The theme of outside influences affecting the music charts looks set to continue over the next couple of weeks. After the mini surge in sales caused by Glastonbury last week, this week we have some small but fun movements caused by last weekends Diana concert, the Live Earth factor set to come into play next week and of course a summer invasion of superstars all playing high profile concerts around the UK.
Needless to say none of this has affected Umbrella which sits pretty at the top of the singles chart for an eighth week, pushing the single into the realms of the all-time long running Number One singles. The track is only the third single this decade to spend over six weeks at the top, now beating the seven week run of Tony Christie and Peter Kay with (Is This The Way To) Amarillo and closing fast on the nine week run of 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barkley. By contrast the 1990s had eight singles entering the seven or more range - Everything I Do (I Do It For You), I Will Always Love You, I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), Love Is All Around, Think Twice, Unchained Melody/White Cliffs Of Dover, Wannabe and Believe. Just beyond the mid-point of the year, we have now had just nine singles top the chart in 2007 (ten if you count A Moment Like This which crept to the top in the last week of 2006) compared to 11 (or 12 counting 'That's My Goal') by this point in 2006. The last time we had such a slow turnover of Number One hits was 2003 when Crazy In Love became the ninth new chart-topper of the year on July 12th.
One place behind Kate Nash remains locked at Number 2 with Foundations but she is joined in an almost all-female Top 3 by Avril Lavigne who soars 17-3 with the fully released When You're Gone. The single is now her third Top 3 hit, following hard on the heels of Girlfriend which reached Number 2 back in March and her career-opening Complicated which was also Number 3. Further progress for the single isn't entirely impossible of course but I suspect her long wait for a UK chart-topper will go on a little longer.
Also arriving strongly inside the Top 10 is Timbaland with The Way I Are which is still download-only, hitting the shops for real this week (July 9th). Whilst we could attribute the hot showing of the single to his current live dates in the UK, including a week-long residence at the Indigo2 in London, a rather more prosaic explanation is simply the fact that the man is white hot as both a producer and performer at the moment, this single of course following the Number One Give It To Me which I inexplicably elected not to refer to last week in his list of lead performer singles. Let's give him his due, whilst the success of his last hit could have been attributed to superstar guest performers Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado, The Way I Are has stormed into the Top 10 with vocals from the rather lesser known DOE and Keri Hilson.
Also new in the Top 10 is Natasha Bedingfield whose second single of the year Soulmate struggled rather on downloads but now moves 49-7 on a full release. The semi-acoustic ballad is a marked contrast to some of her past work and goes a long way towards confirming that which her pluggers have been shrilly insisting for ages - that she is actually an artist of maturity and talent and not a throwaway popstrel. Soulmate matches the peak of her last single I Wanna Have Your Babies and as the far better track you would hope has at least one more climb in it. The Diana Concert effect also helped her back catalogue with 'Unwritten' ranking as the 97th bestseller of the week this week.
The second biggest download-only seller of the week arrives at Number 8 as Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry shoots a full 20 places from its placing last week. After Natasha Bedingfield, Fergie is the most high profile beneficiary of last weeks rather pointless Princess Diana tribute concert in London, her last single Glamorous surging back to Number 36 this week from outside the Top 75 although it would be wrong to attribute the success of Big Girls Don't Cry to her concert performance above the plain and simple fact it is easily her most accessible and appealing solo single to date.
It may not be available on the high street, but Justin Timberlake this week made the Lovestoned EP available online with a series of new mixes of the track and this has helped it move 19-12. Inevitably the fact that the single will not be physically released will hold it back, but with the effect of Justin's current UK dates yet to kick in, there is still the chance the single will creep up to become an all too rare digital-only Top 10 hit.
It is digital sales that are still helping My Chemical Romance and Teenagers up the singles chart. No less than the fourth track taken from The Black Parade, it is a testament either to the quality of the single (and once again we have to be honest and say that the singalong romp is musically at least free from the angst and posturing that normally characterises their music) or the sheer unwavering loyalty of their fans that it now rises 29-16, just three places behind the ultimate peak of their last single I Don't Love You. Top 10 next week when the physical version hits the shops without a doubt.
With the last batch of pre-release hits either now having hit the shops or just about to, attention now turns to the next up and coming smash hit. The follow up to his Number 2 take on The Smiths' Stop Me, Mark Ronson's new single is one of the standout tracks from his recent album Version. A laid back take on the Kaiser Chiefs' Oh My God was one of Lily Allen's early demo tracks and with Mark Ronson having produced much of her debut album it made perfect sense for the pair to record the track properly for Ronson's own project. Arriving at Number 40 last week, the cover version now leaps to Number 20, still two weeks ahead of physical release. The target for the single I guess has to be Number 6, the peak of the Kaisers' original version back in March 2005.
Due out this week is the new Arctic Monkeys single Fluorescent Adolescent whose downloads lift it from 32 to 23 this week. As their last single Brianstorm showed, Arctics tracks seem to sell better physically than they do in this new fangled online format so a fifth Top 10 single for the guys seems more or less a given next time out.
Man of the moment Timbaland gets his own mini chart section at the bottom end of the Top 30. First up at Number 25 is Bobby Valentino's Anonymous which arrives on the chart on physical sales and which naturally features the man himself on guest vocals. Two places below is his own former Number One Give It To Me and providing the meat in the sandwich is the unexpected reappearance of another of his productions, Nelly Furtado's Say It Right. The biggest download-only hit to date, the single peaked at Number 10 at the start of the year and makes a 54-26 leap this week thanks to Nelly's stellar performance at "Live-Diana" last weekend. Copies of the other tracks she performed at the televised concert have also been snapped up, Maneater the most obvious winner, reappearing at Number 71.
Indeed it is the Diana concert that is responsible for the most surprising re-entry of the week. A full ten years after it first made Number One, Puff Daddy's I'll Be Missing You lands at Number 32 after he performed a new version of the track at the Wembley gig. Famously based on Every Breath You Take by the Police, the single was originally released as a tribute to Puff Daddy's murdered friend Notorious BIG and to this day stands as one of the world's biggest selling rap singles ever. In this country alone it sold over 1.3 million copies and ranks as the 35th biggest seller of all time in this country. The Diana concert also gave a boost to Take That who shoot 75-37 with Shine and 100-47 with Patience. Other winners include Lily Allen (Smile moves 148-39 and LDN reappears at Number 72), The Feeling (Love It When You Call arrives at Number 58 and Fill My Little World at Number 67) and James Morrison (You Give Me Something appears at Number 61 and Wonderful World at Number 85. Also, although it won't make it into the chart books, Supertramp's Breakfast In America is ranked at Number 86, the Diana concert having woken people up to the song sampled by Cupid's Chokehold.
Finally, we can't finish without noting that yes, as expected, the Dr Who effect has propelled I Can't Decide by the Scissor Sisters into the Top 75. Dementedly lip-synched by The Master in the final episode of the BBC series last week, the song (which is indeed "Track Number 3" on 'Tah-Dah') picked up enough downloads to find its way into chart history. Series starring John Simm appear to be a lucky charm this year, this after David Bowie and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole had Top 75 hits in the wake of the final episode of "Life On Mars".