THIS is what we needed to liven this rather dull summer up a little bit. Two hot new releases, two massive sales and a chart battle which whilst it didn't quite go down to the wire was still hard to call even towards the end of the week.
The official UK Number One single this week is Heatwave by Wiley featuring Ms D which storms to the top of the charts with an impressive sale of 114,000 copies. Although he hit Number 2 back in 2008 with the single Wearing My Rolex, the grime rapper has been down on his luck lately, not charting a single since the start of 2009 and with his latest album Evolve Or Be Extinct climbing no higher than Number 86 when released at the start of this year. His chart turnaround comes thanks to a slavish adherence to the rule of "when in need of a hit, record a summer party tune" which has served so many hip-hop stars so well in the past. Hence Heatwave is a loving tribute to hot weather, melting ice cream and general all around living it up in the sunshine, a track tailor made for the soundtrack of every beachside bar area in the Western world. Guest singer on the track, the enigmatically named 'Ms D' is actually Dayo Olatunji whose previous claim to fame was filling the exact same role on Chipmunk's chart-topping track Oopsy Daisy in 2009. Without anyone noticing she presumably now qualifies for two of the trophies the Official Charts Company doles out for such achievements.
In a sense it is a shame the chart race ended up the way it did. Despite itself selling 102,000 copies, We'll Be Coming Back by Calvin Harris and Example is relegated to the runners up slot, denying Harris the chance to depose the single Florence & The Machine single which he himself remixed to the top of the charts. Nonetheless the six figure tally is enough to ensure it is the second highest weekly sale for a Number 2 single, just behind the 103,000 clocked up by Emeli Sande with Next To Me back in February. Harris is on the verge of becoming the eternal bridesmaid as We'll Be Coming Back is now his fourth single in a row as lead artist to stall in the runners up slot, a run dating back over a year - although for guest star Example it is his first Number 2 hit of any kind.
This week's UK album chart champion is, as expected, Conor Maynard whose debut release Contrast storms to Number One in its first week on sale. Three months shy of his 20th birthday, Maynard is the second teenager this year to have a Number One album, hard on the heels of Justin Bieber. For those still keeping track, 17,000 copies was enough to ensure pole position on the artists chart this week - better than in recent weeks but still utterly rubbish.
As I alluded to last week, the vast TV audience for the Olympics opening ceremony just over a week ago was only ever going to have a hugely beneficial effect on the sales of the musical acts featured in the performance. Most attention was on the official soundtrack album Isles Of Wonder (which is the second biggest selling compilation this week) and the tracks cherry picked from it by the singles buying public. Although the initial post-show surge faded during the week this was still enough to propel Caliban's Dream by Underworld and a willing cast of helpers to Number 12. That's the highest charting single for the musicians and producers since Two Months Off also scaled the same peak in 2002. Similarly Come Together by the Arctic Monkeys soars to Number 21, their best chart showing since 2009 whilst the previously hitless Frank Turner has his first ever Top 40 hit with I Still Believe creeping to Number 40.
Another highlight of the ceremony was Emeli Sande's moving rendition of Abide With Me but that track can only reach Number 44, outsold by both of her hit singles Next To Me and My Kind Of Love with all three tracks within five places of each other on the chart. The most commented upon sales surge however was reserved for veteran multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield whose brief cameo performance during the show was reported to have resulted in a 700% increase in sales of his work by midweek. His ultimate reward is a Number 6 entry on the album chart for new hits collection Two Sides - The Very Best Of with his most famous album Tubular Bells also registering at Number 66.