18 years. That is how long it has been since the most famous rock group in history have been anywhere near the top of the charts. In that time an entire generation of music fans have grown up, four different men have been Prime Minister and the internet has evolved from text based terminal emulators to being crammed into mobile phones. That is one hell of a wait.
All the headlines then are directed at Iron Maiden who storm to the top of the album chart with new release The Final Frontier. Their fourth Number One album, it is their first to reach these heady heights since Fear Of The Dark charged to the summit in May 1992. Naturally whilst impressive, this isn't quite the all time record, that having been set just last year by Bob Dylan when Together Through Life hit the top 38 years after his last Number One.
Entertainingly the second highest new entry on the album chart is indeed a platter called Headlines, the new mini album from The Saturdays which has been pushed out by their label to ensure they have product in the shops in time for their new fly on the wall TV series. Cynicism aside, by entering at Number 3 it actually becomes their highest charting release to date, the two full albums they have released so far Chasing Lights and Wordshaker having both peaked at Number 9 in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
To the singles chart then, and it seems as if Love The Way You Lie is the track that is never quite destined to be a chart-topper. With an early week lead it seemed at first as if the Eminem/Rihanna duet was set to finally end its long climb to the summit and become the chart-topper its superstar power always suggested it could be. Crucially though, these midweek updates were lacking sales data from iTunes which had the inevitable effect of skewing the figures away from reality. In truth there was little doubt as to what would be Number One. Three months on from hitting Number One for the first time with Good Times, Roll Deep make it a back to back double with latest release Green Light charging to the top.
Just like its predecessor this is perhaps grime pop at its very best, an energetic and appealing pop record which is three minutes and 57 seconds of pure fun. For those keeping score, Wiley, J2K, Breeze, Brazen and Scratchy are the performers on the single, lifted from their forthcoming album Winner Stays On slated for release at the end of October.
Roll Deep head up an otherwise quiet Top 10 which sees little more than gentle reshuffling of the pack with no less than four non movers contained within. Credit where credit is due though to The Wanted who cling on to a Top 10 berth for a fourth week with All Time Low. After the collapse in sales which saw it tumble from the top after just a week at Number One you could have been forgiven for predicted a swift exit from the chart for the track, but it has sustained its sales long enough to turn its chart run into something approaching respectable. As I said at the time, the single is actually far better than its marketing as a pop sensation deserved and the longer it hangs around the chart the more time the casual listener has to appreciate this.
Next to play in the parade of new entries is Let You Go from Chase & Status featuring Mali which debuts at Number 11. Saul and Will are best known for the single End Credits which introduced the mainstream world to the talents of Plan B and which made Number 9 in November last year. This brand new track is the first to be lifted from what will be the production duos second album proper, set for release later this year.
Next up at Number 14 is the returning Inna with Amazing. This single is the follow-up to 'Hot' which made Number 6 earlier in the year. The UK and indeed most of Western Europe is rapidly playing catch up with the work of the Romanian star. Amazing was a Number One single in her home country exactly a year ago and is lifted from her 2009 album Hot which has yet to be granted a UK release. Confusingly back home she has already moved on to the promotion of her forthcoming second album Senorita whose first single Sun Is Up has already been released in her native land.
Those of us waiting with bated breath to see if DJ Got Us Falling In Love by Usher and Pitbull could make its own small piece of chart history have been left disappointed. After four straight weeks locked at Number 20 the single charts this week at.... Number 21! This could so easily have been something quite spectacular.
Finally, the otherwise still waters of the lower end of the Top 40 are disturbed by the arrival at Number 23 of Say You Don't Want It which marks the chart return of One Night Only. The indie group made their chart breakthrough back in 2008 with the hauntingly beautiful Top 10 single Just For Tonight which reached Number 9 and which was taken from their debut album Started A Fire. After a rather protracted recording and writing period, their self-titled second long player is finally set for release next week, hence the advance raiding party of this single which dutifully becomes their third Top 40 hit. The big selling point of Say You Don't Want It appears to pretty much be the video which stars Harry Potter star Emma Watson as the protagonist - anyone would think she was reported to be dating lead singer George Craig or something [it didn't last].