Talk about making an impact. During the course of this last week, I don't think I've heard Lady Gaga speak a single word or sing a single note, but nobody with even half an eye on the newspapers could have been unaware of who she is and that she is present in this country. Just goes to show what parading around the streets of London in little more than a pair of lycra pants can do for you. I must try it myself sometime.
It means that despite a strong challenge from immediately below, Just Dance neatly retains its crown at the top of the singles chart. Its sales will have been further bolstered by the release of parent album The Fame which also made its British debut this week and enters the album chart at Number 3, confounding a few who expected it to hit the very top first week out. The appearance of the album online means that Lady Gaga has the honour of two simultaneous Top 40 hits as Poker Face proves popular enough to land at Number 30. The reason cherrypickers have homed in on this particular track is because it has been her second single in most other European countries and will presumably have the same honour in this country. Expect this to be just a brief burst of initial fame for the track, it will be back in a bigger way in a couple of months time.
So what of the single that very nearly upset the applecart and gatecrashed the Number One position? A brand new entry at Number 2, Day N' Nite marks the British chart debut of much talked about rap star Kid Cudi (one of a number of signings to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label). The cult single has been bouncing around the clubs for the best part of a year, having first come to peoples attention in February last year. Originally written as an old skool beats and bass hip-hop track, the minimalist nature of its production made the track ripe for remixing with just about every aspiring producer worthy of the name having had a go on it (or so it seems) during 2008.
It should, therefore, come as little surprise to learn that Day N' Nite continues a decades-old tradition of becoming a UK hit not in its original form but via the clubs of mainland Europe with a radically different remix pushed to the fore. Although what is billed as "The Original Hip Hop Mix" is available as part of the single bundle, it is the remix by Italian outfit Crookers which is pushed to the fore, to the extent that the chart credits the single to Kid Cudi vs Crookers rather than the rapper alone. Its appeal to British ears isn't hard to understand, although Italian in origin the mix is Garage at heart and so has a natural home in even the most conservative of club sets.
The track has also created an online quirk of its very own. The "radio edit" of the single runs to a rather meagre 2 minutes and 42 seconds with the extended "club mix" clocking in at a slightly more conventional 4 minutes 41 seconds. This has led to downloaded sales being neatly divided between the two cuts and so Day N' Nite has spent most of the second half of the week occupying two places in the iTunes Top 10, the Radio Edit maintaining its lead over the Club Mix presumably because most casual purchasers don't look much further than Track 1 of the digital single. With its arrival on the singles chart set to expose the insanely popular single to an even wider audience, it looks as if battle over Number One is set to be joined between Kid Cudi and Lady Gaga for a second straight week.
The newly physically available The Loving Kind is the other new entry to the Top 10, the worst fears of Girls Aloud fans failing to be realised as the single vaults 19 places to ensure they retain their unbroken record of Top 10 hits (now stretching to an impressive 20 singles). Unbroken that is, apart from the somewhat anomalous appearance in their chart history of Theme To St Trinians which spent a week at Number 51 in January 2007 as an album cut. Most die-hards will insist that as the track wasn't an official single as such it should not be considered an interruption to their unbroken flow of hits and I guess in a sense we should allow them just a bit of slack. The criteria for most chart records is by and large down to whoever is writing the books, early editions of British Hit Singles going out of their way to disregard cash-in hits such as My Bonnie and Ain't She Sweet in order to credit The Beatles with a record-breaking run of 11 consecutive Number One hits. Just ask a Kylie fan whether The One was a proper single or not and watch the steam come out of their ears.
On the rise at Number 17 is Britney Spears with Circus, the title track from her current album which first made the Top 40 back in December when the album was released and which is now climbing the chart properly now it has been officially elevated to the status of her next single. Also climbing into the Top 20 is Ne-Yo who as we've mentioned before has this wonderful knack of releasing singles that climb the charts slowly and imperceptibly until they become smash hits without you realising. Just as Closer made Number One after an eight-week climb and Miss Independent peaked at Number 6 on its seventh week on the chart, so too new single Mad is taking it one step at a time. Six weeks after it first charted at Number 37, the single is now a Number 19 hit and could well have Top 10 in its sights before too long.
To avoid the inevitable "bit surprised you didn't mention... " comments let's pay lip service to the continuing progress of Alesha Dixon (Breathe Slow moving 39-23), Pink (Sober moving 37-26) and Jason Mraz (I'm Yours moving 34-28) but also note the surprising failure to date of 50 Cent's new single Get Up which peaked at a lowly Number 24 two weeks ago and now slips down the chart for the second straight week. As the first release from his forthcoming new album Before I Self Destruct you could be forgiven for expecting it to make a slightly bigger impact.
Brand new at Number 35 is To Lose My Life from White Lies. It is the first Top 40 hit for the London group, the title track from their forthcoming debut album. First single Death crept to Number 52 back in October. Jordin Sparks also creeps into the Top 40 with her latest single One Step At A Time climbing to Number 38. Although No Air gave her a deserved and long-running Top 3 smash hit in the summer, the failure of follow-up single Tattoo (still widely regarded as the far better pop record) to peak any higher than Number 24 called into question whether had it in her at present to establish herself as an international star. One Step At A Time was a US single as far back as last summer when it made the Top 20 over there and my only hesitation in tipping it as an equally big hit here is that it is possibly just a little too breezy and summery to work in a cold and miserable British January.
Watch out next week for a massive leap by Take Me Back from Tinchy Stryder and Taio Cruz. The single charts at Number 39 this week on sales of its club mixes alone, the Sunship and Vito Benito remixes having been made available online just after Christmas. The "real" version of the track, the radio edit, finally hits the stores this week and based on airplay and online reaction so far it could well propel the single into the Top 10 by the time I appear on your screens again.