This week's Official UK Singles Chart
This week's Official UK Albums Chart
So it seems like even two week running Number One hits aren't immune from a third week collapse. As Alexandra Burke's Start Without You dips four places to Number 5, leapfrogging over (under?) an otherwise all-static Top 4, she is replaced at Number One by what appears to be the unstoppable force of Bruno Mars with brand new single Just The Way You Are (Amazing) which dutifully repeats it success on the Hot 100 in America. [Superstar (solo) debut klaxon!]
The single is a triumphant solo Top 40 debut for the singer-songwriter and producer, hard on the heels of his guest performances on B.o.B.'s Nothin' On You (also a Number One) and more recently Travie McCoy's Billionaire which hit the Top 3 back in August. His only other solo release to date was the extended play single It's Better If You Don't Understand which crept inside the Top 100 at the back end of August, some months after it first became available. The falsetto voiced singer's debut album Doo-Wops And Hooligans hits the stores at the start of October and seems set to make a similar chart impact.
Back when the drip-feed release of tracks from the qualifying acts appearing on the Sky One talent series Must Be The Music started appeared, we wondered out loud if it wasn't somehow devaluing the achievement of the eventual winners, given that most of their rivals will have already had the requisite hit single. For the moment it seems those fears were unfounded. True enough, those performers from the semi-finals who had seen their records hit the charts were indeed considered the front runners for the ultimate prize, but the announcement at the end of the live final last weekend that Emma's Imagination prompted the usual rush of triumph and emotion that characterises such moments. Inevitably the act - a performing pseudonym for Scottish singer Emma Gillespie - lands herself a second chart single with her winning song Focus landing on the chart as the second highest new entry of the week at Number 7. That is three places higher than the Number 10 peak scaled by her previous hit 'This Day' a fortnight ago, that single inevitably seeing a brief spike in its chart fortunes with a climb to Number 25. Whilst at first derided as a cheap satellite copy of shows such as X Factor and BGT, the series managed to gain something of a following during the weeks that it was on air, and its aspirations to be a showcase for genuine song writing talent by having all the contestants perform their own material has meant that the acts that have emerged from the show have proven to be a genuine breath of fresh air. With nothing more than straightforward cash prize on offer for the winner of the show (a world away from the guaranteed recording deal for X Factor winners), the future chart prospects of Emma's Imagination and indeed other notable acts such as Pepper & Piano is very much up in the air. Nonetheless with songs as pretty and wistful as this one in her arsenal, I'm not the only one hoping this isn't the last time we hear from her. [It was].
Amazing how a sprinkling of new entries can give the impression of lots of activity isn't it? Unless you look closely you might have failed to notice that five of the Top 10 singles are non-movers this week, the monotony broken up only by the new arrivals - of which I'm In Love (I Wanna Do It) by Alex Gaudino is the third, straight in at Number 10. The track marks a welcome chart return for the Italian producer, his first UK chart single for over two years and the third biggest of his career. His highest charting and most famous hit was Destination Calabria, a mash-up of DJ Rune's Calabria and Crystal Waters' Destination Unknown which made Number 4 in March 2007. This new track has been in circulation for most of the summer and indeed is the kind of bouncy sunshine-drenched club track that I'm inclined to suggest probably works better when the sun in shining rather than with autumn rain pouring down outside - but no matter, it is still a sparkling pop record complete with a breezy vocal from uncredited guest singer Maxine Ashley who does her very best Rihanna impression throughout. Chalk it up as the best new pop record of the week by some considerable distance.
Never let it be said that Enrique Iglesias is shy about enlisting some superstar power to give his records a helping hand. In his decade-long chart career he has appeared alongside the likes of Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston as well as more modern stars such as Kelis and most recently Pitbull. This week he officially adds to that tally as new single Heartbeat makes at 50-13 vault on the chart and for the first time formally credits co-singer Nicole Scherzinger as his fifth chart partner. The single is the direct follow-up to last single I Like It and duly becomes his 12th consecutive Top 20 hit and the 13th of his career. His only chart failure to date remains 1999 release Rhythm Divine which got lost in the Christmas rush that year and bombed out at Number 45.
A new name lands on the singles chart at Number 17 in the shape of Charice who sounds like she should be from Croydon but who is actually Filipina singer Charmaine Pempengco, better known to millions as the YouTube star plucked from obscurity by Oprah Winfrey and described by the chat show legend as "The most talented girl in the world". Despite a brief flurry of international interest around the time of her initial discovery in 2008, no international hits resulted, so her chart single Pyramid marks her first ever UK chart appearance. 'Pyramid' benefits from the added superstar power of Iyaz although his often overbearing contributions plus the producer's insistence on fiddling with the autotune fader on the desk means we don’t quite get the benefit of the instant heaven that Charice's voice is supposed to bring. No matter, as an appealing if rather functional R&B duet, the song achieves its aim - Charice is here as a star in Britain at long last, and I've no doubt even bigger hits will follow before too long - especially given her guest role in the new series of Glee, although it is likely to be the new year before we see the new episodes here.
Next to Mark Ronson, fresh from a wonderfully entertaining online spat with a certain singer he once worked with and now celebrating a second hit single for his Business International outfit. Following up the summertime smash Bang Bang Bang comes The Bike Song which rather under-performs compared to its predecessor, landing on the chart at Number 21 as a poor comparison to the Number 6 peak scaled by his last hit. Both tracks are taken from the album Record Collection which, in the way these things generally work out, is released for public consumption this week.
One place below Ronson is an unusually slow start for The Saturdays, accustomed to quick Top 10 entries for their singles but who now are in the unfamiliar territory of watching the ironically named Higher rise from last weeks entry point of 49 to a mere 22. In fairness however it should be noted that these are sales of the version from their current mini-album Headlines, the newly mixed single version featuring a guest vocal from Flo Rida not set to hit the stores until the end of October. On that basis the single could well be shaping up to become one of their biggest to date - singles that chart prematurely in the "wrong" version are those with a huge level of built up support. Keep your eyes peeled for this one.
Moving to the album chart, and as was widely expected the exposure given to him by his Saturday night TV special a week ago has helped Phil Collins to Number One with new album Going Back. He now has a very neat 12 chart-topping albums to his name - six as a solo act and six as a member of Genesis. He has had quite a wait to finally make the dozen however, Going Back his first spell at Number One since his compilation album Hits reached the top in October 1998. The last Genesis album to make Number One was the live album The Way We Walk - The Longs, released in January 1993.
The two biggest new album releases of the week are by two acts who clearly no longer need the boost of a major hit single, given that last week their preliminary offerings both charted rather weakly. Leading the charge are the Manic Street Preachers with new album Postcards From A Young Man which matches the peak of their last release, 2009 album Journal For Plague Lovers. The album is home to the hit single (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love which made an understated chart appearance at Number 28 last week and dips to 40 this time around. In their long and storied chart career the Manics have only one topped the album chart, back in 1998 with This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.
Also new at Number 6 are Maroon 5 with their fourth album Hands All Over, the follow-up to 2007 chart-topper It Won't Be Soon Before Long. Like the Manics before them, the album was preceded by an under-performing lead single, Misery which dips one place to Number 31 this week.