1 BOOTIE CALL (All Saints)
Exactly 53 weeks since they charted with their first hit I Know Where It's At, All Saints notch up their third Number One with their fourth single release. The band are on such a roll at the moment it is hard to see what will stop them, celebrity boyfriends, Spice Girl-trumping pregnancies and a US Top 10 hit to boot. The new single Bootie Call is possibly more representative of their album than their previous releases, the raunchy track dedicated to the pleasures of phone sex is about as hardcore R&B as they get but that hasn't stopped the single outselling everyone else this week. Bootie Call will of course have its own place in pop music history as the 800th record to top the charts since November 1952. Comparing the gap between such centennial records is an interesting illustration as to how fast the top end of the chart is moving at the moment. Between Nicole's A Little Peace (the 500th) and T'Pau's China In Your Hand (600th) there was a gap of 5 years 7 months. It was another 6 years 2 months until Twist And Shout by Chaka Demus and Pliers become number 700 (a gap exacerbated by long-running runs by discs from Bryan Adams and Whitney Houston) but a mere 4 years and 8 months has passed since then.
2 EVERYBODY GET UP (Five)
With pop-orientated rap plundering all kinds of classic hits for riffs to sample it was surely only a matter of time until somebody went for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts' I Love Rock And Roll. Kudos for Five and their producers for having the idea first. Their use of the 1982 rock classic has resulted in one of their most instantly appealing singles to date, an in-yer-face upbeat pop song that brings back memories of the New Kids' Hangin' Tough from 89/90. Needless to say it becomes the biggest hit to date for the teen group and continues a gradual climb in their chart placings. Just look at their record since the start of the year - When The Lights Go Out peaked at Number 4, Got The Feelin at Number 3 and now this single enters at 2. Will the pattern continue for their next release?
4 CRUSH (Jennifer Paige)
The smash US hit earns a release over here and lands immediately in the Top 5 as a result of heavy radio airplay and doubtless the double appeal of the US version and the dance remix that is favoured by many radio stations.
9 MY FAVOURITE MISTAKE (Sheryl Crow)
No less than four of this week's new entries are from solo female artists. Jennifer Paige was the first and Sheryl Crow gets the honour of the second with her first single from a forthcoming new album. The follow-up to her Bond theme Tomorrow Never Dies which peaked at Number 12 last December, My Favourite Mistake lands her her first Top 10 hit since A Change Would Do You Good peaked at Number 8 in July 1997. Although her career in this country took a while to get going she is now scoring hits with great regularity, this is now her 11th Top 40 hit.
11 ARE YOU THAT SOMEBODY? (Aaliyah)
This is Aaliyah's second hit of the year and indeed the second to be lifted from a film soundtrack. Following Journey To The Past which came from the animated film Anastasia, this track is from the new Eddie Murphy rewrite of Doctor Doolittle which has been on release here for a number of weeks. Fairly standard US R&B fare it may be but it gives the former teen prodigy her biggest hit to date, surpassing the Number 14 peak scaled by If Your Girl Only Knew in May 1997.
12 I DON'T WANT TO MISS A THING (Aerosmith)
Soundtrack time yet again as Steve Tyler provides the string-laden slice of emotional backing for the film Armageddon which (spooky coincidence) stars his daughter Liv. Already Number One in America it is probably the most commercially accessible power ballad the veteran rock band have ever released, but goodness me it has done the trick and gives them the biggest hit of their career in this country, easing past the Number 13 peak scaled by Love In An Elevator back in September 1989. This is now their 16th UK chart hit, none of which have reached the Top 10, enough to elevate them to joint second in this list of impressive failures alongside The Alarm and The Mission, both of which dissolved long ago. Famously leading this list are AC/DC who since 1978 have had 26 hit singles, none of which have ever climbed past Number 12. [Spoiler alert: this single is about to shatter their unhappy presence on this table].
