Well I don't know about your week but mine has been frantic. Several interviews about Crazy Frog later I'm all done talking about the damn thing [the whole planet seemed to want to talk to someone about the damn Crazy Frog phenomenon, my phone never rang so much as it did that week], but here it is sitting pretty at Number One for a second week. Still, the more records they sell the more Jamster (or Jamba to give them their correct company name) will stand a chance of making back some of the millions they have spent TV advertising the track - oh and of course the ring tone. One glance at their site is enough to tell you why they spend so much time pushing their own cute cast of characters. Their core business, of course, is selling ringtone versions of chart hits, whether in tone form or as mp3 samples. Every time they sell one of these at £3 a pop they have to pay a chunk in royalties to the original artists - hence the most profitable ringtones are the ones featuring characters and sounds they own themselves. If the whole Crazy Frog concept continues to depress you, consider this. For the second time this year, the Number One single in the UK has generated headlines and comment. Thanks to Tony Christie and Crazy Frog, all of a sudden it matters what is Number One and the singles chart is headline news once more. 12 months ago that would have been inconceivable. If that isn't enough for you there is another damn frog record on the way next week.
An absence of big new singles means a quick reversal for a few longer standing hits this week, Akon's Lonely rebounds 3-2 whilst the evergreen Gorillaz, album sales notwithstanding, march 5-3 to claim their highest chart placing for a fortnight.
This leaves the Foo Fighters to claim one of only two new entries inside the Top 10 this week. Dave Grohl's men prove that there is life in them yet with their first album in two and a half years on the way and the single Best Of You which arrives on the charts officially having been available as a download for a few weeks already. Number 4 is enough to give the band their biggest ever hit single. Since their debut almost exactly ten years ago they have only ever notched up two previous Top 10 singles, both of them hitting Number 5 peaks. Debut This Is A Call was first followed by All My Life which charted in October 2002 and heralded their last album. Past form would suggest that this will be as good as it gets as far as their singles performances are concerned, but don't be surprised to see a handful of Top 30 singles arrive on the charts over the next few months.
The second Top 10 new entry goes to an act who are just as "alternative" but who are also no strangers to the upper reaches of the charts. Jack and Meg's new White Stripes album Get Behind Me Satan spawns a lead single in the shape of Blue Orchid which efficiently gives them their second ever Top 10 hit single. Like the Foo Fighters, their best bet for big hits is a single released in advance of the album, their previous foray into the Top 10 coming in May 2003 when Elephant's first hit 7 Nation Army stormed to Number 7.
There is a very welcome new entry at Number 12 as the much talked-about James Blunt finally makes his Top 40 debut with new single You're Beautiful [once more strap in, we are going to be here a while with this one]. The British star had to go to America to make it but we are so glad that he did. With a voice that calls to mind a young Rod Stewart, his debut album Back To Bedlam somehow manages to merge easy listening with rock quite magically. First single Wisemen stalled at Number 44 when released in March but the haunting sounds of You're Beautiful give him a solid and serviceable hit single. Hopefully the first of many.
Next up at Number 15 are Funeral For A Friend. Their debut album Casually Dressed And In Deep Conversation spawned a trio of Top 20 hits in late 2003 and early 2004 and now they return with Streetcar, the first single from their forthcoming second album. At a stroke it gives them their biggest hit to date, their other hits all having peaked at either 19 or 20.
Just below at Number 18 is Ben Adams with Sorry. Adams is no stranger to the charts, having once upon a time been the lead singer with A1 whose career lasted from 1999 to 2002 and took in three albums, 8 Top 10 hits and two Number Ones in the shape of Same Old Brand New You and a none too embarrassing cover of A-Ha's Take On Me, both of these hitting the top in 2000. His marketing acknowledges his boy band past but makes a point of trying to move beyond it, quite sensibly so actually as Sorry has much to commend it, a mid-tempo swing beat track that shows off the range of his voice to good effect. Number 18 is possibly less than this single deserves. Here's hoping the option for a second crack at the charts is still good.
Oh dear oh dear. Where do you start with the singer at Number 22? The legendary Popbitch newsletter devoted an entire edition about a month ago to the tale of Geri Halliwell being dumped by her record label, a tale that Innocent records were quick to rebut, pointing at the imminent release of her new single Desire. After a prolonged promotional campaign (which even extended to an on-pitch appearance at Stamford Bridge during Chelsea's Champions League semi-final match against Liverpool [I was actually there to see that but have no recollection of the performance, how funny]), said single makes a somewhat dismal chart showing. In truth, the signs were there. Although her last single Ride It was propelled neatly to Number 4 back in December by the time Christmas had rolled around it was nowhere to be seen. No matter how hard her "people" try there is no escaping the fact that the former Ginger Spice is washed-up as a singer, entertaining nobody with her parroting of self-help manuals in interviews and provoking sniggers at her desperate attempts to be sexy in videos. Nobody is singling her out because she is an old Spice Girl it is just that just like Victoria Beckham-Adams she has used up what little cachet her work in the 1990s gave her. With that gone, her lack of singing talent is painfully exposed.
Talk of a Spice Girls reunion at Live-8 still abounds and on the strength of Desire Geri would be well advised to sign up, the chances of her third solo album making it to the shops are now just about nil. It isn't over for all things Spice though. Mel C's last single may not have set the world on fire but Emma Bunton will do OK if she keeps channelling Sandie Shaw whilst of all people Mel B is set to chart in a months time with a new single that is phenomenally, amazingly good.
Just for a change some of the singles at the lower end are also worthy of note. We'll gloss over Noise Next Door whose third single appears to have put paid to their ambitions at being the next big thing in pop with a dismal Number 27 showing. Embrace hit Number 28 with A Glorious Day - again a disappointment after two Number 11 hits in a row earlier in the year. No, the real highlight of the week is down at Number 32 as All Around The World records strike pay dirt again with Groove Coverage and a cheesy but entertaining cover of Poison. Alice Cooper of all people recorded the original, the song making an unexpected Number 2 in 1989 and kicking off his 1990s revival that saw him on his most consistent run of hits since his 1970s heydey. OK so this pop cover is a world away from all that but it is far from a channel changer when it appears on The Box every now and again, even if Number 32 is really all it is worth chart-wise.
That's all from me. I'm off to prepare for more Crazy Frog fun and also to mourn the fact that Faithless' Why Go has only managed Number 49 this week despite being their best single in AGES.