It may well be the biggest song on the planet right now, but not even Gangnam Style could withstand the blizzard of big new releases hitting the market this week. Despite selling more this week than he did last week, Psy is relegated to Number 2 on the UK singles chart, the only 'old' track in a Top 5 otherwise dominated by brand new entries.
Naturally it is with a grim sense of inevitability that Diamonds, the brand new single from Rihanna shoots straight to Number One this week, turning an early week deficit into an extremely strong lead. The first track to be taken from her as-yet untitled seventh studio album, it is her sixth Number One single as lead artist and the seventh of her career. Perhaps even more impressively the success of the single means that 2012 is the sixth year in a row that she has had at least one single top the UK charts, a consistent run stretching back to the success of Umbrella in 2007.
Not that a Number One for Diamonds was completely guaranteed from the start, her greatest challenge coming from the act who may well have devoted attention this year to cracking the American market (with no small amount of success) but who at least on the surface remain hot property back home. The act in a question are One Direction who sadly managed to turn an early week lead into a weekend deficit and who are stuck debuting at Number 3 with their fourth official single. Live While We're Young is a brand new single, lifted from their upcoming second album Take Me Home. By a strange coincidence their last single to debut at Number 3 was second release Gotta Be You in the week of November 26th 2011. The artist at Number One that week? Rihanna. One Direction remain a much talked about and undeniably popular pop group, but their failure to date to replicate the instant Number One success of debut single What Makes You Beautiful is well, curious, to say the least.
DIAMONNDDSS ARE FORREVVEERRRRR bellows Adele on her new James Bond title track - well no actually she doesn't, but her much anticipated theme song to the 23rd Bond film Skyfall is as comfortingly formulaic and derivative as any of the classic John Barry-penned theme songs from the early part of the series. The song's release to the world was done in suitably gimmicky fashion, its existence only confirmed on Monday of last week and then released to both radio and sales at precisely 0.07 on Friday morning - a significant date as it marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the first ever James Bond movie 'Dr No'. Demand for the single in the two days that followed was nothing short of phenomenal and Skyfall shifted an astounding 84,000 copies to land a place at Number 4 on the singles chart this week, beating at a stroke the eventual Number 9 peak of its immediate predecessor in the series, Jack White and Alicia Keys' Another Way To Die.
One of the more famous quirks of UK chart history is that no James Bond theme song has ever reached Number One, and whilst you would expect that a performance from an artist as hot as Adele (this naturally her first brand new material since the release of 21 at the start of 2011) it remains to be seen whether the gimmicky release date of Skyfall has inadvertently torpedoed her chances of breaking that particular jinx.
Adele rather randomly has two Top 40 hit singles this week, the second being her take on the 1991 track most popularly associated with Bonnie Raitt I Can't Make You Love Me which originally appeared on the EP of songs released in the wake of her 2011 iTunes Festival appearance. It is the biggest selling of a number of other versions of the song, all inspired (naturally) by its use on X Factor the weekend before last. The most successful hit version of the track in the UK is that by George Michael which was paired with his single Older for a double a-side which peaked at Number 3 in February 1997.
Rounding off the singles chart Top 5, the first of the post-2007 download era to feature as many as four brand new entries, is Ellie Goulding with her brand new single Anything Could Happen. Her third Top 10 single, it is her first major chart hit since her TV-commercial inspired cover of Your Song peaked at Number 2 in early December 2010.
The drip-feed campaign to make the new Taylor Swift album into the biggest deal of the year so far continues apace this week. Joining We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Number 10) and Begin Again (Number 47) this week is the title track of the forthcoming release Red which lands at Number 26.
Another busy week for album releases (must be the fourth quarter of the year or something) sees yet another new releases hit the top, this time The 2nd Law from Muse which notches up an impressive six figure sale to become their fourth studio album in a row to reach Number One, the sequence (dating back to Absolution in 2003) only broken by 2008 live album Haarp which peaked at Number 2. The album is home to two Top 30 hits already, both the more recent Madness and Olympic theme Survival which had two chart runs back in the summer despite never climbing higher than Number 22.
Also new to the Top 10 are harmony quintet The Overtones with Higher at Number 6 and rather more surprisingly the Electric Light Orchestra with their 2005 release All Over The World - The Very Best Of, propelled back into the sales rankings thanks to a timely re-promotion to coincide with frontman Jeff Lynne preparing to release some new solo material of his own. The compilation (no less than the sixth ELO Greatest Hits collection to be released) originally peaked at Number 6 in June 2005 when first released but was last in the Top 10 in summer 2011 after a similar opportunistic promotional campaign.