This week I guess the big story on the Official UK Charts is that of a single propelled to the heights literally from nowhere all thanks (apparently) to a series of fan-made videos - but we'll come to that in a moment, for at Number One is a different single altogether.
Shouldering Thrift Shop out of the way after just a single week is I Could Be The One, the single which finally gives Tim "Avicii" Berg a Number One single in his own right, just over a year after his track Levels formed the core of Flo Rida's chart-topping Good Feeling. The track is unusually a collaboration with another producer, the Swede here teaming up with Dutchman Nicky Romero and with vocals on the track by an uncredited Noonie Bao. As with virtually all Avicii's crossover hits, the track started life as an instrumental (bandied around in demo form as Nicktim after the first names of the two men) before the addition of a vocal track turned it into what is beyond a doubt a certifiable commercial smash, even if circumstances dictate that its run at Number One is also destined to be a brief one.
At Number 3 on the UK chart this week is a track which to all intents and purposes has been propelled there not so much by radio airplay but by a viral video meme which appears to have swept the entire planet over the last fortnight. Harlem Shake by Baauer has been propelled from the obscurity in which it has languished since first released online last summer all thanks to its use as the soundtrack to a seemingly endless series of thirty second videos featuring the most unlikely of settings transformed into costumed rave parties by the playing of the track. Although we are meant to believe the movement was totally spontaneous, inspired by a comedian featuring the dance on one of his YouTube videos, there is a slight whiff of PR stunt about the whole thing. Fair play though, countless other acts and their managers have attempted to promote singles via viral video memes in the past and plenty have fallen flat on their faces. Whether spontaneous or engineered, the YouTube phenomenon has propelled the rather impenetrable hardcore dance track into a Top 3 smash hit single and at the very least we already have one of the popular culture stories of the year.
Speaking of videos, Rihanna and Mikey Ekko's Stay has been a near-permanent fixture inside the Top 10 since the week before Christmas and has peaked at Number 4 on three different occasions, once on the festive chart and twice more during the course of the last month and a half. It was all too easy to forget that until now it still hasn't actually been officially a single with any kind of promotional assistance. All that changed this week as after much teasing the rather eye-catching bathtime video for the track was finally unleashed. Naturally this has had a galvanising effect on the song which vaults four places this week to sit at Number 4 for the fourth different time.
Gabrielle Aplin's debut hit single came thanks to a cover version and a TV advert as her take on The Power Of Love topped the chart briefly just before Christmas last year - but even then it was stressed heavily that she was an artist in her own right with her own music set to follow imminently. Indeed just two months later she is back on the chart with what is indeed her own original material as Please Don't Say You Love Me storms straight to Number 6. With its video having been online since September last year (proving that The Power Of Love was a useful if annoying distraction from the process of making her a star in her own right) the track has clearly been waiting in the wings for a while and it is almost with a sense of relief that it explodes into life. A rather joyous folk-rock track with a touch of the Seekers about it, Please Don't Say You Love Me would have made Gabrielle Aplin an extremely hot ticket indeed, even without a TV ad Number One to launch her first. [I still say it sounds a little like the theme to The Fall Guy].