Just imagine if almost everything you did was a success. Welcome to the world of Oasis, who fly to the top of the album chart with new release Dig Out Your Soul and in the process maintain a career-long perfect record. It isn't so hard to believe, but worth emphasising for effect - every single studio album the group have made during their 14-year career has made Number One. Dig Out Your Soul is their seventh chart-topper in all, further boosting them up the all-time table to join the likes of Cliff Richard, Rod Stewart and of course REM who had their own seventh chart-topper earlier this year. The Beatles remain the all-time champions with 15 Number One albums to their name.
You'll note that this run of consistent success only applies to Oasis' studio albums. With compilations and other releases they somehow always fall short of the top. Live album Familiar To Millions peaked at a lowly Number 5 in November 2000 whilst b-sides collection The Masterplan and "best of" collection Stop The Clocks could only reach Number 2 in 1998 and 2006 respectively.
The one place the success of Dig Out Your Soul isn't reflected is on the singles chart. Instead of benefiting from the availability of the album and being cherrypicked as one of its best tracks, lead single The Shock Of The Lightning instead takes a shock dive, tumbling 3-16 and now almost certainly becoming the first ever "brand new" Oasis track not to hit Number One.
Instead, it is left to Pink to maintain her position as singer of the biggest selling track in the land, So What sitting comfortably at the top of the singles chart for a second straight week. In straightforward statistical terms, the single thus becomes her biggest hit ever, her previous Number One hits Just Like A Pill and Lady Marmalade only having each managed a solitary week at the top. More surprisingly it is Kings Of Leon who remain at Number 2 for the second week running, just as parent album Only By The Night spends a third week in the Top 3, dipping to Number 2 on the album chart to make way for Oasis.
Attention surely now turns to the next big new release of the autumn, namely the new Kaiser Chiefs album Off With Their Heads which hits the shops on October 20. To set the scene, its lead single Never Miss A Beat gatecrashes the Top 10 with an impressive entry at Number 5. Produced by Mark Ronson, the single is a thundering barnstorming anthem which oddly enough makes them sound more like late-period Spandau Ballet than ever. The single is their fifth Top 10 hit single and their first since Ruby topped the chart back in February 2007 and alongside that chart-topping classic is only their second to reach the Top 5.
Never Miss A Beat may be the only Top 10 new entry but plenty of other singles continue in the ascendancy below it. Ne-Yo's Miss Independent makes a surprise reversal and surges to a brand new peak of Number 6 having tumbled to Number 11 last week. Meanwhile, Platnum's Love Shy (Thinking About You) gets the small boost from a physical release and moves 20-12 whilst Kanye West rebounds back to Number 14 with Love Lockdown after the single made a rather surprising reverse last week.
I've touched on the issue a few times but in the light of the appearance of the next highest new entry, it is best to deal with it head on, for I suspect that Snow Patrol will long rue the day that record-bending long runner Chasing Cars ever became the phenomenon that it did. It is a problem faced by all acts who find themselves with a smash hit single that becomes a far greater success than they ever could have anticipated - the danger that they become defined by that song alone. At best it means that fans flock to concerts expecting them to play their classic hit and sitting on their hands for the rest of the set, at worst it means that radio stations just aren't interested in any new material as they remain convinced their audiences only want the classic.
Snow Patrol actually had six chart hits prior to Chasing Cars, two of which were Top 10, but you will be hard-pressed to find the casual fan in the street who can name any of them. They have released three singles since, and whilst the last - soundtrack single Signal Fire - did at least peak at Number 4, it did so whilst its more renowned predecessor was busy still floating around the Top 40 as the download eras first genuine megahit.
It is against this background that the group must now desperately try to move on, and they surely must look on the Number 15 entry of brand new single Take Back The City with more than a little frustration. The first single from their forthcoming new album A Hundred Million Suns, the track is all at once energetic, refreshing and genuinely inspiring. Turning their back on maudlin balladry, Take Back The City is a driving rock anthem that calls to mind the early work of The Cars (another band who coincidentally found themselves utterly overshadowed by a mega-selling ballad). Hope for their chart prospects comes next week as the single goes physical, although of course with singles all but impossible to find except in big stores this is not the cast iron guarantee of a sales boost it used to be. Cross your fingers that this isn't the end of the story for Take Back The City is more than worthy of being the track that finally allows Snow Patrol to rid themselves of the albatross.
The chart performance of Jack White and Alicia Keys' Another Way To Die continues to fascinate. The Bond theme has now been available for three weeks and has remained locked at Number 26 for every single one of those. It is almost as if it is waiting for its moment to come, waiting to be revealed as the perfect complement to the opening sequence of the new film and thus a big hit in the waiting. For the moment, however, we only know it as a straightforward pop record and on that level alone it appears it is struggling to grab itself an audience.
New to the Top 40 at Number 30 is Tattoo from Jordin Sparks. This was you may remember her first chart single in this country, creeping to Number 50 earlier in the year when it was made available as a "taster" release, designed merely to get her noticed rather than to actually be a hit. This chart return is, therefore, the real deal as it "officially" becomes her new single with the full weight of record company promotion behind it. Holding it back, of course, is the fact that its predecessor No Air is refusing to die and indeed sits several places higher on the chart, going back up two places to Number 23 this week. As popular as it was, No Air actually can't hold a candle to Tattoo as a pop record so it would be a huge shame to see it lost in the mix due to the public's failure to move on.
The final new entry of the week arrives at Number 36 in the shape of the rather lovely That Kiss from The Courteeners. The single is notable for the way it experienced one of the most dramatic sales collapses in memory during the week, its opening sales appearing to be enough to ensure it would rank in the Top 10 to give the group their biggest hit ever. After that, however, the single rather fell off a cliff and eventually only just squeaks a place inside the Top 40. The reason for this initial surge in interest for the single? That Kiss does not appear on debut album St Jude and is instead released as a one-off as a taster for their forthcoming new offering which they are in the process of recording. With the group declining to commit to including the new track on that release, the single for a brief period became a near essential purchase, even if it turned out to be just for a small hardcore rather than the public at large.