This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 YOU SAID NO (Busted)

Well what do you know, a brand new Number One single, almost a rareity in this day and age. Better still it is the first ever Number One single for a group whose stock has been steadily rising for the past few months. This is pop band Busted's third chart single of course, each one having improved on the chart performance of the other. First came What I Go To School For (No.3 in September 2002) followed by Year 3000 (No.2 in January) and now they finally ascend to the summit with You Said No, a fun tale of school-age rejection. I'm undecided as to whether Busted are great or simply quite good as their singles so far have somehow fallen short of the in your face catchiness that they clearly aspire to. Nonetheless as an act they have managed to break out of the usual boy band mould (they play guitars after all!) and they fact that they have now moved into a new sphere - that of actual rather than potential chart-toppers is actually something to be welcomed. Good work lads.

[Funny story, at this time due to accidental circumstances I'd ended up the lead moderator for the messageboard on the brand new Hit 40 UK website, one which was invaded at this point by excited Busted fans rather thrilled that their idols were about to have a Number One record. A major clue that they were a bigger deal than anyone realised].


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2 ALL OVER (Lisa Maffia)

Having made headlines all week for all the wrong reasons, Lisa Maffia does at least have the consolation of a Top 3 hit with her first ever solo single. She is the latest member of the So Solid Crew to break out from the larger collective for chart glory in her own right, following on from the likes of Oxide & Neutrino, Romeo and Asher D. As the strongest female singer in the bunch it was perhaps almost inevitable that she would be elevated to solo status sooner rather than later, indeed her talents were much in evidence as the uncredited female singer on Romeo's first single Romeo Dunn. The dodgy headlines of course have been thanks to an unfortunate shooting incident that took place at the event that was supposed to be the launch party for the single, an event that Lisa herself actually pulled out of thanks to warnings that there was likely to be trouble. The sad fact remains that the more moronic elements of the society that spawned the So Solid Crew appear to have followed them into the mainstream and while it has little to do with the music, there is a very real risk that the careers of all of them are in danger of being derailed every time the words "So Solid Crew" and "shooting" appear in the same news item together.


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3 DON'T LET GO (David Sneddon)

Having become the first Fame Academy star to have a hit single (he was the winner after all), David Sneddon now becomes the first to follow up his initial success. Just like his chart-topping debut Stop Living The Lie, this new single is a rather beautiful piano-based tune that falls just on the right side of catchy. Although Fame Academy's aim wasn't necessarily to create a new pop star in the traditional sense, it is rather entertaining to note that the ultimate winner was the most middle of the road act on the show. If you want to see a genuine pop star discovered as a result of the program, look no further than Ainslie Henderson. David Sneddon does at least have double cause to celebrate this week, the appearance of this new single has breathed new life into his debut release which this week re-enters the Top 40 at Number 36.
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6 X GOIN' GIVE IT TO YA (DMX)

Mainstream success in this country has been a long time coming for rapper DMX. His first chart single came way back in 1999 when Slippin' crept to Number 30. It took him a year and a half to follow that up, doing rather worse with Who We Be which was a Number 34 hit in December 2001. This rather dramatic turnaround in his chart fortunes is in some way thanks to the world of the movies, namely Cradle 2 The Grave to which this single forms the theme. DMX also stars in the movie alongside Jet Li although time will tell as to whether this is a one-off flash in the pan or the single that finally turns DMX into a chart regular.
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7 7 NATION ARMY (White Stripes)

Could it be that all the hype was worth it in the end? For the past two years the name to drop in musical circles has been the White Stripes, the brother and sister (or husband and wife depending on who you talk to) duo have been repeatedly hailed as the future of rock and roll and the basis for a whole new musical genre. My one criticism of them has been the fact that all thus hype has failed to turn into the kind of mainstream success that results in singles sales. OK you could argue that they are an adult act with little teenage pop appeal, but that of course has not stopped the likes of Coldplay and Doves et al establishing themselves as Top 10 hitmakers. If they can, then why not the alleged future of rock and roll? Instead to date the White Stripes have done little more than have a succession of Top 30 hits: Hotel Yorba, Fell In Love With A Girl and Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground. Good but nothing impressive. Of course all that changes this week. With their new album Elephant riding high in the long player listings [I'm only a step away from calling this a "hit parade" here], its first single storms the charts to give the White's their first ever UK Top 10 single. A different b-side on each of the CD formats may have encouraged multiple buys by completists, but since when did these pages split hairs on marketing tactics? 7 Nation Army is deservedly their biggest hit single to date. Now the question has to be asked, are there more to come?


