1 I HAVE A DREAM/SEASONS IN THE SUN (Westlife)
Another quiet sales week means another seven days at the top of the listing for Westlife, the Christmas Number One now clocking up four weeks in pole position. That is enough to make Westlife's fourth single the longest running Number One single since the seven-week run of Cher's Believe in November 1998. Four weeks at the top is enough also to equal the period of time spent at Number One by the original version of Seasons In The Sun back in 1974. They still have a little way to go before they can boast the most successful Abba cover ever as Erasure spent five weeks at the top back in 1992 with the Abba-esque EP. The two most successful Abba songs in chart history are Dancing Queen and Knowing Me Knowing You. The former had a six-week run at the top in 1976 whilst the latter spent five weeks at the summit in 1977.
As for the rest of this week's chart, things are very quiet once more with just a few new singles trickling into the chart and no less than four non-movers in the Top 10 alone. Those desperate for more action will be delighted to learn that now the holiday period is well and truly over the release schedules start to fill up again and I suspect that a huge rush of new product is only just around the corner.
2 RE-REWIND THE CROWD SAY NO SELECTA (Artful Dodger)
Performance of the season award can go to the Artful Dodger. The ragga and two-step hybrid single first charted in early December and spent two weeks at Number 2 before plummeting to Number 6 for Christmas week. Since then the single has been on the rise and this week takes the final step in that comeback to reclaim the Number 2 slot a full four weeks since it fell from this peak.
7 BARBER'S ADAGIO FOR STRINGS (William Orbit)
Also making an impressive comeback is the first single from William Orbit's forthcoming album of modern interpretations of famous classical pieces. This treatment of Barber's Adagio For Strings first peaked at Number 4 the week before Christmas but was quickly shouldered out of the way by the rush of festive product, spending the holiday just outside the Top 10. This week the single rises for the first time since its release and reclaims the place in the Top 10 it lost three weeks ago.
8 YOU ONLY TELL ME YOU LOVE ME WHEN YOU'RE DRUNK (Pet Shop Boys)
To think that a few months ago we were speculating that the Pet Shop Boys may be in the middle of promoting an album that didn't contain a single Top 10 hit - something which would have been a first for them. Never underestimate the value of careful planning when it comes to release dates of course. In another week characterised by a dearth of outstanding new product (or indeed much in the way of new product of any kind) a new Pet Shop Boys single is the biggest thing going and it results in a Top 10 entry. In fairness the single probably deserves to be this high up the chart, possibly more so than their last hit New York City Boy which surprised many when it could only reach Number 15 in October last year. The impressively titled You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk (an epic moniker which rivals How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously as one of Neil Tennant's most OTT creations) is easily one of the best tracks on the current album and the kind of barbed yet elegantly lovely ballad that only Tennant and Lowe are able to do so well. You Only Tell Me... duly becomes the 20th Top 10 hit of their career (which can now claim to span three decades) and their first since Somewhere made Number 9 in July 1997. After all that it seems perhaps churlish to point out that they have been without a Top 5 single since 1993. Keep your fingers crossed.
9 STEAL MY SUNSHINE (Len)
Also on the ascendant this week are Len, the Canadian collective return to the Top 10 for the first time since their debut single charted at Number 8 the week before Christmas. A week later the single fell to Number 16 but has been climbing ever since, returning now for one more brief run inside the Top 10.
11 A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK (DJ Luck & MC Neat)
This year I have two main new year resolutions. One is to get invited to appear on BBC News 24's Zero 30 show [incredibly enough that did happen] given the way they use this column all the time when researching their own chart rundown (have all the Abba facts above on me guys). The second is to be constructive and nice at all costs about every dance single that invades the chart. Thank heavens for DJ Luck and MC Neat who make that job easy this week. Their garage single with the machine-gun vocals entered the Christmas chart at Number 18 but whilst many seasonal singles are now losing steam, A Little Bit Of Luck has been climbing ever since and this week the track makes another three place climb to occupy its highest placing yet, just agonisingly short of the Top 10. One fan of the track was so keen on it when it first came out that she emailed me to say it was probably a more deserving Christmas Number One. Sadly that wasn't the case but could it possibly be that the single has enough in it to make the Top 10 next week?
21 HAZIN' & PHAZIN' (Choo Choo Project)
Cool, a chance to test out this resolution of mine with a small run of new entries straight from the dancefloor. The second biggest new hit of the week is the work of DJ/Producer Harry Romero who steps to the fore with this commercial dance hit that maybe isn't quite distinctive enough to be the massive hit some were hoping but which clearly has built up enough support over the holiday period to nicely slide into the chart just outside the Top 30. Thumbs up at the very least for being the act with the daftest name in this week's chart.
24 NASTRADAMUS (Nas)
Another act to profit from the opportunistic release of a single in these fallow times is Nas who duly clocks up his first chart hit since he reached Number 14 alongside Puff Daddy on Hate Me Now in May last year. This new track won't rank as one of his biggest hits but it is actually one of his most accessible, stripped of the dramatic brooding production of past singles. What is left is a delightfully old skool rap track, even the chorus is something of a singalong.
25 GRACEADELICA (Dark Star)
The second hit but the first single from Dark Star, if that makes sense. Graceadelica was first released in early 1999 but narrowly failed to gain a place in the Top 40. Its follow-up About 3am made Number 50 in June which in turn has prompted the remixed re-release of this track, distinctive for its Liam Gallagher soundalike vocal.
32 DEAR LIE (TLC)
The bottom end of the listing doesn't contain much in the way of surprises this week but honourable mention is due to TLCs Dear Lie which proves that no matter how small, singles from the tormented threesome can always be counted upon to pull off some rather spectacular chart performances. Dear Lie charted at Number 32 a week before Christmas, a rather poor performance that was attributed to its lack of a video. A week later it was gone from the Top 40, an early Christmas casualty but since then the single has bounded back and has now moved 32-46-42-37-32 - you guessed it, rising so far it has now equalled its original peak of four weeks ago.