Four different Number Ones in as many weeks. It seems like ages since this happened but in fact, this is the second time this year that we have had this rate of turnover at the top of the chart, dating back to March when Chico, Orson, Ne-Yo and Gnarls Barkley all had Number One hits back to back. The change this week is precipitated by the widely expected rise of I Don't Feel Like Dancin' following its CD release and which nicely dumps Justin Timberlake down to second place to give the Scissor Sisters their first ever Number One hit. It is a struggle to write anything about the song that hasn't been said a thousand times over by just about every reviewer going, the camp disco song is the kind of record it is hard to hate and even harder to listen to without emerging with a big cheesy grin on your face. Honourable mention must, of course, go to the venerable Elton John who pays tribute to the group who have stolen much of his old act by playing the piano on I Don't Feel Like Dancin', albeit without a direct chart credit. Attention will now turn to the parent album and whether it can deliver on its promise to catapult the Scissor Sisters to worldwide superstardom. Make the most of it if you are a fan, the next few months are set to be a glorious high point to their career.
Totally new hit singles are thin on the ground this week with the biggest Top 40 movement coming from some of last week's big new download hits taking the customary leap up the chart thanks to their physical formats. Nelly Furtado is the big winner here, Promiscuous flying 15-3 to ensure that the follow-up to the Number One smash hit Maneater has a similarly respectable chart placing. Although the regionalised release strategy of her singles has been well documented, you do have to wonder just why the decision was made not to push Promiscuous here as the first single. It stands side by side with its predecessor as a magnificent pop record and the sound of an artist at the height of her creativity. I'd only add that it is a shame it was not challenging for Number One but with the Scissor Sisters selling double their nearest competition this was perhaps unlikely.
Also failing to mount the expected challenge to the Number One position is Robbie Williams whose eclectic new single Rudebox leaps 30-4 after a nervous start to the week when there were doubts it would make the Top 5 at all. The choice of such a stripped down electronic funk track as the lead single from his new album is to say the least very him. Reports are that the album itself treads a far more conventional path and contains some tracks that are amongst the best songs he has ever recorded. Rudebox thus stands proud as a refreshing break from the norm and maybe stands as a warning should we ever complain Robbie Williams is becoming formulaic. Assuming the single progresses no further it has at the very least matched the peak scaled by Feel in December 2002, to date the lowest peak of any brand new Robbie single and it represents a dramatic turnaround in chart fortunes after his last single Sin Sin Sin made a desultory Number 22 earlier in the summer. Nonetheless, it will be his fifth single in a row not to reach Number One, his longest period of drought since he had to wait for his seventh solo hit to top the chart for the first time. The chorus of Rudebox is lifted directly from Boops (Here To Go), the one and only Top 40 hit for production legends Sly and Robbie, the single reaching Number 12 in May 1987. Needless to say back then just as now, the track was at the very worst, arrestingly different.
Another rise is on the cards for Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars which gained second wind a few weeks ago and which has been inching its way up the charts ever since. The single this week scales a new chart high of Number 6, enough now to make it their second biggest hit to date and just one place shy of the Number 5 peak of debut single Run. There is a similarly welcome rise at Number 9 for Never Be Lonely by The Feeling which on its third week on the chart gives them a third straight Top 10 hit - and quite deservedly so too may I add.
The highest "new entry" of the week lands at Number 7 as Lemar moves up from a near miss Number 41 last week with his brand new single It's Not That Easy. It is the opening single from his forthcoming third album Truth About Love and as befits his career to date is a staggeringly good British soul track that dare I suggest has "instant classic" written all over it. At the very worst it is set to be a mainstay of love song and chillout compilations for many moons to come. His first single release in over a year, it becomes his sixth Top 10 hit single to date, his only relative failure being his last single Don't Give It Up which only reached Number 21 in August last year.
In a desperate search for something to knock or at least become frustrated about, we come to Number 13 and the somewhat inexplicable way that Muse's latest single Starlight has avoided becoming one of the biggest hits of the week. No matter that it is one of the biggest climbers after landing at Number 38 last week, this is a single that should also be riding high in the Top 10. The second single to be taken from their Black Holes And Revelations album, it represents a return to a more conventional sound following the reverb and distortion-heavy Supermassive Black Hole which gave them their biggest hit ever when it made Number 4 back in July. Starlight is by contrast almost pretty and comes complete with a soaring chorus and the underlying fear that singer Matt Bellamy is going to burst into tears in the middle of it. That is part of the reason why I love Muse so much, for the rollercoaster of emotions that each of their records takes you on. For all that their chart strike rate is inconsistent, to say the least. Starlight would have been a worthy single to give them back to back Top 10 hits for the first time ever. We can only hope that this chart placing isn't quite the end of the story.
Just outside the Top 20 this week we find two records that didn't quite make the grade sales wise and two brand new singles which give the usual clues as to the makeup of next weeks Top 10. First the failures, and they include Kelis featuring Too Short who can only move 64-22 with the single Bossy. Her first chart hit in almost a year and a half, it is set to wind up as one of her smallest. Similarly, club hit Moving Too Fast only gives Supafly Inc a Number 23 hit single after arriving in the shops this week. The single is notable for its use of the main riff of Phil Collins' classic Another Day In Paradise, last seen in the charts in 2001 when covered by Brandy and Ray J who hit Number 5. It isn't the first time the track has been given the dance treatment either, Jam Tronik's house version having made Number 19 in March 1990.
The honour of the highest new entry of the week goes to Stacy 'Fergie' Ferguson, better known as the glamorous side of the Black Eyed Peas. London Bridge is the first single taken from her much anticipated solo album which by and large isn't expected to diverge too far from the sound of her parent album, especially with will.i.am handling the bulk of the production. The track makes Number 25 after a reasonably strong download showing and should rocket up the charts next week.
It is a similar story for the returning Jamelia and Something About You which nips in at Number 28 prior to its physical release. This is the second time she has returned after a career pause to deal with the messy business of making a baby, the first of course coming back in 2003 when she released the long running smash hit Superstar which brought her considerable international success. These pregnant pauses so to speak actually seem to work in her favour. Just one listen to the upbeat Something About You makes you realise what a gap her absence from the charts has left and just how good it is to have her back.
Finally for this week, the answer to the obscure chart stat that I mused about last week. The lowest charting single ever to rise eventually to Number One is Star Trekkin' by The Firm which began its chart run on June 6th 1987 at the lowly position of Number 74. No Number One single has ever begun its chart run at Number 75 (the lowest position listed by Music Week and thus the cut off point for all record books), although just like the "biggest jump to Number One" record, the current shape of the chart market makes it more likely to be broken now than it has been for a generation.