There is a wonderfully old-school look to the top end of the Official UK Singles chart this week, harking back to the good old days of the late 90s and early 00s when men were men, an mp3 was probably a sort of car and the singles chart moved at the speed of light. An extraordinary week of big new releases means that there are no less than six new entries inside this week's Top 10, just one short of the all-time record and the first time we have seen a flood of arrivals of this level since the famous post-Olympics chart in August 2012. Hence this week's chart review is little more than a parade of the newcomers, for which I make no apologies at all.
Leading the way, a brand new Number One single and proof positive that moving on from your squeaky clean teenage past with mostly nude videos, ever more bizarre public appearances and a wonderfully entertaining online spat with Sinead O'Connor can work wonders. Miley Cyrus (for it is she) lands herself the second Number One single of her career as the notorious single Wrecking Ball storms straight to the top of the charts, just 12 weeks after We Can't Stop became her first UK chart-topper (that single holding firm this week at Number 20). Cyrus also becomes the first artist this year to do the chart double as the release of the single also coincided with the arrival in the shops of what is essentially her fourth studio album Bangerz which also sweeps aside the competition to sit comfortably at Number One. The second generation chart star has seen two of her previous three releases reach the Top 10 of the album chart but her highest placing to date has been the Number 8 scaled by 2010 album Can't Be Tamed in the week of its release.
Taking second place in the new entry parade is a man who in his day was quite the musical rebel in his own right. Once the subject of his own tabloid scandal stories for the content of his material, Eminem these days has matured into a kind of rap elder statesman, albeit one whose lyrical anger appears unabated. Absent from the charts as lead artist since 2010, a brand new Eminem single was always going to be in big demand and so it proves as Berzerk lands comfortably at Number 2, never quite in contention to become his first Number One single in almost seven years but for all that running Miley Cyrus close throughout the week. Technically this single is Eminem's second Number 2 single of the year, thanks to his prominent co-starring role on the 50 Cent single My Life which charted in January, however to all intents and purposes this is his biggest chart single since Love The Way You Lie also peaked at Number 2 in the summer of 2010, a record which made chart history by becoming the biggest seller of that year without ever once reaching the top of the charts.
New entry 3 of 6 is from rather closer to home, R U Crazy giving British singer-songwriter Conor Maynard a perfect five out of five as far as Top 10 singles are concerned. Produced by Labrinth, the single is the first track taken from his forthcoming second album which still awaits a release date. This Number 4 entry ensures the single matches the peak of his 2012 single Vegas Girl as his second highest charting single to date. The Brighton-based star has yet to match the Number 2 peak of his chart debut Can't Say No from April last year.
Also from a domestic point of view, the fourth Top 10 arrival of the week is Disco Love from The Saturdays, a single which returns them to a slightly more respectable level of chart form after their last release Gentleman made a disappointing Number 14 back in July. Effectively the fourth single from their current album Living For The Weekend, the track is now their 13th Top 10 hit single since the girl group made their chart debut back in 2008. Whilst before they finally broke their Number One duck with What About Us back in March it was fun to sneer at the Saturdays for never quite managing superstar status, five years of solid chart consistency and a string of mostly memorable hits (of which this is actually a fine and worthy addition) means they have actually achieved far more than they are generally given credit for.
The career of James Blunt is a fascinating one for chart historians, his most famous and enduring hit single You're Beautiful being a Number One hit during the great lost year of 2005 when CD singles sales collapsed and the age of digital purchasing was still in its infancy. His last album Some Kind Of Trouble came out in 2010 but became his first not to spawn any chart singles of any note, its sole release Stay The Night having limped to Number 26. This week however with a new album Moon Landing on the way, (set to drop on Friday this week for reasons best known to his label) he makes his strongest chart showing for six years as the uncharacteristically upbeat single Bonfire Heart becomes the fifth highest new entry of the week at Number 6. It is only the fourth Top 10 hit single of James Blunt's career and his first such chart record since 1973 peaked at Number 4 in September 2007. Eight years on from his most famous hit (which still gets airplay and indeed which had a brief chart run at the lower end of the Top 75 earlier this summer), the former soldier appears to about to promote his most favourably received work since.
Alas in any race someone must trail in last and the honour this time goes to John Newman, following up the Number One smash Love Me Again with new single Cheating which lands at Number 9. At the very least he has charted five places higher than the seventh big-name artist to release a new single this week but who finds himself little more than a footnote in a very busy chart column. Step forward Justin Bieber whose new single Heartbreaker lands at Number 14. Mind you, we could be mentioning his name a great deal more in these pages over the next few weeks, this new single the first in what he is calling his Music Mondays in which a new track will hit the stores every week between now and December.
Finally, for this week, the one other single of note on the UK charts this week is The Fox by Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis, a novelty single which has been grabbing its fair share of attention over the past couple of weeks and now vaults 46-24 to grab a Top 40 place for the very first time. Suggestions that the track is this year's Gangnam Style are perhaps a little wide of the mark, but if it ends up catching fire and dominating parties from now until the new year, don’t say you weren't warned.