This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 BRING ME TO LIFE (Evanescence)

Some stiff competition came their way but in the event it is Evanescence who outsell every other single on release this week, the Arkansas band now claiming a third week at the top of the singles chart. It is worth pointing out once more that the singles chart in 2003 appears destined to become the slowest moving for many years, the year to date having now seen no less than four singles to have topped the chart for three weeks or more, By this stage last year we had seen 15 singles top the chart, Evanescence are so far just the ninth act to have had a bestseller in 2003. Chances are they are set to become the fourth act this year to spend four weeks at the top of the chart, scanning the list of new releases for this week I can't in all honesty see a track that can challenge for the top slot. Go on Britain, prove me wrong.
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2 FAST FOOD SONG (Fast Food Rockers)

So what of the single that came oh so close to dethroning Bring Me To Life? Well if you have heard it then you can more or less guarantee that it will remain in your head for weeks. If you have not heard it, well, perhaps it is best that you keep it that way. The Fast Food Song is the brainchild of Mike Stock who assembled two girls and a guy to form the Fast Food Rockers and the track is in essence an extended version of a playground ditty about various fast food brands that appears to go back generations. As an idea it is a breathtakingly simple one and is a textbook case of "why did nobody think of it before?" Widely expected to top the chart, the single actually suffered from a rather slow start to the week, only gathering momentum as the weekend approached but in the event fell short by a matter of a few thousand sales and had to content itself with the runners-up slot. Is it a summer novelty hit to rank alongside contenders from the past two years such as Hey Baby or The Ketchup Song? Possibly, although it has maybe hit the shops a little too early to embed itself in the popular consciousness for the holiday period. There are actually a number of contenders for the honour of Eurohit of the summer currently on release on the continent. Curiously enough I have yet to see any of the various versions of Chihuahua appear on UK release schedules. Give it time. [That wouldn't escape here until the autumn, by which time all the excitement had faded].


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4 LOST WITHOUT YOU (Delta Goodrem)

Hey, this lady is certainly no one-hit wonder. Neighbours star Delta Goodrem proves conclusively that you don't have to become a dance diva to make the transition from screen to the charts. Following on from her Top 3 hit Born To Try is Lost Without You, another intense and heartfelt ballad that shows off her voice to quite impressive effect. In all honesty this is actually a stronger song than her debut, even if it does hark back to the work of 1980s torch singers such as Brenda Russell - not that this is a bad thing of course. A second successive Top 5 hit is hers and it would be a foolish man who bets against there being more to come.

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5 NO LETTING GO (Wayne Wonder)

Well if Sean Paul is the more dancefloor orientated face of 21st century reggae, then Wayne Wonder is his more laidback cousin. After years as an underground star, Wayne Wonder finally breaks through into the mainstream with this perfect soundtrack to a hot and steamy June. No Letting Go grooves its way into your brain with an infectious handclap rhythm [the second chart hit of the summer to use the Diwali Riddim, although it seems extraordinary that I backref Seal Paul in this paragraph but fail to spot the two men had made records with the identical beat] and an enormously appealing lyric. Wayne Wonder's only other chart appearance to date came as long ago as 1996 when he teamed up with Shaggy on the 1996 Number 21 hit Something Different.

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6 BABY I DON'T CARE (Jennifer Ellison)

Fans of the defunct TV soap Brookside will be familiar with this lady, the doe-eyed blonde with the impossibly thick scouse accent has (just like most soap actresses it seems) for a long time harboured a desire to cross over into pop. For her debut release she has gone down the rather sadly predictable route of reworking an old song but at the very least she has picked something of a classic. Baby I Don't Care was the biggest hit single for Transvision Vamp, a group of power pop throwbacks who managed a creditable run of hits at the back end of the 1980s, helped not a little by their charismatic lead singer Wendy James. Their other claim to fame was the presence of Dave Parsons on bass guitar and who would go on to find greater fame after they broke up as one of the members of Bush. Baby I Don't Care was effectively one of their greatest moments on record and made Number 3 in April 1989. Jennifer Ellison's version remains faithful to the original although its rock roots are suppressed in favour of a production that turns it more into a dance-pop single (although the guitars are still present). The single makes a credible enough debut inside the Top 10 although when reading interviews with the starlet you cannot escape the feeling that she genuinely believes that this is for her the start of a long and successful musical career. Time will tell as to whether that is true but it hardly needs pointing out that she will need more than a catsuit and a by the numbers cover version to turn herself into the next Kylie.
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7 ROCK WIT U (AWWW BABY) (Ashanti)

