It has been quite the year so far for chart veterans of pensionable age. First came Tom Jones who thanks to the Comic Relief single Islands In The Stream found himself the oldest man ever to have a Number One single at the age of 68. Now it is the turn of a man born just over a year later as at the age of 67 Bob Dylan finds himself the owner of a Number One album as his latest release Together Through Life storms to Number One, beating The Enemy into second place
Not that this hasn't been coming. The 21st century has seen the legendary singer revitalised in terms of critical and popular appreciation. His last two studio albums Love And Theft and Modern Times both made Number 3 in their first week on release and the latter also sensationally topped the US album chart when released in 2006.
Nonetheless, there is something quite special about seeing his Bobness at the very top of the charts. His last Number One album came almost 39 years ago, back in November 1970 when New Morning had a week of glory at the summit. His seventh chart-topper in all, he can now boast a span of Number One albums that stretches back to the release of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan back in 1963. He's famously never topped the singles chart in this country with one of his own recordings (coming closest in 1965 with Like A Rolling Stone which made Number 4) but a handful of other artists have had Number One hits with his songs - namely Mr Tambourine Man, Mighty Quinn and Knockin' On Heaven's Door.
The album chart may well be in thrall to a veteran but it is the sound of bright young Britain which dominates the singles chart. Number One for a second week is Number 1 from Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz, the single incidentally the 1094th Number One single just in case anyone had lost count. It restricts La Roux's In For The Kill to second place meaning that single has been Number 2 for the last three weeks running.
Meanwhile, as a result of the highest new entry at Number 3, Grime can boast two of the three biggest selling singles of the week. The new arrival is possibly the most extraordinary record you will hear all year - Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer) which is credited to the rather unlikely trio of Ironik, Chipmunk and er, Elton John. Yes, yet again Elton John's willingness to have his back catalogue pulled apart in the most unlikely of ways bears chart fruit, four years on from when we thought we had seen it all when Ghetto Gospel have him a Number One hit alongside the voice of 2Pac. Tiny Dancer is one of his earliest recordings, first appearing on his fourth album Madman Across The Water in 1971. Never a hit (it didn't even chart here when released as a single in 1972), the song has nonetheless become one of his many signature hits over the years and frequently pops up as a popular culture reference in the most unlikely of places. Surely though none have been as unlikely as this although the best part is that this new version is quite extraordinarily good. Ironik and Chipmunk take it in turns to rap a tender ode to their lady love whilst the modern day beats steadily give way to Gus Dudgeon's original string arrangement before Elton's original vocals take centre stage for the chorus. To hell with it not being the most original concept in the world, as a pop record this works on just about every level you care to mention.
The single become's Ironik's third hit single and eclipses the peak of his debut Stay With Me which made Number 5 last summer. Chipmunk's own chart debut came just a month or so ago when Chip Diddy Chip stumbled its way to Number 21. This single goes a long way towards erasing the ludicrousness of that last release and if we are not looking at the 1095th Number One single right here then I will consider myself astonished.
Tiny Dancer (Hold Me Closer) is for all that the only new arrival in the Top 10 this week. This fact in itself makes for quite the story for it means that the long-awaited release of the radio edit of Girls Aloud's Untouchable has only served to propel it as far as Number 11. This naturally does indeed raise the very real prospect that their unbroken run of official Top 10 hit singles could well come to a crashing halt. Wiser heads will point out naturally that what is effectively a "first week" chart placing of Number 11 is by no means the end of the story, even if this is the third single from the album. Untouchable is just too good not to go Top 10 and I have a hunch it can edge up at least a notch over the next couple of weeks. [Not only did it fail to progress further, bringing their run of consecutive Top 10 singles to a crashing halt, it would also be the final Girls Aloud single of their full-time career. Their only chart single after this one was Something New from their abortive attempt at a 2012 comeback].
Also falling short is Pink who can only rise a place to Number 12 with Please Don't Leave Me and so thus for the moment does not have her first trio of Top 10 hits since 2006. Yes, I know I said 1996 last week but that was an obvious typo and whilst it would have been a 30-second job to edit the posting, sometimes it is nice just to sit and be pointed at for being stupid. Miley Cyrus also queues up outside the Top 10 as The Climb edges forward to Number 13. The single is now her second biggest to date, just two places behind the peak of See You Again last summer. The added fascination for the single remains its unlikely halo hit Hoedown Throwdown which enters the Top 40 this week to sit at Number 30.
On the climb inside the Top 30 is I Remember from Deadmau5 and Kaskade which scoots 39-26. The single has unusually arrived on these shores after extensive success in North America where the US/Canadian pair scored a huge club hit at the back end of 2008. The hypnotic electronica single is one of those club tracks which is diverting enough to withstand extensive airplay and even if it never quite makes the upper end of the chart is destined to be propping up CD1 of "best mood music" compilations for some time to come.
Finally, in search of some new Top 40 entries, there is a trio of them right at the very bottom. Leading the charge is La La Land from Demi Lovato which motors up to Number 34. Another nauseatingly sanitised Disney-pushed star [boy, that image would change], she first charted in October last year thanks to the 'Camp Rock' DCOM and its soundtrack single This Is Me on which she duetted with Joe Jonas. La La Land is taken from her own debut album Don't Forget.
One place below at Number 36 is Love You Better from the Maccabees. It is the first Top 40 hit in over two years for the well regarded Brighton group. All it has to do is better the Number 33 peak of 2007 single About Your Dress and it has become their biggest hit to date. Finally, there is also a Top 40 entry for the third single from Alesha Dixon's current album, namely Let's Get Excited which creeps up to Number 37 at the start of its promotional campaign. Coming off the back of Top 5 hits The Boy Does Nothing and Breathe Slow you would expect this single (the lead track from her The Alesha Show album to be taking off in a similar fashion over the next few weeks although after the sparkle of its predecessors this new single sounds rather average in comparison.
This week there is no "Britain's Got Talent" inspired chart hit but it would be remiss not to acknowledge the power of television in prompting the arrival at Number 59 of My Sharona from The Knack for its first chart run since it was a Number 6 hit in the summer of 1979. This is all thanks to three men in a van in a TV advert for Oatibix, although the song's central riff has featured on chart hits more recently than that thanks to Run DMC's It's Tricky in 1987 and Rogue Traders' Watching You in 2006 which were both based around the melody.