This week's Official UK Singles Chart

I can't really avoid saying it, so let's get it out the way early. Glastonbury Effect. It can be overstated and at times given credit for something that would have happened anyway, but in the immediate aftermath of one of the biggest and certainly most widely publicised summer festivals, it has become a kind of tradition to scrutinise the sales performances of the big name acts involved in the week that follows and note just how their live appearances have boosted their chart positions.

More on that later, because although this week's Number One act on the singles chart did indeed appear at Glastonbury and memorably performed his single for the benefit of the BBC cameras it would only dilute what he has achieved by suggesting it was entirely down to his appearance at Worthy Farm. Dylan 'Dizzee Rascal' Mills has been releasing singles and albums and winning awards ever since he was 18 years old, but for some reason, his hits have never quite managed to hit the big time. He seemed to be on his way when Stand Up Tall reached Number 10 (not 11 as the BBC are erroneously reporting) in 2004 but when the single releases from his last album Maths + English made 20, 22 and 23 in 2007 it seemed he was destined for mid-table obscurity.

Unusually the change in his chart fortunes comes as he leaves the guiding had of XL Recordings who signed him as a teenager and strikes out as a total independent on his own Dirtee Stank label. Clearly, it has done him the world of good as this week Dance Wiv Me shoulders all competition out of the way as its downloads alone make it the biggest selling single of the week. Not that Dizzee should get all the credit of course, as the track is very much a genre-hopping ensemble effort with contributions from Calvin Harris and Diz's own protégé Chrome. It is to say the least a quite compelling combination as the warring musical styles of the three participants combine in a way that is almost magical, the Grimecore vocals from Dizzee Rascal bounce over the top of Harris' electronic beats before giving way to the smooth R&B tones of Chrome. This is three and a half minutes of three men having a whale of a time on a record that is fun, accessible and yet amazingly true to the musical roots of all three participants at the same time.

Dizzee Rascal thus hits the top with his 11th chart single, Calvin Harris with his third, whilst Chrome begins his chart career with a peak that he will never be able to better. Eyebrows will, of course, be raised at the liberties the title of the track takes with the English language, Dance Wiv Me arguably the first deliberately misspelt title for a Number One hit since the Pussycat Dolls topped the chart with Stickwitu in late 2005. Such dictionary mangling is of course hardly new with Slade having spent half their career in the 70s releasing singles spelt with Wolverhampton patois whilst a decade later Prince would habitually write song titles in textspeak - some years before the SMS message had even been invented.

A spectacular debut at the top inevitably overshadows the second biggest hit of the week, so due credit here to Basshunter who follows up the Number One smash Now You're Gone with All I Ever Wanted which narrowly failed to make the runners-up slot and so has to content itself with a Number 3 entry. Just like his first hit, Jonas Altberg charts with an English language remake of a single he first released two years ago in his native Sweden. Just as Now You're Gone was originally Boten Anna, a song about IRC chatbots, All I Ever Wanted began life as Vi sitter i Ventrilo och spelar DotA and in true geek style dealt with sitting in an online chatroom whilst playing a custom Warcraft III map. The roots of the track go even further back than that, its melody based heavily on cult 2001 French club track Daddy DJ which only ever made it to these shores as an import.

Incidentally, the chart duel between the Basshunter and Dizzee Rascal singles could well extend to a second week, both tracks arriving in physical form this week (July 7).

One more single penetrates the Top 10 this week and as expected it is Stay With Me from Ironik which vaults 11-6 as physical sales are added to the mix. The single fares slightly better than the other three notable physical releases of the week, We Made It from Busta Rhymes and Linkin Park holding firm at Number 10, whilst When You Touch Me from the Freemasons featuring Katherine Ellis can only creep to Number 23. Perhaps most surprisingly of all Estelle proves the old maxim that you are only as good as your last hit. As American Boy actually rebounds to Number 21 this week, the follow-up No Substitute Love arrives at a miserable Number 30 from where you suspect it will progress no further.

