Tiny ripples of movement are starting to spread across the singles chart as the still waters of the past few weeks give way to an invasion of new Top 10 hits. None of them, however, have what it takes for now to shift Shakira and her truthful hips which hold firm for a fourth straight week to give Hips Don't Lie a fifth week in total at Number One. In doing so the single sets a rather cute new chart record as no single in the modern era has ever returned to the top of the chart to spend as long as four weeks there in its second run. One record came close - I'll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans which in 1997 had two three week spells at the top, separated by a single week in which Oasis and D'You Know What I Mean took their place. To find something that surpasses the run by Shakira and Wyclef Jean we once again have to go back to pre rock and roll days and the NME charts of 1953 when I Believe by Frankie Laine (still to this day the longest running Number One single ever) had three separate runs at the top of 9, 6 and 3 weeks respectively.
Meanwhile, don't be too shocked that Hips Don't Lie has spent the summer seeing off all-comers, this is after all hardly an unusual state of affairs for the August period. It was only last year of course that James Blunt was clogging up the top of the chart with You're Beautiful whilst some of the most famous long running singles of the 90s - Wannabe, Rhythm Is A Dancer, Love Is All Around and Everything I Do were all at the top of the chart throughout August.
Taking up the second place slot this week is a track that was widely expected to shoot into the Top 10, although few had predicted it would perform quite as well as this. The track in question is Ridin' from Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone which takes a 19-2 leap to give the Texan rapper a massive smash hit with his first UK release. I waxed lyrical about the track last week, of course, suffice it to say that it all still applies. The style with which he performs and the added bonus of the fact that he's not bogged down with the usual east or west coast posturing that dogs the genre makes him a genuine breath of fresh air in a scene which has been on the search for a new talisman ever since 50 Cent ran out of gunshot wounds to talk about.
Following tightly at Number 3 is another sign that dance music is on the rebound. Lifting 28-3 is the insanely catchy Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away) from David Guetta vs The Egg which I guess steals away the crown from Mousse T as the most intriguing mash-up of the moment.
At the heart of the track is Walking Away which began life two years ago as a laid back ballad from cult festival favourites The Egg. The band take great joy in straddling genres wherever possible, hence the appearance of the track last year in the "Tocadisco Remix" which turned the song into a storming club anthem. The beats became familiar to many after being featured in a new series of TV commercials for Citroen cars which led to the track becoming their first ever chart single when it made Number 63 at the start of July. Enter then Frenchman David Guetta, best known for his Number 19 hit Love Don't Let Me Go from 2003 who not only turned the track into one of the signature moments of his sets but also noticed that the rhythm was just the fairy dust needed to turn his own track Love Don't Let Me Go into a winner. Actually getting permission for the mash-up to be released was apparently more than a little difficult but by the start of the summer just about everyone worth their name had a bootleg copy of the mix. Hence you suspect the relative lack of promotion for the TV commercial tie-in release of Walking Away as it quickly became clear that the David Guetta track was going to be massive. This may well turn out to be the biggest chart hit The Egg ever have, the irony being that there is little of their original track actually left on the record.
It seems like years but in actual fact it has only been three weeks since a single entered the chart inside the Top 10. Kasabian were the last act to manage the feat and this week fellow guitar heroes Arctic Monkeys emulate them with Leave Before The Lights Come On the highest new entry at Number 4. Their last single release was the EP Who The F*** Are The Arctic Monkeys which did not qualify for the charts, so as far as the record books are concerned this is their first single release since the chart-topping When The Sun Goes Down at the start of the year. Never ones to rest on their laurels, the band have once again steered clear of mining their debut album for another single, this new track instead set to appear on their soon to be recorded second album. Like all the best Arctic Monkeys tracks the single plays around with the usual conventions of form and structure and switches gear halfway through to leave the first part of the single sounding like a completely different song. I guess the only shock is the chart placing - at Number 4 it is their first eligible chart single not to crash straight in at the very top.
As expected Cassie's Me & U also flies up the singles chart, moving 23-6 to become the fourth new single inside the Top 10 this week. That would be it for the clear out, but for the surprise and welcome appearance of Micky Modelle v Jessy at Number 10 with Dancing In The Dark.
