the proceedings. Believe it or not it works a treat. Just as their 1997 comeback single Say What You Want was a world away from their work of old, so too this new single pushes them into a bold new territory. Early reports suggest that the new album Careful What You Wish For contains some equally eclectic influences and it should be well worth the wait. Carnival Girl slides nicely into the Top 10, their ninth such hit and 22nd chart single in all.

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10 SAY CHEESE (SMILE PLEASE) (Fast Food Rockers)

The notion that novelty hits are supposed to be one-offs is clearly a concept that is alien to some people. How else to explain the reappearance of the Fast Food Rockers, here to follow up the insanely popular Fast Food Song that was a Number 2 hit back in June. Gratuitous plugs for fast food chains are out of the window this time and instead we are treated to a bubbly song about the whole world smiling for a picture of global happiness. Or something. Is it wrong to admit I tried not to listen to it too hard?
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12 GOOD BOYS (Blondie)

As chart comebacks go, Blondie's 1999 reappearance set new standards. 17 years after their last new material, Debbie Harry and the boys stormed back with the superlative single Maria which wasted no time in topping the charts and becoming a hit all over the world. Its success was only tempered by the fact that it was far and away the standout track on the album No Exit with the rest of their new material being something of a disappointment. Nonetheless it meant that the prospect of any further new material was something to be anticipated, hence the appearance in the shops this week of another new single from the second part of the veterans millennium comeback. Good Boys actually is a nod back to their heyday, featuring a disco beat straight out of Heart Of Glass and a rap breakdown that brings back memories of Rapture - heck even Giorgio Moroder himself has come out of semi-retirement to supply some remixes. Sadly a major new hit wasn't quite the order of the day this time around but not even the ever ageing Miss Harry (once the planets hottest sex symbol lest we forget) can dull the warm feeling you get from seeing some genuine pop legends still proving that they can cut it with what is actually one of the singles of the week.


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14 ATTITUDE/GOLDEN GUN (Suede)

They may not have quite the veteran status of Blondie but Suede are now cruising nicely into their second decade of hit singles. Attitude/Golden Gun has the honour of being their 20th hit single and the precursor to a Greatest Hits collection of their very own. Attitude proves that whatever their detractors they still have the ability to make some rather wonderfully catchy singles and whilst the crowds of adoring teenage girls that Brett Anderson generated back in the early 1990s seem a little strange in retrospect he still manages to ooze attitude at every turn. Hence the name of the track you guess. The single beats the chart peak of anything from their last album and winds up as their biggest hit since 1999s She's In Fashion which made Number 13.
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16 MARIA (I LIKE IT LOUD) (Scooter vs Acardipane & Rules)

You know what, I'd love to actually stop right here given that the whole of the Top 15 is proof positive of just how good pop music can be at times and why you should never ever stop finding reasons to love it. I'm just scared that things will go wrong the further down the charts we go. The fact that the next single on the list is a Scooter one may prove that these fears wise ones. At the very least we know what to expect here and this is a Scooter single that fizzles along like pretty much all the others with the added bonus of guest vocals from Acardipane and Rules replacing the usual speeded up sampled vocals on the chorus. Thus this is effectively a Scooter single that sounds like all the others only differently. It is their third Top 20 hit of the year.
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20 SHE DROVE ME TO DAYTIME TELEVISION (Funeral For A Friend)

A second hit single for Funeral For A Friend, following on from Juneau which was a Number 19 hit back in August. Screamo rock is takings its time to take a hold but give it time.
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22 GOOD SONG (Blur)

A third hit in 2003 for Blur, this following on from Crazy Beat which made Number 18 in July. A more mellow, almost Marvin Gaye vibe is the order of the day here but it cannot help the single become - and quite significantly too - the first Blur single to miss the Top 20 since Sunday Sunday was a Number 26 hit in October 1993 - exactly ten years ago.
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25 SECRET KISS (Coral)

After two Top 10 hits this year the Coral see their chart fortunes plummet somewhat, this chart placing distinctly at odds with the Top 5 success of Pass It On which was released back in July. It is a shame as Secret Kiss wears its Doors influences on its sleeve so much that you could almost mistake it for a note for note cover.
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28 TIME OF OUR LIVES/CONNECTED (Paul Van Dyk featuring Vega 4)

Just to prove that there is more to him than mobile phone adverts, Paul Van Dyk this week unleashes on the charts one of the more unusual offerings from his current album Reflections. No semi-anonymous floaty dance diva on vocals this time, instead Reflections is a collaboration with the British rock band Vega 4. The result is a track that still has its heart on the dance-floor but which works on another level as a rock-dance fusion single that sounds eerily like a 20-year-old Heaven 17 track in places. Deservedly a massive hit but sadly not with the chart placing it deserves.
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31 UH-HUH 2003 (B2K)

A huge slide in chart fortunes for B2K who looked to be on the up after breaking into the Top 10 for the first time ever with Girlfriend back in June. Instead of consolidating that position with new material they have gone back to an earlier failed single and attempting to reactivate that. Uh-Huh was their first UK hit, charting at Number 35 in August last year. This new mix was clearly intended to turn it into the hit single it failed to be first time around but instead gives it a mere four place improvement in its chart position. Back to the drawing board maybe - or maybe back to P Diddy for another leg-up.
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33 COMA GIRL (Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros)

The untimely death of Joe Strummer just before Christmas last year was made all the more tragic by the fact that he had just completed the recording of a brand new album of material. Strummer had formed the Mescaleros back in the late 90s and they had released two well-received albums - Rock Art And The X-Ray Style in 1999 and Global A Go-Go in 2001. The new album Streetcore was expected to take them to even greater heights. Now after a suitable period of reflection, the band have regrouped to give Strummers final work its proper send-off, releasing it as a final tribute to the former punk legend. As a result Coma Girl, a tribute to Strummers 17 year old daughter, creeps into the Top 40 to give the Mescaleros their first ever chart single. Prior to this Joe Strummers solo career had been limited to a 1986 single Love Kills which made Number 69 and his credit for playing piano on the Levellers' Just The One, a Number 12 hit in January 1996.


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