This week's Official UK Singles Chart

This week's Official UK Albums Chart

 

Well, this clarifies matters a little. Dry January ends in some style this week with a veritable flood of new entries from some very big name acts indeed. Yet at the very top of the Official UK Singles chart, there is absolutely no change at all. Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars remains Number One yet again for what is now its sixth week in a row and the seventh in total.

The single is now unequivocally the longest running Number One single for over seven years, the first to spend both six in a row and seven in total at the top of the charts since Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis who embarked on her epic run at the end of 2007. Uptown Funk also equals a slightly more obscure chart record, its six weeks at Number One in its second run at the top equal to that of I Believe by Frankie Laine, the all-time chart-topping longevity champion, which managed 18 weeks at the top of the charts back in 1953 in three separate runs of 9, 6 and 3 weeks respectively.

The second biggest selling chart single of the week is surprisingly enough not one of the new arrivals but instead a track that has been around for some considerable time. After a fortnight locked at Number 3 Take Me To Church by Hozier climbs a place to Number 2 top land its highest chart placing to date, and what one would reasonably presume to finally be its peak. Take Me To Church has now been a Top 75 hit single for 22 weeks running, although you may be surprised to learn this is still some way short of the record for the slowest ever chart climb. That one has persisted for over 30 years now, White Lines by Grandmaster Melle Mel having reached its chart peak of Number 7 in its 28th week as a Top 75 hit. Granted, that number is a combination of its two chart runs, but even if you ignore the three weeks the single spent as a minor chart hit at the end of 1983, White Lines still embarked on a 25 week chart climb, meaning that Hozier will have to spend another month awaiting a turn at Number One to spend a chance of breaking that particular record in any sense.

Now onto something that is something of a novelty thus far this year - a number of exciting new entries. The biggest selling new single of the week is one which spent most of the last seven days as the second biggest seller behind the Mark Ronson single but which ultimately can only slide in at Number 3 on the full singles chart. L.A. Love (La La) is the first solo hit single for Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson in some considerable time. Not since 2007 has she featured on the singles chart as a solo artist, although her last new hit single of any kind actually came in 2010 when she was one of the guest singers on the David Guetta/Chris Willis Number One hit Gettin' Over You. She paused her solo career to resume working with the Black Eyed Peas at the turn of the decade which means that L.A. Love (La La) forms the lead single from what will surprisingly be only her second solo album. At Number 3 it ranks as the second highest solo hit of her career, equal to her debut London Bridge and just a place behind the peak of 2007 single Big Girls Don't Cry.

Fergie's may have been the biggest new single of the week but the most noteworthy is surely the track which lands at Number 5, its chart potential limited slightly be being released over a day after many of its rivals. FourFiveSeconds surely needs no introduction here, the latest collaboration between Kanye West and Paul McCartney but which this time has the added appeal of co-vocals from Rihanna. A genuine departure for all involved, the minimalistic and emotional track grabs the crown as the most diverting track of the year, and at a stroke eclipses the rather disappointing Number 28 peak of the first West/McCartney collaboration Only One a fortnight ago. McCartney's contribution to the track is more in name than actual presence, as he supplies no vocals and merely supplies guitar. Nonetheless, a chart hit is a chart hit and FourFiveSeconds thus breaks a 27-year barren spell for the legendary musician and becomes his first Top 10 hit single since Once Upon A Long Ago way back in December 1987 (charity hits notwithstanding). Due accuracy requires us to note that he did participate on the brace of brand new Beatles singles in 1994 and 1995 with both Free As A Bird and Real Love also reaching the Top 10. On that basis however he can now boast a span of original Top 10 hit singles that dates back to the second Beatles single Please Please Me in early1963 - this span of almost 52 years breaking the record held since 2008 by Sir Cliff Richard who with Number 3 hit Thank You For A Lifetime notched up a 50 year span of newly recorded Top 10 hits.

New at Number 7 this week is Say Something from new chart name Karen Harding. The MNEK-produced track marks the chart debut of a singer who is a veteran of two different TV talent searches but who has never before come close to chart success. Her profile was first raised as one of the hopefuls to sing Britain's Eurovision Song Contest entry in 2010, eliminated from the Your Country Needs You contest at the semi-final stage. She emerged once again in the 2013 series of X Factor, reaching the boot camp stage before being eliminated in the six chair challenge.

Want more? There is still more with club hit Rhymes by Hannah Wants and Chris Lorenzo arriving at Number 13. Samples from both Busta Rhymes and Daft Punk go to make up the infectious single which has more than satisfactorily acquitted itself. Sugar by Maroon 5 finally hits a sweet spot (sorry) and leaps 55-22 on its way to becoming another hit single for the group whilst the biggest surprise of the week may well be the failure of much-hyped The Heart Wants What It Wants by Selena Gomez to chart any higher than Number 30. It is the singer's third Top 40 hit single but may well end up being the first to miss the Top 10.

Her second single Lips Are Movin' may have stalled at Number 2 but it is no surprise to see Meghan Trainor's Title ease its way to the top of the Official UK Album chart, edging out Ed Sheeran by 5000 copies.

Next week we should finally see a changing of the guard at the top. As the entire country goes Fifty Shades Of Grey crazy, the most high profile song from the soundtrack is as I speak whipping the competition - including Uptown Funk with wild enthusiasm.


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