This one has a story behind it as well, female singer Jessy being one of the biggest Belgian stars you have never heard of, with a creditable string of hits to her name in her home country. Her single Dancing In The Dark actually represented a change of pace for her, being as it was a tender love ballad designed to show off her musical versatility. It was duly a hit single in her native country at the end of 2004 but crucially also caught the ear of remixer Micky Modelle who saw that the track also had potential as a club hit. To his eternal credit, he steered clear of the temptation to crank up the tempo and so instead the radio edit of the remixed track stays faithful to the feel of the original version, keeping the bpm rate well below 100 to make the single something of an instant mellow classic. The result is far and away one of the most appealing dance singles for some time, one which tugs at your heartstrings as well as inspiring you to bust the proverbial move. I'd have loved this to have charted much higher but the 66-10 move that brings it into the chart in the first place is not to be sniffed at. Hear it and be enormously impressed but avoid the temptation to track down the original version - there is a chance you may even prefer it.
Landing herself a new entry at Number 14 this week is Alesha Dixon with Lipstick. Although a new name in solo terms, Alesha is best known for being one-third of late lamented R&B group Mis-Teeq who broke up last year after releasing a Greatest Hits album. Mis-Teeq were best known for hits such as All I Want and One Night Stand, characterised by the glorious moments at the end when Alesha was let off the leash and went raggamuffin all over the track. Well, I loved them anyway. A priority pop act for the record company, Alesha's debut solo album features contributions from hitmakers such as Richard X and Xenomania and indeed her single Lipstick is a worthy pop track in its own right. Frustratingly, however, the single hasn't taken off in quite the way it should, the chart placing coming after a full shop release rather than just on downloads. That makes its chances of progressing further fairly slim. A Top 20 single isn't a bad start for anyone of course, but it is hardly the basis on which to release what is supposed to be one of the first big pop albums of the autumn.
Meanwhile, one place below there is major shock for followers of Ronan Keating's career as what should have been a nailed on smash hit single also makes a rather desultory chart showing. As far as the UK is concerned, Iris is one of the great lost rock songs of the last decade. A smash US Top 10 hit for writers The Goo Goo Dolls, the single made a rather disappointing Number 26 over here in July 1999. Ronan's version may not have impressed all the reviewers of his latest album Bring You Home but certainly was the best chance the classic song ever had of becoming a hit single in this country [at least until Frankie Coccoza comes into our lives]. Curiously although it was the lead single in the rest of the world, the UK and Ireland were treated to the Kate Rusby duet All Over Again as the first release, that single making Number 6 here back in June. We now have to ask ourselves if the song is cursed as not only was the original largely ignored in this country but now it becomes Ronan Keating's lowest charting single to date. No Boyzone single ever charted lower than Number 4 and since he left the group to go solo he has never had a single chart lower than Number 9. I'm going to reserve the right to be seriously annoyed about this. I've spent years blasting Ronan Keating for churning out bland covers of obscure C&W singles which become annoyingly large hits. The moment he releases a single actually worthy of the attention it sends his entire career off the rails.
One further slightly less frustrating example of the singles charts not always playing to type comes at the very edge of the Top 20. This week was set to be the battle of the X Factor stars, with two of the runners up from the last series of the TV talent show both releasing singles. The first surprise is the failure of DISCO from Chico who was hoping to follow up on the rather unexpected Number One success of his first single It's Chico Time. Instead, he finds himself with what will almost certainly be a one hit wonder tag as his by the numbers cover version of the Ottowan disco classic from 1980 limps in apologetically at Number 24.
Chico is thus outsold by Maria Lawson whose elimination from the contest at the end of last year very nearly caused an international incident when her mother, angry at Louis Walsh choosing the Conway Sisters over her daughter, accused an "Irish Mafia" of conspiring against her. Actually, you have to suspect some kind of conspiracy hanging over all the X Factor contestants. The Chico record is a waste of oil but Maria Lawson's Sleepwalking is an impressive soul single that shows her powerful voice off to impressive effect and which certainly should not be languishing at Number 20. At the very least she has done better than fellow contestant Andy Abraham whose single Hang Up was even better but which failed to even make the Top 40 back in the spring. The new series of X Factor began this weekend. You can't help but wonder how far some of the "stars" they discover are going to get.