This was going to be so exciting. Two big download hits arrived in the shops for real this week and both stood a very good chance of using this to surge to the top of the singles chart. In the event, neither managed it. After being behind at the start of the week, Beyonce and Shakira chipped away at the lead to emerge sales winners by the end of the weekend, Beautiful Liar grabbing a third week at Number One by the small matter of 5000 copies. With Crazy In Love also having had a three week run at the top back in 2003, Beyonce now has two singles tied as her biggest chart hit ever, Shakira, on the other hand, having a little way to go yet to beat the five weeks in total clocked up by Hips Don't Lie last summer.
So what of the noble runner up? All the excitement that the Manic Street Preachers would land themselves one of the biggest ever leaps to Number One and return to the top of the charts after a seven-year gap turns out to have been wasted. Not that we should be too unhappy as Your Love Is Not Enough surges 26-2 to give the band their third Number 2 hit in a row. If it had topped the chart it would have been nothing less than the single deserved, the track rapidly burrowing its way into popular consciousness in a way they haven't managed for a decade and ensuring that at the very least it will wind up as a stadium filling anthem for however long their career lasts beyond this. In all it is their fourth single to peak at Number 2, aside from Empty Souls and For The Love Of Richard Nixon they also scaled this peak with A Design For Life back in April 1996. A third Number One hit for them still isn't totally out of the question of course, but you cannot help but think that this week was their best opportunity to outsell the competition. Those who like fun chart coincidences will note (in a nice illustration of the way online sales have changed the shape of the market) that the 26-2 move made by Your Love Is Not Enough is an exact mirror of the 2-26 chart performance of Empty Souls in its first two weeks on sale in January 2005.
The other new release of the week deserving of a place at Number One does at the very least achieve the Top 3 placing I predicted of it last week, Cupid's Chokehold from Gym Class Heroes surging 8-3 on physical sales. The rappers thus now have a bigger hit single than Supertramp, the group who inspired their hit single, ever managed in their careers. Cupid's Chokehold's parent track Breakfast In America peaked at Number 9 in the summer of 1979, just a few months after The Logical Song became their biggest hit ever reaching Number 7.
The next big action to speak of doesn't arrive until the bottom end of the Top 10. First up Is the 32-9 leap made by the returning Groove Armada who find themselves with their biggest ever hit single - Get Down. The track is a startlingly listenable hard house track which rips along energetically, powered by a rap from grime princess Stush who as a result lands herself one of the biggest hits the movement has managed to date. The single heralds the new Groove Armada album Soundboy Rock which hits the shops this week and which has been the subject of some exceptionally positive reviews.
The highest new entry lands just once place below at Number 10 as 'Here (In Your Arms)' by HelloGoodbye lands on the chart after a very strong download showing. It is the chart debut for the cult Californian band and is in a word, magical. The track is a sun-drenched feel good rock single replete with vocoded layers which make it sound like no other hit single so far this year. As a single and as a band as a whole they arrive as a very exciting prospect for the summer, and needless to say after this strong start the track is set to be around for weeks, the physical release arriving in the shops on the 14th.
Aside from that the singles chart pretty much takes a breather. The only other new arrival of note is the Top 40 new entry of Lollipop from Dada, Sandy Rivera and Trix which soars 58-18 after a physical release. A track that apparently grew organically in the studio it is a cleverly constructed club track that mixes an electronic backing with Sandy Rivera's half spoken half rapped vocals and a nagging chorus from singer Trix. It is far from offensive and actually has far more crossover potential than this probable chart peak suggests.
The big chart action is really in the albums chart this week as a hatful of big new releases crash into the Top 10, among them Ne-Yo's Because Of You at Number 6 (matching the placing this week of the title track which slips two places on the singles chart) and Natasha Bedingfield's NB which has been released surprisingly quickly after her first comeback single and thus underperforms first week out with a Number 9 placing. The biggest selling new album of the week is Call Me Irresponsible from Canadian crooner Michael Buble which slots in at Number 2 behind the still dominant Arctic Monkeys. The album has had a knock on benefit for his single Everything which creeps 42-38 on the singles chart this week to give him what is only his second ever Top 40 hit. His first was the track that pretty much everyone knows but which few can identity, the pretty ballad Home which made Number 31 in April 2005 but which remained in the public consciousness thanks to incessant airplay by easy listening radio stations such as Magic. This resulted in a re-release for the track later that year but it could only reach Number 63 second time around.
Next week should see some rather frantic singles chart action as a hatful of tracks which have already gained Top 40 placings thanks to downloads arrive in physical format and experience the resultant boost in sales. Among them are Akon's Don't Matter (currently Number 11), Amerie's Take Control (Number 13), Into Oblivion from Funeral For A Friend (Number 39), Anything by JoJo (Number 40). Better still this week will see the full release of Britain's Eurovision entry Flying The Flag (For You) by Scooch which has been available online since the middle of March and which has yet to creep into the Top 75 or even the Top 100. Heaven help us if it actually wins.