This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 GOTTA GET THRU THIS (Daniel Bedingfield)

Anything can happen in the new year. Or at least one of two things can happen, depending on how quickly the record industry wakes itself from its seasonal slumber. The charts are either invaded be a slew of opportunistic new releases (attempting to take advantage of the depressed state of the market at this time of year and thus get a good chart placing out of it) or they lie almost fallow until the middle of January when the new promotions for the new year get underway in earnest. This year the latter appears to be the case, a state of affairs which allows some older singles to capitalise on the gap. None capitalises better than Daniel Bedingfield's debut single. Gotta Get Thru This topped the chart for a fortnight in early December before surrendering the week before Christmas to Robbie and Nicole. The single dropped to No.2 that week, falling still further to No.3 in Christmas week after being outsold by Gordon Haskell. Last week the two tracks swapped places, Daniel Bedingfield sneaking back up to No.2 and this week the track rises still further, ascending back to the summit four weeks after it was knocked off and in the process becoming the second single to climb back to No.1 in the last 12 months (S Club 7's Don't Stop Moving performing the trick in May 2001). This is actually the second time in the last few years that a single has found itself topping the charts twice either side of Christmas. Four years ago it was the multi-artist recording of Perfect Day which had a two week run at the top in late November/early December before dropping down into the Top 5 for four weeks whilst both the Teletubbies and the Spice Girls had a run at the top. Exactly four years ago this week the track was back at the top of the chart for a further one week run.

2 MURDER ON THE DANCEFLOOR (Sophie Ellis Bextor)

Also taking advantage of this fallow period is Miss Double Barrel herself. Murder On The Dancefloor is also reclaiming its original chart peak from mid-December having moved 2-3-4-4-2 since its release.

4 DROWNING (Backstreet Boys)

...and here as if to turn everything on its head is a record that is the perfect example of new year scenario (a), the opportunistic release of a new single in order to gain a chart placing that might otherwise have been out of reach. I say "out of reach" as of course much was made in July last year of the way the last Backstreet Boys single More Than That could only reach Number 12, bringing to a grinding halt their impressive run of 13 consecutive Top 10 hits. As far as their still dedicated fans are concerned, the status quo is now restored as the impassioned teen ballad (yes, again) sweeps all before it to become the first Top 10 new entry of 2002. It is thus the 14th Top 10 hit single of their career, matching Steps' total but still two short of the 16 clocked up by Boyzone. As long as they can all stay out of rehab or prison they may yet match it.


8 WHAT IF (Kate Winslet)

Although it was never quite the contender for Xmas No.1 that it was predicted to be, Kate Winslet's soundtrack single appears to have gained second wind following the holidays. What If peaked at No.6 upon release in December but had actually slipped out of the Top 10 by the time the holiday chart rolled around, the track spending Christmas locked at No.11. Last week What If rose back into the Top 10 at No.9 and this week it rises still further to match the chart placing it achieved in its second week on release.

10 COUNTRY ROADS (Hermes House Band)

And the chart placing for Country Roads is also worthy of comment this week. The debut single from the Hermes House Band entered the chart at Number 7 back in December before slipping to Number 10 the following week. Curiously enough it has been there ever since, this week marking the fourth successive week that the John Denver cover has been the nation's tenth best selling single.


Just to have one final throw of the dice, Ash release the fifth single from the spectacularly good Free All Angels album. There's A Star is buried at the back of the tracklisting but still manages to be yet another anthemic highlight of both the album and their career. The single dutifully slots nicely into the Top 20 and becomes their biggest hit since Burn Baby Burn also made Number 13 in April last year.


14 I DON'T WANNA LOSE MY WAY (Dreamcatcher)

The first big club hit of the new year is actually one that has been smouldering on dancefloors for months. Positiva records snapped up the licence for the track last spring and have been steadily building up a buzz about the track by drip feeding selected mixes to various high-profile DJs. Of course such a strategy has to be worked out carefully as you risk burning out interest in a track before you have had time to release it properly. Hence you feel I Don't Wanna Lose My Way may have benefited more from hitting the shops in late summer rather than being sneaked out in early January - but then what do I know? It is a Top 20 hit at the very least but something tells me it will fall to DJ Alligator to ultimately claim the the first big crossover club hit of 2002.


Call me crazy but Heaven Is A Halfpipe was one of my favourite singles of last year. The skater's anthem charted at Number 4 in July and spent an impressive six weeks inside the Top 10. For some strange reason we have had to wait until now for the followup, a gap which effectively means that OPM cannot trade on the momentum of that debut and are pretty much starting from scratch. In truth although El Capitan presses much the same buttons as their first single but despite the la-la-la chorus it appears to lack a little of the charm of Heaven Is A Halfpipe and as such is unlikely to match it in terms of affection and chart placing. Chalk this up as a minor chart hit and nothing more.

25 LOVE IS IN THE AIR (Milk & Sugar/John Paul Young)

Oh boy, is this a great story. If you are going to be a one hit wonder you might as well have a hit with a classic and that is just what Glaswegian John Paul Young did in 1978. He was actually brought up in Australia and was still living there when he recorded Love Is In The Air. The track was a worldwide smash hit, going Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic, but strangely enough turned out to be his only ever hit single. 14 years later the track gained a new lease of life when a slightly remixed version appeared prominently on the soundtrack of the hit Australian movie Strictly Ballroom. This version was released as a single in November 1992 but could only reach Number 49. Enter German production duo Milk & Sugar who last year made their own remix and premiered it during various sets in Ibiza last summer. Quite by coincidence at the same time they signed ex Bizarre Inc singer Angie Brown to their own label and discovered that her manager also had a link to the original singer of Love Is In The Air - John Paul Young. Hence far from being a remix, this new version of the disc classic is actually a re-recording with the original star not only performing on the track but appearing with the duo at their gigs, often to the delight of the crowd. It is actually a shame that the single can do little more than creep into the Top 30. I'd love this to have been bigger but as it is one of my favourite songs ever I'm probably guilty of bias. This single marks the chart debut of Milk & Sugar as artists but they have had hits in the past as both producers and label owners with the likes of Robbie Rivera and Weird Science. Their last Top 40 hit was Bel Amour's eponymous single which made Number 23 in May last year.


28 BODY ROCK (Shimon & Andy C)

More dance, and if you attended a club over the holiday period there is a good chance you heard this spun at least once during the course of the night. Body Rock is a slice of good old fashioned drum n' bass and was actually released once during the course of last year but failed to chart. Still the track continued to grow and now with this second attempt finally becomes a chart single.


Finally to bring up the rear this week are Public Domain, this being their first single since the Chuck D collaboration Rock Da Funky Beats. There are no legendary rappers in sight on this track but in truth it is all the better for it, even if it is destined to be just a Top 40 footnote.