17 SUNMACHINE (Dario G)
Following the World Cup tie-in of Carnival De Paris, this the third hit from Dario G and the title track of their current album. Like their previous hits, the track takes a familiar snatch of tune and runs with it in a totally new direction. The big premise here is that it is one of the first ever official David Bowie samples, using as a hook a few lines from Memory Of A Free Festival, a very early David Bowie track that first appeared on the same album as Space Oddity, and of course it is with the full permission of the man himself. Complete with another trademark colourful video it follows the formula that made Sunchyme and Carnival De Paris smash Top 10 hits only this time something seems to have misfired, the single plods along and the post-hippy ramblings of a very young Bowie about how "the sun machine is coming down and we're gonna have a party" quickly become laughable rather than inspiring. This may account for the rather disappointing chart position, or maybe Dario G were a novelty which is about to wear off.
19 CELEBRITY SKIN (Hole)
All of a sudden Courtney Love has gone commercial. The forerunner to a new Hole album of the same name, Celebrity Skin is quite easily one of the most appealing singles the much-maligned "Professional Widow" and her band have ever produced. With a writing credit for Billy Corrigan from the Smashing Pumpkins, the single bounds along with an energy that calls to mind classic indie hits from the like of The Primitives and is surely the way Kenickie wish they could sound. Not quite their biggest hit ever (that honour goes to Doll Parts which made Number 16 in April 1995) but having heard bits of the new album it is quite possible there are bigger hits to come. [What is this single best remembered for? Soundtracking the "tongue twizzler" scene in American Pie, or Courtney Love's numerous breast-baring live performances?]
20 SOMETIMES (Tin Tin Out featuring Shelley Nelson)
Following the breakthrough commercial success of Here's Where The Story Ends which peaked at Number 7 in March (and appears to have been on the playlist of every commercial radio station in the country ever since) Tin Tin Out strive to repeat the formula by once again enlisting the vocals talents of Shelley Nelson for another breezy pop song that is by no means unpleasant on the ear. I'm tempted to suggest that previous lesser Tin Tin Out hits such as Dance With Me and Strings For Yasmin are a better illustration of the production talents of the duo but after so long as the nearly men of dance music it is good to see them able to consistently score hits.
28 PARADISE CITY (N-Trance)
It is official, N-Trance are now a bit of a joke. Whereas once they were commercial pioneers and had one of the biggest selling Drum N' Bass hits ever with Set You Free in 1995 they are now purveyors of the naff party hit, following the Clock formula of taking an established classic and doing their best to ruin it with a rap. To be fair the idea sometimes works and their covers of Stayin' Alive and Do Ya Think I'm Sexy (their last hit which made Number 7 in November last year and featured samples from Rod himself) but this single was surely a bad idea to begin with. It is, as if you hadn't gathered a cover of Guns N' Roses' classic single which made Number 6 in April 1989. The chorus and riff are intact, the coolness and appeal of the original are not and it is far and away the smallest N-Trance hit since the original release of Set You Free peaked at Number 39 in May 1994.
35 WHIPPIN' PICADILLY (Gomez)
Maybe there is a God after all. After so long as the nearly men of music, the namedroppers favourite band notch up their first Top 40 hit. With their album nominated for the Mercury Music Prize this year this may even spark off a change in their commercial fortunes. Certainly the single is appealing enough, a slow grower that details a trip through Manchester and with an innovative video that features the band as an ever-growing troupe of buskers. Friends who know these things tell me they are one of those bands who sound better live than on record but it is great to see them in the charts nonetheless.
38 LOOKIN' THROUGH YOUR EYES/COMMITMENT (LeAnn Rimes)
Could the lady have suffered the ultimate fate and been eclipsed by her biggest hit? That certainly seems to have been the case with this long-delayed second single from LeAnn Rimes which charts, not in the Top 10 or even the Top 20 as you would expect for the follow-up to the fifth biggest-selling single of the year but instead barely scrapes a place in the Top 40. Just to show how overdue this single is, Looking Through Your Eyes was supposed to be released as a tie-in with the film The Magic Sword which was released back in July and indeed the single had already scaled the US Top 20 some months ago. The reason for the delay is of course the beyond all reason chart run of How Do I Live, now six months old and still selling. The more observant of you will have noticed that said record even now has outsold its follow-up this week and perversely climbs three places to Number 32, its 28th week on the chart.