With so many different tracks having topped the Official UK Singles chart this year (28 as of last week compared to 30 in the whole of 2013) the casual observer could be forgiven for finding that after a while they all merge into one, many fading from memory shortly after their release. Therefore it is worth emphasising that after having chart-topper #10 back in April with Nobody To Love (a club re-working of the Kanye West track Bound 2) drum and bass duo Sigma top the charts for a second time this year and thus land #29 with their brand new single Changing, A track which duplicates its predecessor in selling over 100,000 copies in a week to debut at the very top of the singles chart.
Unlike their first hit this year which was slightly derailed by unavoidable copyright issues over the featured vocals, there are no such worries this time around. Vocals on Changing are notably supplied by the wonderful Paloma Faith, a lady whose quirky charm, boundless personality and astounding charisma has turned her into a much-loved public figure but whose own material has often struggled to find a commercial niche. Despite 10 chart singles since her 2009 debut, just three have made the Top 10 (although this includes her last two hit singles, suggesting she does at least have upward momentum) and all have fallen short of the Top 5. With a vocal turn on the Sigma track, she finally achieves the special moment of a Number One hit single even if it is as a guest singer on someone else's record.
Stephen "Professor Green" Manderson was for my money one of the unluckiest artists of 2012. Theoretically riding high after topping the charts at the end of 2011 with the first version of the now famous Emeli Sande-voiced track Read All About It, he spent the following year releasing some of the most underrated pop singles of the decade so far. Tracks such as Never Be A Right Time, Remedy and Avalon pressed all the right buttons and were immaculately produced but only the second climbed as high as the Top 20 and to all intents and purposes he appeared to be yesterday's man. What a difference a short break makes. Just ahead of the release of his third album Growing Up In Public its first single Lullaby debuts powerfully at Number 4 in Britain, easily his biggest hit single since the aforementioned Read All About It. Singer on the track is one Tori Kelly, an American singer whose previous claim to fame was as an auditionee on the ninth series of American Idol although she was eliminated before the live shows began.
As we kind of expected last week, the two new arrivals inside the Top 10 come thanks to the disastrous second-week performance of two of last week's big new hits. Walking With Elephants by Ten Walls dives 6-20 whilst Amnesia by 5 Seconds Of Summer fares even worse, dipping 7-23. If you sell to your fangirls and literally nobody else, it is really hard to take your apparent chart success all that seriously, sorry.
After managing the unusual feat of two consecutive chart positions last week, George Ezra surprisingly duplicates it seven days later. His latest single Blame It On Me shoots 20-10 to reach a brand new peak, whilst its predecessor Budapest gains a second wind and vaults 19-11. He is one of no less than three male singers to have two simultaneous Top 20 hit singles this week, alongside both Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran.
As was widely expected The Script storm to Number One on the Official UK Albums chart with effortless ease, new offering No Sound Without Silence giving the Irish group. It is their third chart-topping album and restores them to the summit after their 2012 release #3 peaked at a slightly unpoetic Number 2.
They thus deny no less a legend than Barbra Streisand a chance to reach the top of the album chart, her new album of duets Partners instead debuting at Number 2. She was last at the summit as recently at 2009 with Love Is The Answer. Just below former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash debuts at Number 7 with World On Fire, easily the highest-charting release of his post-group career.
Although they are pronounced differently, there are rather extraordinarily two albums entitled X sitting next to one another on the chart this week, Ed Sheeran's well-established collection at Number 5, one place behind Chris Brown's much-awaited new release which enters at Number 4.
Back on the singles chart, there is more weirdness. The Top 100 plays host to no less than three different versions of upcoming monster hit All About That Bass. A cover by the nattily entitled "Megan Tonjes" is at Number 97 whilst a version performed by Power Music Workout is at Number 52. Both, of course, are sound-alike cover versions of the rather more superior original by Meghan Trainor which rises to Number 53 based on streaming points alone. Its availability as a pre-order (through which it is selling enough copies to rival many Top 30 hits by all accounts) not enough to dampen demand for versions that people can purchase to own right now, no matter how much of a cheap knock-off they are.
No matter, All About That Bass (the real one) is destined for the top of the charts in due course, even if Britain is being made to wait for that moment to arrive. Instead next week we will witness the chart-topping debut of another worldwide monster, the release of which here lags behind many other large territories. It is by a British artist as well…