An all static Top 3 leads the way on the singles chart this week, as Roll Deep, Usher and Plan B all hold their positions. Whilst for Good Times it is good news as the single notches up a second week at Number One, it is perhaps once again frustrating for the singers of OMG as Usher and will.i.am see their single hold firm in the runners up slot for a third straight week, always it seems pushing for a return to Number One but being denied by a succession of singles that sell just that little bit more.
One such single to get in the way was Once by Diana Vickers but whilst that track appears to have been a slight flash in the pan, falling to Number 8 this week after its tumble from the top seven days ago, she does have the consolation of a Number One album to her name. Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree storms to the top of the album chart as the highest new entry of the week to ensure the former X Factor star is a double chart-topper at the first time of asking. By topping the charts, Diana Vickers creates a curious statistical oddity as it now means that there are more X Factor runners-up (or "losers") with Number One albums than there are winners.
Just take a look at the stats. Four X Factor winners have subsequently topped the album chart. They are Steve Brookstein in 2005, Shayne Ward in 2006, Leona Lewis in 2007 and Alexandra Burke in 2009. The missing two are Leon Jackson (whose only album 'Right Now' could only hit Number 4 when released in November 2008) and current title holder Joe McElderry whose album if it follows the usual release pattern will not appear until the autumn. By contrast, Diana Vickers is now the fifth non-winner to top the album chart, hard on the heels of G4 in 2005, Journey South in 2006, Ray Quinn in 2007 and JLS in 2009. Once again you may note that the 2008 series of the show has turned out to be the most star-studded of them all and it is now the only series in which three of its competing acts have subsequently landed themselves Number One hits on both singles and albums charts.
Back to the singles chart itself and it is huge congratulations to Pendulum who have the highest new entry of the week with Watercolour landing at Number 4. The lead single from their forthcoming third studio album Immersion, the single dutifully becomes their biggest ever hit single - sailing past the Number 9 peak of Propane Nightmares in 2008 to take them into the Top 5 for the first time ever. It has been quite a wait - the group's first chart single was Another/Planet Voyager which stumbled to Number 46 way back in 2004.
One place behind at Number 5 is the second biggest new single of the week. Step forward Aggro Santos and guest star Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt with the astoundingly infectious Candy. Santos is Brazilian born but grew up in South London of all places, releasing his first tapes as rap artist back in 2008. Like all the best rap singles at the moment, the record targets the commercial dance jugular with arrow-like precision, Wyatt's vocals on top of an insisted electro beat forming the engine of the song with Santos' rap refrains acting as mid-song breakdowns. It is a well worked formula but as we have seen time and time again makes for some smash hit singles. I run out of superlatives to sum up the parade of rap-dance singles but a quick glance at the Top 10 shows just how dominant the genre is. Brit-rap singles from Roll Deep, Plan B, Aggro Santos, Taio Cruz, Chipmunk and Professor Green account for six of the ten biggest selling singles of the moment. That's a chart domination in every sense of the word.
Not that the American R&B stars aren't trying their hardest. Hottest upcoming single of the moment is Jason Derulo's third chart single Ridin' Solo which makes a flying 38-12 leap to become the highest climber of the week. The track is naturally the follow-up to Number One hit In My Head, and is it my imagination or does the production on this single finally dial down the use of the dreaded autotune and allow him to use what is by and large his own voice for a change?
Derulo's chart jump isn't quite the largest within the chart as a whole. That honour goes to the single which mades an 85 place jump from 99 all the way to Number 14 - and it is all thanks to a TV advert. You may recall last week we talked about apparently mysterious appearance of Billy Joel's 1977 single She's Always A Woman at the tail end of the Top 40, sparked into life thanks to the currently playing TV commercials for John Lewis. The version of the song in the advert features the vocals of Fyfe Dangerfield, but the song was not added to online stores until a week last Friday, hence the lowly Number 99 chart placing it achieved last week.
Fast forward seven days and all that changes, as the Guillemots frontman storms into the Top 20 with his first ever solo single. As I mentioned on the podcast last week, this may be something of a bittersweet moment for the Scotsman. His solo album Fly Yellow Moon has been out since the start of the year with little attention paid to it (it charted briefly at Number 65 upon release in January and has not been seen since). Just two weeks ago he was enthusiastically promoting the single Faster Than The Setting Sun but now finds himself with an unexpected hit single that is little more than a by the book cover of an old standard. Hopefully it is a foreteller of better things to come, Fly Yellow Moon is far too good a body of work to be overlooked, and if this fluke hit turns out to be the catalyst for Fyfe Dangerfield's own work to reach a much greater audience then the hit single is maybe something to be welcomed.
Yet another new single arrives at Number 25 for the oddly struggling Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Bittersweet marks the solo chart return of the exquisitely accented singer with her first solo single for three years and her first hit since she performed guest vocals on Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer) by The Freemasons last year. The track is the lead single from what will be her fourth solo album Straight To The Heart set for release in August and has appeared on the chart with little in the way of fanfare or momentum it seems, this mid-table entry point a world away from the automatic Top 10 placings she is used to. By way of comparison, Catch You the lead single from her last album in 2007 was a Number 8 hit even if subsequent singles failed to measure up to that high standard whilst the Freemasons single last year made a none too shabby Number 13. The Freemasons return the favour with production duties on what on the face of it should be a europop blockbuster. Truth be told, this will be massive in Germany and Italy but as far as the UK is concerned we are distinctly underwhelmed.
We should take a little time out to note the handful of steady climbers just inside the bounds of the Top 30. Lady Antebellum land themselves a Top 10 album this week with Need You Now and watch their single of the same name make some progress up its own chart with a 28-21 rise. Alicia Keys edges up the ladder with Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart moving 31-23 whilst Rihanna seems set for yet another hit single as Te Amo moves 51-30 to breach the Top 40 for the first time. The track is the third single to be released in this country from her current Rated R album and is the follow-up to Rude Boy which for the moment is still outselling its successor, edging down to Number 24 this week.
To finish this week, we should note the fun oddity of the last seven days which led to two competing versions of the same song vying for some TV-related attention down the lower end of the chart. The occasion was the Britain's Got Talent audition show aired the weekend before last which saw teenage soprano Olivia Archibald win both audience and judges over with a pitch perfect rendition of a moving song which clearly many people felt they had to own immediately. The problem was the track wasn't directly named on the show, leading many people to go searching the iTunes store for a song named after its own most prominent lyric. Thus at the start of last week we were greeted with the strange sight of obscure studio covers group Celtic Angels climbing the sales rankings with a track called In The Arms Of An Angel. That recording, as would be obvious to anyone hearing it, was actually a remake of Angel by Sarah McLachlan, her original version reaching Number 36 in early 2002. Once people had cottoned on to this, a more sensible sales pattern developed. Consequently the McLachlan version of the track debuts at Number 63, a perhaps lower placing that it might otherwise have gained thanks to sales lost to the Celtic Angels track which contents itself with a place at Number 83.