To say the least this is an odd chart to be writing about. Under normal circumstances the fact that everything is exceptionally quiet would be a major talking point in itself, but everything we note about the way the music market has unfolded over the last seven days is inevitably coloured by the elephant in the room - the fact that next week something exceptional yet at the same time sadly predictable is going to take place. [For those wondering, this was written 24 hours after Amy Winehouse had died].
Let's set to one side for the moment and marvel at the fact that I can't remember a chart countdown quite as becalmed as this one outside of special holiday periods. Here are the facts as they stand. The Top 5 singles remain as they were last week, static and unmoving. This makes it the most unyielding singles chart since that of May 16th 2009 when the entire Top 6 held firm. The most direct consequence of this is an almost by default second week at Number One for The Wanted with Glad You Came, this fact alone enough to make it in pure chart terms their most successful release to date. Credit where credit is due, their sales may well have dipped dramatically from last week, but Glad You Came still sold just over 73,000 copies last week - a total which doesn't necessarily mean the track is still Number One by default.
To find any further chart action of note, we have to look outside the Top 20 and note instead the continuing slow burn of Enrique Iglesias and Usher with Dirty Dancer. Having apparently peaked at a rather lowly Number 28 a fortnight ago, and having slumped to Number 34 by last week, the single now gets what is hopefully a sustainable second wind and leaps 11 places to a brand new chart peak of Number 21.
One place below that single is what is effectively the highest new entry on the Top 40, Down With The Trumpets by Rizzle Kicks which moves 44-22 in what is actually is fifth week on release and its third as a Top 75 single. It is the debut hit single for the British hip-hop duo who are touted as one of the next big things in the genre - their next high profile move will be as guest stars on the forthcoming Olly Murs single.
The other two brand new Top 40 entries this week bizarrely both feature the same man - one Tinie Tempah who lands at Number 35 with his own single Till I'm Gone and also as guest singer on the Chase & Status single Hitz which creeps in at Number 39. Both singles have spent a number of weeks rising from the depths and take advantage the fact that nobody appears to be looking to make their Top 40 debuts.
So what of the new singles that were actually released this week, there must have been at least a couple which sold enough to register. Yes, indeed there were and from two rock acts who have both clearly known better days in terms of their chart fortunes. The highest new entry of any kind on the singles chart is The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie from the Red Hot Chili Peppers which lands on the chart at Number 44 as the first single from their forthcoming new album I'm With You which is due out at the end of August. It is their first chart single since Hump De Bump made Number 41 in May 2007, at the time their first single to miss the Top 40 since 1992.
New at Number 48 are Blink 182 with Up All Night, their first chart single since December 2005. In their entire 11 year chart career they have never had a single fail to reach the Top 40 - making this possibly their lowest ranking hit ever.
The album chart is similarly becalmed, although only to the extent of having a static Top 3, resulting naturally in the three numerically titled albums all retaining their places and with 21 spending what is now its 18th week in total at the summit. The highest new entry of the week is the long awaited LMFAO album Sorry For Party Rocking which charts at Number 8. It is their second album release but the first to chart in this country.
That, as they say is that for this week, but as I mentioned at the start I don't think anyone is going to be studying the headlines of what took place in the music market last week. It is all about what happens from now until Saturday as for the second time in the digital era the music business is contending with the consequences of a high profile celebrity death and the usual surge in sales that will inevitably result. Next week will go down in history as the Amy Winehouse tribute chart, as her old recordings make one final bid for chart glory as the perfect tribute to her talent.