Is it the continuing impact of his Brit Awards performance, or just the fact that he has returned from a six-year musical hiatus with a record which is actually incredibly good? Whatever the reason, it has worked out nicely for Justin Timberlake as his single Mirrors this week climbs three places to take pride of place at the top of the Official UK Singles chart.
Having notoriously never topped the charts as a member of 'Nsync (their swansong single Girlfriend stalled at Number 2), JT has now hit the summit five times as an independent star. Technically this single is only his second solo Number One, following Sexyback which had a week of glory in September 2006, but he has been credited on two chart-topping singles since: Timbaland's Give It To Me in 2007 and Madonna's 4 Minutes in 2008. The 'missing' fifth chart-topper is Where Is The Love by the Black Eyed Peas which had an extended spell at Number One in 2003 and which features Timberlake on uncredited vocals, his participation on the record kept under the radar at the time as his label were concerned about overexposure. Tell that to Rihanna sometime.
Far and away the most notable aspect of Mirrors as a pop record is its length. Available still as just an album cut, no "radio edit" of the song has currently been prepared, and thus the track charts in its full 8 minutes 5 seconds length, far and away the longest-running Number One single since current record holder All Around The World topped the charts for Oasis in 1998 with a running time of 9 minutes 20 seconds. For those interested, current UK chart rules cap the maximum length of a single track at 15 minutes leaving some scope for the record to be broken in future. The longest single ever to make the UK charts seems destined forever to remain Blue Room by The Orb which hit Number 8 in June 1992 and which was deliberately positioned to push the then chart rules to the limit, clocking in at 39 minutes 57 seconds.
Not that Justin's chart triumph was a complete lock-in during the week, although in the event he finished just over 17,000 copies ahead of his nearest rival. Said track is Pompeii which storms in at Number 2 to give much-touted Bastille their first ever Top 10 single and confirm their arrival as the latest next big thing. The quartet from London spent last summer appearing in support slots at many different festivals and first staked their singles chart claim with Number 21 hit Flaws which charted in November last year. Both tracks appear on their debut album Bad Blood which is as I speak just a click away on your digital store of choice.
Also new to the UK Top 10 this week is Wiley whose hot streak of singles continues with Reload which lands at Number 9. The follow-up to Top 3 hits Heatwave and Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya) the single is technically his second Top 10 hit of 2013 after his guest role on Conor Maynard's Animal helped propel it to Number 6 in January. Guesting on the single is the artist formerly known as Chipmunk, as Jahmall Fyffe announced last year that he would hitherto be taking a leaf out of Sean Coombs' book and shortening his rap handle to Chip. Reload also features uncredited vocals from Ms D who guest starred on Wiley's Heatwave when it topped the charts back in August last year.
Climbing into the Top 20 are Adele who sees the Oscar win from Skyfall add to its newfound chart resurgence sending it back up to Number 14, its highest chart placing for 15 weeks and also Olly Murs who is finding it hard going to follow-up Number One hit Troublemaker, his new single Army Of Two creeping up just four places to Number 19.
Emeli Sande retains Number One on the album chart taking her 2013 total of weeks at the top to three, one behind the Les Miserables soundtrack which has had four to date. The highest new entry this week is Amok by Atoms For Peace, the new experimental supergroup which features the likes of Thom Yorke, Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco amongst its number. However even they probably don't attract as much fascination as the quite glorious collision of easy listening and rock royalty that is the rest of the Top 10 with a new album from crooner Michael Ball Both Sides Now at Number 8, pop-opera star Josh Groban at Number 9 with All That Echoes but most notably of all the legendary Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr with his first ever solo album The Messenger at Number 10. Truly the British charts are a very broad church.