We have synchronicity once more between the Billboard Hot 100 and the Official UK Singles chart as Rude by Magic! sits proudly at the top of both charts right now, the Canadian group managing the unusual feat (this year at least) of sustaining the momentum which saw them rocket to Number 2 last week and ascending to the very top of the British charts. By my reckoning this makes them the first ever Canadian group (as opposed to solo star) to reach Number One in Britain, taking that crucial final step where illustrious predecessors such as Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Nickelback all fell one place short.
Rude actually sets a brand new benchmark in this still newly-minted streams and sales era. As befits a single which had reached the Top 50 before selling one single copy, it tops the charts with a full 16% of its overall sales tally attributed to streams. We should, of course, note that it is also far and away the biggest SELLING single of the week - we still await the first Number One hit whose presence at the top is attributable to its online popularity rather than its sales alone.
With Cheryl Cole gamely holding on at Number 2, the biggest new hit of the week can only slide in at Number 3. Faded is the first chart hit for the enigmatic Zhu, an electronic musician whose work first began appearing at the start of this year and who has managed to maintain his (or her) anonymity even in a climate where it is hard for any artist to hide behind a pseudonym for any length of time. Hit single Faded first appeared on an EP of tracks Zhu released online back in April but now with a full commercial release via Polydor records effortlessly duplicates the Top 3 success it has already achieved in several other territories worldwide.
If online hero worship alone was enough to send you to the top of the charts then Number 5 act Bars & Melody would theoretically have run away with things this week. Consisting of 13-year-old Leondre Devries and 15-year-old Charlie Lenehan, the two teenagers first shot to fame earlier this year as contestants on Britain's Got Talent, fighting their way through to the final only to be denied victory at the death. Their cute looks and a winning combination of singing and barely post-pubescent rapping seemed to charm a large number of people and in a not dissimilar manner to the way Gabz was swiftly propelled into the Top 20 in 2013 the duo duly become the first discovery from this year's series to barge their way into the singles charts. Their single Hopeful is a newly retooled version of the song with which they auditioned and performed at the final earlier this year, a sly retooling of Twista's 2005 hit single Hope with the lyrics transformed into an anti-bullying plea. American readers may well have spotted them on the Ellen show recently with her seal of approval suggesting they may well be the latest British act to make a dent in the US charts as well.
What is most interesting about the single is that it becomes the first hit record in some considerable time to register a measurable percentage of its sales in a physical format. Online the track faded fast from its early week head start - this Number 5 placing attributable to the widespread number of record store appearances the pair made this week, with stocks of their single ready to be snapped up by the baying crowds.
There is more new British talent at Number 10, a strong debut for hotly tipped Bradford singer Melissa Steel whose breezy debut single Kisses For Breakfast may not quite have lived up to its early week promise but still gives her an impressive hit single at the first time of asking. If anything even more of a sun-kissed summer anthem than Rude I'd hate to think this is the end of its chart prospects but I suspect this may turn out to be something of a one week wonder.
The parade of Top 20 new arrivals is concluded with the Number 15 debut of One Day (Vandaag) from Dutch dance producer Bakermat, a retooled version of a track which was originally a Top 10 hit two years ago in several European countries. The track is most notable for its bold use of samples from Martin Luther King's iconic "I Have A Dream" speech, in far more extensive form than the soundbites which found their way into early house records in the late 1980s.
On the album chart we have a refreshing level of stability not seen for over three years with Ed Sheeran still immovable at Number One with X, his sixth week on top edging ever closer to the epic 8 week run of James Blunt's Back To Bedlam back in 2005, the last time a male artist managed such a continuous run at Number One with an album of brand new material (the Michael Jackson hits collection The Essential having spent seven weeks in a row at the top back in 2009). Sheeran's Number One hit single Sing finally dips out of the Top 10 this week, dropping to Number 14, but it could well be replaced shortly by Thinking Out Loud which has been a Top 30 ever-present since the album's release and hits a new peak this week of Number 20.
The highest new Official UK Album chart entry of the week is the Number 3 landing spot for Eric Clapton and Friends with The Breeze, the legendary guitarist's all-star tribute to his late friend JJ Cale with whom he recorded 2006 album The Road To Escondido. Number 3 is enough to make it Clapton's highest charting collection of new recordings since From The Cradle hit the top 20 years ago next month.
Meanwhile, we still await the first ever Top 40 hit single based entirely on streams, as Nico & Vinz' Am I Wrong holds steady and climbs just one place to Number 52. Unable to hold back the tide any longer, the single has now been freed for purchase meaning it seems almost inevitable it will give us yet another brand new Number One single this time next week.