Having topped the Official UK Singles chart last week in such a spectacular manner, it would have been rather selfish to hope that Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines would treat us for the second week running. Yet this is exactly what has happened. Not only does the addictive track spend a second week at Number One in the UK but it does so with a sale of almost 199,000 copies - a figure which if you are keeping track is actually an INCREASE on the best of the year figure it posted seven days ago. Last week we could point towards the large number of pre-sold singles the track had accumulated before release for the unseasonably large number - this time around it is simply a reflection of a smash hit at the very zenith (we assume) of its popularity.
This is now the eighth week running that the Number One single has sold in excess of 100,000 copies, the first such run of this kind since the closing weeks of 2009 and if one chooses to disregard charity singles (the "yeahbut" rule) the first time we have seen Number One singles achieve this kind of consistency over 8 weeks since way back in 1999 at the very peak of the CD single era.
Thank goodness for Robin Thicke's numbers, that's all I can say for otherwise Blurred Lines presides over an all-static Top 4, the pattern only broken by Olly Murs' Dear Darlin' which climbs to reach a new peak of Number 5. One place below him is the highest new entry of the week, Carry You marking the chart debut of the latest set of bright-eyed X Factor stars Union J. The boy band began the audition stages of last year's competition as Triple J only for Josh, JJ and Jaymi to be joined following boot camp by fellow auditionee George Shelley at the insistence of the producers. The group were widely tipped to follow Little Mix as series winners but ultimately were eliminated at the semi-final stage to finish fourth - with needless to say a record deal of their own following swiftly afterwards. Hopes were high that this debut single would soar to the top of the charts to launch them with a bang, yet strong early week sales for the single fizzled out rather quicker than you suspect they or their label would have liked, leaving them with a respectable if slightly underwhelming Number 6 chart debut.
At Number 7 is another new entry from the exciting sound of Afrobeats rapper Fuse ODG, better known to his mother as Nana Richard Abiona, a Londoner of Ghanian descent. Antenna is the track in question, an infectious single which has the added cachet of a cameo appearance from an uncredited Wyclef Jean who adds that extra bit of star power to make this debut his single something quite magical indeed.
Bruno Mars is also on the move, making a flying 35-15 leap with Treasure, the third single from "Unorthodox Jukebox". Both of its predecessors peaked at Number 2 and indeed his last single When I Was Your Man has yet to burn itself out totally, slipping to Number 32 this week.
Following last week's mini chart invasion of talent show related singles, the pattern repeats somewhat this week albeit with a rather unusual twist. In one of many gimmicks added to the second series of The Voice UK to shore up the stuttering franchise, the series has taken a leaf out of the Sky TV series Must Be The Music from a couple of years ago and is releasing the studio performances of the songs contestants have performed on the live shows as chart-eligible singles the moment the show comes off air. The first of these shows aired on Friday night, and with just one day of sales behind it we have the first hit single from the show as standout contestant Leah McFall lands at Number 16 with her take on the disco classic I Will Survive. A genuine show-stealing rendition, McFall recast Gloria Gaynor's signature tune as an aching cool jazz number in a quite sensational style. Still selling as I write and set to be an even larger hit in seven days time, it is entirely possible that The Voice UK has removed in one stroke the biggest monkey on its back and actually discovered a bona fide marketable star. Watch this space.
It is to the live shows of The Voice UK that we can point for this week's random scattering of catalogue hits selling as if from nowhere. Ho Hey by The Lumineers appeared to finally be on the verge of exiting the Top 40 last week after a 30-week run, but no the single climbs back to Number 29 this week after contestant Andrea Begley sang it on Friday night. Meanwhile, Iris is back on the Top 40 for the second time this year at Number 39 following a rendition by eliminated contestant Abi Sampa two weeks ago.
Also back on the Top 40 singles chart this week is Disclosure's Latch which shoots 76-37, not because of talent shows this time but because the group are celebrating a Number One album with their debut release Settle which does just that at the top of the Official UK Albums chart. In doing so they relegate Queens Of The Stone age to Number 2 with Like Clockwork which still ranks as their highest charting release to date.