During the course of the week on their twitter feed @officialcharts, the Official Charts Company were posing the trivia question of what was at the top of the charts during the Royal Wedding in 1981. In generations to come, the same question in respect of 2011 will throw up the answer of a long running album from a North London soul singer and a single from two American gentlemen singing about how there is no "led" in their "zeppelin" whilst instructing everyone to lose their mind and have a good time.
Yes, as you have guessed the top end of the charts remain largely static this week. LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/Goonrock spend a third week at Number One on the singles chart with Party Rock Anthem, largely due to a lack of strong competition more than anything else, but with a sale that was still more than 40% in excess of their nearest challenger. Meanwhile Adele once again holds down the Top 2 on the album chart, 21 extending its Number One run to a total of 13 weeks to further close in on the post-1980 record of 15 that we have discussed extensively in the past. The "honourable runners up of the week" award goes to The Wombats who land themselves their first ever Top 10 album as This Modern Glitch slides in at Number 3.
The most likely candidate to replace LMFAO at the top of the singles chart is a man who is closing in on a quartet of chart-topping singles in the space of 12 months. Bruno Mars soars 15-2 with The Lazy Song, the track helped not just by its lilting roots-reggae beat but also the incredibly absorbing one-take video which requires repeated watches just to take it all in. Mars' first appearance at the top of the charts came as guest star on the B.o.B. single Nothin On You which went straight to Number One on May 29th last year. He thus has any time in the next three weeks to venture to the top of the charts with this current single to complete the calendar year quadruple.
The highest new entry of the week crashes in to Number 8 as Nero land their biggest hit to date with the intoxicating Guilt. The track is their third single release and follows on from Me And You which saw them make the singles chart for the very first time back in January, that single spending two weeks at Number 15. Very much a record that you either "get" or you don't, the club track is awash with atmospheric synths, takes more than a minute to get going in the radio edit alone but at the same time it is one of those records that sounds so utterly perfect blasting out of a club PA at ear-shattering volume you can be forgiven for momentarily thinking it is one of the best tracks ever made. Commenters on YouTube appear to be bemoaning the way Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray have gratuitously taken Dubstep to an unashamedly commercial place but whilst this singles chart run may prove to be something of a one week wonder, it stands out in this week's Top 10 as a shining example of just how dance music still has the power to be damn exciting.
A lack of any new singles arriving in the rest of the Top 20 allows the bubbling under crowd to jockey for position just outside the glass ceiling. Bumping against it rather surprisingly is Beyonce who can only rise seven places to Number 11 with Run The World (Girls). Meanwhile there is pleasingly good progress to report on the chart prospects of Aloe Blacc's I Need A Dollar (29-15), Jessie J's Nobody's Perfect (32-18 but still two places behind the still popular Price Tag) and - FINALLY - Skinny Love from Birdy which finally moves 21-19 to become a Top 20 hit after a long and steady 8 week climb.
Also worthy of note is the Pitbull track Give Me Everything which rises 35-25 this week and which seems set for a place in the Top 20 in seven days' time if all goes to plan.
It has been some weeks since we have had cause to talk about the chart feats of the Glee Cast but this week they wrestle their way into our consciousness again thanks to the release of something they have never performed before - a pair of wholly original songs. After weeks and weeks of cover versions of established hits, the TV show finally branched out into specially written material in the episode aired here in the UK last week. It means a chart debut at Number 27 for Loser Like Me with its companion piece Get It Right just a few places behind at Number 31. Loser Like Me is their first Top 30 entry since their cover of Thriller landed at Number 23 five weeks ago and it possibly might have charted higher, but for the fact that the track had already featured on the fifth volume of the TV show's soundtrack albums and so was already in the hands of many die-hard fans. The track is a typical Max Martin-penned pop stormer which has provoked comparisons with some of his other recent compositions such as Pink's Raise Your Glass. Indeed whilst the idea of the Glee Cast doing original songs prompted an upswing in their chart fortunes in America, the rather more lukewarm reaction to the single here only serves to highlight the problem with only now turning the talents of the stars to original material. After hearing them perform so many covers, one cannot listen to Loser Like Me or Get It Right without somehow wanting to dig out the "original" versions to see how much better they sound.
[And even now I regard Loser Like Me as the great 'lost' pop classic of the year, overlooked because it was a) by The Glee Cast and b) released just at the point when everyone lost interest in the show. It is a magnificent uplifting anthem once you get past Lea Michelle's shrieking.]