Yes, OK it is a bit same old same old on the Official UK Singles chart this week with yet another brand new Number One to add to our 2014 collection, but this week was a chart race that actually nearly got very interesting indeed with the chart-topping single only able to sustain its lead over the competition for the first half of the week, a lead which was in danger of being reduced to nothing by the time the weekend and the end of the survey period arrived.
In the event, the midweek lead was enough and so it is congratulations to Calvin Harris as Summer becomes his first Number One single of 2014 and his second in the space of six months, following on from Under Control which reached the top of the charts two weeks before Christmas. One of those all-too-rare Calvin Harris singles which sees the DJ and producer eshew guest singers in favour of performing the song himself, Summer is his sixth Number One single in total as a credited artist, his fourth as lead act. We are told that the track is the first to be taken from a brand new album to be released later this year.
Commiserations then to Mr Probz who ended the week still at Number One on live charts with Waves but who ultimately was not able to overhaul the six-figure sale achieved by the Calvin Harris single. In a week when comparatively few big new hit singles arrive on the charts he stood a better chance than most of becoming the first act since February to manage at least a fortnight at Number One, although given the overall scarcity of new releases this week as well the smart money is on the Dutchman returning to the top of the charts next week.
A quiet singles week means the only other new arrivals to the Top 10 are climbers, Iggy Azalea's Fancy rebounding 11-9 to notch up a third week in total as a Top 10 hit single whilst Chris Brown's Loyal is finally rewarded for its dogged persistence and jumps 15-10 to finally reach the upper end of the chart after five weeks in the Top 20 and four weeks after it appeared to have first peaked at Number 13.
Speaking of new peaks, Idina Menzel's Let It Go celebrates its 21st week as a chart single this week and moves 13-11 to match its highest chart placing so far. No such benchmarks however for Happy by Pharrell Williams which alas dips 10-12 to bring to an end its 21st-century record run of 20 straight weeks as a Top 10 hit single, one short of equalling the modern day record of 21 weeks as set by a certain Bryan Adams single in 1991. I say "modern day" record as technically the all-time record Top 10 run was that of I Believe by Frankie Laine which spent 35 straight weeks in the Top 10 from 1953 onwards, although as this dates from what American chartologists Joel Whitburn and Fred Bronson like to term "the rock era" it can be considered a statistical quirk from a very different era. Meanwhile, Pharrell's new single Marilyn Monroe debuts at Number 40 in a manner which suggests it has a chart momentum of its own.
The release of the new Coldplay album Ghost Stories is still a fortnight away but the promotional efforts ahead of its release stepped up a year last week when the album became available for pre-orders for the first time. This naturally enough has had a positive effect on its lead single Magic which first charted at Number 10 back in March and which has spent the past two months selling steadily in a mid-table position. After dipping to an all-time low point of Number 24 a fortnight ago the single reawakened last week and now shoots up to Number 13 to land its highest chart position since that Top 10 peak. The fun part is that it is by no means the biggest selling Coldplay track at the moment. Having invented the whole concept of instant gratification tracks with their Viva La Vida album back in 2008 it should come as no shock that Ghost Stories has teaser tracks available with both Midnight and A Sky Full Of Stars also appearing online during the week. Indeed the latter was at one point the biggest selling track on iTunes and at the time of writing remains lodged in the Top 5. You will however, for now, search the listings in vain for both tracks as Magic remains the nominated chart hit leaving its two companions to be chart ineligible. It is, however, worth noting that Coldplay's two Number One hit singles to date Viva La Vida and Paradise were both tracks initially disqualified from the singles charts under rules in operation at the time. It would be foolish to write off the chances of either of their current pair of rules violations.
Received wisdom has it that any 'new' Michael Jackson material is instantly a big deal, yet five years on from the star's untimely death it seems the concept of newly polished forgotten material has failed to ignite the interest of the British public. Reconstructed from an unfinished track from 1983 and a song which was first recorded with different lyrics by Johnny Mathis in 1984, Love Never Felt So Good makes a lacklustre chart debut at Number 27 this week, not even the presence of an alternative version with co-vocals from Justin Timberlake enough to render the single anything other than a minor passing interest. [At least for now, this one set to come good in a couple of weeks thank goodness].
Over on the album chart Paolo Nutini remains Number One for a third week with Caustic Love, holding off the challenge of new releases from Damon Albarn (2), Imelda May (3), Embrace (5) and The Pixies (6). Damon Albarn's debut solo album Everyday Robots actually had to compete with one of his older works, the 20th anniversary of the release of Blur's Parklife album sending the older work crashing back onto the charts at Number 24.