For all the talk about the concept of "on air on sale" and the vogue for acts to drop singles on the general public without fanfare or any kind of pre-publicity, sometimes there is no substitute for a good old-fashioned steady promotional build to create a high level of anticipation for what might otherwise have been an undistinguished new release.
Such was the path taken by the backers of KDA's Turn The Music Louder (Rumble) which charges with some degree of comfort to the top of the Official UK Singles chart this week. The alias of London producer Kris Di Angelis, KDA makes his debut as a performer this week after having graced the remix credits of a number of hit acts over the past year or so. Like so many singles of its ilk this track began life as an instrumental (hence the Rumble suffix in the title) but which is given the final commercial polish thanks to the addition of a vocal track.
It is the contributing singers that make the single truly interesting. Katy B is one, in the process topping the UK singles charts for the very first time after previously topping out at Number 4 (Lights On in January 2011). The other vocal contributor is none other than Tinie Tempah, this single thus counting as his seventh Number One single since he made his chart debut in 2010. Thanks to Jess Glynne duet Not Letting Go earlier this year, Tempah is already the act with the most Number One singles in the 21st century and with this track he stretches his lead still further
The only downside for KDA really is that he has the misfortune to top the charts at the precise moment that nobody will pay the slightest bit of attention, all talk instead being of the superstar return which barring a holocaust will blow the rest of the competition out of the water for the next seven days. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here…
The easy domination of KDA meant that a potentially exciting singles chart battle was anything but. The result is a near default Number 2 single for One Direction as they approach the end of the year and their impending 'hiatus'. Arriving in the same week as unwelcome headlines thanks to a last-minute sacking of a concert in Belfast, Perfect becomes the group's second Top 3 hit of the year, a direct follow-up to Drag Me Down which topped the charts in August. Those with a musical ear will note with wry amusement that the single bears a passing resemblance structurally to Taylor Swift's hit single Style. Given the latter was unashamedly about 1D's Harry Styles, one does wonder if this isn't entirely a coincidence.
Also new to the UK Top 10 this week is Be Right There by Diplo & Sleepy Tom (although some listings reverse the credit to make Sleepy Tom the lead artist) which bounds to Number 8 after charting at 91 on streaming points alone last week. It is the third directly credited Top 10 single of Diplo's career to date, his second of the year after his role on Skrillex' Where Are U Now. This is however to overlook his role as the leading light behind Major Lazer which gifted him a Number 2 hit with Lean On back in the summer.
Leaving aside the traditional post-series 'coronation' singles which are without fail Number One hit singles, the formal debut hit records for X Factor winners are normally guaranteed a similarly rapturous reception. This year that consistency takes a knock as 2014 series winner Ben Haenow makes his chart bow at a curiously lowly Number 21 with Second Hand Heart, this despite the presence on co-vocals of fellow talent show alumnus Kelly Clarkson. Not since Series 1 winner Steve Brookstein (who was denied even the chance to release a second single) has any winner of the talent show had such a miserable return to the chart fray, this lower even than the Number 6 peak of Joe McElderry's one and only post-win hit single Ambitions in October 2010. Haenow can at least take heart from the fact that this single has arrived without the support of the traditional reigning champions' return to the stage on the first X Factor results show with the series running several weeks behind its traditional schedule thanks to the disruption of ITV's Rugby World Cup coverage. One suspects Second Hand Heart is the opening gambit in a 1-2 punch of hit singles and that his second release will indeed get a proper live TV push sometime in November. [Yet oddly that wasn't the case, this being as of 2017 Haenow's one and only post-X Factor chart single].
He has at least performed better than veteran stars Take That who make what on the face of it is an astonishingly low entry with new single Hey Boy at Number 56. The placing, however, is deceptive - the single also an instant grat release to tease the upcoming special edition of their 2014 album III due to land in time for Christmas.
Oh yes, albums. Q4 of the sales year is upon us and the point at which all labels wheel out their big guns in time for the holiday season. How else to account for the way six of this weeks Top 10 albums on the Official UK Albums chart are new entries, a further seven new releases landing between 12 and 25 too. Leading the charge is Jamie Lawson, he of Wasn't Expecting That and whose self-titled album (technically the fourth of his career but promoted as his debut) storms to the top of the charts, beating his label boss Ed Sheeran into second place. John Newman is at 3 with Revolve and teen idol turned reality TV stooge Peter Andre is at 5 with Come Fly With Me. Yes, it’s a swing album, need you ask. Credit too for Demi Lovato who charts at Number 6 with Confident, the home of Cool For The Summer instantly becoming the highest charting album of her career.
But let's not kid ourselves, every single record on the charts this week is an utter irrelevance right at this moment. Adele is back to crush all in her wake. And we're all surprisingly OK about it.