This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 JUST A LITTLE (Liberty X)

Probably more than any other current act, Liberty X have had a rather bumpy ride to the top of the UK charts. Originally auditionees on the first Popstars series, they were the five men and women from the ten finalists who were not chosen to form Hear'Say. Dubbed the "flopstars", they bounced back by signing a deal with V2 records but were then banned by their contracts from releasing a single on the same day as the first Hear'Say track. Instead they bided their time and as "Liberty" finally released Thinking It Over as their first single in October last year. The track reached Number 5, enough to justify a followup, Doin' It which landed at Number 14 just before Christmas. Then came the legal problems as another group went to court claiming that the name of Liberty had been stolen from them. Few people had ever heard of the other Liberty but they had an early 90s record deal and a handful of releases plus the potential for a new deal that did indeed prove that their claim had some basis in fact. At the start of this year a judge decided in favour of the complainants and the "new" Liberty were faced with having to rebrand themselves.

At this point things get a little brighter as the addition of a single letter to their name was enough to satisfy the demands of the court and the newly renamed Liberty X bounce back with what is far and away their best single to date, a gorgeous slinky four minutes of R&B pop that would not sound out of place on a Brandy album. Pretty much on its own merits rather than as a result of the publicity surrounding the name change, the single this week flies to the top of the charts and turns Liberty into bone fide mainstream stars, free from any potential stigma that their association with the Popstars show may have carried. Look out for their debut album at the end of the month. In a minor statistical curiosity, it is worth noting that in the past 18 months, the only mixed sex acts to have topped the singles chart are S Club 7, Hear'Say and now Liberty X - all of whom were created by or for a television show.


3 ESCAPE (Enrique Iglesias)

Such was the overwhelming popularity of the chart-topping Hero that it is still selling in respectable quantities even now, over four months since it was released. Hero drops seven places on the chart this week to Number 40 but the followup could not be delayed any longer, especially as it has already had a quick run at the bottom end of the Top 75 on import, hitting Number 71 three weeks ago. Those who found Hero sickly and annoying should be much happier with Escape, an upbeat pop track with a slight latin flavour and accompanied of course by a steamy video that the chip off the old block Enrique arranged should feature some steamy scenes with guest star Anna Kournikova. Escape is now Enrique Iglesias' fourth Top 10 hit in this country, thus giving him one more than his father.


4 WHAT'S LUV (Fat Joe featuring Ashanti)

From the Fat Boys through to Biggy Smalls, outsize American rappers have never been backward when it comes to using their girth as a marketing point. Latest to add to these ranks is Fat Joe who this week is rewarded with a Top 5 new entry. Although relatively unknown this is not the first time he has featured on a Top 20 hit single as he duelled with the late Big Pun in the background of Jennifer Lopez' Feelin' So Good which made Number 15 in April 2000. What's Luv is his second chart single of the year, We Thuggin' having reached Number 48 back in March. Female vocals on the track are provided by Ashanti who of course guested on Ja Rule's Always On Time which made Number 6 back in February and who coincidentally has provided backing and the occasional "guide vocal" for Jennifer Lopez in the past.


Following on from the smash Number 2 hit Get The Party Started from the start of the year, Pink makes her second chart appearance of 2002 and in the process grabs a fifth (sixth if one counts Lady Marmalade) successive Top 10 hit for herself. Don't Let Me Get Me is further proof of why she is considered an icon in waiting for the song is an intriguing tale of teenage angst and self-loathing with a greater lyrical depth that anything else inside the Top 10 this week. Chalk this one up as a can't miss smash and go and buy the album, it is well worth it.

9 IN MY EYES (Milk Inc.)

A reflection on just how much of a clearout there has been in the Top 10 over the past week weeks is the fact that the longest runners are the Sugababes and S Club Juniors, both with four weeks to their name. The turnover continues with the new entries as Milk Inc. become the fifth act this week to enter inside the Top 10. Milk Inc. hail from Belgium and in fact the UK is coming rather late to the party on this club track as it first did the rounds over four years ago but only now has been turned into a hit single. The only other chart appearance for Regi and Linda came at around the same time, Good Enough (La Vache) reaching Number 23 in February 1998.


