This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Just how many times do I have to get caught out like this before the rule finally hits home? Never assume anything. What was it that I wrote last week? "Something tells me however that this will be Basshunter's final week at the top of the singles chart…". Well knickers to that, because it wasn't.

The logic behind all the ill-advised predictions was that Chasing Pavements from Adele, the white-hot new star of the moment, would increase its sales as a result of a second full week of downloads and the in-store addition of a CD single. This, coupled with the inevitable decline in the sales of Now You're Gone would result in an effortless changing of the guard on the chart this week. That it hasn't happened is entirely down to the way the Basshunter single is proving far more popular and for more resilient than anyone ever predicted, his lead over Adele last week presenting her with a mountain that ultimately proved just too hard to climb. Not that it wasn't close of course, at times during the week the gap between the two singles being the small matter of a thousand copies or so, but at no time was Adele ever in the lead. As a result, she has to be content with a second week at Number 2, Basshunter locked at the top for a third straight week.

The Top 3 is rounded off by yet another chapter in the rather surprising tale of Rockstar by Nickelback. For those coming late to the party, it is worth recounting once again the strange story behind the cult hit. Originally a track from their 2005 album All The Right Reasons it was made available as an American radio single in the summer of 2006 in a more or less simultaneous release with Far Away. It was the latter track that was the official single release, complete with music video. Rockstar was little more than an alternate offering, a suggested playlist add for those stations who felt Far Away was a little too MOR for their tastes.

Then in the summer of 2007 with the band locked in the studio working on a new album, airplay for the once forgotten single began picking up again. Spotting a chance to maintain the profile of the band, their label swiftly made a video for the track, the now infamous clip featuring members of the public and a blink and you'll miss one parade of celebrities all miming along to the lyrics about everyone's desire to be famous. Over on these shores (where Far Away had made a miserable Number 40 in early 2006) the single also began picking up sales, prompting an end of the year formal release. Just before Christmas it peaked at Number 19 and appeared on its way out before gaining a new lease of life in the new year. This week Rockstar scales a brand new peak of Number 3 to become their highest charting single ever, beating the Number 4 peak of both 2001s How You Remind Me and lead singer Chad Kroeger's own 2002 hit Hero.

The success of Rockstar on the singles chart has now finally had a knock-on effect on the sales of its parent album. This week All The Right Reasons surges up the chart to land at Number 10, three places higher than its original chart peak upon release in October 2005.

Significant movement in the rest of the Top 10 is largely confined to the parade of as-yet-unreleased hits. Rihanna advances still further with Don't Stop The Music which is now a Number 4 hit, her biggest single the all-conquering Umbrella and which is still two weeks away from proper release. There is, however, a rather surprising reversal for Kanye West with Homecoming. Despite a TV advertising campaign which highlights the presence of Chris Martin on the single, it takes a 9-12 dip this week. Full release for the track is still not until Feb 11.

The most spectacular move is however reserved for Work, the much-delayed follow-up single to Like This from Kelly Rowland. Rowland's second album Ms. Kelly has had a rather difficult time of it since its release last summer. Although Like This was a Top 5 hit here, the long player itself tanked in markets around the world, prompting an emergency rethink on the part of the label. The result is a new special edition of the album which is set to come out in March complete with brand new tracks. As a prelude to this Work has been promoted as a single, despite being part of the original tracklisting. After a slow start online the single has suddenly surged in popularity and this week charges to Number 7 to give the star her fifth Top 10 hit single. None of the previous four have failed to make the Top 5, and whilst I'd ordinarily suggest that its physical release this week (Jan 28) will make all the difference, after the Adele fiasco I'm playing it cautiously.

The week's highest new entry arrives at Number 11 as Ride It makes for a spectacular chart comeback from the all but forgotten Jay Sean. The Asian R&B singer shot to fame in 2003 and 2004 with singles such as Dance With You and most famously Eyes On You and Stolen which were both Top 10 hits. His absence from the charts was due to being dumped by Virgin records in early 2006, prompting him to find an independent label to continue his chart career. Ride It neatly picks up where he last left off, an effortlessly smooth soul track that calls to mind the work of a young R Kelly in the best way possible. He's admitted in the past that the constant references to his race and background are more of a hindrance than a help but it also remains his greatest selling point. Hearing Kamaljit Singh Jhooti from Hounslow singing smooth transatlantic soul records exposes neatly the stupidity of assuming that music styles have to restrict themselves to certain racial boundaries.

Also new to the Top 40 after a 56-22 jump is David Jordan with Sun Goes Down. It is the first hit single from the exciting new British star whose debut album Set The Mood is crammed with tracks that effortlessly span the divide between soul and out and out pure pop. A big radio favourite since the start of the year, Sun Goes Down maybe doesn't quite make the chart waves that were expected of it, but if there is any justice this won't be the last we hear of him this year.

Expect some big chart movements next week from imminent new hits from Mary J Blige (in at Number 28 this week with Just Fine) and hot new indie prospects One Night Only (Just For Tonight comfortably at Number 49 for now) but by far the most fascinating future hit at the lower end of the Top 40 is Wow from Kylie Minogue. Slated as the followup to comeback single 2 Hearts, the track charged into the Top 40 just before Christmas after she performed it during the grand final of the X Factor, even though at the time it had not been officially confirmed as her new single and a release date set. Since then, however, far from inching its way upwards the single has stubbornly hovered around the lower end of the Top 30, moving 32-28-43-29-27-26 in the weeks since. With its release not set until Feb 18 you have to wonder just what its chances are of continuing her 21st-century unbroken string of consecutive Top 10 hits. Needless to say, there does seem to be some method in the madness. Valentine's Day 2008 will mark the 20th anniversary of her first ever hit I Should Be So Lucky ascending to the very top of the singles chart.


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