Not so long ago the received wisdom was that dance music only sold singles. Producers of such material were largely focused on the one-shot club smash, the single hit that would make their millions worldwide without having to worry about the messy business of larger bodies of work and hit albums. Since then this notion has been stood neatly on its head, largely thanks to the work of superstar producers such as David Guetta and Calvin Harris, men who have sold as many millions of albums as they have smash hit singles. Yet within the dance music genre there is another subset of artists - the legacy performers from the 1990s who continue to tour and perform and who on countless occasions has shown that they command a loyalty and an appreciation from their supporters which means each of their new collections of work is hailed as a work of art in itself, as much as a new release from a classic rock act of yore would.
We saw the perfect example of this earlier this year when The Prodigy released their new album The Day Is My Enemy and landed a fifth Number One in the process. This week their fellow 90s survivors go one better. Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons first began working together in Manchester in 1989. Originally performing as The Dust Brothers they steadily developed a reputation as the go-to men for the most appealing remixes of the Madchester-era sound. An expansion into America and a legal collision with the two men who also operated under their desert-style name forced a rebranding to The Chemical Brothers in 1995, since when the pair have barely looked back. When their second album Dig Your Own Hole topped the charts in April 1997, aided by the presence in its grooves of Number One singles Block Rocking Beats and Setting Sun few could have predicted that they would still be topping charts 18 years later. Yet here we are in 2015 and the Official Album Chart this week plays host to Born In The Echoes at the very top. Their first chart album in eight years, by duplicating the feat of its predecessor We Are The Night the new album gives the Chemical Brothers their sixth Number One studio album - more than any other dance act in chart history.
Little such excitement on the Official UK Singles chart this week however as the early week promise of a changing of the guard fails to deliver once more. Thus Little Mix enter the weekend once more at Number One as Black Magic extends its chart reign for a third week. Already their longest running Number One hit to date, the single further extends its status as the biggest chart single of their career so far, a third week in the Top 3 a better strike rate than that of their debut Cannonball which dived to Number 6 on its third week on release.
So once more the midweek chart leader has to content itself with a lower resting point. Having made Number 182 last week on streams alone, Glitterball from Sigma rockets to a still no less impressive Number 4. It is the second chart hit this year for the drum and bass act, hard on the heels of Higher which charted at Number 12 back in April and one which restores them to the Top 10 even if it is, for now, unable to replicate the chart-topping feats of Nobody To Love and Changing which both reached Number One in 2014. The single also marks a Top 10 return for former X Factor star Ella Henderson who guests on the track. Having opened her solo career with a brace of Top 10 hits last year she slumped to a Number 16 peak for third single Yours which charted last November.
For the second highest new entry of the week, we have to dive all the way down to Number 25 where Foxes makes a rather understated debut with her bright new single Body Talk. Having it appeared finally broken through last year when Let Go For Tonight charted at Number 7 she now appears to be going backwards, this single one of her lowest charting singles to date despite a headline-grabbing promotional tour which saw her set a new record by performing seven times in seven different cities over a single day. It is a shame, for this track is a multi-layered electronic club hit with shades of Years & Years throughout and this lowly chart entry is, to be frank, unworthy of it.
It is the fifth rule of pop that where there is a band split there must then follow at least one solo career. Technically the first post-JLS single has already charted thanks to Marvin Humes' forming of dance act LuvBug but if you were awaiting the first JLS star to go properly solo then wait no longer. Landing at Number 28 this week is Aston Merrygold with his debut solo release Get Stupid, a chart entry which perhaps suggests he is at least for now playing to the gallery rather than attracting the vast new fanbase he will need to properly make a go of things. At the very least he is there, even if that is the most positive thing one can say about this single right now.
Finally this week one to watch for the next seven days as the potent combination of Disclosure and Sam Smith chart at Number 29 with new single Omen, this track at least doing so on streams alone and so seems set for a large jump into the Top 10 in seven days' time. Unless of course chart fate has other ideas.