Jason Derulo possibly ranks as the unluckiest man of the year so far, his last single The Other Side stalling at Number 2 in late June despite a strong pre-sale total as the all-conquering Blurred Lines juggernaut rolled on. This week he puts that frustration to bed as his latest release Talk Dirty storms to the top of the Official UK Singles chart, sweeping aside a curiously fast sinking Katy Perry to land his third Number One single in the UK. Last time around I was critical of The Other Side for its slavish adherence to formula, an almost paint by numbers example of a pop R&B track, but Talk Dirty at least attempts to shake things up a little and makes this a slightly more worthwhile release. The track a minimalistic Bollywood flavoured production which elevates this single into something unique - a Jason Derulo track which is actually a breath of fresh air. Helping matters along is a guest rap from 2 Chainz, this marking the highest charting single so far for Tauheed Epps in a year which has seen him appear on five different hit singles, most recently the Tinie Tempah track Trampoline which peaked at Number 3.
The Jason Derulo single had reached the 100,000 mark by midweek and finishes with an impressive total of over 159,000 copies - the biggest first-week sale of his career and the fourth fastest selling release of 2013 to date. Meanwh, le The Other Side makes a small sales comeback of its own, returning to the Top 40 to sit this week at Number 39.
Katy Perry thus dips to Number 2 with Roar although by way of some small consolation she has a second Top 40 hit to call her own this week thanks to the unannounced midweek release of the promotional single Dark Horse which lands at Number 21 as a pre-release album teaser. The track actually charts under the "David Bowie rule", an instant gratification download for pre-purchasers of her new album PRISM (not due to drop until late October on current plans) which charts based on standalone single sales.
Another big female star with a new album to promote is Jessie J , her second release Wild in the shops as you read this. Its title track peaked at Number 5 as the lead single back in June and this week she enters the singles chart at Number 3 with It's My Party. As I noted at the time, her career so far has followed the pattern of a slow growing introductory single followed by an immediate pop hit as the second, and so it proves this time around as her new single is a bright and energetic electropop track in a similar vein to Domino, or indeed as it happens anything Katy Perry has put her name to in the last few years. Make of that what you will. No surprise then that the track is her fourth Top 3 single and her biggest hit since the aforementioned Domino topped the charts at the start of 2012.
The rare and always entertaining sight of one artist having back to back Top 10 singles greets the casual observer of the UK charts this week as man of the moment Avicii not only sits at Number 6 with the slowly declining former Number One single Wake Me Up but enters at Number 5 with brand new single You Make Me, the second single release from his album True. Admittedly hearing the two tracks back to back makes you realise there is something of a formula at work here, but when the music is this good you are inclined to give him something of a free pass. Guest singer on the track is Swedish singer Salem Al Fakir who has collaborated with Avicii in the past, appearing (once more uncredited) on Silhouettes which made a rather low key Number 22 in summer 2012. The single coincides with the arrival of the album which is the biggest selling of a blizzard of new releases this week but which can only enter at Number 2, the Arctic Monkeys' AM refusing to be shifted from the top of the charts for now.
Whilst we are on the subject then, let us note the frantic activity on the album chart which sees no less than six new entries inside the Top 10 with two more landing just outside. Avicii is actually notable for being the only album to arrive at the same time as a hit single, his rivals including Elton John (The Diving Board at Number 3), Manic Street Preachers (Rewind The Film at Number 4, a week after its lead single Show Me The Wonder missed the Top 75 completely), Katie Melua (Ketevan at Number 6), Jack Johnson (From Here To Now To You at Number 7) and Deaf Havana (Old Souls at Number 9).
The award for "shock X Factor inspired comeback of the week" goes to Christina Perri who rockets back to Number 11 with A Thousand Years in the wake of an audition performance by contestant Nicholas McDonald. Extraordinarily this marks its highest chart placing to date, the single having originally peaked at Number 32 when first released in 2011 and Number 13 in a Twilight-inspired return at the end of last year.
One act who can also thank talent shows for keeping her in the public eye is Birdy, whose 2011 hit Skinny Love has been a Top 40 hit on three different occasions since its 2011 release. This week the teenager lands her biggest hit single to date as new track Wings lands at Number 16, the first single from her second album Fire Within. Co-written by the singer alongside a certain Ryan Tedder, it becomes her highest charting single to date, beating by one place the original 2011 peak of Skinny Love.
Although the top end of the singles chart was pretty much set in stone from the start, the lower end was shaken up by a slew of unexpected midweek releases, some more successful than others. As already noted Katy Perry landed a Number 21 hit with her out of band release, whilst Linkin Park and Steve Aoki grab a Number 34 hit with A Light That Never Comes. Less good news for Justin Timberlake who is oddly struggling to find enough people to care about tracks from The 20/20 Experience (Part 2 of 2) as midweek release TKO limps to Number 89. Better things are hopefully in store.