Well I guess you can only beat what is put in front of you. I've long said that as the record books do not list sales numbers or margins of victory, every Number One means pretty much the same as another - but in the here and now we cannot help but note the headline statistic that in topping the UK singles chart this week, Promises by Nero has done so with the lowest sale for nearly 22 months. Last week it was important to take time out to note that Swagger Jagger by Cher Lloyd only topped the charts with a sale of 67,000 copies - and sure enough the single takes a tumble this week down to Number 3 - so it therefore follows that the sale clocked up by Promises of 46,700 should be given similar due consideration.
Not that we should take too much away from the achievement of Nero in recording their first ever Number One single. The dubstep duo of Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray have been on an upward curve since the start of the year, reaching Number 15 with Me And You in January and then Number 8 with Guilt back in May. Topping the charts simply seemed the next and most obvious step forward. All three Top 40 hits (as well as their less well purchased debut release 'Innocence') are taken from their debut album Welcome Reality which in a masterpiece of timing hits the shops this week. Honourable mention should also be made of the third member of the "duo", singer Alana Watson who shares co-writing credits with Promises and whose crystal clear and yet incredibly powerful vocals contribute a great deal to the commercial potential of the track. Coming as it does just a few weeks after DJ Fresh topped the charts with Louder, the summer of 2011 is clearly the time when dubstep went pop to quite spectacular effect.
The rest of the Top 10 singles simply do their now traditional reshuffling, with the honourable exception of Jar Of Hearts from Christina Perri which as was widely expected makes a further surge in sales to sit comfortably at Number 5. One suspects that the momentum to go further and top the charts is rather beyond the single, but as the kind of insistent grower with a sales potential far beyond the usual crowd of dedicated singles buyers, it is hard not to envisage Jar Of Hearts settling into the Top 10 or even Top 5 for an extended chart run.
The undisputed King of the Top 40 at the present time is David Guetta who has no less than three singles all at varying stages of their chart career on the go at the moment. On the way out at Number 21 is Where Them Girls At, sitting comfortably at Number 4 is what is notionally his current chart single Little Bad Girl and the pair of them are joined this week by the second highest new entry on the chart - Titanium, this track featuring a guest vocal from Australian singer Sia, best known for her 2000 Top 10 single Taken For Granted, this track her biggest hit since. All three Guetta singles, as well as the Snoop Dogg track Sweat on which he also appears and which is just outside the Top 40 this week, are taken from his brand new album Nothing But The Beat, a much awaited album whose late August release date is finally edging closer to the relief of those who have little choice for the moment other than to keep his singles bubbling around the Top 40. [Titanium there making its chart bow as part of a drip-feed campaign of album teasers. Who would have guessed it would end up at the top of the charts five months later and taking pride of place as one of the greatest Number One hits of the decade].
Climbing four into the Top 20 after charting at Number 24 last week is Cinema from Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go. This single continues the chart comeback for the dance producer following his reappearance earlier this year as co-credited collaborator on Chris Brown's Number 4 single Beautiful People. Benassi's biggest hit remains his 2003 chart debut 'Satisfaction' which reached Number 2 in July that year.
The remaining new hit singles of note this week are all tracks from existing albums by well known names which are now surging up the sales rankings after being promoted to singles status. Leading the chart is Marry You from Bruno Mars which reaches a brand new high this week of Number 28, the track having originally narrowly missed the Top 40 in November last year when parent album Do Wops And Hooligans was first released. In common with Jar Of Hearts, the track has already had the honour of being subjected to a Glee Cast cover, their rendition peaked at Number 51 upon release back in March. Bruno Mars is incidentally the latest member of the million selling club, Just The Way You Are (Amazing) having crept into seven figures a couple of weeks ago as the 108th single in UK chart history to reach the magical total.
We've actually already had one other million seller in 2011 - namely Adele's Someone Like You which is far and away the biggest seller of the year so far. Not too far behind is Jessie J who has sold almost 890,000 copies of Price Tag as well as half a million more of Do It Like A Dude. Her latest chart single is Who's Laughing Now which makes its first Top 40 appearance at Number 37 as the follow-up to Nobody's Perfect and the fourth single from her debut album Who You Are. Its momentum so far is down to airplay ahead of its proper release as a digital single in the next couple of weeks, one which should theoretically see her add to her tally of Top 20 singles.
Just one place below at Number 38 is Nicole Scherzinger with 'Wet', her third chart single of the year hard on the heels of 'Poison', 'Don't Hold Your Breath' and 'Right There'. Needless to say it is another release from her 'Killer Love' album, although presumably one of the smaller ones unless it manages to achieve something incredibly spectacular.
Fourth singles from already well-selling albums - do they still have a job to do? The performance of both the aforementioned singles over the next couple of weeks should hopefully provide us with an answer.
The album chart this week is naturally still dominated by two British ladies - Amy Winehouse spends a third straight posthumous week at Number One with 'Back To Black', this now the album's seventh week in total at the top, counting the initially separate chart runs of the Special Edition as contributing to the total of the main album. Meanwhile Adele is locked firmly at Number 2 with '21', and it is worth noting for those slow to have catch on, in its 29 weeks on sale and on the chart so far, the biggest album of the year to date has never dipped lower than Number 2 and shows no sign of doing so any time soon.
With 'Frank' and '19' at nos 4 and 5 respectively, the hegemony of the two women is broken only this week by the arrival at Number 3 of 'Watch The Throne', the much-anticipated superstar collaboration between Kay-Z and Kanye West. The collection instantly becomes Jay-Z's highest charting album to date, eclipsing the Number 4 peak of 'The Blueprint 3' back in 2009. Kanye has been higher before, reaching Number 2 with 'Late Registration' in 2005 and topping the charts with 'Graduation' in 2007. The album has already spawned two chart singles, its lead track 'Otis' which charted at Number 38 last week and which slips two places second time around, plus the album cut 'Lift Off' which features guest vocals from Beyonce and which lands at Number 48 as a cherry-picked offering this week.