Just for fun this weekend I took a look back at the singles chart for this week exactly five years ago. The chart for the week ending June 2nd 2002 saw six new entries inside the Top 20 alone. One single was climbing, four of the rest of the list were former Number One hits and all but two of those singles were four weeks old or less. Back in the modern day it is hard to believe it is a chart of the same market. Just four of the Top 20 songs are "new" with only one of them actually making a chart debut. Of the Top 20 hits, no less than 8 of them have been on the chart for two months or more and there are just two former Number One hits floating around on the chart. That is a measure of how much online sales have transformed the market in what is really a blink of an eye in historical terms.
In the Top 5, there is no movement at all. Still awaiting physical release, Rihanna and Jay-Z lead the way with Umbrella which is starting to grow on me and I suspect many other people as well. The single retains its lead over the still frustratingly stalled Makes Me Wonder from Maroon 5 and the former Number One Beautiful Liar from Beyonce and Shakira which may well now be 8 weeks old but still sounds like a bad ringtone.
One or two people mailed in the week to query the suggestion that Umbrella is only Jay-Z's second Number One hit single. It is of course remiss not to mention the prominent role he played on Beyonce's Crazy In Love which had a three week run at the top in July 2003 but the difference here is that oddly enough he did not receive a direct chart credit and so as far as "official" records go, the single doesn't count towards his total. Chart history is littered with singles which for strange contractual reasons fail to credit artists who play a prominent vocal role, be it Dead Ringer For Love which was credited solely to Meat Loaf, ignoring altogether that it was a duet with Cher; or better yet 1990 Number One single Killer which was credited to Adamski alone, ignoring the vocal from a man who went on to have a far more stellar chart career of his own - Seal.
The heavy traffic at the top end of the chart means the forward progress of several up and coming hits is temporarily thwarted. Here (In Your Arms) by hellogoodbye creeps up a place to a new peak of Number 4 whilst the still unreleased Real Girl from Mutya Buena moves 11-9, assured hopefully of a Top 5 placing with physical sales added next week.
Honours for the biggest new arrival inside the Top 40 go to Leeds' Pigeon Detectives who soar 55-12 with their latest single I'm Not Sorry which arrived in the shops last week. The hugely enjoyable track follows up their last single Romantic Type which gave them a Top 20 breakthrough when it peaked at Number 19 back in February. Their "new" single is actually nothing of the kind to long-standing fans, the track having originally been released as a limited edition 7-inch early last year. Debut album Wait For Me hits the shops this week and is well worth sampling.
Also climbing after a physical release is R Kelly who alongside TI and T-Pain moves 47-18 with I'm A Flirt The legally challenged R&B genius has a rather erratic chart reputation, moving almost effortlessly between runs of massive hits and widespread indifference. Chalk this new single up in the latter category although it does at least become his first Top 20 hit since 2004. His last Top 10 appearance under his own steam was double a-side Happy People/U Saved Me in October of that year, the single charting contemporaneously with Ja Rule's Always On Time on which Kelly appeared alongside Ashanti and which had a brief spell at the top of the charts. Oh yes, and he of course has in the past appeared on record alongside Jay-Z, although their 2002 collaboration Honey only reached Number 35.
Kaiser Chiefs are next, arriving at Number 19 with Everything Is Average Nowadays, the second single from Yours Truly Angry Mob and the direct follow-up to Ruby which refuses to go away and climbs 27-23 this week. The continuing presence on the chart of its predecessor may well explain the difficulty this new single has had getting a foothold. Airplay helped the download onto the chart but in the past fortnight, it has merely crept 79-61 and only now gets a boost from physical sales.
As for the highest new entry on the chart overall, well that honour goes to UK rapper Dizzee Rascal who returns to the chart after a little over two years away with his new single Sirens. The man who is still Dylan Mills to his mum made waves back in 2003 and 2004 with two albums of acclaimed material, the long players spawning singles such as Fix Up Look Sharp and Stand Up Tall, the latter ranking as his biggest hit to date, hitting Number 10 in September 2004. He ended that year as a prominent participant on the Band Aid 20 rendition of Do They Know It's Christmas, contributing a new rap break which attracted more than its fair share of chuckles but at least helped to bring the song up to date for a new generation. The new single arrives on the chart at Number 20 after a simultaneous shop and online release, trailing the arrival soon of his third album Maths And English. Whilst he may not have a Jay-Z collaboration to his name, Dizzee Rascal does at least have one other notable collaboration to his name, appearing on Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend, the b-side to the Arctic Monkeys recent single Brianstorm.
That is really all that is notable about a rather calm looking Top 40 chart. Just one new online release makes anything approaching a splash, Either Way from The Twang which hits Number 33 ahead of a physical release. The single is looking to better the Number 15 placing of debut hit Wide Awake. Check these pages next week and we'll all find out together if it can. More importantly, how can Jack's father be alive if that was supposed to be a flash forward to the future? I'm really confused. [Something something dragons].