About ten years or so ago, pedantry was a growing menace in society. It manifested itself in the activities of the crushingly dull people who went around insisting that the 21st century didn't begin until 2001 if anyone tried to suggest otherwise. So dull in fact that you suspect they stayed at home on December 31st 1999 in the comfort that they believed themselves to be perfectly correct whilst the rest of us went out and did stuff we knew we would never forget.
However such pedantry does become a notable issue when considering the chart records of this week and in particular the latest in a long series of benchmarks to be reached by Adele during the course of her recent album chart activities. She retains the top two places on the long players list this week with 21 and 19 occupying their usual positions. Significantly this is the 9th straight week that '21' has been the nation's biggest selling album, a feat that has been beyond any other chart act for more than a decade. By a strange coincidence the last album to spend nine straight weeks at Number One was also entitled by a digit: 1, the collection of Beatles hit singles which hit the top on November 25th 2000 and did not relinquish the crown until January 27th 2001, exactly nine weeks later. Hence the need for pedantry, because if you were a boring stay at home type on the millennium you will note that this now makes 21 the longest running Number One album of the 21st century.
Better than this though, Adele further strikes a blow for womanhood. The last solo female to spend nine straight weeks at Number One with an album was Madonna with The Immaculate Collection at the end of 1990, an event which uncannily just happens to have been 21 years ago this year (although Adele herself was two and a half years old at the time). All joking aside it is worth noting that both of these last two nine week chart-toppers were by big name acts with compilations of previously released material. Adele's 21 is a completely brand new work, the first original album to top the charts for so long since Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits had a 10 week run back in 1986.
Staying with the album chart for a moment, the continuing domination of Adele has once again put paid to the hopes of a string of well promoted new releases, the latest of these being Angles from The Strokes which has to be content with a Number 3 entry. The much talked about collaboration between Ronan Keating and Burt Bacharach When Ronan Met Burt lands at Number 5, this the highest chart placing for the legendary songwriter as a performer since his solo work Portrait In Music charted at Number 5 exactly 40 years ago next week.
Nicole Scherzinger's first solo album has been some time coming but it finally hit the stores last week, selling enough copies for Killer Love to chart at Number 8. All this was to the slight detriment of its current hit single and the result of this is a slide for Don't Hold Your Breath which relinquishes its crown at Number One after just a solitary week. It's replacement? Well naturally it is that lady again.
Returning to Number One after falling away the first time used to be a comparatively rare feat. Yet now for the third year in a row we have a single rebounding back to the top of the charts. The Black Eyed Peas did the trick with Boom Boom Pow in 2009, Bruno Mars had an unexpected journey back to the top after a sizeable absence with Just The Way You Are (Amazing) last year, and now the ranks of repeaters are joined by Someone Like You which appears to have benefited dramatically from a centrepiece performance on the Comic Relief show, selling a further 82,000 copies last week to strongly reassert itself at the top of the charts. Whilst its run may now be non-consecutive, five weeks at Number One means that Someone Like You is the longest running chart topper since Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl extended to that total in the summer of 2008. As you might expect, having the legs to rebound to the top of the charts after a previously extensive run is an extremely rare thing indeed. The 4+1 Number One run of Someone Like You is the first such event since Killing Me Softly by The Fugees traced the same pattern in the summer of 2006.
I've been saying for several weeks now that the Black Eyed Peas single Just Can't Get Enough will be Number One "by Easter" but with the festival still a month away it is entirely possible it will be there before then. The single takes another flying leap up the chart this week to sit at Number 3 and become the ninth Top 3 hit of their career. An advance to the top doesn't quite look to be on the cards just yet as there is a major superstar released in their way next week - but just give it time.
Adele's sales surge notwithstanding, suspicions that the Comic Relief halo effect for associated singles appears to be wearing off. Not only does The Wanted's official anthem Gold Forever slip to Number 4, but even the man who has made a habit of gate crashing the event with his own musical contributions in recent years has seen his latest effort fall a little flat. Step forward Peter Kay who after topping the charts for the 2007 event with his reworking of (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles has this year teamed up with no less a figure than Susan Boyle for another comic take on a old classic. This time around he is in the guise of his transsexual character Geraldine McQueen as the two "women" perform I Know Him So Well from the 1980s stage musical chess, the single entering at what will doubtless be seen as a rather disappointing Number 11. Theirs is the third hit version of the song, most famously performed by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson on a single which reached Number One in early 1985. More recently the number featured on the double a-side of the last ever Steps single, reaching Number 5 as the flip to Words Are Not Enough in December 2001.
Amongst the other also-rans in the Top 20, we should take time out to acknowledge the continuing slow burn progress of the single which for the sake of simplicity we are calling Life Goes On as Noah & The Whale this week rebound 20-14 to give the track its highest chart placing to date. It is still short of the Number 7 peak scaled by their biggest hit '5 Years Time' in 2008, but it clearly would be foolish to write the track off just yet.
The highest climber on the singles chart is All Of The Lights from Kanye West/Drake/Rihanna which soars 32-19, Kanye's biggest hit single as lead artist since Heartless made Number 10 in December 2008. As seems almost compulsory for an R&B act at the moment, he appears on no less than two Top 40 singles, popping up as the collaborator on Katy Perry's new single ET which charges in at Number 29. As if seeing this as a challenge his co-collaborator on All Of The Lights Rihanna is back up to four Top 40 hits again as 'Only Girl (In The World)' re-enters at Number 38.
It takes a certain degree of boldness to call your single Party Rock Anthem but shyness was clearly not in the thoughts of electro-hop group LMFAO who take their single to Number 22. It is technically the first ever hit single as lead artists for Redfoo and SkyBlu and follows their free gift of a Number One credit thanks to a cameo role on David Guetta's Gettin' Over You which hit the top in June last year. I say "technically" their first as the duo's first chart exposure came thanks to a mash-up Let The Bass Kick In Miami Girl in 2009 which mixed their own I'm In Miami Bitch with Chuckie's Let The Bass Kick, the single credited to "Chuckie and LMFAO" when it could just as easily have been the other way round. That single incidentally returns to the Top 75 in tandem with this new release, poking its nose in at Number 65. The two men are the son and nephew of Motown founder Berry Gordy and are thus cousins to Rockwell whose biggest hit single Somebody's Watching Me made the Top 10 in 1984.
Other new Top 40 entries include the latest Glee Cast mash-up Thriller/Heads Will Roll which enters at Number 23 in a manner which indicates they have now become little more than chart background noise. They are joined by Cee Lo Green who lands at Number 31 with Bright Lights, Bigger City', the third hit single from his current album and the follow-up to It's OK which stalled at Number 20 at the start of the year. Said hit was rather overshadowed by the continuing popularity of Forget You, a fate which you rather hope will not befall this track despite the former Number One single still kicking around at Number 39 this week, one week shy of its sixth month anniversary on the charts.