This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 HERO (Enrique Iglesias)

Anyone who still believes that record companies collude with each other to arrange release dates so that their big new releases are given a clear run at the top of the charts will look at this week's bizarre listing with some measure of surprise. As I suggested last week, the torrent of new entries has slowed to a mere trickle over this seven day period. A mere seven new singles penetrate the Top 40 this week, and none of them come even close to mounting a challenge for the Top 10, let alone the Number One position. That means that the race for the top slot is almost an anticlimax with Enrique Iglesias holding steady for a second week at the top. Just below him the runners up from last week A1 are unable to sustain their momentum and slide a place, allowing Pink's three week old single to reclaim the Number 2 position. The situation next week looks likely to remain the same, a quick glance down the release schedules suggests that only No Doubt and Jakatta are releasing tracks that stand any realistic chance of a Top 5 position. Incidentally the preceding sentence was paid for by the "give James a chance to end up with a huge amount of egg on his face next week" fund.

4 OVERPROTECTED (Britney Spears)

So with no big new hits to shoulder older singles rudely out of the way, the path is open for some of those chart records to consolidate and in many cases improve their chart placings. Fighting it out for the crown of "most improved" is Britney Spears who climbs a place from her Number 5 debut last week which means that Overprotected has matched the chart peak of its predecessor I'm A Slave 4 U.


Or how about Puretone? They can claim the largest Top 40 climb of the week as Addicted To Bass rises three places in its fifth week on the chart. The single initially peaked at Number 2 in its first week on official release (which was actually its second week on the chart thanks to a distribution leak).

11 GOTTA GET THRU THIS (Daniel Bedingfield)

A word too for Daniel Bedingfield's former Number One single which also experiences a temporary halt to its downward progress, Gotta Get Thru This rising two places this week. The steady chart progress of this single (released don't forget at the start of December) suggests that it has succeeded in crossing over to a far wider pop market than anyone could have predicted. The progress of his next single will be interesting to watch. Will he become a mainstream star of Craig David levels or remain a regional niche act such as So Solid Crew?

13 DANCE FOR ME (Mary J Blige)

Mary J's last single Family Affair can lay claim to being the biggest chart hit of her career. Not that it was her highest charting track ever (that honour falls to As which was a duet with George Michael) but it was easily the longest lived, only dropping out of the Top 75 after a 16 week run - a stay which many Number One singles often struggle to match. It is therefore somewhat appropriate that the followup Dance For Me becomes the biggest new hit of the week, even if it is rather further down the chart than we are accustomed to seeing the highest new entry.

Incidentally the "lowest highest new entry since x" statistic is one of my least favourite of all since in order to make it mean anything one has to overlook new year listings which often see occasions (such as this year) when the highest new entry was at Number 72 or something daft like that. Having said that it is almost inevitable that the question will be asked so, for the record, the last "normal" chart week which did not have a new entry inside the Top 10 was actually May 5th 1998 when Ava Adore by the Smashing Pumpkins was the biggest new entry of the week, sliding in at Number 11. Other low points in recent chart history include February 11th 1995 which saw Sting enter at Number 15 with This Cowboy Song and August 27th 1994 when Gal Wine by Chaka Demus and Pliers was the biggest new hit of the week at Number 20. To find a week outside Christmas and New Year when no new entries made the Top 20, one only has to go a few months further back to the week of June 25th 1994 which had Move Your Body by Anticapella debuting at Number 21.



Crashing into the charts with a swirling single drenched in noise, the Cooper Temple Clause are yet another Next Big Thing. There are plenty of Next Big Things that have struggled to make the Top 20 so on that basis they certainly deserve attention, even if this single, for the moment at least, defies my understanding.


If you are compiling a list of the best pop moments of 2001 then the Ski-bi-di-bi-dat scat rapping of MC Allister on De Nada's debut hit Love You Anyway has to be up there with them. The Number 15 hit of last August is finally followed up with this single. The breezy, summery guitars and beats formula is retained for this single and while Nadia Brewer's vocals are as clear as ever you get the feeling that the single doesn't quite work whilst Britain is being lashed by storms and gales rather than being bathed in sunshine. Sadly it seems De Nada will have to wait a little while longer for the first smash hit they so clearly are due.

26 THE MIDDLE (Jimmy Eat World)

At the other end of the "noise" scale in terms of rock are Jimmy Eat World, the latest bunch of guys to attempt to extend their stateside appeal to these shores and apparently we are supposed to label this kind of jaunty and catchy music making as Emo-rock [2002 James could really have not missed the point of the genre any further could he?]. The only previous brush with fame by the four piece came last year when their first single Bleed American had to be renamed for perhaps obvious taste reasons. Have to confess to loving this track, the kind of song that makes you want to leap around in the street with joy every time it comes on the radio, even if for the moment it is destined to be little more than a chart footnote. Worth noting as well what an efficient track it is, lasting just 2 minutes and 45 seconds.


33 SLEEP TALK (ATFC featuring Lisa Millett)

Chalk this up as the third chart appearance for Aydin The Funky Chile, London DJ and sometime counter assistant at Uptown Records. His first hit came in late 1999 with the OnePhatDeeva bootleg of In And Out Of My Life and indeed he kept the OnePhatDeeva tag for the followup hit Bad Habit that gave singer Lisa Millett a co-credit. Ms Millett is still present on this hit, a not too unappealing cover of a track that was a hit first time around in 1989 for Alyson Williams. Sadly ATFC cannot match the chart performance of the original which peaked at Number 17.

35 WHAT YA GOT 4 ME (Signum)

A club track from the Netherlands which actually began life two years ago, gaining a release but never coming anywhere near the charts. This revival at least pushes it into the upper reaches of the charts although the lives of most people remain unenriched by its presence.

36 WATCHING XANADU (Mull Historical Society)

Following their first chart hit Animal Cannabus which made Number 53 in July last year, Mull Historical Society make their long-awaited Top 40 breakthrough with this track that has picked up a pleasantly surprising share of airplay over the last couple of weeks. Their music is essentially thanks to the inspiration of one man, Colin McIntyre and whilst their sales have yet to catch up with the rapturous reviews, more singles like this will surely help matters enormously.