Nope, sorry. There is no shifting it. At the start of the week you probably could have found people willing to hedge their bets and suggest that Rihanna had a chance of making it to the top of the charts, but in the end, even her challenge was found wanting. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley spends a fourth week at the top of the singles chart this week, officially now becoming the longest runner at the top since Shayne Ward's That's My Goal at the back end of last year. They are also flying the flag for their fellow countrymen with style, the first stateside act to manage four weeks at the top since Eamon's F**k It (I Don't Want You Back) almost two years ago. For those coming late to the party, it is worth just reiterating just why the single has become such a success. It is one of those unique tracks that somehow manages to straddle taste and genre divides. How else do you explain the way the track has been playlisted by virtually every BBC music network (Radio One, Radio Two, 1Xtra and 6Music). You suspect all it needed was an orchestra and Radio 3 would have been on the case as well.
The gradual shift in the shape of the singles market caused by the new chart regulations continues to have an effect as the Top 10 contains no "new" entries at all. Instead, the biggest chart gainers are three singles which charted on downloads alone this week but find themselves reaching new peaks after CD sales arrive on the chart. Biggest of all is Rihanna's SOS, a Top 10 hit already thanks to strong download sales but which now rises to Number 2, nicely (and perhaps frustratingly) matching the chart peak of her debut single Pon De Replay from last year. As great as the Gnarls Barkley single is, I don't think many people would have been complaining had SOS found itself at the top this week instead.
Making a more spectacular rise are Infernal with From Paris To Berlin which betters its European success to date to register at 30 place climb to Number 4 this week. The group are from Denmark and musically appear to to be set to fill the shoes of the scarcely missed Vengaboys. Yes, From Paris To Berlin is a cheesy Eurodisco track but to its credit steers on the right side of naffness. For a while now we've lacked an effective soundtrack for your average Sharon to dance to after her quote of cheeky vimtos. Well, worry no more.
Also landing nicely in the Top 10 this week are Fall Out Boy who as predicted last week soar from 26-8 with the physical release of Dance Dance. The single thus neatly matches the peak of previous hit Sugar, We're Goin Down which similarly had a rise from the lower reaches to the Top 10 after online sales from its original 2005 release propelled it into the chart just before it was formally re-released. What of course makes the performance of Dance Dance even more impressive is that it is effectively a b-side promoted to full release after the "Patrick Stump Secret Agent" remix of the track first appeared on the e-single of their first hit.
So the highest proper new entry of the week this week comes as low down as Number 14 as producers and remixers Deep Dish hit the ground at a canter with their take on Dreams. The track (best known for its "thunder only happens when it's raining" hook) was of course originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac, their version making Number 24 when released as a single back in 1977. Lead singer on that version was Stevie Nicks and she comes full circle this week, supplying a new vocal for the Deep Dish version and in the process landing herself with a single that beats her entire solo catalogue. The highest charting version of Dreams to date is the version that launched the Corrs to stardom back in 1998, their own four on the floor rendition hitting Number 6 in May of that year to give them their first ever hit single.
In at Number 15 with his ninth Top 20 hit in as many weeks is Michael Jackson. Chronologically we've reached 1989 with the reappearance of Leave Me Alone which came complete with a tongue in cheek animated video stuffed with Terry Gilliam-esque surrealism as images from the more outlandish tabloid claims about his lifestyle floated around. What made the original release of the track so distinctive was that although it was the 3,000th single release from the Bad album, not everyone owned a copy already. Leave Me Alone began life as the "bonus track" on the CD release, a common promotional tactic back then as record companies tried to give consumers an extra incentive to pick up the still relatively new format. Normally such tracks were an afterthought of b-side quality, the left over track from the sessions that didn't merit inclusion on the album itself. Jackson turned that on its head by not only releasing it as a single but seeing it become one of his biggest hits, hitting Number 2 swiftly after release.
Next to play at Number 16 are the Flaming Lips who soar 56-16 on the back of physical sales of The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song. They first troubled the charts back in 2002 and 2003 when after decades of obscurity they suddenly had to deal with the concept of having hit singles after tracks such as Do You Realize and the towering genius that was Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. Frontman Wayne Coyne was never one to stay in a musical groove for the long and new album At War With The Mystics ploughs an evocative 70s rock furrow. The first single shows this off to good effect with a glam rock handclap rhythm and a vocal track that would probably mean something incredibly deep if you thought about it hard enough. To what I suspect will be the joy of many it becomes their biggest hit to date, soaring past the Number 18 peak of Yoshimi.. from early 2003.
The run of mid-table new singles continues at Number 17 as Most Precious Love from Blaze and Barbara Tucker flies in to the chart. It is the first ever hit single for the group who can trace their origins back to 1984 in New Jersey. In the 1990s they were best known as producers and remixers, most memorably creating Hideaway for De'Lacy which tore up dancefloors in 1995. Their first ever UK hit actually first came out last year when it reached Number 44 but a new mix of the uplifting club track finally turns it into the hit it deserved to be. The single is helped by the memorable lead vocal from Barbara Tucker who thus lands her first Top 40 hit single since Stop Playing With My Mind also made Number 17 back in March 2000.
Their name sounds like a typo but Soundbwoy Ent have been the name to drop in urban circles since the start of the year, the foursome's smooth vocal harmonies arriving on the scene like a breath of fresh air. Behind the group is 22-year-old producer Gerad Logan who styles himself Soundbwoy and who has created a sound that somehow sounds more alive than anything coming from the other side of the Atlantic at the moment. Debut single Never Wanna Say has hardly been off the screens on Channel U for the last month and this week arrives on the chart at Number 18, doubtless to the delight of the people who have been contributing badly spelt messages of support to their MySpace page [is this the first mention of MySpace in these pages? Over the next year it will become the biggest deal online before fading into obscurity].
Finally to round off the Top 20 is Richard Ashcroft who follows one of his biggest solo hits with one of his smallest, Music Is Power comparing poorly with the Number 3 peak of his last hit Break The Night With Colour. Even further down there are deceptively small new entries for the likes of Tom Jones, Nina Simone, Snow Patrol and Will Young whose singles chart on download alone. They will have competition from a new Arctic Monkeys EP which maybe inevitably will depose Gnarls Barkley from the top next week [nope, it was chart ineligible]. Oh yes, and the release of the most exciting single of the year so far is just four weeks away. I can hardly wait [this was a teasing theme that would occupy me for the next month. And when it finally paid off with the release of it, it was so subtle I don't think anyone really noticed].