Top end of the charts action? Nah, sorry mate. This is Britain 2006 and we don't do that sort of thing anymore. Of course, back under the old rules, we would have been jumping up and down over two new entries in the Top 3, but those days are long gone. Round here it's all climbers and newer hits slightly lower down. Just like when it was all fields around here.
That said, even back in the 70s and 80s we didn't get six week Number One singles all that often. Gnarls Barkley's Crazy remains firmly lodged at the top of the listings, surpassing James Blunt's five week total from last summer to become the longest running Number One single since Tony Christie's Amarillo had a seven week run this time last year. Furthermore, it is the longest running Number One hit from an overseas act since Where Is The Love gave the Black Eyed Peas a six week run back in 2003. Those slightly sick of the sound of the record may well be slightly cheered by the fact that the stratospheric sales of the track have now slowed to something approaching normal levels, raising the possibility that something may overtake it in the next seven days.
We had hopes that it was going to be the Red Hot Chili Peppers but it is not to be (at least for this week). With the CD arriving in the shops, Dani California makes a 12-2 leap to match the peak scaled by By The Way back in July 2002. Thus for the moment their only connection with a Number One hit single remains the All Saints cover of Under The Bridge from back in 1998, their own version of what was for a long time their most famous hit only reaching Number 13 when re-released here in April 1994.
The other big leap of the week is Beatfreakz' Somebody's Watching Me which also soars 21-3 upon reaching the shops and in the process surpasses the original Number 6 peak of the Rockwell track which it samples. As mentioned last week, the chorus vocals used are by an uncredited (although scarcely disguised) Michael Jackson, just as they were on Hi-Tack's Say Say Say (Waiting 4 U) which hit Number 4 back in January. It is hardly coincidence, therefore, to note that the producers of the track are none other than Hi-Tack themselves. How must the man himself feel when he looks at the British charts? Reissues of his own hits are vanishing down the toilet whilst dance records fashioned from his guest slots on other people's tracks are winding up as some of the most memorable club hits of the year.
So for the biggest true new entry of the week, we have to look all the way down to Number 12 where we find Lost & Found by Feeder. Their first release of 2006, the track is one of three brand new tracks that appear on their Greatest Hits collection Feeder The Singles. The rest of the album is taken up with 16 of their previous hits, including such memorable tracks as Buck Rogers, Tumble And Fall and Just The Way I'm Feeling - which of course are their only three Top 10 hits to date.
Next up at Number 15 is what is possibly one of the most eagerly anticipated rap hits of the year. Already receiving saturation airplay, Control Myself by LL Cool J and Jennifer Lopez flies into the Top 20 on download sales alone. His first hit single since Hush hit Number 3 in February last year, this new track is easily one of the best of LL Cool J's long and distinguished chart career. Over a nagging, bubbling groove he recounts the difficulty of remaining in control of his senses in the presence of his female co-star - hardly surprising when you consider it is none other than J-Lo, herself appearing on her first hit single in over a year. LL Cool J's only Number One hit single to date was the fluke one week run of Ain't Nobody back in 1997. There is a very strong possibility that this will be the track to finally topple Gnarls Barkley next week and give him a second. Keep your fingers crossed.
Also new at Number 21 are We Are Scientists with Nobody Move Nobody Get Hurt. It is the follow-up to the prophetically titled It's A Hit which gave the American group their Top 30 breakthrough when it made Number 29 back in March. This latest hit was actually their first chart hit of any kind, reaching Number 56 when first released in July last year. With their appeal growing all the time, the single now becomes their biggest hit so far - even if Top 20 appears to be beyond them for the moment.
Top 20 it seems is now beyond Michael Jackson as the latest DualDisc re-release Remember The Time limps into the chart at a miserable Number 22. We can attribute this to the overall strength of the market, we can attribute this to boredom with the whole project or we can put the chart placing down to the fact that this is actually one of his weakest singles. One of the big problems with the Dangerous album was that half of it consisted of a string of identikit Teddy Riley produced tracks that reduced Michael Jackson to an average swingbeat artist. On first listen the first five or six tracks just merge into one, all featuring the same groove and very little in the way of melody. Remember The Time was one such track although in all fairness it did hit Number 3 as the second single to be released from the album in early 1992. What helped it along was the alarmingly expensive video set in ancient Egypt and which starred Eddie Murphy, Imam and even Magic Johnson. Second time around the single is little more than average. It bodes ill for the next few releases in the sequence, although there are at least a couple more classics still to come.
The rise of the US indie bands continues at Number 23 with the first Top 40 hit for Las Vegas band Panic At The Disco. The fun But It's Better If You Do charted outside the Top 75 on downloads last week but now rises to give them a Top 30 hit single. Like so many new bands of the moment, their rise to fame can be traced back to net activity, the group establishing themselves on music site Purevolume and then alerting as many people as possible to their presence - including Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy who brokered their first record deal.
Finally, for this week at Number 24, we have a curiosity in the shape of Hoppipola from cult Icelandic group Sigur Ros. Their relaxing, trippy music struggled to gain a huge commercial foothold until earlier this year when Hoppipola became the soundtrack to a series of BBC trails for their Planet Earth series. The resultant public demand has led to this single release, the track hitting Number 44 last week and now rising into the Top 30 on CD sales. It won't be the massive smash hit it deserves to be but could well hang around for a few weeks yet as people gradually associate the track with the gorgeous tune that has been floating around in their heads since the spring.
Goldfrapp also have a Top 30 entry this week with Fly Me Away slipping into Number 26 but as this makes it one of their smallest hits for some time, I think it is best we gloss over it. Better to concentrate on the fact that the release of the most exciting record of the year is just two weeks away [this was driving chart forums crazy trying to work out what I was referring to. I was having so much fun]..