This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 WHERE IS THE LOVE (Black Eyed Peas)

It wasn't quite the titanic battle of seven days ago, more a comfortable solid performance throughout the week but the best selling single honours go once again to the Black Eyed Peas who thus claim the crown for the fourth week in succession in the face of some much hyped opposition. Although when they first topped the charts, much credit was given to Justin Timberlake's contribution to the single for helping it to this level of success but as time has worn on it has become clear that the appeal of the song goes much further than borrowed support for its co-star. Indeed JT has become so little a factor in its success that it did not even occur to me to mention it last week when writing about Justin's own lesser starred single Senorita. Where Is The Love is now the sixth single this year to spend four weeks at the summit but still we hold our breath for the first single in five years to manage a fifth...
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2 I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE (Darkness)

Hi there, and welcome to the aftermath of what has been a crazy summer for The Darkness. Following the release of their second single Growing On Me (a Number 11 hit in June), the over the top rock band suddenly found themselves catapulted from being the latest hot tip to one of the most written about, hyped and all round bigged up bands of the moment. As a result the album Permission To Land has topped the charts and now this third single charges into the Top 3 and will disappoint many by not hitting the top. For those who for whatever reason have not encountered The Darkness yet, let me explain what makes this all so barmy. The group have deliberately set out to be a fun, novelty rock band with an excess of glamour not seen since the days of Kiss and Queen and a penchant for onstage theatrics that make Spinal Tap look like amateurs. Comparisons have to be made (to a certain extent anyway) with Tenacious D but unlike the American pair The Darkness are not being satirical, they are simply having fun with every metal cliche in the book and inviting us all to share the joke along the way. As the charts are currently proving, a great many people get the joke and are loving every last minute of it. I'm just not sure whether this is however just a twelve month flash in the pan rather than the start of something spectacular that others have made it out to be [*ominous bell tolling*].


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5 RUBBERNECKIN' (Elvis Presley)

Just to show you cannot keep a good rock star down. The surprise really is not that another Elvis remix has appeared, just that it has taken over a year since A Little Less Conversation topped the charts for this second example of club Elvis to appear. Rubberneckin' is the brainchild of Paul Oakenfold who has once again taken the sensible route of avoiding treading on an established classic but instead going for one of the lesser starred parts of the King's musical canon. Rubberneckin' has the honour of featuring on the soundtrack of Elvis' last ever feature film, Change Of Habit and was hitherto the b-side of his 1970 single Don't Cry Daddy. The single was a Number 8 hit over here and was Number 6 in America where it was a fully fledged double a-side. For whatever reason this Oakenfold remix doesn't quite have the same magic as JXL's work on A Little Less Conversation so a 19th Number One hit was never really on the cards. Nonetheless it extends Elvis' legend still further as he can now boast a 47 year span of hit singles. Somewhere in the deepest south, an old shelf stacker is permitting himself a smile.
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8 GOING UNDER (Evanescence)

Following on from Bring Me To Life (still on the chart this week at Number 73), Evanescence do very nicely thank you with the follow-up to their Number One hit single. Going Under is basically more of the same from the intense rockers as Amy Lee once again wails passionately about salvation and waves her arms in a video that sees her drown (literally) in the crowd whilst performing at a gig. All very deep of course. In truth whilst Bring Me To Life hit you like an emotional express train and fully deserved its month at the top of the charts earlier in the summer, Going Under hints that the novelty is wearing off a little. You get the feeling that they only have to slip up and mention Jesus by name in a song and their commercial audience will be out the doors like a shot.
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9 INNOCENT EYES (Delta Goodrem)

If awards are being handed out for most underappreciated artist of the year, then Delta Goodrem will probably win by a country mile. Despite this being her third Top 10 single of the year (following Born To Try and Lost Without You) her celebrity profile seems barely existent. Even her continuing onscreen appearances in Neighbours are hard to marry with the slight girl with the angelic voice who has released these three sweet and moving singles. Her only real headlines have come for rather more tragic reasons following the announcement earlier in the summer that she is battling cancer. If she has the potential to make any more singles as good (if not strictly 'pop') as her first three then there is all the more reason to hope that it is not cut short prematurely, for whatever reason.
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14 SUMMER JAM (UD Project)

