A phenomenally busy release schedule means that no less than nine of the Top 20 albums on the Official UK Albums chart are new entries this week. Most attention during the week was however paid to the battle ensuing at the very top, the none more 1980s slugfest between George Michael and Kylie Minogue.
Week-long leader Michael slips neatly into first place with Symphonica, his first album of brand new recordings since 2004 release Patience. Those awaiting a new album proper will naturally require even more patience, this new collection consisting of live recordings of songs (some covers, some his own) that he performed on his tour of the same name during 2011 and 2012. Symphonica duly becomes George Michael's seventh Number One album as a solo artist, his only release to fail to top the charts to date being 1999's Songs From The Last Century which stalled at Number 2. Two Wham! albums also reached Number One back in the day (1983 debut Fantastic! and 1984 follow-up Make It Big) giving George Michael a total of nine chart-toppers in his entire career to date.
Speaking of stalling at Number 2, Kylie's Kiss Me Once becomes her second release in a row to debut in the runners-up slot, hard on the heels of 2012's The Abbey Road Sessions. The veteran Australian star has had five Number One albums to date, the most recent of which was 2010s Aphrodite.
Over on the Official UK Singles chart, the Mad March of big club hits results in another brand new Number One single and a record in from almost literally nowhere. This time around however it is from an artist with some pedigree, for I Got U is Duke Dumont's second chart-topping single in the UK hard on the heels of Need U (100 Percent) which also stormed to Number One exactly 50 weeks ago. Guest vocals on this new hit are provided by Dumont's protégé and label signing Jax Jones who sings lines appropriated (with full credit) from Whitney Houston's 1999 hit My Love Is Your Love. The effect is to create a warm, mellow and incredibly appealing dance hit which perhaps more than any other in recent weeks fully deserves its place at the very top of the charts. The fact that it does so with a sale double that of its nearest rival kind of suggests that most other people agree.
With Route 94 stranded at Number 2 for the second week, the Top 3 is rounded out by another strong climb for John Legend's All Of Me which jumps 6-3 to become his highest charting hit to date, beating the Number 4 scaled by Ordinary People in 2012.
If it is an even-numbered year then the BBC's spring charity telethon is Sport Relief, the biennial event having been broadcast at the end of last week. As is traditional there was a tie-in single and so filling the role this year is the new Little Mix track Word Up which debuts at a rather muted Number 6. The track is an energetic romp through an R&B classic which has now been a Top 20 hit for no less than four different acts over the years. Originally and famously recorded by Cameo in 1986 who took it to Number 3, the song has also been covered by Scottish rock band Gun in 1994 (Number 8) and former Spice Girl Melanie B for whom it was the one and only release under her temporary married name of "Melanie G", her rather limp effort climbing to Number 14 in 1999. Little Mix thus can claim the second highest charting version of the song, the track coincidentally reaching the same peak as its spiritual predecessor, Proud by JLS which was the 2012 Sport Relief single. Worth a look at the very least is the celeb-packed video even if the sight of Little Mix parading as lyrca-clad sex kittens is a shock to those who still remember them as unpolished X Factor contestants.
Example's new album Live Life Living is slated for a summertime release and so just ahead of it comes its second hit single, Kids Again becoming the singer and rapper's second Number 13 hit in a row hard on the heels of All The Wrong Places which charted in September last year and which is also set to feature on the new album. This rather surprisingly now means he has missed the Top 10 twice with brand new singles, something which hasn't happened since he made his commercial breakthrough back in 2010.
One of the more bizarre singles chart revivals of the week comes thanks to a football connection, fans of Aberdeen Football Club having staged a social media campaign to encourage downloads of Don't You Want Me by The Human League which duly lands on the chart at Number 19 (in the process becoming the biggest selling single in Scotland this week). The connection is their adoption of the tune as an anthem for midfield star Peter Pawlett whose work was credited with helping the club to the Scottish League Cup Final which the team won last week (although the injured star did not feature). It is the first singles chart appearance in over 30 years for the 1981 Christmas Number One (and 24th biggest selling single of all time). Generally, this column is grumpy at the hijacking of chart positions for social media campaigns but given the last single to be propelled into the chart by football fans was a record glorifying terrorism in support of stadium bigots, this one gets a free pass for being in good taste and with a sense of humour.
Rounding off the new entries parade is Na Na by Trey Songz which enters at Number 20, the first hit single for the versatile American star since Simply Amazing climbed to Number 8 in August 2012.
Those tiring of the parade of dance singles may take some cheer from the imminent arrival of some Australian pop-rock next week. Is the UK ready for 5 seconds of summer? It seems we are.