The choice of most reviewers as single of the week this week, Ashanti ultimately has to settle for being the last of five new entries inside the Top 10 this week. Although this is her first solo release of the year it has the honour of being her second hit single, thanks to her guest role on Ja Rule's Mesmerise which hit Number 12 back in March. A brand new single from her forthcoming new album, this Irv Gotti produced track does at least have the honour of becoming her first Top 10 hit since Foolish hit Number 4 a little under a year ago. For the moment her first Top 3 hit single is proving to be rather elusive.
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11 GROWING ON ME (The Darkness)

To the immense relief of everyone who tipped them as one of the bands to watch this year, glam rockers The Darkness finally break through into the mainstream with this enormously infectious single from their debut album Permission To Land. This relief stems largely from the fact that their much hyped single Get Your Hands Off My Woman only made a disappointing Number 43 when released back in March but of course one should never underestimate the benefits of endless promotion and plenty of gigs. It was enough to wake people up to just how good they are. If you are bored of Nu-Metal and want a rock band who are clearly just having enormous fun on record, these are the guys to go for.


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16 HOW DID YOU KNOW (Kurtis Mantronik presents Chamonix)

You may not recognise the name but you will certainly be familiar with his most famous hit. Kurtis Mantronik was of course the brains behind 80s legends Mantronix whose most famous hit was the 1990 Number 4 single Got To Have Your Love, as covered so wonderfully by Liberty X last year. Since the early 1990s the veteran producer has contented himself with a more behind the scenes role in the industry, his only chart single of recent times coming in 1998 when the Eric Clapton-sampling Strictly Business fell just short of the Top 40. All that changed last year when he made this single (originally titled 77 Strings) which was snapped up for UK release by Fatboy Slim for his Southern Fried label. Oddly enough the single flopped first time around but came back to people's attention at the start of the year when a new vocal version became one of the most hotly contested tracks up for grabs at the Miami dance festival. All this of course was music to the ears of the record label who still held the UK rights to the track and so now the retitled How Did You Know makes a strong chart debut, zipping nicely into the Top 20 and returning one of dance music's more famous names to hitmaking ways.
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23 THIS PICTURE (Placebo)

Still with fans, although not enough it seems to give them big hits, Placebo follow up March's Number 12 hit Bitter End with another gorgeously crafted single. Curiously enough it has been a long time since Placebo missed the Top 20 with a single release and This Picture is sadly destined to become their smallest hit record since their debut Teenage Angst made Number 30 back in September 1996.
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27 UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

single Number 4 from the acclaimed By The Way album and the law of diminishing returns begins to kick in, Universally Speaking falling some way short of the Top 20 and charting even lower than their last hit Can't Stop which was a Number 22 hit back in February.
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28 FIELD OF DREAMS (Flip & Fill featuring Jo James)

Everyone's favourite Trancemeisters Flip & Fill return to the singles chart this week with what is effectively their third hit of the year, following on from I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Number 13 in January) and their collaboration with the Porn Kings on Shake Ya Shammy (Number 28 in March). Sting fans can rest easy that this isn't a cheesy cover of one of his best-loved solo works but instead an original composition that in truth maybe falls on the less inspired side of the fence. Singer Jo James here appears for the second time in succession on a Flip & Fill track, having handled the Whitney Houston soundalike duties on I Wanna Dance With Somebody at the start of the year - this time around though she gets a co-credit.
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35 TWIST 'EM OUT (Dillinja featuring Skibadee)

A hit for the second time of asking (albeit a minor one) for this Drum n' Bass track. Twist 'Em Out originally came out in November last year, peaking at Number 50. This fresh set of remixed has helped to push the track slightly further up the charts, although not enough to make it more than a minor Top 40 entry. With that I bid you adieu for another week. If anyone has any hints on how you get over the trauma of worrying if your record collection will survive the rigours of a house move, do let me know.