Strange but true: this summer has failed to produce much in the way of imported club anthems turned massive chart hits. Plenty of singles have arrived as "the big dance hit of the year" but few have even come close to that kind of potential. Summer Jam is a case in point - already a chart-topper in Nothern Europe it can only creep into the Top 20 here. The single is a marriage between two similarly well known continental club tracks. The melody is a track called Sunclub by Fiesta which has been bootlegged with the vocals to the original Summer Jam as performed by Craig Smart and the UD Project. DJ Frank and Andy Jansen are the producers to thank for this bootleg which at the very least makes for a mildly diverting four and a half minutes. Benny Benassi it isn't though.
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16 FRANTIC (Metallica)

Believe it or not I know a Metallica fan who liked the St Anger album right from the very beginning, as opposed to most who sat scratching their heads trying to work out if their favourite band had got it completely wrong. The trick is apparently to avoid comparing it to their darker speed metal moments of the past and view it as the latest evolution in their music. Or something. Anyway, hard on the heels of the title track which made Number 9 back in July, here is the second single which serves as a perfect example of why so many people have struggled to get their heads round the "new" Metallica. What appear to be five different choruses and three different tempos all compete for attention and to see a rock record of this nature even make the Top 20 is quite a wonderful thing to behold. It is their 13th Top 20 hit single.
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20 WILDERNESS (Jurgen Vries featuring Shena)

The success of The Opera Song (Brave New World) back in February was clearly an inspiration to Darren Tate. The inclusion of the classically trained Charlotte Church on the track made it stand head and shoulders above most other trance pop singles, so he has gone down a similar route for this latest Jurgen Vries single. Shena has similar classical credentials to the chain smoking Welsh princess albeit not quite the public profile. Wilderness somehow lacks the sparkle of his last hit - and indeed the sales.
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21 DOWNLOAD IT (Clea)

Well if it worked for Abba. Clea are Chloe, Lindsey, Emma and Amy and their faces should be vaguely familiar to some as along with Javine Hilton they were the candidates from the final ten who failed to be selected to form Girls Aloud on the last series of Popstars. So, what worked for Liberty X could well work for these four as they set out to prove that all their hard work to get so far on the series was not in vain. Their debut hit is a quite surprisingly funky pop track dealing with the saucy subject of online liaisons and you know what - it gets better with every single play. I have to confess to being surprised that the single could only reach Number 21 and will have to put this down as being one of the more underrated pop singles of the week. Here's hoping that those behind the project have faith - just like Liberty X these Popstars rejects have more potential than their first single suggests. [Then one of them left and they had to adjust the name and it all got messy from that point on. But 2003 James was right, this was a magnificent and rather underappeciated pop single from the rejects].


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24 FIND THE COLOUR (Feeder)

A third single of the year for Feeder and you can guess the story. Peaks of 10, 12 and now 24 for their singles demonstrates that mining albums for singles isn't always the passport to chart success.
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26 MAPS (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

A similar kind of story for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs although their third single this year does at least have the honour of beating the peak of its predecessor, Pin which made Number 29 back in July. Maps is actually one of their best singles yet, a raw emotional track that is effectively the closest thing the New York band are likely to come to a ballad. Hard not to love this even if the commercial success hinted at with the Number 16 peak of Date With The Night earlier this year is still set to elude them. [And although nobody could have predicted it at the time, Maps has gone on to become possibly the most singularly influential track of its era, elements of its production or even just its influence to be heard on tracks as diverse as Meet Me Halfway by Black Eyed Peas, Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson or Hold Up by Beyonce. Popbitch published what is possibly one of the best things to ever appear on the internet to explain. That's before we get to one of the most famous occurrences of real tears in a pop video ever].


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37 HAVE IT ALL (Foo Fighters)

Finally, to bring up the rear in what is one of the quieter chart weeks for a while, here come the Foo Fighters with, guess what, their third single release of the year. Unlike Feeder and the YYYs they sadly cannot even keep hold of Top 30 status and at one point were in serious danger of missing the Top 40 altogether.