My name is James and I don't own a conical bra, sorry.
For the third time in as many weeks we have a brand new single at the top of the official UK charts as Diana Vickers' time in the sun turns out to be a one week wonder - Once dipping to Number 4 in perfunctory manner. Her replacement at the top comes pretty much from out of nowhere, a single from an act whose last hit singles were a full five years ago.
Grime collective Roll Deep hail (naturally) from London and trace their roots back to their founding in 2002. Featuring an ever fluctuating lineup of members, their numbers have in the past featured such names as Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder, both of whom have since gone on to bigger and better things. Despite having hits of his own, Wiley remains a proud member of the collective and maintains an informal role as their lead star, appearing alongside them at gigs and for radio appearances. Roll Deep's only previous foray into the mainstream charts came in 2005 when Maisonettes-sampling single The Avenue hit Number 11 with follow-up single Shake A Leg reaching Number 24. Both tracks were taken from their debut album In At The Deep End which was released in June 2005.
Their chart comeback is in the form of the single Good Times which is the kind of record that has grime purists foaming at the mouth with rage, so unashamedly commercial is the way it is constructed. It is hard to point out a single's influences without accusing it of being unashamedly derivative, but fans of Dizzee Rascal's material, the party vibe of the Black Eyed Peas and even the nakedly cheesy choruses of Lady Gaga's best work will find much to love here. Make no mistake this is grime reworked as straight down the middle commercial pop music and it is almost magical to hear. Good Times shoulder-barges its way to Number One, relegating a still strong Usher to second place for a second straight week and giving Roll Deep their first ever chart-topping single.
Usher's chart achievements this week include something that we really must find a proper name for - the double bad luck of ending up in second place on both singles and albums chart. He does the double thanks to the arrival in the shops of Raymond v Raymond which fails to overcome eventual chart winner Plan B and so has to content itself with a place at Number 2, duplicating that of the single OMG (which it must be noted has at least already had a spell at Number One a fortnight ago). It is a shame, as Usher was otherwise on course for his fourth straight Number One album, hard on the heels of 8701 in 2001, Confessions in 2004 and Here I Stand in 2008. There is still time for Raymond v Raymond to reach the top naturally, but for the moment it joins his 1998 debut My Way as the only one in his catalogue not to top the UK charts.
We always suspected it would make a huge splash and so it proves - the second highest new entry on the album chart is the Glee Cast mini album The Power Of Madonna at Number 4, one which collects together all the tracks that featured in the latest Madonna-themed episode of the series. Naturally many of its individual tracks also invade the singles chart en-masse, the way led with their climactic version of Like A Prayer which arrives at Number 16 - two places lower you will note than last weeks Give You Hell which holds firm at Number 14. Other Glee takes on Madonna tracks to chart include 4 Minutes at Number 42, Like A Virgin at Number 58, and Borderline/Open Your Heart at Number 66. Of Vogue there is no sign in the Top 100. I'm kind of gutted as you can imagine.
Also new to the Top 20 at long, long last is Say It's Over from N-Dubz which accelerates 30-20, the single having fallen back last week after spending two at Number 27. It is almost as if the seemingly endless parade of negative press the two boys in the band attract for themselves has a direct and beneficial effect on their record sales.
New in to the Top 40 at Number 26 is I Am Not A Robot from Marina & The Diamonds which leaps up from 61 after being promoted to full single status. It is the second track to be lifted from her debut album 'The Family Jewels' and will have sights on beating the Number 12 peak scaled by Hollywood back in February.
Hey, we have it all on the UK charts this week. Fancy some Country? Then look no further than Number 28 for the arrival of Need You Now from Lady Antebellum. The three piece hail inevitably from Nashville and made a huge splash in their home market two years ago with their self-titled debut album. With a string of awards under their belt, Need You Now gave them yet another Number One on the country charts in the USA at the start of the year and now becomes their first ever mainstream hit single on these shores. As is ever the case for country tracks it seems, the single arrives in Europe in a reworked version which may not be as dramatic as some country transformations we have seen in the past, but which takes the guitars up a notch in the mix and so takes the track away from its spit and sawdust roots and making it far more of a rock track that its creators probably ever envisaged. As good as the song is, I can't help but think the single will struggle to gain a toehold on these shores. 'Need You Now' was a deserved country smash hit to begin with on its own merits, a tender tale of lost love and heartbreak that is only enhanced by the interplay between the twin vocals of Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley but the crunching rock guitars drag it back to 1980s hair ballad territory and somehow making the pretty love song sound incredibly dated. You won't hate it when you hear it, by any means, but it sounds more 1990 than 2010 and this ultimately works against the single progressing any further. [Yeah, this one had a life of its own beyond anything anyone could have predicted.]
Now how about a genuine oddity. For what at first appears no good reason at all, She's Always A Woman by Billy Joel has appeared high in sales flashes, occupying a berth at Number 29. Although one of his most famous songs, first appearing on his 1977 album The Stranger it has until today never appeared on the UK charts. Its dramatic appearance is refreshingly not due to a TCC but thanks to a TV commercial - an eye catching film for John Lewis department stores which tracks the life of a woman from baby to old age in a matter of just a minute.
Whilst the song She's Always A Woman is indeed the one which soundtracks the commercial, the one heard in the advert is a rendition from Guillemots lead singer Fyfe Dangerfield but which for the last week at least was not available to buy. Hence the rush for Joel's original version (of which the advert is a close copy) and this rather unexpected chart appearance. The further twist in the tale is that having been caught slightly on the hop by the demand for the song, Dangerfield's label quickly responded and have ensured that the TV version went online as soon as possible. The track first arrived online on Saturday after being added to a brand new edition of Fyfe Dangerfield's solo album Fly Yellow Moon which originally came out in February. The track arrived too late to have much of an impact on the singles chart this week, but gained enough sales to grab a place at Number 99 this week - one which you can pretty much expect it will improve upon in dramatic style in seven days time.
At Number 34 there is as expected a Top 40 new entry for Alexandra Burke with All Night Long, all thanks to the premiere of the rather raunchy video which arrived on screens last week. As we noted before, anyone buying the track now is actually purchasing the "wrong" version, the only one available for now being the album track rather than the single remix which features a new guest vocal from Pitbull. Fools.
Finally for this week there is something of a watershed at Number 39 as Adam Lambert reaches the Top 40 with his single For Your Entertainment and in the process becomes only the third American Idol loser to reach the UK charts. The flamboyant and fiercely talented Lambert was the runaway star of the 2009 series of the show, his eventual defeat to Kris Allen going down as something of a surprise. Not for the first time however, it turns out to be the loser of the series who has the last laugh and after going Top 3 back home with his debut album last year, he now makes a bid for UK glory with this title track.
After a slow start, the still staggering on Idol franchise is rapidly expanding its roster of international stars. Winners Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks lead the way in terms of smash hits, whilst David Cook saw his 2008 winning single also sneak a place in the Top 75 just after his victory. Adam Lambert follows in the footsteps of both Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry in reaching the UK Top 40 without having won the show. Meanwhile we watch the current series with bated breath and to see if the extraordinarily talented Crystal Bowersox fulfils her potential and emerges from the show a bone fide superstar. [She didn't and I'm still bitter. Love you Crystal.]