This is an important message to the record-purchasing public of the United Kingdom. Please, please, please from the bottom of my heart, stop buying copies of Now You're Gone by Basshunter (and his little-referenced but still credited friend DJ Mental Theo). It has now been the best-selling single track in the UK for a full four weeks. During this time we have uncovered just about everything interesting there is to say about the record. Whether it is a throwaway dance record or a well-formed piece of pop music has been analysed. The story of its transition from euro-hit Boten Anna to worldwide smash has been documented. Most males over the age of 14 have also researched the acting CV of the lady who features in the video for the song and gained something in the way of self-discovery along the way [model and actress Aylar Lie, who began her career at the more explicit end of the market, as it were]. It now comes down to the plain and simple fact, that it is just a throwaway club track that has somehow spent a full calendar month at Number One. If it remains at the top of the chart any longer, I may be left with little choice but to turn to the other Basshunter story on the net and pass some sort of comment on Jonas Altberg's genitalia. Nothing will make that worthwhile.
Basshunter, in fact, heads up a completely static Top 3 this week, this, of course, leaving Adele locked at Number 2. As I mentioned last week on the podcast, Adele was in the strange position of competing against herself following the release of debut album 19 which duly tops the albums chart this week. Conventional wisdom has it that the high-profile release of the parent album of a big charting single has a negative effect on its sales and thus its chart place. In the new download era, of course, this isn't necessarily the case, and the "cherrypicking" effect, whereby purchasers choose a selection of the best tracks rather than buying the album as a whole can actually give the single a boost, given that it is, in theory, one of the best and most popular songs from the album. So it is that Chasing Pavements holds on in the runners-up slot but perhaps more unexpectedly is joined in the Top 40 for the first time by its predecessor. Hometown Glory had the honour of being Adele's first single release, a limited edition 7-inch pressing of the track having been released on an independent label last October. With the release of the album, the track becomes widely available for the first time and so hoovers up enough sales to register at Number 32 as the fourth highest new entry of the week.
The rest of the Top 5 is rounded off by Rockstar at Number 3, Kelly Rowland at Number 4 with Work (following physical release) and a brief reversal to Number 5 of Rihanna and Don't Stop The Music. Her track finally becomes available on CD this Monday (Feb 4), but with the single having already made Top 5 and in the process helped the album to a similar placing on its own chart, you have to wonder just what is the point.
That is some way behind the highest charting new single which storms in at Number 6. Recording together since 2000, this year looks set to be the year that Electropop quintet Hot Chip finally break through to the mainstream. Their last peek at fame came two years ago with the release of second album The Warning which spawned two small Top 40 hits Over And Over and Boy From School. Two years on and their transition from music press darlings to genuine chart stars is complete as brand new single Ready For The Floor storms the Top 10 in its first week on sale. The single is from that all too rare breed of tracks that works on all levels as a radio hit, singalong pop record and barnstorming club track and so ubiquitous has its airplay been that you will recognise it the instant you hear it, even if you weren't aware what it was called before now. The only potential barrier to its forward momentum is the release of their album Made In The Dark this week, but as Adele has proved nicely this actually could mean nothing. Meanwhile, the success of the single has rubbed off on their earlier work, Over And Over also re-charting this week at Number 68.
Also charging into the Top 10, this time with a stunning 40 place climb are One Night Only who land at Number 9 with Just For Tonight The five-piece hail from North Yorkshire and had a brief brush with chart fame at the back end of 2007 when debut single You And Me crept to Number 46. Their first proper hit single is an epic sounding indie anthem replete with chiming guitars, soaring strings and the emotive vocals of lead singer George Craig. To see it become a Top 10 hit almost without effort is something to celebrate, preferably by playing the track to inspire you still further.
Meanwhile, another man who was heaped with praise on these pages last week also lands himself a Top 10 hit. Sun Goes Down from David Jordan moves 22-10 in a manner which befits a record that grows in appeal with every passing week. Expect at the very least a consolidation of this position as Sun Goes Down gets its physical release this week (Feb 4). His album is steadily reaping the benefits of the success of the single, albeit rather more slowly. Set The Mood moves up to Number 41 on the long player chart.
As if to prove that the physical market still counts for something, many of this week's big chart moves are as a result of CD singles hitting the shops. A physical release has helped Mary J Blige into the Top 20 with new single Just Fine which now nestles comfortably at Number 16. The swiftly released followup to little-noticed pre-Christmas hit MJB Da MVP (which made Number 33 at the end of last year) her new single is now her highest charting hit since her duet with U2 on a remake of their own One reached Number 2 in April 2006.
Also new in the shops this week were Elliot Minor who land at Number 17 with their fourth single Still Figuring Out. Although always well received, their tracks have a nasty habit of burning out after their first week, their previous three hits have all peaked in the week of release and then vanished from the Top 75 after just two weeks on the chart. Something tells me this track is set for a similar chart performance, although it does at least have the honour of being their biggest hit to date, beating out the Number 19 entry of Jessica from August last year.
Candidate for the fastest mover on the chart next week has to be The Journey Continues from Mark Brown which is a new entry at Number 24 following its online release last week. The haunting trance single features an instantly recognisable vocal turn from Saint Etienne singer Sarah Cracknell who is credited here under her own name for the first time since her one-off solo single Anymore was a Number 39 hit way back in 1996. Club favourites such as this are always the most likely to benefit from the transition from online release to physical single, so expect Top 20 at the very least next week.
The one final February 4th single release of interest is the latest attempt by Michael Jackson to restore his musical credibility and reputation, albeit once more trading heavily upon his more successful past. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the legendary Thriller album, a brand new edition is set for release this month which combines the original tracks with brand new mixes and re-imaginings featuring some of the biggest stars of hip-hop. As a prelude to this, The Girl Is Mine 2008 was released as download, the track using Jacko's original vocals mixed with a new contribution from will.i.am. For whatever reason, the track has simply failed to catch fire in the manner intended, and in its three weeks on release has sluggishly moved 78-44-48 in a manner which suggests it is unlikely to trouble the record books soon. The track makes it into the shops for real this week which should at the very least propel it into the Top 40 but as the herald for what the press release breathlessly proclaims to be a fitting tribute to the biggest selling album of all time, it hasn't exactly set the world alight.