Inevitably it was the live Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace and screened on television last weekend which had the greatest impact on music sales this week. Although the bill consisted largely of veteran acts parading their greatest hits (of which more later), the most contemporary performance of the night winds up with the highest chart profile of all.
Sing, as performed by Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band (with the Military Wives on high profile vocal duties) makes a flying leap to the top of the singles chart, improving on the Number 11 position it first attained last week. This naturally coincides with a second week atop the album chart for the mini album of the same name on which the song is also featured.
Sing (the single) hits Number One with a massive sale of 142,470 copies, almost double that of its closest challenger although it is worth noting that the single has benefitted from being on sale in two different versions, both the lead track with a cast of hundreds and a more laid back version with Barlow alone on vocals. Sales of both were strong during the week and these have been combined to produce the track's final chart position. Faced with that kind of advantage it is hard to see how the single could have failed. Although plenty of records in recent years have leaped to Number One from outside the Top 10, Sing is the first track to jump 11-1 since Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You by Glenn Medeiros in the summer of 1988.
Whereas the 2002 Golden Jubilee concert featured a parade of contemporary chart stars, the 2012 version was very much reserved for famous performers of pensionable age with the likes of Tom Jones, Grace Jones, Paul McCartney, Elton John and bill-topper Stevie Wonder taking to the stage. Virtually all saw small boosts in sales for their catalogue with minor album chart entries for Greatest Hits collections and an appearance at Number 52 on the singles chart for Wonder's Superstition, originally a Number 11 hit in 1973 but a curiously frequent chart recurrent in the digital age, this its highest placing in what has become an annual pilgrimage back to the singles chart since 2007.
The biggest "new" album of the week is from another veteran act and bizarrely is no such thing at all. Arriving at Number 10 is Graceland from Paul Simon, newly reissued and re-promoted in a '25th Anniversary' edition which has strangely arrived 26 years after it was first a smash hit. One place behind is Kylie Minogue with her new The Best Of collection, the third of her career and the lowest charting to date.
Back on the singles chart, the highest new entry of the week is a single which wasn't actually supposed to be there for another fortnight at least. Despite widespread availability in other territories, Whistle by Flo Rida was being held back by his UK label for a late June release, only to see their plans scuppered by the vast public demand for the track being satisfied by one of the inevitable batch of soundalike cover versions which almost immediately peppered the online stores. The tricks used by these con artists are becoming ever more sophisticated, with the most prominent soundalike being credited in a marvellous bit of SEO to Can You Blow My, thus ensuring that it is the first hit for anyone innocently searching the lyrics they had heard on the radio. Having hit Number 55 last week the fake version of Whistle was doing such strong business online by the start of last week that Flo Rida's label had little choice but to formally release his version, which duly debuts at Number 2 behind the Gary Barlow track. Whilst this did at least kill sales of the fake, it still sold enough to sit at Number 38 in a rare example of a spoiler cover doing well enough to merit a play on the chart show.
All of this has been to the detriment of Usher who was reasonably expected to make the biggest splash of the week with his own new single Scream but which fell back later in the week to sit at Number 5, one place behind his last single Climax which charted back in April. Completing a busy week for new singles, DJ Fresh's latest offering The Power hits Number 6 complete with a guest vocal from Dizzee Rascal.nelly
It is now 11 years since Nelly Furtado made her UK chart debut with I'm Like A Bird and a full six years since the release of her album Loose which propelled her to the top of the charts worldwide thanks to a timely choice of Timbaland as lead producer. Her new album The Spirit Indestructible has been trailed as a return to the mellower sounds of her debut and its release next week is heralded by lead single Big Hoops (The Bigger The Better" which is a new entry at Number 14 in the UK and her first Top 20 single since 2007 release Do It Right - famously the first single in the digital era to make the Top 10 without ever being granted a full physical release.
Finally, apart from Sing, the most startling singles chart impact made by the Jubilee Concert was as a result of Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole performing their own take on the Lady Antebellum track Need You Now. As a result the original experiences a dramatic surge of support and re-enters at Number 22, just once place behind the peak it scaled during its original chart run in 2010.