I did say this was going to happen. After seven weeks on sale, during which time it has never been out of the Top 10, We Are Young by Fun featuring Janelle Monae finally ascends to the top of the UK singles chart, proving perhaps that quality always wins through in the end. Or maybe it was just destiny.
The ultimate success of "We Are Young" is actually all the more pleasing given that it was this week up against what on the face of it was insurmountable competition. Chasing The Sun, a brand new and previously unavailable single by The Wanted was also released this week and on the strength of early sales flashes seemed to be marching effortlessly to the top of the charts to give the boy band their third chart-topper. As is so often the case however, the sales of the single were very much front-loaded to the start of the week and the track faded to eventually chart at Number 2. Not that this performance is too shabby and indeed the single is easily the first The Wanted single with an appeal far beyond their usual fanbase, a storming eurodance track which has a co-writers credit for Elliot "Example" Gleave and which indeed has his fingerprints all over it.
The second highest new entry of the week is an enormously pleasing Number 7 debut for Picking Up The Pieces by the distinctly voiced Paloma Faith. At a stroke the single is her biggest hit ever, eclipsing the Number 15 peak of 2009 release New York and indeed all of the other singles taken from her debut album. The new track is lifted from her forthcoming second album Fall To Grace and almost certainly owes its chart success to her recent guest appearance on The Voice UK where she assisted Team Danny as a guest mentor. Regardless of the circumstances it is great to see her finally with a well deserved Top 10 hit. May there be many more to come.
Just over a year ago Jennifer Lopez enjoyed her biggest hit single for some time in collaboration with Pitbull when On The Floor stormed to the top of the charts. Teaming up with the rapper once more she doesn't quite manage to repeat the feat but still has the third highest new entry of the week as Dance Again enters the chart at Number 11. For the moment the exact status of the single is uncertain, as it will either feature on a new studio album or a forthcoming greatest hits collection, so at the moment it stands alone as a non-album cut. Although she has a string of Top 10 hits to her name, if this single fails to progress further it will actually be Lopez' third Number 11 hit, with I'm Glad and Do It Well landing at the same peak in 2003 and 2007 respectively.
It has been a prolific week for Pitbull though, for as well as his role on the Jennifer Lopez single he also lands on the Top 40 at Number 23 with Back In Time, his contribution to the soundtrack of the new movie Men In Black III. As befits the time-travelling plotline of the film, the track borrows many musical elements from the 1950s including an interpolation of the Micky and Sylvia hit Love Is Strange. Previous hit singles from the Men In Black film franchise have featured the star Will Smith on lead vocals, the performer topping the charts with the title track from the first film back in 1997. Theme from MIB:2 was Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head) which hit Number 3 in August 2002. Whilst Will Smith may not feature on this particular musical instalment, he does at least have a chart presence this week thanks to a download comeback for 1991 hit "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Price which sits at Number 50 this week.
One of the more unexpected releases of the week was the surprise unveiling of Timebomb, a brand new single from Kylie Minogue which is the first shot in a promotional campaign to mark her 25 years in the music business - an anniversary which dates back to the original Australian release of her recording of The Locomotion in 1987. With just two days of sales with which to contribute to the chart survey it is hard to draw conclusions from the chart position of this single, but all her fans will be mindful of the fact that she is coming back to the charts from an all time low point, with her last release under her own name Put Your Hands Up limping to a mere Number 93 in June last year. Her 25th anniversary may well prove to be the perfect hook to hang a rejuvenated promotional campaign on, but continuing to ensure Kylie is relevant to a modern chart audience may be the toughest task of all.
Whilst singles sales bubble along healthily, the album market continues to dip to wild and worrying lows, although this does open the door for some of the most unexpected acts to land their best ever chart performances. Take blues star Joe Bonamassa for example, with six chart albums to his name in the UK before now but with none of them ever having climbed higher than the Top 20, his best chart placing coming in 2011 with Dust Bowl reaching Number 12. This week he sits pretty at Number 2 with new album Driving Towards The Daylight failing by a whisker to grab the Number One position, that honour going to Emeli Sande who climbs back to the top with Our Version Of Events. Just below at Number 4 sits fellow guitar virtuoso John Mayer whose new album Born And Raised is also his most successful UK release to date.
A busy week for new releases also sees Top 10 new entries for Fun, Tom Jones and The Enemy but the most striking sales move of the week is naturally the 34-5 leap for Number Ones the 2004 hits collection from The Bee Gees which this week became the focus of tribute buying following the sad death of Robin Gibb. This actually marks the album's highest chart placing to date, eclipsing the Number 7 it reached in its first week of release just before Christmas 8 years ago. Of the Bee Gees individual hits there is curiously little sign in the upper end of the sales chart, although 1987 Number One You Win Again has proved to be their strongest seller on iTunes during the week.
Next week should not be without its fascinations, as the airing of the Eurovision Song Contest at the weekend is set to throw up some rather interesting sales surges, including perhaps the contest's first Number One single for 16 years.