Doo doo do-do doo do. Yes, Easter weekend dawns with an air of calmness overcoming the singles chart with both McFly's current and indeed Usher's former Number One singles holding firm at the very top end. The result is a second week at the top for the aforementioned boy band and 5 Colours In Her Hair, something that their immediate pop relatives Busted have yet to manage, their three chart-toppers to date all being seven-day wonders. So given that there is little sensation at the top of the charts, let us have some fun with the title of the single which you may well have noticed includes the number '5' rather than dull old words. In fact, this is the first numerically titled single to top the charts since 2001 and fascinatingly in recent years when one single with a number in the title has hit the top, another one has soon followed.
Check this out. In 2001 So Solid Crew's 21 Seconds was followed at the top of the charts within weeks by Bob The Builder and Mambo No.5. 2000 saw Oxide & Neutrino hit the top with Bound 4 Da Reload with Craig David's 7 Days following a few months later. In 1999 we had both 9PM (Til I Come) and Mambo No.5 again. Therefore if you believe in this kind of pattern, keep a close eye on any singles released over the next few months that feature a number in the title as it appears they stand a very good chance of hitting the top. Only one single named entirely after a number has ever topped the charts, Paul Hardcastle's 19 back in 1995. Honourable mention must also be made of the Spice Girls who impressively shoehorned two numbers into a single title back in 1996, that song, of course, being 2 Become 1.
The biggest new hit of the week is a single that was tipped in many places to hit the top but which ended up falling some way short, despite almost saturation levels of airplay. Such speculation was hardly unwarranted given that Finland's The Rasmus had already topped charts all over Europe with In The Shadows, which now has the honour of being their first UK release. The track is one of those rock songs that has instant cross the board appeal, hence the number of radio stations putting it into heavy rotation and ensuring that the song is instantly familiar even if you believe you have not heard it yet. Speculation that this is this year's Bring Me To Life is a little wide of the mark however and although Top 3 is an impressive debut I'm still to be convinced this is quite the long running smash hit that many expect it to be.
Special D's Come With Me on the other hand is the exact reverse, a club track that has sneaked in under the wire to become a Top 10 smash against most expectations. Hailing from Germany, this is the kind of irritatingly catchy club track that you either love or hate - and the fact that in places it sounds disturbingly like the turn of the decade cheesemeisters The Vengaboys [in retrospect this is actually a fairly standard Happy Hardcore track,so comparisons with Scooter were more apt] is set to polarise opinion even more.
We stay in the clubs for this week's third new entry, a long overdue second hit single for Narcotic Thrust. Andy Morris and Stuart Crichton first made the charts back in 2002 with Ibiza anthem Safe From Harm, but now improve dramatically on the Number 24 peak of that single to storm the Top 10 with a brand new single which has picked up a respectable amount of mainstream airplay - and quite rightly so actually. Crichton is actually no stranger to the charts having recorded in the early 1990s as Umboza and scoring two Top 20 hits along the way in the shape of Cry India and Sunshine but the intoxicating I Like It is far and away his biggest ever chart production. Nice work lads, but be ashamed that the biography on your lavishly produced website hasn't been updated in two years.
Rounding off the Top 10 is Beyonce, Naughty Girl being her second chart hit of the year and one which performs slightly better than Me Myself & I which made an almost derisory Number 11 back in January. Chalk this up as her fourth Top 10 hit in five solo releases, counting her appearance on Jay-Z's 03 Bonnie & Clyde which hit Number 2 in, er, January '03. The songs are unconnected but this is, of course, the second single with the title Naughty Girl to chart in the last couple of years, Holly Valance having hit Number 16 with her own rendition of the concept in December 2002.
At Number 16 is someone with a big problem. Not so much Michelle McManus who by all accounts is not exactly over the moon about her status as a Pop Idol winner and is homesick for her old life back in Scotland rather than having to live it up on the celebrity scene and deal with people writing about how large she is. No, those with a problem are the two Simons who are witnessing the career of the current talisman of the Pop Idol franchise vanish down the toilet. Michelle's debut single All This Time topped the charts at the start of the year, pretty much by default but the lukewarm reception of her album is now followed by the rather lacklustre performance of this second single. For the sake of saying nice things about it The Meaning Of Love is actually a rather better single than its predecessor and if you are in the right kind of mood, touches the heartstrings in all the right places. The doubt remains though that her nasal voice just isn't up to the power ballads she is being given to sing and as time goes by it becomes clearer that Pop Idol II represented the final gurgles of the TV show talent pool running dry [famous last words, although you will note that the next incarnation of the concept led to an expanding of the kind of act they were searching for to give them more options]. I'm looking forward to the hate mail coming from the forums on her official website but anyone who believes she has any kind of pop career to look forward to after this chart performance is deluding themselves ever so slightly. [This was indeed the final chart appearance for Michelle McManus, who instead turned out to be a far better TV presenter than she ever was a singer].
Just below Michelle are Big Brovaz who have had a rough time of their own over the last few weeks, for entirely different reasons. This is thanks to the headlines generated by member Flawless who in one stroke persuaded us to rename him Brain Dead And Jobless by being nabbed in possession of several grams whilst on the way to the USA for the Scooby Doo 2 movie premiere. Cue his swift dismissal and a regrouping by the other members as they attempted to focus on the release of this new single, their first since the Christmas hit Ain't What You Do. We Wanna Thank You is a brand new track, not available on their album Nu Flow and features on the soundtrack of the aforementioned movie, not that this appears to have helped it much. Still, if nothing else the single is worth checking out for the eyebrow raising cover of Sly and the Family Stone's Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin).
The biggest new hit outside the Top 20 goes to the Zutons who slide in nicely at Number 22 with You Will You Won't. They can be forgiven for being slightly disappointed by this as it does not represent much of a progression from their first single Pressure Point which was a Number 19 hit back in January. Also floundering just a little are 50 Cent's homies G Unit who clearly are relying a little too much on the presence of their mentor for big hit singles. If I Can't/Them Thangs was a Top 10 hit last month but that was almost certainly due to their role as backup to the man himself. This second single proper from the collective cannot even improve on the peak of their debut Stunt 101 which was a Number 25 single over the Christmas period. This chart performance will almost certainly be thrown into sharp relief by the appearance next week of a brand new D12 single (the presence of Eminem notwithstanding).
At Number 28 this week is a new entry from that most celebrated of sources - a Coca Cola advert. For the first time in many years, Coke have returned to an old formula of having a song soundtrack their annual advertising campaign. The current series of commercials (the first to be made exclusively for the UK) features former Basement Jaxx singer Sharlene Hector distributing bottles of Coke to passers by whilst singing the instantly recognisable I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free. The intent is clearly to recreate the atmosphere of the famous I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke campaign from the early 70s and which equally famously helped the New Seekers to the top of the charts in 1972 when they recorded the song as I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing. The last Coke advert soundtrack to become a substantial hit was Robin Beck's First Time which topped the charts here in 1988 after featuring in TV adverts for most of the year. As for I Wish I Knew..., this is the second time in recent years that it has become a chart record. In November 2001 the Lighthouse Family made it part of a medley with U2's One and had a Number 6 hit - the first time incidentally that the famous gospel song had been turned into a chart hit. Most people will, however, be more familiar with an instrumental version by the Billy Taylor Trio which has spent most of the last 30 years serving as the theme to the BBC's 'Film xxxx' movie review show.
As for next week, well now that is looking interesting. New songs from Air, Dido and Prince, a sure-fire smash hit from the profane Eamon but best of all a release from Janet Jackson. Who knows I may even talk about her breasts without sparking a national crisis. Imagine that.