A change? A change? A change!

The epic reign of LF System's Afraid To Feel at the top of the Official UK Singles chart has finally come to an end. And refreshingly it isn't down to any rule-based shenanigans or ACR adjustments to its form, but merely because another track came along that has overtaken it in popularity.

Said new No.1 is B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All) by Eliza Rose and Interplanetary Criminal, the track completes a meteoric six-week rise to the very top of the charts to give us two back-to-back No.1 hits from clubland. It was a very tight race in the end, Rose and company only moved into pole position on the final midweek update, but once there it accelerated away. B.O.T.A. ends up with a sale of just over 43.5k, LF System languishing behind on 39.6k chart sales.

It is a landmark No.1 single as well, the 1,400th to top the singles chart in its near 70-year history. Amusingly this comes almost seven years to the week since the 1,300th - Fight Song from Rachel Platten which rose to the top w/e September 3rd 2015. That stat alone demonstrates the extent of the slowing down of the singles chart during the streaming era. Throughout chart history we've averaged 100 No.1 hits roughly once every five years or so, the pace quickening to once every 2.5 during the decade of frantic turnover at the turn of the millennium.

Official Charts are also hailing Eliza Rose as the first "female DJ" to have a No.1 single since Sonique back in 2000, and who are we to argue? Even if neither women was actually utilising their DJ and production skills on the No.1 singles. They are there as singers of enormously popular pop records with a day (or night) job of spinning platters by other people.

Amy Located

To think you all expected the big story of the week to be what is being heralded as the comeback of the decade.

Back in 1986 one of the best No.1 singles of the year, and indeed an all-time enduring classic, was Chain Reaction by Diana Ross. It was notable for being the peak of a comeback by a long-standing music industry veteran, Miss Ross had after all begun her chart career as a member of the Supremes back in 1964 - fully 22 years before her No.1 triumph.

I tell this story to note that the re-emergence of Britney Spears this week can be seen in the same kind of context. Back in the charts and being heralded as the reigning Queen of pop music by the large band of what appear to be largely intense gay men who worship her every move. With her first chart hit coming in 1999 she is herself 23 years into her chart career - of precisely the same kind of vintage as Diana Ross back in the 1980s. And of needless to say her return to recording is indeed a significant moment, her first musical release of any kind since 2016 and her first since she freed herself from the conservatorship of her parents under which she had been since her public meltdowns back in 2008.

But what a weird way to return. Britney does not return to the charts on a song of her own but as the barely-audible guest on another cut and paste remix of old Elton John lyrics. The much-hyped Hold Me Closer is essentially Elton's follow up to global smash Cold Heart. Although not created by Pnau this time the track has much of the same vibe, a blissed-out interpolation of old lyrics - mainly from his famous classic Tiny Dancer but also lifting the verses from 1992 hit The One. And on that basis it is rubbish, a huge underwhelming disappointment. How everybody thrilled at the news that comeback Queen Britney Spears was teaming up with such a legend. And how we all felt so let down when it turned out to just be recycling his old vocals with Britney reduced to the status of glorified backing singer. Heck, even Dua Lipa had a bigger role in participating on Cold Heart.

Despite all this the track was always going to be a big deal, although its chart form has been driven largely by purchases. Hold Me Closer is the most-downloaded track of the week for sure, but in terms of streams it comes a lowly No.14. That translates to a No.3 entry on the full singles chart, making it as far as Britney Spears is concerned a very satisfying comeback - her biggest chart hit since she joined on his No.1 hit Scream and Shout in early 2013. Following the success of Cold Heart and the two No.1 versions of Merry Christmas at the tail end of last year, this is Elton John's fourth Top 3 single inside a year - incredibly this the first time in his career he has managed four Top 5 singles in a row. But I'll be fascinated to see where this ends up next time around. For all the hype Hold Me Closer has "one week wonder" written all over it.

New Stuff

Overall we have a rather fresh looking Top 10 to contend with this week as something of a clearout takes place, not all of which is ACR based either. Rocketing back to No.6 after what you suspect was the exposure afforded by his two new boxing exhibition matches last weekend is Not Over Yet by KSI and Tom Grennan - so more fool me for writing it off last week. But possible the most significant new splash of the week (sorry Britney) is I'm Blue by David Guetta with Bebe Rexha on lead vocals. A surprise drop after he debuted it in Miami last week, the track is Guetta's take on an old club classic - essentially Blue (Da Be Dee) by Italians Eiffel 65 with the original vocals removed and a new line by Rexha added. Originally No.1 in 1999, the new version lands smartly at No.7 to give the American singer her first chart entry since 2017 and her fourth Top 10 single in all.

Also new to the Top 10 and pleasingly so is Luude and Mattafix with Big City Life, escaping it seems the glass ceiling as it rises a place to No.10.

Up From The Depths

Down at the lower end of the Top 40 (yes, we skip the rest of the chart because in truth nothing of note happens there) there are a handful of other interesting new entries. Arriving at No.33 after a three week climb is Mary On A Cross from Swedish rock band Ghost. The track was originally buried away as the second cut on a two track EP Seven Inches Of Satanic Panic first released in September 2019, its emergence in 2022 a result of - what else - blowing up on Tik Tok.

Also new at No.36, again after a gentle climb from the depths of the Top 100 is Ku Lo Sa - A Colours Show by Oxlade. Proving once again that the rise of Afrobeats is all but unstoppable. Check this one out, it is a very worthwhile listen.

Arctic Monkeys aren't quite the force in the singles chart they once were, but they do at least land their first Top 40 single since 2018 with There'd Better Be A Mirrorball which arrives at No.38 to whet the appetite for their forthcoming seventh album The Car which is set to land in our lives in late October. Bringing up the rear are D-Block Europe with Man In The Mirror - although this is too all intents and purposes a solo offering from Young Adz.

No.1 on the albums chart is Will Of The People from Muse, their seventh No.1 album in total. And if one only counts full studio albums their fifth in a row.