For a second week running Chris Brown claims two simultaneous Top 5 hits as No Air slips to Number 4 with Forever one place behind. As you may have read in the comments to last week's Chart Watch UK, both Sean Paul and Elton John can lay claim to being the last artists to manage this double. I'm tempted to discount Elton John from the list simply because one-half of his two 2005 Top 5 hits was via his 34-year-old sampled vocals on 2Pac's Ghetto Gospel. His co-credit was merely for publishing reasons rather than any direct contribution to the track so you could argue he was part of the production rather than an actual performer on the single. Sean Paul in 2003, like Chris Brown today qualifies for the honour by the back door, the artists performing one Top 5 hit on their own and the other as a guest star on someone else's track (Blu Cantrell's Breathe for Sean Paul). Is it therefore correct to argue that Whitney Houston still can claim to be the last artist with two simultaneous Top 5 hits, given that I Will Always Love You and I'm Every Woman were her own brand new solo recordings?

Mind you, Chris Brown is this week just one of no less than three acts to claim two simultaneous Top 20 hits. He is joined by the Ting Tings whose former Number One That's Not My Name slips to Number 13, nicely meeting Shut Up And Let Me Go which rises to Number 15. Also doing the double is Madonna. Her own former Number One 4 Minutes is at Number 17, one place below the followup Give It 2 Me which has now recovered from its Top 30 stutter last week to claw a place in the Top 20. Madonna goes physical next Monday (July 14th) with the Ting Tings following a week later. Honourable mention must also be made here of both Flo Rida and Adele who have duopolies of their own with two singles apiece inside the Top 30 whilst Coldplay and Estelle round things off with two simultaneous Top 40 hits at present.

So then to the Glastonbury Effect which inevitably impacts the album chart rather more than the singles listings apart from a couple of notable exceptions. Albums from the Ting Tings and of course Amy Winehouse charge back into the Top 10 with Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Elbow, Last Shadow Puppets and Kings Of Leon amongst those to put on sales in the wake of their festival performances. Singles-wise it is perhaps the aforementioned MGMT who turn out to be the surprise package with current single Electric Feel surging 31-22 and previous hit Time To Pretend reappearing at Number 60 after it first peaked at Number 35 in early April.

Leave it to one man in particular, however, to land the most out of the blue hit of all. As I discussed on the podcast last week, quite aside from the fuss that surrounded his headline status, Jay-Z was in the unusual position of not having any current product to sell whilst at the same time maybe introducing himself to an audience who had never before seen him perform. The net result is the arrival at Number 35 on the singles chart of his 2004 hit 99 Problems, the track making its first Top 75 appearance since early 2005. The song gets a solitary chart run for the very first time, having originally been released as a double a-side with Dirt Off My Shoulder. With the 2004 single having long since been deleted, 99 Problems charts here as a standalone album cut with its "weeks on chart" count reset. Not far behind in sales terms perhaps inevitably is Numb/Encore which moves 64-45, the closest it has come to a Top 40 re-entry since its original chart run in the first half of 2005. As noted by commenters last week, the track is now within a few thousand sales of becoming the biggest selling single never to reach the Top 10, the single having never climbed beyond Number 14 despite scaling the peak three times three years ago. This is the track's 41st week as a Top 40 hit which you may be surprised to learn only makes it the second most charted single to feature Jay-Z. The first? Rihanna's Umbrella of course which needs just one more week in the Top 75 to join the elite band of 52-week hits.

Finally whilst we are on the subject of long-running hits, a tip of the hat to Rockstar from Nickelback which this week drops out of the Top 40 for the first time since it first entered on November 17th 2007. Frustratingly it means they fall just short of setting a new record, only able to match the 37-week continuous Top 40 run clocked up by Frankie Goes To Hollywood with Relax way back in 1984.


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