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8 KNOCK OUT (Triple Eight)

David, Justin, Josh, Sparx and Jamie are the members of Triple 8, pretenders to the throne recently departed by 5ive as the kings of punchy, ball-breaking boy band pop. As debut singles go this is certainly impressive and as the likes of Blue (and this week Busted) have proved, making your name as a pop group no longer has to involve topping the charts first week with your very first single, these days you have time to grow into your audience. You can almost guarantee that Triple 8 will be having Top 3 hits before the end of the summer. [This was precisely 50% of their chart career, for the record].
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21 VIRTUALITY (V-Birds)

The singles chart takes upon a strange unbalanced look this week with six new entries inside the Top 10 and then absolutely none between positions 9 and 20. The bottom end sees a further six new singles however so let us deal with those, beginning with this one, another addition to the small but noble band of animated acts. The V-birds are of course the stars of their own Cartoon Network series and this debut single is, as you would expect, a reworked and expanded version of the theme tune. As throwaway pop singles go this is actually rather fun even if the show clearly doesn't quite have enough fans to make this a major hit.
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23 DESTINATION (DT8 featuring Roxanne Wilde)

Reckon summer is on its way? I think so too, how else to explain the emergence of singles attempting to become the, ahem, "first soundtrack of the Ibiza season". Leading the field it seems is this slice of Euro-trance from DT8. Destination has all the hallmarks of a smash club single, right down to the catchy hookline (sung here by co-credited Roxanne Wilde) but Top 20 success appears to have eluded it.
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24 ALL POSSIBILITIES (Badly Drawn Boy)

Not that he needs hit singles of course but it is still good to see Badly Drawn Boy in the singles chart, whatever the position. This is Damon Gough's second hit single of the year, the follow-up to Born Again which hit Number 16 in January.
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25 FAST BOY/LIQUID LIPS (Bluetones)

Just over a year after their last chart single After Hours, the Bluetones return to the singles chart with another Top 30 hit. The days when they could count on Top 10 hits are now way behind them, left back in the mid-90s but the group still know how to turn out a quality tune. This single heralds a new back to basics tour in small venues and a forthcoming new album. Like fellow refugees from the golden summer of Britpop in 1995 Supergrass, the Bluetones plod on without ever showing signs of recapturing old greatness but it is good to see them still able to place singles on the chart and disproving the disposable nature of modern day music. They must still wonder how Blur manage to do it of course...
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26 WHEN I SEE YOU (Macy Gray)

Oh yes she is back, the soul discovery of 1999 with THAT voice which either makes you want to grab your lover in a hurry or rush out to buy some cough sweets. Macy Gray is almost certainly never going to come close to eclipsing her most famous hit I Try (to this day it remains her only Top 10 appearance) but that is surely not through want of trying. This single marks her first Top 40 appearance since Sweet Baby hit Number 23 in September 2001 and is taken from a forthcoming new album, itself the follow-up to 2001's The ID which topped the charts.
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35 YOU DIDN'T EXPECT THAT (Billy Crawford)

Bringing up the rear this week, but no less interesting for that, is Billy Crawford. The Philippines-born star has been something of a celebrity elsewhere in the world for a number of years now as a child star and sometime singer. An attempt was made to expand his celebrity here in 1998 but the project was aborted when his first single Urgently In Love stalled at Number 48. Five years later and now as an adult he tries again but a 13 place improvement in his chart fortunes hardly seems worth the wait.