This is a week of particular significance for the UK singles chart. It is officially the 60th anniversary of the countdown of the biggest selling singles of the week, tracing the lineage of the current countdown back to the first ever Top 12 chart published in the New Musical Express on November 14th 1952.
The undisputed King of this anniversary chart? Robbie Williams, who held off a late challenge from the Labrinth/Emeli Sande single which he replaced at Number One a week ago to claim by the small margin of 5,000 copies a second week at the top of the charts with Candy. In a double triumph he also debuts at the top of the album chart with his latest release Take The Crown. It is his tenth Number One album as a solo artist to add to the four (3 studio and one Greatest Hits) he participated in as a member of Take That. Elvis Presley with 11 is the only male star to have topped the charts more.
Williams also becomes one of a select few acts (20 at the last count) to have achieved the singles/albums chart double on more than one occasion, the singer having also been at the summit of both over Christmas 2001 with his duet with Nicole Kidman on Something Stupid and its parent album Swing When You're Winning.
The singer has been the subject of an entertaining media spat in the last week with BBC Radio One declining to playlist Candy and suggesting he is no longer relevant to its young audience, despite his chart domination. Proof of how valid that position is can be gleaned by noting that as well as topping the 60th anniversary singles chart, Robbie Williams was a special guest of honour on the Radio One broadcast of the 50th anniversary show in 2002 and on the chart's 40th birthday in 1992 was performing on the Take That single A Million Love Songs which was just outside the Top 20. Easy to forget he is a 20 year music industry veteran.
With Williams and Labrinth locked at 1 and 2, all The Wanted are able to do is debut at Number 3 with new single I Found You as the biggest selling new release of the week. It is their second Top 3 hit of the year following Chasing The Sun which peaked at Number 2 back in June but it further means they are without a chart-topping hit since the success of Glad You Came back in 2011. Both their hits this year are taken from their forthcoming third album Third Strike which was originally due out in time for Christmas but which was recently yanked from the schedules and re-listed for next spring, subject to some re-tooling of the running order.
X Factor chart connections of the week are at Numbers 9 and 10 respectively. New at Number 9 is 2011 semi finalist Misha B with her second hit single Do You Think Of Me, the follow-up to Number 11 hit debut Home Run which she released back in June. To her credit she's achieved her chart success so far without the requisite promotional leg-up from the series which made her, with the guest slot on the show the weekend before last going instead to Rita Ora who performed her new single Shine Ya Light on the results show and is duly rewarded with a 47-10 surge for the track, the third official single from her ORA album but for now the first not to top the charts. As if to prove that the X Factor magic only works if your record happens to be any good, Music Week this week notes that No Doubt's plug for their single Looking Hot on the same show rewarded them with precisely 680 sales last week to rank it as the 397th best seller of the week. By contrast a contestant's performance of their 1997 Number One hit Don't Speak has sent the 15 year old track surging to Number 56.
Having made the Top 30 for the first time earlier this spring with "Out Of The Blue", dubstep producer Nick 'Sub Focus' Douwma has his first ever Top 20 hit this week as Tidal Wave debuts at Number 12. The single extends a chart debut for hotly tipped male/female duo Alpines who co-wrote and supply guest vocals on the track.
Completing the parade of singles chart new entries is Christina Aguilera whose new release Your Body makes a rather lukewarm debut at Number 16, the debut single from her forthcoming seventh album Lotus. Although her first solo hit for two years (2010 Number 12 hit Not Myself Tonight her last) the single is effectively the follow-up to her guest role on Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger which is far and away the biggest hit of her career, the 45th biggest seller of all time according to the latest tables and the second highest selling non-chart topper in the singles chart's 60 year history.
The bold march towards the holiday season makes for a very busy album chart but with a series of releases far removed from the rock and pop world briefly dominating proceedings. Denied a Number One by Robbie Williams is Dutch violinist Andre Rieu who takes the runners up slot with Magic Of The Movies, matching the peak of his 2010 release Forever Vienna. The Military Wives mark their first birthday as a collective with new album Stronger Together at Number 5 whilst Andrea Bocelli's aptly titled Opera album lands at Number 10, his first Top 10 album since 'hits' collection Vivere landed at Number 4 almost exactly five years ago.
The only pop acts to enter the Top 10 this week therefore are Robbie Williams and JLS who land at Number 3 with Evolution, their fourth hit album and home to recent hit single Hottest Girl In The World. All their releases to date have made the Top 3.
Finally whilst it may be the singles chart's 60th anniversary this week it is also one of my own as 9th November 1992 saw my first ever chart column posted online, meaning I've had a two decade career that is only shorter than that of Robbie Williams. You are invited to seek out my own website for some suitably commemorative highlights of those 20 years. [No, forget that, there's an entire website here containing the complete collection! Oh, you noticed]. Here's to the next two (or six) decades of hit music...