It has taken until the middle of March, but here we are with what is only the second brand new Number One single of 2015 on the Official UK Singles chart. Ellie Goulding finally makes way for electropop group Years & Years who fly straight to the top of the charts with brand new single King.
The trio first charted, as is so often the case these days, in conjunction with another act - appearing as the featured performers on Sunlight by The Magician which reached Number 7 in October last year. They swiftly followed that up with their own debut hit Desire just before Christmas although on that occasion could only reach Number 22. Their ascent to the top of the charts follows their crowning in the new year as the winners of the BBC's Sound Of 2015 poll, an accolade which has proved to be a double-edged sword for some in the past but which on this occasion has appeared to be the anointment they needed as the proverbial next big thing.
Royal titles have been a common theme in the past as use as both single titles and artist names. Over the years we have seen all four regal themes used by acts - King, Queen, Prince and Princess all having had chart hits although only the middle two have had Number One singles, notwithstanding the chart-toppers achieved by Ben E King, Kings Of Leon and Storm Queen of course. Years & Years are the third act to have a Number One hit with a song with "king" in the title, following Roger Miller's King Of The Road in 1965 and Wamdue Project's King Of My Castle in 1999. Britain has also had chart-toppers in the past named for a Dancing Queen and a Queen Of My Heart as well as a Prince Charming but the closest we have ever come to a Princess at Number One was in 2007 when Princess Superstar teamed up with Mason for Perfect (Exceeder) and reached Number 3.
The second highest debutant of the week is a new solo name, Marlon Roudette debuting with a single that has already been a major success across Europe, the steel drum-infused When The Beat Drops Out. He is also well known on the continent for his 2012 single New Age although British audiences were less impressed at the time, sending the single to a lowly Number 90. The British performer first made his name as one half of hip-hop duo Mattafix, best known for their 2005 single Inner City Life which charted at Number 15.
Also making a chart debut this week is Alex Adair who may be just 21 but whose name has appeared on hit remixes of tracks by the likes of Ella Henderson, Ed Sheeran and Jessie Ware. His debut hit single is Make Me Feel Better which lands at Number 13. If one can level any criticism at the track it is that it sounds for all the world like a hit from last summer, a blissed-out club track featuring a looped and sampled vocal in very much the same vibe as Waves by Mr Probz and other hits of that ilk. Nothing wrong with it at all, just the feeling that we've in all honesty heard it all before. [It should be noted we are about to hit not only the Tropical House era (of which this single and Waves were arguably early pioneers but also the first big surge of the streaming era, two factors which combined to ensure EVERYTHING sounds the same as everything else. Practically].
After two weeks at Number 5, Kanye West's FourFiveSeconds moves annoyingly to Number 3 and thus deprives us of the 4-5-2nd chart run every chart nerd was praying we would see. The single is joined on the charts this week by All Day, the third in the series of West/McCartney collaborations to have charted since the start of the year and which lands at Number 18. The legendary performer this time around is merely a featured performer and doesn't even receive a chart credit, the single instead listed as being performed by Kanye West alongside Theophilus London and Allan Kingdom.
The current series of The Voice UK has now reached the end of the blind auditions and moved last week onto the battle performances stage, a broadcast which resulted in sales spikes for many of the songs featured. None more so than Demons by Imagine Dragons which vaults back up the singles chart to Number 33 this week. It is the single's first Top 40 appearance in almost exactly a year and it must surely be a little frustrating for the rock group to see a track from their 2013 album still selling when they have new album Smoke & Mirrors to promote instead.
The second edition of the all-new album chart remains as you might expect comfortably predictable as the most eagerly anticipated new release of the week flies to the very top with little difficulty. Chasing Yesterday gives Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds their second Number One album to join their self-titled debut which also topped the charts with ease in October 2011. Back then the album came at the height of the Gallagher brother wars with little brother Liam's own Beady Eye outfit also attempting to make a post-Oasis mark. Alas, Beady Eye are no more, leaving Noel to lead the charge alone, even if the continuing success of his current work means any potential Oasis reunion remains on ice for now.
Meanwhile, the second biggest new album of the week is Kelly Clarkson's Piece By Piece which debuts at Number 6. It is her fifth Top 10 album in total and her first since her last studio album proper Stronger which reached Number 5 when released at the end of 2011. To date the original American Idol has never managed a Number One album in this country, oddly enough coming closest with her notoriously poorly received My December which charted at Number 2 in July 2007.