This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Swedish DJ and producer Eric Prydz is a very busy man. Not only does he have club gigs to play all over Europe, when at home he has remix work to do as well as running several different labels which serve as outlets for his many musical projects. Small wonder then that the time he has for releasing singles under his own name is limited and precious, even if he somehow has the knack of producing a worldwide smash hit every single time.

Hence Number One Call On Me in late 2004 was not followed until early 2007 by Number 2 single Proper Education and now 19 months on from that last hit he finally has a third consecutive Top 3 hit to his name as Pjanoo smashes its way onto the singles chart at Number 2. Popular legend has it that the lush instrumental was something he knocked together some time ago and which remained a forgotten curiosity until he one day slipped it into a DJ set which was posted online. The resultant surge in interest in the piece has now prompted its full release and its transformation into the dance sensation of the summer. Unlike his previous hits, Pjanoo is not constructed around the bones of an old song. Instead, it is an absorbing chill-out track based around nothing more than a simple piano riff that is joined by progressively more layers of instrumentation until before fading away to simplicity once more. Instrumental tracks which become instant classics are few and far between, so the presence of Pjanoo is something to be appreciated with wonder. In sales terms, its release ran Number One incumbent Katy Perry very close indeed but in the end had to settle for waiting patiently whilst she spends her fourth week at the top with I Kissed A Girl. Few would offer odds against this position changing next week.

Really it is just as well we have Eric to save us as apart from him Top 10 action is very limited indeed. Rihanna eases up a notch to claim the final Top 3 place with Disturbia, the 561st single from the album now ranking as its third biggest hit behind Number One hits Umbrella and Take A Bow. Biffy Clyro surge forward to Number 5 as physical sales of Mountains are added to the mix, as we mentioned last week the CD single of the track is a rather more necessary purchase than usual given that they have no plans for an album until well into next year.

Notably tumbling still are The Verve who slip 7-9 with Love Is Noise although of course, this comes in the same week that much-anticipated comeback album Forth storms to the top of the album chart, a full 11 years since its predecessor Urban Hymns also did the same.

New to the singles chart at Number 12 are Glasvegas with second chart hit Daddy's Gone. This is the direct followup to Geraldine which gave the Scottish foursome their first ever hit single when it charted at Number 16 back in July. The new hit is to be frank, magnificent. Drowning in reverb from the start to give a warm wall of sound effect, lead singer James Allan hollers his way through the melancholy song in a manner that is both captivating and enchanting. On the podcast last week I talked about the concept of a "two listen track", the sign of a record that you want to hear for a second time immediately afterwards because it excites you that much. I'm up to about ten listens of Daddy's Gone so far.

Three more singles climb into the Top 20 from the lower regions and to the delight of many leading the way are Little Jackie with The World Should Revolve Around Me which vaults 21-14. I say "they" as of course technically speaking Little Jackie are a group as Imaani Coppola insists that collaborator Adam Pallin is an equal part of the creative process. Nonetheless, virtually all the marketing and promotional interest in the song has centred around Imaani and her big musical comeback a decade in the making - rightly so in fairness.

One step behind are Alphabeat who move 35-15 with new single Boyfriend to give them their third Top 20 hit of the year and the second biggest, this track now beating by one place the May peak of 10,000 Nights. The group and their music still for some reason remain something of an acquired taste. By rights there should be something quite magical about an album made to sound like it had dropped out of a wormhole from 1986 and indeed Boyfriend is another three minutes of delicious nostalgia which conjures up images of hairspray and big eyeliner and Madonna when she was bright, bubbly and endearingly chubby. Nonetheless, there is still something rather jarring about the way it is presented to a 2008 audience. Whereas the Scissor Sisters did pop nostalgia in a bright, knowing manner where you know they were loving every moment of wrapping up their music in as much cheese as possible, Alphabeat you get the feeling are deadly serious about what they are doing and firmly believe this is how music is still supposed to sound. For that reason, I just can't get into them at all. [This was ultimately their commercial downfall, sounding for all the world like a group out of their time and unable to find a way to relate to the present day. A shame, as these were some of the best pop records of their time. Just not this time].

Also on the move are Metallica who move from 36 to what is in truth a rather surprising Number 19, most predictors almost certain they were going to gatecrash the Top 10 once their new single had a full week of sales under its belt. In part, this could be due to competition from the band themselves as they have this week taken the unique step of releasing the second single from the album just a few days after the first. Hence My Apocalypse appeared in online stores on Tuesday last week and now charts at Number 51. They can at least take some comfort from the continuing singles chart invasion of the best bits of their newly digitised back catalogue. Nothing Else Matters is now at 47, Enter Sandman at 52 and further down One is languishing at Number 96. The interest in their old songs is quite fascinating, especially as everyone I knew downloaded a copy of their entire catalogue at the start of the decade, just because they knew it would make Lars Ulrich unhappy.

To wrap things up this week, a notorious second-generation star finally makes her Top 40 debut as Miley Cyrus lands at Number 23 with See You Again. The appeal of the teen star is of course confined to the dedicated group of teens who are glued to her adventures as Hannah Montana in the Disney Channel series but her arrival on the chart means she follows neatly in the footsteps of her father Billy Ray Cyrus whose one and only brush with fame came in the summer of 1992 (a couple of months before Miley herself was born) when Achy Breaky Heart became a worldwide sensation and a Number 3 smash hit here. Cyrus senior is forever labelled as an annoying one hit wonder although the followup Could've Been Me did creep to Number 24 in October that year. His last brush with chart fame came at the end of 1992 when for reasons best known to himself he collaborated on an Alvin and the Chipmunks remake of his most famous hit which made Number 53 for Christmas. Perhaps after that, it is for the best that he concentrated on raising a clean cut starlet [spits drink] of the future, timed nicely so he can play her fictional father in the TV series as well.


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