When you've had nine different Number One singles in as many weeks there is a danger that they all start to merge into one in your mind. Happily, this week's incumbent at the top of the Official UK Singles chart is a record with a quite fascinating story behind it, as it began life as someone else's track altogether.
Its origins lie in Bound 2, the tenth and final track on Kanye West's most recent album Yeezus. Although one of the more experimental and unusually structured tracks from the album it was singled out by many reviewers as one of its standout moments and indeed was promoted as a single last summer, peaking at Number 55 on the UK charts in September. Aside from West himself, the most striking part of the track was the powerful soul refrain heard at the start and end, a vocal supplied by former Gap Band singer Charlie Wilson.
The refrain was intriguing enough for Leeds-based drum and bass producers Sigma to lift it for their own purposes. Not long after the release of the Yeezus album a bootleg remix began circulating, a track entitled Nobody To Love which meshed Wilson's vocals with an intense dance beat. Put simply it was Bound 2 with Kanye West deleted, and it had hit record written all over it. The tricky part came when clearing the track for a proper release, with permission to use the original Charlie Wilson vocal track denied to the duo. So instead the version of Nobody To Love which flies to the top of the UK singles chart this week with some style is, in fact, a remake, the vocal line recreated by an as yet unnamed session singer [who turned out to be former One True Voice member Daniel Pearce, thus ending up on the Number One single he never achieved at Christmas 2002, although he was also part of the backing ensemble on Dizzee Rascal's Dirtee Disco in 2010]. Such minor copyright wrangles appear to have done little to dim the appeal of the track and it duly gives the Sigma duo of Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie their biggest hit single to date, easily eclipsing the Number 56 scaled by their last release Rudeboy at the tail end of last year.
It will hardly have escaped anyone's attention that Nobody To Love is but the latest in a long line of club tracks to have dominated the sales landscape since the start of the year. Dance music found itself poorly served by the new digital era and appeared at one stage to have retreated from the mainstream altogether. The success in recent months of the likes of Duke Dumont, Route 94, DVBBS, Martin Garrix and the emergence of Clean Bandit as the hottest British group of the year demonstrates that the tables have been well and truly turned.
Not that this rules the pop world out altogether although some of the great new hopes of the genre appear to have retreated to the kind of tightly focused appeal which generates frontloaded sales and high chart debuts but poor hit longevity. Take online darlings The Vamps for example, two hit singles into their career but with only their debut Can We Dance having enough of a chart lifespan to count as a 'proper' hit record. Their third single is Last Night which fan power propels to Number 2 to continue their 100% strike rate of Top 3 hits. A rather more accessible pop record than its predecessor Wild Heart which charted in February, the single is bright, breezy and hard to hate if it catches you in the right mood. All it has to do now is avoid the 80% collapse in sales in Week 2 that so often befalls such heavily pre-ordered singles.
The other Top 10 new arrival is an intriguing collaboration between two of the more energetic up and coming female stars of the moment. Australian rapper Iggy Azalea has been improving on her chart placings with each successive release, her three singles last year peaking at 17, 13 and 10 respectively. This week she betters that with a Number 5 entry for Fancy, a track which features a lady who has already featured on a Number One single without anyone actually noticing. 21-year-old British singer-songwriter Charli XCX has yet to land a proper hit single of her own, her best showing so far being the Number 62 peak of Superlove last December, but her name has already been up in lights thanks to a brief vocal turn on Icona Pop's I Love It which had a week at Number One in July last year. Although Fancy is very much Azalea's record, it is Charli XCX's vocal lines which provide its true hook, suggesting that this might well be the single to give her the public profile she has so far been lacking.
The continuing appeal of the Frozen soundtrack means it now has no less than three singles on the Top 40 this week. Idina Menzel's Let It Go glides to yet another new peak as it moves 17-11 whilst the less and less seasonal Do You Want To Build A Snowman moves 40-30 for Kristin Bell and Agatha Lee Monn. Meanwhile, the showpiece duet between Bell and Menzel on For The First Time In Forever moves 56-38. Most Disney films from the 1990s were guaranteed a least one chart single from their soundtrack. I don't think any animated musical from the long history of the company has ever produced no less than three Top 40 hit singles - and all in the same week as well. [Peak Frozen - achieved].
Other Top 20 chart moves include the 33-12 leap for Swedish star Tove Lo and Stay High along with a 35-18 jump for Paloma Faith with Can't Rely On You thanks to a timely TV appearance last week which not only propels the single back into the Top 20 for the first time since it made Number 10 six weeks ago but also helps her current album A Perfect Contradiction leap 10-2 to return to the position at which it debuted last month. Both singles thus outsell the rather surprisingly limp new offering from The Saturdays who despite now being treated as respected musical veterans can only reach Number 19 (for now their lowest charting single since 2009 offering Work which peaked at 22) with Not Giving Up although admittedly it is technically the fifth chart single from their Living For The Weekend album and I guess it is impressive enough that it has even got this far.
The Kaiser Chiefs surprisingly retain the Number One crown on the Official UK Albums chart with Education, Education, Education and War, and this week have their first Top 40 hit single since 2008 as Coming Home rises 45-31. Paolo Nutini's album Caustic Love finally drops this week and should be contending for the top of the charts by the time you read this, but for the moment he has two hit singles to his name with Scream (Funk My Life Up) dipping to Number 28 and preview track Better Man moving in the opposite direction to shoot 71-40.
Finally, it seems an odd indulgence to mention an album which enters the charts at Number 70 but I'm an unashamed cheerleader for children's pop act Go!Go!Go!, the creation of production legend Mike Stock and former Steps manager Mike Crosby. Following a year of exposure for their music in between the programmes on kids channel Nick Jnr and just ahead of their nationwide tour this week, their debut album Radio Go! Go! Go! gives my six favourite performers a proper chart record for the first time ever, and I could not be more pleased for them. [The most insanely well realised pop concept of their era, yet destined to remain just a footnote in chart history].