Once upon a time if you had dropped down from Number One, that was pretty much your lot. Your record had 'peaked' in every sense: radio programmers became bored of it, Top Of The Pops had no reason to feature you anymore, stocks of your record in the shops would start to run down and promotional activity would switch to your next release. Few and far between were the records which returned to the top of the UK charts after finishing their first run. Between January 1969 and December 1993, not one single did so.
But this is a new age. The biggest and best singles live longer in public life than ever before, with even the most excitedly hyped new release capable of reaching a much wider public some weeks after the first rush of fans became aware of its presence. Or maybe sometimes records just have an unlucky week - just like Pharrell Williams' Happy which was dumped down to Number 2 last week by Pitbull and Ke$ha despite selling over 100,000 copies. This week the single reasserts its sales dominance once more and returns to the top of the Official UK Singles chart.
Thus barely before 2014 has even begun it is the sixth year in a row that at least one single has repeated at the top of the charts. What was once a rarity is now pretty much commonplace. So much so in fact that the pace of such chart feats has picked up dramatically of late. Happy is, in fact, the fourth single in a little over six months to have two bites of the cherry, a situation not witnessed by the UK charts since the dark pre-rock and roll ages of the early 1950s when the singles market was a very different beast indeed.
Naturally enough Happy benefits from yet another week devoid of big new releases, a situation which allows some of last week's new arrival the time to breathe and expand their appeal. Hence the 14-5 leap of Fuse ODG's Million Pound Girl which thus means he can now claim his biggest hit to date, this eclipsing the Number 7 peak of his debut single Antenna which charted in June last year. Matrix & Futurebound are also Top 10-bound, Control leaps 18-7, the single already their biggest chart hit to date but now taking them into the very highest levels of the chart for the first time ever.
Whilst there is no change at the top end of the album chart, Ellie Goulding's Halcyon proving to be no one week wonder with another seven days at the summit, her nearest challenge comes from Beyonce as the spontaneously released album ascends to a brand new chart high of Number 5 in its fifth survey week on sale. This coincides with the continuing chart ascendency of the album's most popular track Drunk In Love which whilst not formally released as a single as such has been promoted to radio stations as the intended lead track from the album. The Jay-Z duet leaps 27-10 to become Beyonce's first Top 10 hit single since Best Thing I Never Had hit Number 3 in July 2011 and the biggest hit single the husband and wife have had in tandem since they topped the chart with Déjà Vu in September 2009. The album's other most notable track is XO which has been pushed to the urban market in the United States and which continues to win fans here, debuting on the Top 75 for the very first time at Number 45 this week.
Another song moving in the right direction is Lady Gaga's Do What U Want which rebounds 23-12 this week to occupy its highest chart placing for five weeks and over two months since it first appeared to have peaked at Number 9. The reason for this resurgence remains unclear if you rely merely on chart billing for the single is still credited as a duet with R Kelly as per the version which originally appeared on her Artpop album. Most sales this week have however been for a new version now featuring new vocals from Christina Aguilera on a revised verse, this "remix" prompted by a duet between the pair on the final of The Voice US just before Christmas. [And for which there is a shareable video, with the one for the R Kelly version destined it seems never to see the light of day].
Also reaching new peaks this week are Little Me by Little Mix which crept into the Top 40 over Christmas and now leaps to Number 14, Sail by Awolnation which seems to rebound just when you think it has peaked and which now moves to a new high of Number 17 and Turn Back Time by Sub Focus which had fallen out of the Top 40 altogether after making Number 35 on the Christmas chart but which now makes a dramatic return with a 30 place leap to Number 15 to become the producer's fourth Top 20 hit in a row.
The only new release this week to make the Top 40 is another club hit, the uplifting and surely destined for better things Dare You by Dutch producer Hardwell featuring Matthew Koma on guest vocals. Despite numerous chart hits in his home country over the past few years, this is his first ever mainstream UK hit single, charting this week at Number 18
Lower down there are further rebounds - such as the 60-32 climb which results in a new high point for Kid Ink's Show Me, the single having failed to progress beyond Number 35 when first released back in December despite the presence of Chris Brown on guest vocals. Finally, the patience of Broadway star Idina Menzel is rewarded as her recording of Let It Go from the soundtrack of the Walt Disney movie Frozen becomes a Top 40 hit for the first time with a 44-36 climb. Her version is one of two to have fought for attention over the past few weeks, competition coming from a more "pop" production from Demi Lovato which this week reaches a new peak of its own, albeit at a mere Number 62 up from 66 last week. [This, our first introduction to the Frozen phenomenon which will reach a crescendo in the coming weeks. But yes, at the time it was quite notable that the 'proper' movie version was the hit one rather than Demi Lovato's pop take which plays out over the end credits].