This week's Official UK Singles Chart

So after all the sensation it caused, Viva La Vida turns out to be a one-week wonder, dipping down the singles chart one place to leave the way clear for Ne-Yo to add the icing on the cake and climb to Number One as Closer finally goes physical. It means the US star finally has a second chart-topping single in the UK, following on from his debut So Sick which made a sensational 18-1 leap in April 2006. Despite only debuting as a recording star just over two years ago, his musical output since has been quite prodigious, Closer the lead single from what will be his third studio album Year Of The Gentleman set for release in August. Technically speaking this is actually his second encounter with a Number One this year, Ne-Yo also having penned Take A Bow which Rihanna took to the top just a few weeks ago.

Closer tops the chart after what has been a rather steady eight-week climb. For all the talk of the singles market now having reverted to old-fashioned ways, Number One hits tend to be the ones that buck the trend by entering high and staying there. Assuming we regard Singin' In The Rain has having been a new entry rather than a climber when it hit the top, then Closer is in fact the first Number One single to begin its chart career outside the Top 20 since About You Now from the Sugababes jumped to the top from an initial Number 35 entry. Perhaps even more significantly it is the first single to top the charts as late as 8 weeks into its chart career for well over a decade. The last single with such a slow burn to its name was Never Ever from All Saints which finally hit the top in January 1998 in its ninth week on sale, Ne-Yo just edging out You're Beautiful from James Blunt which had a seven-week trek to the summit in 2005. Closer actually entered the chart before any of the four singles that have preceded it at Number One.

Not that we should discount Viva La Vida completely of course. As noted last week, its topped the chart with little assistance from the usual promotional tools, such as a scheduled release and even a video that can be played on television. I'm tempted to suggest the single has more life in it yet and a second wind that for the moment is little more than a gentle breeze.

Joining the two singles in the Top 3 is No Air from Jordin Sparks which soars seven places from last weeks Number 10. The single is now the biggest ever UK hit for an American Idol winner, her reality show contemporary Kelly Clarkson having never made it any further than Number 5 (Since You've Been Gone, her third hit holding that particular honour). No Air is still a download-only single and although the impact of physical versions is steadily growing less, we cannot rule out the possibility that its physical release on July 7 will be the final boost it needs to hit the very top. The progress of the single means an even further chart triumph for featured duettist Chris Brown whose own single Forever also climbs the chart to claim the Number 4 slot.

It is at this point I'm trying to conjure up the last time any artist managed simultaneous Top 5 hits on the singles chart. This is one of those where I'm prepared to be stood corrected if anyone has a better memory than I do, but in the absence of any evidence to the contrary I'm going to suggest that Chris Brown is the first person to do the double since Whitney Houston had both I Will Always Love You and I'm Every Woman in the Top 5 way back February 1993. Comments below if you think you know different. [See next week's piece for a resolution of that particular debate].

The only song to join club Top 10 this week is We Made It from Busta Rhymes and Linkin Park, perhaps showing that the rock-hop concept can indeed work its magic for a second time. The single is now Linkin Park's fifth Top 10 hit single and their first since What I've Done was a Number 6 hit in April last year. As if in sympathy the inevitable has happened and 'Numb/Encore' has returned for another wander around the lower end of the chart, landing at Number 64 this week. We Made It has a little more gas in the tank of course, the single going physical this week (June 30).

As a result, the biggest new entry of the week is denied a place in the Top 10 but can still be quite satisfied with its Number 11 placing. The track in question is Stay With Me, the debut single for Ironik, a DJ and producer from London who at one stage laid claim to being the most popular unsigned act on MySpace. The production of his first hit owes a great deal to the likes of Kanye West and Akon, his vocals on the rather moving track intercut with a heavily pitch shifted sampled chorus. Although for that reason alone the track is little more than a copy of Through The Wire or Lonely, its emotional subject matter and Ironik's heartfelt delivery give it just that extra spark of originality to make this an extremely worthwhile debut indeed. Those wondering just where the high-pitched vocals come from may be in for a shock, the sample being from of all things an old Westlife album track Written In The Stars. Physical sales get added to the mix next week and I would love to see this single end up Top 5 as a result.

Also new to the Top 20 are be-quiffed Glasgow rockers Glasvegas who make Number 16 first week out with their major label Geraldine. Formed just a couple of years ago, the group found themselves the subject of a bidding war following the release of their early self-funded singles. Their first ever chart hit is a suitably atmospheric Celtic rock anthem, the mellow wall of sound of their guitars calling to mind fellow superstar scots such as Runrig or Big Country. Chalk this single up as a worthy debut, and here's to plenty more hits from their debut album, set for the stores in early September.

Having first crept into the Top 40 four weeks ago after exposure on an iTunes advert, Shut Up And Let Me Go from the Ting Tings makes a reappearance at its highest chart position yet as it is officially confirmed as their next single release and intensifies its airplay as a result. Having spent the past couple of weeks just outside the Top 40, the track now vaults to Number 24 in plenty of time for a scheduled July 21 release for its physical version. Meanwhile, That's Not My Name shows few signs of burning out and is still a Top 10 single at Number 8.

At the other end of the success scale, we have Mariah Carey who once again proves that you are only ever as good as your last hit. Despite Touch My Body being a Top 5 hit, the followup Bye Bye has had a rather torrid time of it as a download hit, spending the last five weeks on the edge of the Top 40 without ever quite managing to take that final step. Physical release of the track finally pushes it above the horizon but the single can still only make Number 30, essentially making this one of her lowest charting singles ever. Only four of her hits have ever charted lower in this country, the first three coming at the very start of her career when she struggled to match her phenomenal American success on these shores. Her only post-stardom single to chart lower was 2001s Never Too Far, the second release from the nearly career-ruining Glitter album.


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