Just in case anyone has lost count or is struggling to keep up, let us recap. The last single to spend two consecutive weeks at Number One was Beat Again by JLS which had a two week run from July 25th onwards. In the eight weeks since seven different singles have now made an appearance at Number One, none of them managing to cling onto the crown for longer than a week - a rate of turnover not seen since the early months of 2005.
For the first time since this breathtaking sequence began, however, this week's incumbent of the Number One position is someone who hasn't previously topped the charts in 2009, nor indeed has he done so before. Step forward then Taio Cruz who lands himself the biggest hit single of his career to date as the enormously appealing Break Your Heart crashes straight in at the top. The track is the first single to be released from the Londoner's forthcoming second album Rokstarr, the follow-up to his 2008 debut Departure which was home to five of his previous chart singles, including Come On Girl which hit Number 5 in early 2008. The one exception is his last chart hit Take Me Back which saw him appear as the guest star alongside Tinchy Stryder, that single having hit Number 3 back in January.
As for last week's Number One single, Boys & Girls, that takes a rather inauspicious tumble straight down to Number 6, the Pixie Lott single hampered you suspect by competition from her debut album Turn It Up which was released last week. In what was one of the most crowded release schedules of the year so far, it becomes one of no less than six new entries to the album chart this week, although by no means one of the biggest. Top honours for the long players go to Muse who land themselves their third straight Number One album with The Resistance. With Vera Lynn still going strong at Number 2, the second biggest new album of the week arrives at Number 3 in the rather surprising form of Peter Andre whose first solo album in five years becomes his first Top 10 album since Natural topped the rankings way back in 1996 at the very height of his teen idol fame.
For all that, the most anticipated new release of the week appears to have been The Blueprint 3 from Jay-Z. The album charts at Number 4 but it is on the singles chart that its impact is most keenly felt. Former Number One single Run This Town (Track 4) still holds firm, down one place at Number 4 whilst it is joined in the Top 40 by Track 5 Empire State Of Mind at Number 15 [more on this, much more, over the coming weeks] and Track 15 Young Forever at Number 35. The former (with a guest vocal from Alicia Keys) is officially the album's next single and so has essentially charted a month or so early as a kind of halo hit. The only other track from the album to sell in sufficient quantities to make the Top 100 is D.O.A. which was promoted as the first single in America earlier in the summer and which charts here this week at Number 79.
The truth must be acknowledged then that we live in an age where a brand new Madonna single isn't necessarily the biggest musical story of the week. The promotion of her new release Celebration has been rather more fraught than usual with much being made in the press of its snubbing for the first time ever by Radio One who declined to playlist the track. The single is a token new track taken from her forthcoming hits collection with which it shares the title and is produced by no less a figure than Paul Oakenfold. That fact alone has served to underline the general air of disappointment about the track, as her previous desire to seek out the hottest new production talents and make records with them appears to have evaporated. Instead, she has followed up a record she made to the Timbaland formula with a throwaway dance-pop track made by a man whose most influential work was actually made well over a decade ago. For all that we do have to acknowledge that Celebration is one of the least indifferent singles that she has made for some time, and for the moment her chart powers appear undimmed. The single flies into Number 3 as the second highest new entry of the week, her biggest hit single since the chart-topping 4 Minutes was released in March 2008 and a dramatic improvement on the miserable Number 39 placing scaled by her last single Miles Away in December last year.
The only other single to penetrate the Top 10 is, as expected She Wolf from Shakira which reaps the benefit of a full week on sale to leap 25-5, thus giving the star her sixth Top 10 hit single in this country.
Those seeking a slightly harder edge to their music will cheer the arrival at Number 14 of Ignorance from Paramore. It is the first track to be taken from their brand new album 'brand new eyes' and at a stroke gives the American rockers their biggest UK hit single to date, eclipsing the Number 17 peak scaled by Misery Business in February 2008. Just like the Shakira single above it, the UK is comparatively late in being able to purchase the track for real. Ignorance first hit US stores at the start of July which means fans here have been forced to wait almost two and a half months for the chance to legally own a copy. You can't help but wonder just why labels do this, given the conspicuous lack of geographical borders on the internet and sheer lack of logic displayed by wildly staggered release dates in different territories. [In the age of global simultaneous releases, this does seem like the dark ages now doesn't it?] Fair play to the fans of the band who had the patience to endure having to just watch the video online since July 7th, what a good job none of them would ever have dreamed of obtaining an illegal mp3 copy and deprived the band of the revenue they were entitled to in the intervening weeks. Don't get me started on the Whitney Houston album I Look To You about which we have read the reviews, watched the TV interviews and in the case of some friends actually attended the launch party. Can we buy the former American Number One album here? Nope, not until October 19th. How utterly stupid.
Just missing out on the Top 20 is Paloma Faith who sees her second single New York land at Number 21, four places lower than the peak of her first hit Stone Cold Sober which charted back in June. I'd hate to see this single suffer the same rapid in and out chart fate of its predecessor, for it is far, far too good to be ignored by mass audiences. More so than Stone Cold Sober, 'New York' shows her distinctive voice off perfectly, the soaring ballad building to an anthemic and uplifting chorus which has helped to make the track extremely radio friendly. For all the single's undoubted quality and for all her talent, as this chart position shows the Paloma Faith project is still struggling to get off the ground. Far from being the next big thing as we were all told, she is in severe danger of just becoming the next VV Brown.
Finally for this week, to continue the veterans theme that has developed over the last few weeks, music fans of a certain age will cheer the appearance at Number 40 of Cliff Richard and the Shadows in what is their first appearance on record together in over 40 years. The Shadows (or The Drifters as they were first billed until a clash with the American group of the same name became apparent) were co-billed with Cliff on the vast majority of the records he made for the first ten years of his career. During this period they also had a considerable run of hits in their own right, scoring no less than five Number One hits of their own along the way. After a "farewell" tour of their own a few years ago, the Shadows have reunited for one last time to accompany Cliff on one last European tour together and to commemorate the occasion they have recorded a new album of classic standards together. Hence the appearance this week of Singing The Blues which becomes the first chart single to be credited to "Cliff Richard and the Shadows" since Don't Forget To Catch Me in November 1968. Furthermore, it is the first Top 40 appearance for the Shadows since Riders In The Sky hit Number 12 in early 1980, although mention must be made of Hank B Marvin's chart credit on Cliff's charity remake of Living Doll which hit Number One in 1986. The song 'Singing The Blues' has a venerable chart record all of its own. First written and published in 1956, it was the subject of a chart battle between versions by Guy Mitchell and Tommy Steele with the two versions taking turns at Number One on the NME chart in the early weeks of 1957. Cliff's version is the fifth to become a chart hit, following in the footsteps of Dave Edmunds who took the song to Number 28 in 1980 and most recently Daniel O'Donnell which climbed to Number 23 with his version in 1994.