There's no change in the Top 2 on the UK singles chart this week as a relatively quiet week for new singles hands a second week at Number One to Nelly Furtado with Maneater and enables Sandi Thom's former Number One I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker to hold on to the Number 2 position. That said, the biggest new single of the week is an absolute monster.
Given that this record is currently seeing off all-comers on the top of the Billboard charts in America and has broken all time airplay records in the process it shouldn't really be a surprise to see it doing so well over here, although on hearing it for the first time you are struck by just how far it strays from the usual conventions of a pop record.
Hips Don't Lie was actually an afterthought, a recording by Shakira that came too late for inclusion on the original release of her English language album Oral Fixation Vol.2. The track is actually an extended remake of a Wyclef Jean album track called Dance Like This but which is now expanded to become a fragmented duet between the Fugee star and the Colombian sensation. You only have to hear the lyrics once to marvel at them, the song being little more than an extended appreciation by Jean of Shakira's sexuality, the star herself responding by agreeing wholeheartedly about how hot she is and indicating that she is well up for it, so to speak. Jaw-droppingly bold records don't come much better than this. You may not get the record itself but it is easy to understand how it has become such a worldwide sensation in such a very short time. Blasting past the Number 9 peak of her last single to hit the Top 3, Hips Don't Lie equals Shakira's second biggest hit ever, second only to her 2002 English language debut Whenever Wherever which peaked at Number 2. It is also a welcome return to the chart for Wyclef who celebrates his first Top 40 single in almost four years, Two Wrongs back in July 2002 being his last chart appearance. The track also matches the peak of his two biggest solo singles, and needless to say, both of the others were just as unconventional. Step forward 1998's Gone Til November and 2000's It Doesn't Matter.
The second biggest new hit of the week was at one stage challenging for Number One but faded away as the weekend approaches. That still doesn't stop Bon Jovi's Who Says You Can't Go Home flying into the Top 10 at Number 5 to become the biggest hit so far from the Have A Nice Day album, beating the Number 6 peak scaled by the title track in September last year. The single is now their fifth Number 5 hit in this country, with only three of their other hits having peaked higher. This summer will mark the 20th anniversary of their Top 40 debut with You Give Love A Bad Name and it seems that the sole survivors of the 80s hair metal explosion still have plenty of life in them yet.
A word now for Infernal's From Paris To Berlin which without making a song and dance has now clocked up nine weeks inside the Top 10. A non-mover at Number 6 this week, the track has charted 34-4-3-4-3-2-3-4-6-6 and now ranks as the second biggest selling single of the year so far. The biggest seller is of course Crazy which would actually have charted at around Number 7 this week, but for the fact that it is now two weeks since the deletion of the physical single and its remaining sales are no longer eligible for the chart listings [just give it another 30 weeks, it will be back]. Only one other record in chart history has vanished totally from the chart after being Top 10 the previous week, Simon and Garfunkel's Mrs Robinson EP which vanished abruptly in February 1969 when the "official" chart began and which at first did not count EPs. As to who you blame for this odd state of affairs, it is hard to determine. The "no deleted singles" rule comes at the behest of high street retailers who don't want the chart to show up records that they can't physically stock but once again you may well ask why they are not putting more pressure on the record companies who are seeking to restrict the ways in which people consume their product.
World Cup fever may well be sweeping the nation but the glut of football linked records doesn't appear to have captured popular imagination in quite the same way. Rather than shooting to the top, no less than four of the biggest ones are merely hovering about on the cusp of the Top 10. Embrace's World At Your Feet slips 3-8, 3 Lions rises 10-9 whilst at Number 10 is the week's third new entry. Via the patronage of Virgin Radio, Hurry Up England by Sham 69 and the Special Assembly flies in at Number 10. Like most football records these days it is a rewriting of an old song, in this case Hurry Up Harry which Sham 69 themselves took to Number 10 in 1978. The former punk stars haven't had a chart hit since 1980 and this special reappearance will warm the hearts of some veteran music lovers as well as the odd England fan. The performance of the track is a marked improvement on the single released by Virgin Radio for the 2002 World Cup. On that occasion, Go England by the England Boys could only reach Number 26.
At Number 12 there is yet another new version of an older track although this time there is no England football team connection. Armand Van Helden's MyMyMy was one of those tracks whose popularity and appeal was somehow never reflected in its chart performance. Originally released in September 2004 it peaked at Number 15 but had a slow burnout which kept it on the chart far longer than normal. As a result, most people will recognise the track without necessarily knowing what it is. Hence I suspect the instant appeal of this re-release as the single arrives back on the chart after almost two years with a brand new set of mixes. After hitting Number 52 on downloads last week the single soars to Number 12 to land its highest chart placing to date and giving the producer his biggest chart hit since Koochy was a Number 4 smash way back in 2000.
There is more club action at Number 18 with the arrival in the shops of what is probably the first smash hit of the summer season. Solu Music featuring Kimblee arrive with the irresistibly sunny Fade which mixes guitars and synths and Kimblee's soaring vocal to create the perfect club record for late night beach parties. Howie Caspe and Dano Nathanson are the brains behind the track which in truth is far too good for this lowly kind of chart placing.
Those who prefer the sound of boys with guitars will much prefer the Number 19 single Henrietta from Scottish trio The Fratellis. The trio claim to be brothers but most probably aren't, this minor wrangle doing little to detract from the sheer energetic brilliance of their first ever hit single, a frantically paced three and a half minutes of sing-along power pop that all but screams out for you to enjoy yourself. The trio only formed just over a year ago and their rise to chart success has been quite meteoric. When you hear the record you begin to understand why.
Just below at Number 20 is the ever patient Dannii Minogue who has now spent a decade and a half with an on and off chart career which seems destined to never come close to the stratospheric success enjoyed by her older sister. Indeed she now has enough of a catalogue behind her to justify a Greatest Hits collection, from which this new single is lifted. As with all but a handful of her singles you really can take it or leave it, So Under Pressure being an unremarkable dance record whose only grace is the sound of her voice which bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Kylie. In fairness to her, the last five years have seen her hit a purple patch with a career-best run of 5 consecutive Top 10 hits. Sadly this single is destined to be her smallest hit since Get Into You made a lowly Number 36 in 1994 - for one reason or another the magic this time is slightly lacking.
Next week's biggest new hit has hit the Top 40 already, Sergio Mendes and the Black Eyed Peas with their remake of his own classic 'Mas Que Nada'. More on that when it charges into the Top 10 in seven days time, suffice it to say that it proves that the flow of records with a World Cup link hasn't quite dried up yet.