I told you this would happen. With her eagerly anticipated debut album Alright Still hitting the shops, the focus moves away from Lily Allen's Smile single which duly drops alarmingly, plunging 1-4 this week and thus leaving the way open for a brand new Number One single. Neatly enough the brand new Number One comes from one of the few pop bands still capable of charting consistently in the upper reaches - McFly.
That said, their last single Ultraviolet peaked at a career low Number 9 just before Christmas so both they and their fans will be glad to see them back at the top of the charts for the first time in almost a year. The single is a double-sided hit, new song Please Please appearing in tandem with their energetic cover of Don't Stop Me Now, originally a Number 9 hit for Queen back in 1979. The Queen cover is notionally the lead track on the single, featuring as the official record for the Sport Relief telethon which took place last week (revenue from each single going to the charity). Curiously though it only appears as the lead track on the 2-track CD single. The other formats, maxi CD and DVD, feature Please Please (rumoured to be about actress and sometime chart star Lindsay Lohan) as Track 1. It is democratic if a little odd.
Still, such quibbles aside, the single becomes their fifth Number One hit and if past form is anything to go by will not be the last. Since their 2004 debut, the have managed a brace of chart-toppers every year. Is there any reason to believe 2006 won't be an exception?
As expected, Rihanna's rather gorgeous Unfaithful takes a flying leap up the chart from its download only position last week. The 16-2 move of the single means she takes the chart runners up slot for the third time in her career, Pon De Replay and SOS also having peaked at Number 2. For now, a Number One single continues to elude her, but with McFly's sales consistently peaking in a big way in their first week, I get the feeling that the door is ajar for a triumphant climb next week.
The biggest Top 40 climb of the week is made by the much touted new talent of James Morrison who landed at Number 27 last week with his debut single You Give Me Something, a single that this week crashes in at Number 5 with shop sales added to the mix. 21 years old and hailing from Rugby, he first came to attention with a support slot for Corinne Bailey Rae earlier this year. In a similar way to Paulo Nutini, Morrison has a soul voice that harks back to some of the greats, his debut single a lavish production designed to tug at even the hardest of heartstrings and one which in all truth has "potential classic" written all over it. Witnessing the presence of a single such as this in the Top 5 gives you hope for the future. Sure it is derivative but it oozes quality from the first note to the last.
Smiley Faces from Gnarls Barkley is the next gainer, rising 23-10 this week to give the duo their second Top 10 hit. Whilst you could be forgiven for expecting the follow-up to the years biggest seller Crazy to perform just a little better, the fact that the album has sold so well was almost certain to have an impact. Add in the the fact that OK, maybe the aforementioned best seller is their best track by some distance then it kind of becomes clear that Number 10 is about as good as Smiley Faces is going to get.
The next new Top 40 entry arrives at Number 16 as the shop release of Tell Me Baby by the Red Hot Chili Peppers ensures that the second single to be released from Stadium Arcadium takes a leap from the Number 45 position it landed last week on download sales. The single is a nice nod to their more frantic past, featuring a driving Flea bassline on the verses that gives way to a more melodic chorus. As white hot as they are commercially, the massive sale of the parent album was always going to count against any potential singles, just as it did in 2002 when the Number 2 hit By The Way was followed by the equally as good Zephyr Song peaking at Number 11. It means that the RHCP maintain their streak of never managing two Top 10 hits in a row.
Our first sneak preview of the top end of next weeks chart arrives at Number 18 as Christina Aguilera's long awaited new single hits the Top 20 on online sales. The driving Ain't No Other Man is her first chart hit since November 2004 and is more than likely to extend her unbroken string of 10 Top 10 singles when shop sales are added to the mix next week. Also set for a big leap in seven days time are Snow Patrol whose new single Chasing Car' lands at Number 25 thanks to downloads [ominous music, as what will turn out to be one of the longest-running chart hits of all time makes its understated debut]. They will be looking to match the performance of their last single All I Have which was a Number 7 hit back in April.
Finally for this week some sympathy for two acts who are used to better but who look to have this week peaked for good outside the Top 20. Sean Paul leaps 38-22 with Never Gonna Be The Same which is set to become his smallest hit since the first issue of Gimmie The Light (eventually a Top 5 hit) peaked at Number 32 in 2002. Similarly, Chris Brown has notched up two Top 20 hits already this year, including the Number 2 hit Run It but his third single Gimmie That bows in and bows out with a 50-23 rise and is unlikely to progress any further.