It wasn't quite the close sales battle of recent weeks, but Stronger from Kanye West still had its work cut out retaining the Number One slot. This, however, it does, giving the hip-hop star a second straight week at the top of the chart. Further down the listing his older hit Gold Digger still appears to be picking up sales on the back of his latest success. The 2005 track now rises 59-49, its highest chart placing since the spring of 2006.
Competition for the top slot came in the form of a track which has had pop fans open salivating over its release for most of the summer. Beautiful Girls is performed by seventeen-year-old American star Sean Kingston. Based around the rhythm from soul classic Stand By Me, the lilting reggae track has been a worldwide sensation since its release at the start of the summer, its appeal so widespread that it has topped the US charts for the best part of the last month. Finally made available here on download sales last week, the track was never quite in contention for Number One but still makes its intentions plain, gatecrashing the chart at Number 2 in a manner which more or less guarantees that the physical release will push it to the top next week. Some bemoan the fact that it is cheesy, but there is simply no escaping the almost joyful simplicity of the track. Beautiful Girls is one of those singles that you will find yourself humming along to even if you loathe it, surely the hallmark of a classic in the making.
The other new Top 5 arrival is Clothes Off from the Gym Class Heroes which arrived in the shops during the week. It rises 8-5 and temporarily displaces Hey There Delilah which slips to Number 6 in the first reversal since it arrived on the chart. The insanely popular track from Plain White T's finally hits the shops itself this week (August 27th) which should hopefully restore its upward momentum.
Also fully released this week was Hard-Fi's suitably epic Suburban Nights which races 12-7 as a result. This is enough to make it quite deservedly their biggest hit ever, beating the Number 9 peak of Cash Machine from April 2005. New album Once Upon A Time In The West comes out in a weeks time, hitting the shops on September 3rd.
The same day is the official street date for Ayo Technology from 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake but the track is a Top 10 hit already, making a huge advance this week to soar 23-10. Teaming up with Trousersnake is a popular pastime for hip-hop stars and it has paid off with a string of Top 10 hits. He hit Number 7 alongside Nelly on Work It in 2003 and Number 2 with Snoop Dogg on Signs in 2005 whilst TI appeared on his own My Love which was also a Number 2 hit last year.
Elvis Presley will permit himself a smile as he takes a break from shelf-stacking this week, noting that quite unexpectedly he has two Top 20 new entries this week. The biggest is the latest in his anniversary re-issue programme, Blue Suede Shoes entering at Number 13. One of the signature tracks from his early years, the track was at the centre of a chart battle when first released in 1956 with Elvis' release competing with the recording by the song's writer Carl Perkins. Although Perkin's track entered the NME chart first, it was Elvis who had the bigger hit, peaking at Number 9 and leaving Carl Perkins to bring up the rear at Number 10 a fortnight later. This new appearance is the first time the track has charted since, thus setting a brand new record of 51 years between chart appearances.
The other Elvis track on the chart is perhaps rather more obscure. My Baby Left Me is one of his earliest recordings, having been laid down in 1954 before he had signed with his first major label RCA. Although it has appeared on various collections in the past it has never before been released as a single, but this week was made available in a special five-day only release exclusively in HMV stores. This novelty value is enough to propel the track to Number 19 and with Suspicious Minds slipping to Number 26 this week gives The King a grand total of three Top 30 hits all at once.
Also new to the Top 20 is Tambourine from Eve which was finally granted a physical release and which moves 35-18. The lead single from her new album Here I Am, it is her first single release as lead artist since Satisfaction hit Number 20 in 2003, although her last chart appearance was rather more recent than that, appearing on Kelly Rowland's Like This which hit Number 4 back in June.
The latest club hit to have its own eye-popping video is The Creeps (You're Giving Me) from Freaks and it begins to pick up steam this week, moving 55-21 despite still not being fully released. I'm not completely convinced it has what it takes to become a bigger hit, all the scantily clad women in the world can't hide the fact that it is a distinctly average dance hit. Physical sales arrive this week (27th) so bragging rights will be available in seven days time.
Once place behind are the Kaiser Chiefs with their third single of the year The Angry Mob. As you would expect from a track already available on a big selling album, it barely registered in terms of sales online and now only makes Number 22 as a CD release. Their only other singles to miss the Top 20 were Oh My God and I Predict A Riot, both of which subsequently became Top 10 hits when re-released a few months later.
One to watch out for next week is the first hit single in two years for Grime rapper Kano. His first brush with fame came in 2005 with Top 30 hits Typical Me and Nite Nite. His brand new single This Is The Girl features a guest vocal from Craig David and lands at Number 24 on download sales alone, suggesting that next weeks physical release should propel him into the Top 20 for the first time ever.
Finally, for this week let's speculate wildly on just what it was that caused Red Shoes by Midas to be removed from the Number 60 position it occupied on the version of the chart we were all sent at lunchtime on Sunday. By the time a corrected chart had been issued after certain “technical difficulties” had been resolved, the track had mysteriously vanished. [One of the more mysterious chart adjustments in history. It became apparent that Red Shoes had been disqualified for what are euphemistically described as "irregular sales patterns" but it was never explained why this did not happen until a corrected chart was issued just prior to broadcast. One day I'll ask someone in the know and find out].