A1's new boy band with strumming guitars direction continues, with this the followup to the admittedly rather impressive Caught In The Middle which hit Number 2 back in February. This new single clearly has designs to be a britpop retrospective but despite possessing the required amount of catchiness it struggles in the face of plenty of chart competition and can only land at Number 11 this week. Perhaps shockingly if it fails to climb next week it will bring to a halt their career-opening run of 8 successive Top 10 hit singles. The guys claimed (tongue in cheek of course) that their forthcoming new album is going to rival some of the biggest sellers of all time but if their singles don't pick up from this minor hiccup the joke may well end up on them.

13 COME BACK (Jessica Garlick)

It's this weekend pop fans, the annual Eurovision Song Contest in which the nations of Europe (and beyond) all gather round their TV screens to marvel at the silly costumes of the acts of some of their neighbours and to play political games with the scoreboard. Just as the English always expect their football team to be competing for the very top honours, so too Great Britain is always expected to do fantastically well in the song contest, no matter how good the entry is. After all we gave the world The Beatles dammit, we make the best pop music in the world. Since we last won the contest in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves' Love Shine A Light things haven't exactly gone our way either in the contest itself or in terms of the chart performances of our entries. The roll call of the last four years reads as follows:

  • 1998 - Imaani, Where Are You. 2nd place in the contest/Number 15 hit.
  • 1999 - Precious, Say It Again. 12th equal/No.6
  • 2000 - Nikki French, Don't Play That Song Again. 16th/No.34
  • 2001 - Lindsay Dracass, No Dream Impossible. 15th/No.32

This year the UK entry has an interesting twist as it is sung by none other than Jessica Garlick who can now claim to be the fourth singer from Pop Idol to have a hit single, following in the footsteps of Will Young, Gareth Gates and Rik Waller. Opinion is divided as to how much of a chance the song itself has in Estonia this coming Saturday as heartbreak ballads don't traditionally do all that well at Eurovision although there is no doubting it is one of the strongest songs we have entered for years and is sung by someone who has proven repeatedly that she has the talent to perform in front of a huge television audience. This should be fun to watch. At the very least Come Back is the highest charting UK Eurovision entry for three years and with the extra exposure granted to it by the contest this is one hit single whose chart story is almost certainly far from over.


16 FREAK MODE (Reelists)

Two garage rap entries in a row here, first up the debut hit single for the Reelists, aka Sef and K1.


Five places below them come the Heartless Crew who are made up of Freek FM DJs Bushkin, Fonti and Mo. Their biog states they have been performing together for eight years but this too is their first ever mainstream chart single.

29 LA LA LAND (Green Velvet)

Green Velvet is the alter-ego of producer Curtis Jones and he this week makes his UK chart debut with this quirk single, an extended rant about the shape of society and the people living within it, all set to a thunderous yet somehow catchy breakbeat. Look out for him playing both Gatecrasher and T In The Park later this summer.

30 ICH WILL (Rammestein)

Pop hits in a foreign language are few and far between but rock hits outside of our native tongue are rarer still. Take your hat off then to German act Rammestein who have been superstars in their native country (and plenty of places elsewhere) since the mid-90s with their own blend of metal and techno with the odd classical strain thrown in as well. Ich Will is their first ever UK chart single and is taken from their fourth album Mutter. This is actually a much better single than you might think, living up to the notion that rock music is supposed to be exciting rather than simply noisy.

31 IRIE (Luck & Neat)

No longer "DJ" and "MC" now it seems (and lets face it that branding was very 80s), two of the earliest mainstream garage hitmakers return to the chart for the first time this year. Their breakthrough hit was of course A Little Bit Of Luck which made Number 9 in January 2000 and they followed this five months later with Masterblaster 2000 which hit Number 5 and remains their biggest hit. Their last Top 40 appearance came back in September last year when I'm All About You made Number 18.

33 I FEEL SO FINE (KMC featuring Dhany)

No real splash for this hit but it is at the very least an overdue chart appearance for a track that has already charted in many territories in Europe this year.

35 HONEY (R Kelly & Jay-Z)

A collaboration between two chart stars who are more used to seeing their singles hitting rather greater heights than this. Jay-Z was last seen back in January with Girls Girls Girls (Number 11) whilst R Kelly's last hit was of course The World's Greatest which hit Number 4 in March. The possibility does exist that at the present time people are rather more interested in downloading Mr Kelly's apparently felonious videos off the net than buying his music.