A tongue in cheek track about the joys of dressing in what you might describe as second-hand anti-bling, released entirely independently by a white boy rapper from Seattle and his producer buddy may sound an unlikely contender for biggest pop record on the planet right now, but such has been the impact of Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis that after months as a sleeper hit it has turned into the first major success story of 2013.
Now you can add the Official UK Singles Chart to the list of countdowns the single has topped across the world as the track's meteoric rise over the last three weeks finally culminates in it taking its place as the UK's biggest selling single of the week. One of those novelty tracks of which it is hard to tire (although I suspect we'll have had a good go by the time spring arrives) just one listen will demonstrate just why the achingly clever single has managed to storm the globe and turn its creators into superstars. Much has been made of the way Thrift Shop embodies the new era of music, the duo having released their music online through their own personal label and entirely under their own steam. The Official Charts Company are crediting the track as being only the second self-released single to reach Number One in UK Chart history, presumably affording it the same status as Dizzee Rascal's Dance Wiv Me which topped the charts on his own Dirtee Stank Recordings label back in 2008 although Stiltskin's 1994 single Inside which came out on producer Pete Lawlor's own White Water Records theoretically also qualifies.
Whilst we are on the subject of meteoric rises, the Number 2 single of the week is a track which debuted at Number 28 this week and makes a colossal chart jump of its own. White Noise by Disclosure and AlunaGeorge crosses over from clubland to stake a claim for sales glory in a manner which is also to be greatly welcomed. The track is the second chart hit in succession for Disclosure - aka brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence - following on from Latch which peaked at Number 11 last year. Guest duo AlunaGeorge (she sings, he produces) are rising stars in their own right and have been mentioned in dispatches in many of the "next hot thing" polls of the new year. Whilst their own commercial debut Your Drums, Your Love stalled at Number 50 when first released last year, a handy guest slot on this track has propelled them to public attention in a manner which ensures their own releases will be paid far greater attention next time around. Could hardly have worked out any better could it?
The only brand new single to land on the chart this week is a track from a group who theoretically split up four years ago. Apparently, Fall Out Boy's 2009 parting of the ways was actually just a hiatus, so now newly reunited they blast back onto the chart with new single My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark which lands at Number 5, to naturally become their biggest hit for some considerable amount of time. Their original commercial peak was back in 2006 and 2007 during which time they landed themselves three Top 10 hits, the biggest of which was This Ain't A Scene It's An Arms Race which peaked at Number 2 a little over six years ago this week. They have been absent from the charts since the release of 2008 single I Don't Care which peaked at Number 33. The new track sounds oddly reminiscent of early 80s hair metal, although I may have to go into hiding for suggesting this.
Last week on the podcast we noted the struggling fortunes of several acts whose previous singles had all been easy smashes. One such track that was in danger of being written off was the new Little Mix single Change Your Life which last week was languishing at Number 31. This week it improves on that somewhat with a charge to Number 12, although still just short of giving the girls their fourth Top 10 single in a row. Given that attempts now appear to be being made to make them the latest British pop act to give the USA a taste of the hype, you wonder just how much of a priority this current single actually is.
Something approaching normal service is returned to the album chart this week. Not only does the Les Miserables soundtrack slip back to Number One but there are also a pleasant smattering of new entries, lead by The Courteeners new album Anna which lands at Number 6. It is their third Top 10 album in a row and matches the entry and peak of their previous offering Falcon which was released in March 2010.
A rather startling reminder of the golden age of heavily advertised 1980s easy listening appears at Number 13 as French pianist Richard Clayderman makes his first chart appearance for 14 years with new album Romantique. The epitome of 80s wine bar soundtrack chic, Clayderman has an extensive and prolific discography which would put many an act to shame, but his one and only Top 10 hit came with his UK chart debut in 1982 with a self-titled album which peaked at Number 2. Extraordinarily this new release is his highest charting work since that date, edging out 1991 collaboration with fellow prolific purveyor of schmaltz James Last on Together At Last which crept to Number 14.